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    It Takes a Fleet to Raise a Child



    Story by Seaman Alexandria Esteban 

    All Hands Magazine

    Deployments impact more than just Navy personnel. The unpredictable nature of a military lifestyle can require service members to miss out on their children’s birthdays, graduations, performances and other special events. Military children grow up understanding the importance of their parents’ jobs, but it doesn’t always comfort them during periods of separation. Some families travel to different duty stations in order to spend as much time as they can with their military member. From the perspective of Navy parents, it’s not always easy balancing their paternal duties and the responsibility they have towards serving the country, but the Navy provides financial support and daycare options to help service members raise their families throughout their military career.

    U.S. Navy Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Christylmine Lam, Barracks Manager for the Navy Detachment in Fort Meade, has two young children. Her husband is currently raising their three-year-old daughter, Eden, in Okinawa, Japan, and Emerson, her five-month-old son, is living with her in Maryland.

    “One of us is always going to be gone,” said Lam. “So they’re still at a young age where they don’t understand as much yet, but I’m pretty sure that once she grows up, and also him, they’ll eventually see that we go away for six to nine months out of the year.”

    Since her son is less than a year old, Lam’s shore duty was extended so that she can devote more time to her child. Lam intends to stay in the military for at least 20 years before retiring. While she and her husband are both service members, they intend to raise their children in different duty stations. Travelling is one of the benefits that interested Lam when she first chose to enlist and now it’s a benefit she can share with her kids.

    Navy Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 3rd Class Jeri Enriquez Rogers, assigned to squadron VFA-131 Wildcats, joined the Navy in September 2022, but she and her husband, who have two children, have also previously finished six year contracts in the U.S. Army.

    “Mil to mil can be so hard, and I give a lot of praise to parents who can make that work,” said Rogers. “But for us, we wanted one of us to always be present for our kids, especially for our three-year-old son who was recently diagnosed on the spectrum.”

    Since she enjoyed her experience as a military child, Rogers plans for her family to become a traveling military family that moves around to new places often. Through the military, her family is provided with housing and an affordable method of travel. The military also covers her children’s medical expenses and offers them many educational opportunities for the future.



    Date Taken: 04.06.2023
    Date Posted: 04.13.2023 12:43
    Story ID: 442558
    Location: US

    Web Views: 12
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