There's a reason an entire month is dedicated to military kids -- and if we're being honest, they deserve a lot more than just 30 days. Our littlest warriors sacrifice and serve alongside mom and dad, but unlike their parents, it's a lifestyle they didn't choose. Frequently uprooted, our kiddos are adaptable, flexible and resilient. Here are 6 reasons (and 14 amazing photos) that prove military kids are the very best:
1. Military Kids: Patriotism runs deepOur little ones can recite the Pledge of Allegiance before they can spell. They know the National Anthem and who to cheer for at the Army/Navy game. They know chants and fight songs and mottos, but above all else, these kids know what it means to serve something bigger than yourself.
2. Military Kids: They're born into itFor some of our military children, they're in it before they even take their first breath. Some are quite literally baptized into the traditions of service, while others join the ranks of military "brats" later in life.
3. Military kids: They endure the long goodbyesDeployments are hard on everyone, but can be especially difficult for children. There's never a good age to go. Sure, teens and toddlers may need different things, but neither age is harder or easier than the other. These photos of goodbyes are so hard to look at... But not nearly as difficult as watching one first-hand.
4. Military Kids: They embrace their new communitiesMoving is never easy, but the military kids I know have handled it with more grace and courage than most adults would. They bloom where they're planted, find ways to get involved wherever they go and leave every place a little better than the last.
5. Military kids: They want to be just like mom or dadDespite deployments, separations, moves and more, the crazy military lifestyle doesn't encourage our children to dream of other careers. Nope. They want to be just like their role models -- their parents -- and it's easy to see why.
6. Military kids: They serve, tooOur military children are asked to do more than what's expected of most kids in a lifetime. They face uncertainty with resolve, adversity with courage and the most tragic of circumstances with unmatched bravery.
Retired Air Force Capt. Chris Cochrane, left, accepts the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games torch from Navy Lt. Ramesh Haytasingh of the U.S. Special Operations Command team during opening ceremonies at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., June 15, 2016. With Haytasingh is his son, Tobias. Department of Defense photo/EJ Hersom
Our military children are strong. They are unique. And above all else, they are fiercely, fiercely loved.