DoD recognizes resilient military children

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Deanna Muir
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

They look just like everyone else. They do the same things – they play video games, sports and participate in after-school activities.

But there’s one big difference: they’re military children.

Military children are no strangers to challenges and grow to be resilient from the difficulties they experience. April is designated by the Department of Defense as Month of the Military Child to honor and recognize the sacrifices military children face.

Louis and Landon, sons of Chief Master Sgt. Louis Ludwig, 347th Rescue Group senior enlisted leader, said that although they have lived their whole lives attached to the military, they don’t see themselves as any different.

Born in Germany and moving four other times after, Louis said he believes that even though there are hardships, being a military child has positively impacted who he is today.

“Ideas, morals, responsibilities, and just good examples and leadership skills,” he said about what he’s learned watching his dad’s continued service.

Louis, who is now a 16-year-old high schooler, is working hard to set himself up for the future. Emulating his dad’s drive, Louis joined junior ROTC and has been accepted to their leadership program. He also plans to get his pilot's license and a mechanical engineering degree.

Landon, a 13-year-old honor roll student, said he loves sports and sees moving as a fresh start. Having already moved three times, he has adapted to making new friends and keeping in touch with the old ones.

Those skillsets are something children of civilians may not need to develop. And they are in addition to the many other odd skills picked up along the way, like figuring out creative ways to count down the days until their dad returns from a deployment.

“I'm really proud of them for all the things they've overcome and the challenges and obstacles in front of them,” said Ludwig. “As a parent, watching my children as we've moved from place to place and the struggle of them trying to adjust, then watching them succeed, is the sweet success of it.”

Seeing military children thrive is the goal, and parents aren’t expected to do it alone. The 23rd Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center at Moody Air Force Base offers a variety of resources for families who need assistance.

These resources range from free childcare assistance during permanent change of station moves and deployments to education resources through the school liaison officer.

Ludwig and his family are no stranger to utilizing the resources provided, and he said he’s happy to see the strides being made to improve them, such as placing military family life counselors in schools and recognizing children during Month of the Military Child.

“I wholeheartedly believe that (the Air Force is) in a way better place than we were years ago,” Ludwig said. “And I think it's a true testament to all the people who are looking out for military families outside of just us.”

Tierra Jackson, A&FRC community readiness specialist, said having a team of people ready to provide families with everything they didn’t know they would need is a true stress relief and makes the idea of being a part of a community a reality.

Being a military family and child comes with struggles, but Ludwig wants families to know that it gets better and to take advantage of the resources that are provided.

“All of these (military) children have to deal with the same things, and I think they are all super resilient,” Ludwig said. “There are some amazing families in the United States Air Force doing great things and I’m really thankful they have Month of the Military Child to recognize the children that serve in their own way.”

Louis and Landon said they love the Air Force and are proud of their dad’s continued service – much like Ludwig is proud to be their dad.

For information on Month of the Military Child events, contact the A&FRC at 229-257-3333.