Monday, April 11, 2011

Military Friends: An Awesome Idea

Military Friends: An Awesome Idea, By Casey Naillon, Age 13
Friends are an interesting topic to talk about. Moving with them is even more interesting. When you are moving, and knowing your friends will be there, it is exciting. It creates a feeling of happiness to know that there is someone you know to help you with the difficulty of being in a new place. Being around new people and adapting to new friends is what old friends help you cope with, and your friend will help you make friends, assuming they already have some. All the troubles of being a new kid and making new friends are what I will talk about in this essay.
The first problem with friends is losing them. Friends are like family, and losing family is a heartbreaking experience. The thought of losing them is enough to make you cry and beg to not leave, or threaten to handcuff your friend to you so they have to come with you. Actually, leaving them will make you hate your parents and just makes you feel miserable. There is a way to feel better though. Keep in touch by email or writing letters. Do activities to take your mind off them. Or just make some new friends. Any way you choose to do it, your heart will slowly heal if you allow it.
The hard part of friends is making them. If your personality is not to the standards of certain people, your options will be limited. You must be able to pick certain people that you can trust and will not pull you down. They must be able to appreciate your strengths and weaknesses, and be able to accept your personality, no matter what it is like. For example, you might be crazy or smart. Other people might criticize you for being with certain people because of the way they act and what they wear, but you learn to stand up for who you hang out with, no matter what anybody says.
Even with good friendships comes trouble. Fights over who should stay and who should go. Arguments over what you are wearing and who you like are everyday things. It’s what makes us humans, but there is a way to lessen the fights. If people are mad at you, find a way to make it up, like apologizing or getting them something, if it’s someone special. Tell your friends that certain things don’t have to mess up your friendship, like clothing or boyfriends. If that doesn’t work, those aren’t the right friends for you so go find another one.
Having friends in the military has its perks. One thing is that you can learn different things about where people have gone. Like you have a friend that has lived in Canada, so they can tell you all the customs and ideas they have if you’re moving there. When you have friends in the military, you can meet new people. If you meet someone and they have a different background, you could have an easier time being friends with them because they are different and special.
Friends can have a friendly influence on all your actions. For example, if you have good friends, they will lead you away from all drugs and keep you safe because they care and their parents have taught them what is right and what is wrong. Also, having friends can affect your grades. They affect your grades by tutoring you in different subjects, even though you think you know it. Having military friends is a bit different though. When you have military friends, you can learn different military ideas and thoughts of others being in the military just by having good military friends. Of course, all good things have some bad points.
All friends have different influences on you. A not so nice one is negative. A negative influence by your friends is peer pressure to do something that will cause you bodily harm. Take smoking for example. A bad friend will want to cause you harm by persuading you to smoke, or under-age drink. Military friends can also act like that. Don’t listen to them. Those people aren’t bad, just misinformed.
Some friend points are good, others are bad. That’s life, but you can help make friendships stronger. Stand up to those unfriendly people and offer to be their friend, and say you’ll be there when they need someone to talk to. Military friends are easy to talk to because they have experience with what you are going through and are understanding. That’s what friends do for each other. They are honest with each other and listen. All these points about friends, like moving with friends, losing friends, making friends, troubles with friends, perks of military friends, and positives and negative influences is what makes all military kids glad that they are in military families and get to be awesome military friends.

Excerpts from the book Military Kids Speak reprinted with permission from Third Wave Press. More essays by military kids and interviews with celebrity military kids like Shaquille O’Neal can be found in Military Kids Speak,

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