U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden student Savanna Cleveland was selected as a winner in the 2018 Month of the Military Child annual Young Lives, BIG Stories Contest.
Reflecting on what it means to be a military child or youth, participants addressed this year’s theme, Brave Hearts, Resilient Souls.
Winners were chosen, based on content, form, grammar, presentation of the main idea and creativity. Each participant provided an essay or artwork to tell their story on military Family life. Prizes were given for the winner of each age category and one overall winner.
The contest, which is part of the annual Month of the Military Child observance, is sponsored by the U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s G9 Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation division’s Child and Youth Services.
Savanna described the educational experiences she has gained through travel, as well as the emotions involved in moving. “Suppose I do not make new friends, suppose we cannot find a nice house, suppose I do not like my new teacher. My parents have taught me that these emotions are normal and they comfort me by saying we are in this together.”
Se Oh Bush of Fort Campbell used the analogy of a morning jog to describe the life of a military child, writing: “You start your run. You meet somebody as you’re running and you chat with them. You guys make jokes, have fun, and then he leaves. So you’re alone until the next person comes. This next person has replaced the other person and soon you’re his friend. Then, unfortunately the path comes to a fork and he goes left and you go right. You ultimately go your own way. You finish your jog having met many people of all backgrounds, personalities, and places. That is the way of a military kid.”
Kassie Angle of Fort Huachuca wrote about the positives and negatives of military Family life. “It means learning to love a place just in time to leave it, and loving places so much you wish you could stay. And it means not really wanting to stay anywhere, at least not more than three years, and being just as glad when the movers bring your stuff as when they come to take it, and hoping that they don’t pack porcelain dolls and power tools in the same box and then label it ‘books.’ It means going places you could otherwise never go, seeing things you would otherwise never see. It means freedom, and it means knowing you had a part in it, that it’s the land of the free because of the brave and you know who the brave are.”
Winners by category:
Overall winner: Sydney Heuer, Army National Guard
3- to 5-year-olds: Courtney Jones, Army National Guard
5 years to first grade: Noah Bush, Fort Campbell
Second to third grade: Margaret Gacutan, USAG Bavaria-Grafenwoehr
Fourth to fifth grade: Savanna Cleveland, USAG Wiesbaden
Sixth to eighth grade: Se Oh Bush, Fort Campbell
Ninth to 12th grade: Kassie Angle, Fort Huachuca