Month of the Military Child Highlight: Master Sgt. Lindamood

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alan Ricker
  • 15th Wing Public Affairs
There are more than 1.6 million military children that will have their resiliency tested through unique challenges this year, deployment being one of many.

“I remember her going through the terminal, and that was the first time I can remember seeing my mother cry, because her babies were standing right there,” said Master Sgt. Krystle Lindamood, 647th Civil Engineer Squadron first sergeant, as she remembered her mom leaving for Okinawa, Japan, when she was seven years old. “I don’t remember her being gone per se, but what I do remember is wanting and wishing very badly that Christmas, for her to come home.”

The constant moving, transitioning between schools, and trying to make new friends while also trying to stay connected to the old ones are a few additional challenges that Lindamood, a fourth-generation military child, recalled from her experiences growing up.

She explained they moved to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, and back to Camp Lejeune before her mother, a U.S. Marine, retired from service in August 2001. During that time frame, her mother would leave to serve two yearly tours in Okinawa.

According to the Department of Defense, military families move every two to three years, and an estimated 30% of service members will be moving to a new installation this year, creating situations that could make it challenging to stay connected with family and friends.

Lindamood described that making new friends during each move became more of a process as she aged. She went to school on base from 6th to 10th grade at her mother's last duty assignment of Camp Lejeune, with all of her friends moving to new installations during her eighth-grade year.

“My daughter is running into that,” said Lindamood. “She’s tried to keep in contact with her best friend from two bases ago, and after a couple months to a year, there’s been no contact since.”

The DoD mentions that military children can change schools an average of six to nine times from the moment they’re in kindergarten to high school.

She continued to describe how rough her junior and senior years at school were because her mother had retired, and she moved off base to a new school. Most of the students knew each other from birth, and no one wanted to hang out with the new kid.

“It’s no different than being in a host country where they don’t want to hang out with you because you’re the foreigner and you're just going to leave anyways,” said Lindamood.

She mentioned another frequently challenging situation where her parents were not available to attend important events. One memory sticks out the most: her mother making an appearance during a field day during fourth or fifth grade.

“I saw her walking up,” said Lindamood. “I was so excited that I stopped in the middle of the competition and ran to her because she was never able to make it to anything.”

“It does weigh on you because when you're a child, it's emotional, and you can’t control your emotions because your brain has not fully developed,” said Lindamood. “You start resenting them because they’re never available, but it's not their choice.”

With 20 years of service in the Air Force and two children, Lindamood shared that she understands the position her mother was in now that she is in a similar situation.

“I have learned over the years that my family are the ones that are going to be there,” said Lindamood. “It’s important to build those relationships and make sure we have those good relationships with our kids and my spouse, making them not resent me for always being gone.”

She also expressed the importance of having yearly programs to help children cope with not just deployment but also moving, making new friends, and several other life transitions to build their resiliency.

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