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Life In General

10 Things That Make Living In A Military Town Unique

On Saturday mornings while you’re drinking your coffee, you can hear gun fire.  That pop-pop-popping sound you hear on news clips is background noise here.

And in the afternoons while we were outside in the backyard, I used to tell my daycare kidlets to listen closely to the irregular explosions that they were all too familiar with.  Some of their parents were the ones making all that noise.  I would tell them: “That’s the sound of the moms and dads practicing how to keep us safe.”

Military Personnel Parking

Army convoys rolling through town are a common sight here.  When new families move into our neighbourhood, one of the first question from both us and the new family is “Are you military?”.

I was a little unsure about moving into this town when we were first looking for a house.  It’s got a financially diverse population, with all walks of life represented, and the reputation wasn’t great.  But the price was right.  So we made it our home.

And I’m glad we did.

We live in a little town next to a Canadian Forces Base.  It’s a training base, so the turnover is even higher than some other bases.  It’s so much different than I expected, and yet, not much different than anywhere else.

So what’s so unique about living in a military town?

1. Kids are used to making new friends, and moving trucks are a part of life.

2. Our neighbourhood is bilingual.  My kids are accustomed to hearing parents and children speaking everyday French (not just classroom French) at the bus stop and at the playground.

3. You find out that Marie Kondo has nothing on military moms.  If you ever need help weeding out kids’ clothes or toys, ask a military mom.  They’ve purged, packed up, moved out, unpacked, and moved in more times than most of us civilians – they know how to do it right.

4. Many of our neighbours are trained in the fine art of killing people to defend their country.  It’s a little intimidating, but also very reassuring.

5. You realize just how many of our soldiers are dealing with PTSD, depression, and worse, and are falling through the cracks.  Many of our soldiers’ spouses and children are dealing with the fallout.

6. Posting Season (otherwise known as “spring”) means that many of our neighbours will be packing up and moving out. 

7. It’s never hard to sell a house (see #6).

8. Every September, there’s a huge influx of kids at the school.  This means one or more teacher and/or classroom changes for the kids each year.  It also means my kids don’t usually bother learning their teachers’ names for the first week or so.

9. Remembrance Day is actually remembered here.  You can’t miss it.  Remembrance Day has a whole different significance to the families here.

10. We’ve gained a much deeper, richer understanding of what sacrifice means.  Women give birth while their men are on the other side of the world.  Parents leave their babies in the care of grandparents while they are posted to opposite ends of the map.  Men and women watch their friends die far too young and violently.   They may come back injured themselves.  Children know more about loss than many adults have experienced.

It’s a humbling reality, living beside families that give so much. 

What do you appreciate most about the families that make up our military?

 

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!

16 Comments

  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    My husband is a military man and it’s definitely a different world. A good world, but it’s not what civilians are used to.

  2. mykidsguide

    I have a cousin who lives near a base and these are the sounds we often hear when we visit.
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  3. Reginia Cordell

    I haven’t had much contact or experiences with military personnel or their families. I work with a lady now that was a military brat and I enjoy the stories that she has from living abroad.

  4. Ashley

    I have several friends and family who are military, and have come to understand that living on base or in a military town is definitely not what the rest of us are accustomed to. It’s an entirely different experience raising kids when they are all too aware of the cost of our freedom!
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  5. Lyndsey Jones

    I believe it would be an enlightening experience to live in a military town. I believe it would also be a life changer in so many ways.
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  6. Valerie

    I love this! My sister’s husband is Army so they are always in a military town, living near the base. Bless you for taking such a positive perspective on what must be an interesting environment for a non-military family to live in.
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  7. Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy

    I often wonder if it’s a good close community if you live on a base. My husband loves to tell us stories about when he was in the military before we met.
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  8. Jeska

    We use to be a military family and it was definitely different than everyday life. I wouldn’t have traded though, great experiences!
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  9. Amy Ditmore

    My dad was military, Navy, when I was little. It was some of the best memories of my childhood and while we didn’t see so much of the convoys or hear gunfire, the amazing people we were always around gave us lasting memories and even friendships.

  10. Sharon

    You are so right and military families, thank God, are some of the most patient and patriotic families out there!
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  11. Lauren

    While we personally aren’t military, our backyard is literally an overseas military base. With us being so close, our part of town is very unique compared to the rest of the country. Learning different languages and making friends of different backgrounds is good for children.
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  12. Miranda (Myrabev)

    I can not even begin to imagine what it’s like living a military life. Thanks for sharing with us.
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  13. Jaime Nicole

    Learned a lot of these when we lived in Oahu. It felt like the whole island was a military base! On the upside, the guards in the shack were always pleasant and usually were great at giving directions!
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  14. Kat B.

    What a interesting article. Thank you for sharing.
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  15. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    I can’t imagine how it is living in a military town but I would like to experience it for myself.
    Go check out Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen’s latest post! KFC A.M. Waffle Buffet : Unlimited Breakfast + WafflesMy Profile

  16. Mary O'Malley

    I’ve never lived in a military town but I did come from the family. I think these are all wonderful things to experience.

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