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Missing Friends, Missing Bonding Time

Sep 27, 2017, 10:53 AM

Logan Dean poses with Reflections art on display at National PTA headquarters.

Military children are some of the most resilient that there is. Growing up can be tough when there is always the possibility of living without a parent or caregiver due to deployment or having to uproot and move multiple times when duty stations change.

Logan Dean is one of the 1.2 million military children of active duty members worldwide. The 10-year-old’s father, Mike Dean is in the Army currently stationed away from home at Fort Bragg in N.C. Logan lives in Virginia with his mother Heather Dean, who works at National PTA.

Logan sat down with PTA’s One Voice to share his thoughts and experiences as a military child.

One Voice: What it is like having a dad who is in the military?

Logan: It’s like most of the time you can only see your dad once a week. A lot of times he’s out so you don’t have time for like father/son bonding or anything like that so you kind of get lonely after a while and honestly it’s not very easy. It’s not really very easy having a dad that’s in the military in my opinion. The hardest part is dealing with all these feelings.

One Voice: What do you like most and least about your dad being in the military?

Logan: I think it’s a cool job. He brings me back a lot of souvenirs, and when he comes back in his uniform, he looks awesome. It surprises people at my school a lot and I just like him being in the military. What I hate about him being in the military is he’s so serious. He means a lot to me and so what I really hate the most is he’s not really like a typical dad. He commands a unit so when I’m at his Army base in Fort Bragg, he is always saying stuff about sectors and etc., and I don’t understand a word he’s saying.

One Voice: How many times, if any, have you had to change schools? What was that like?

Logan: I think I have had to move about four or five times. You’re able to meet new people that you really don’t know that well. But you have to leave really good friends behind like the best friend I ever had—Nathan. He was my friend in North Carolina, which is where I lived before I moved here and we used to do a lot together; playgrounds, movies, we used to play Xbox.  We haven’t talked to him in 3 years. I really miss Nathan.

One Voice: What advice would you give a new friend who has a parent in the military?

Logan: Advice that I would give them would be if you sometimes feel lonely when you miss whoever left, just remember the good times you have and it sometimes feels like they’re right behind you, which I do a lot of times and it makes me feel really comfortable.