One of the most emotional and touching moments shown about the life of a military family is the classic homecoming scene with mom or dad returning from a long deployment, surprising their children at school or other public settings with tears and long hugs. The feeling of patriotism and pride is recognized at that moment with deep appreciation for the immense sacrifice that has been made.
But what happens when the cameras go away and the family goes back to their daily life? The story doesn't begin or end there.
Military children are often the invisible party of a service member family. They often move, jump between schools and become separated from loved ones, all in the midst of potentially having a parent serve in harms way without much input into these huge transitional life events. Each one of these kids has a special story to tell about their rich military history, culture, family and personal challenges and triumphs in life.
We celebrate these Unsung Heroes and their stories.
THE HELTEBRAN FAMILY
CHRIS & ELENE HELTEBRAN
Chris and Elene Heltebran, along with their 3 children, are a proud Marine Corp family. During long deployments and time apart from each other, the Helebran children are taught to make the best of the situation through resourcefulness, determination and love for their family. Whether they are assisting in a local event or supporting a non-profit organization they are passionate about, they lead by example, jumping in feet first to give to those in need a helping hand.
THE LIVERPOOL FAMILY
I can remember a year after I met my husband and he decided to enlist in the Navy, how excited I was for his boot camp graduation. I felt such an immense sense of patriotism, being part of such a special moment in these young sailors lives. When I graduated college, we moved to Virginia as newlyweds and were sent directly into our first deployment. It was overwhelming to say the least. When he returned, we started our own family with Nya.
THE BROWN FAMILY
Heather Brown has been a Navy spouse for nearly 20 years and she has taken on the extreme challenges of balancing military life and family life with strength, dignity and poise. The roles and responsibilities of a military spouse are often overlooked as the focus is typically put on the active duty service member. More often than not, military spouses take on the role of both mother and father