QUIZ: Can You Decipher These Military Acronyms?

The military is full of weird, obscure, and frankly, confusing abbreviations and slang. I'm sure we've all experienced those awkward moments when our service member is talking about their job and we have to interrupt with, "Wait, what does that mean?" Do you think you're well versed in military lingo? Try this quiz to find out! Swipe/click right for each question to reveal the answer. Woohoo! You're finished! How did you do? 8-10 Correct - Bonafide Brat 5-7 Correct - High and Tight 2-4 Correct - New Recruit 0-1 Correct - Go back to boot camp

Kingdom of Beauty: Adventures in Germany

When you first think of Germany, what do you think of? I, for one think instantly of the classic snow- covered cottages with the dark wood thatching with creamy white cement fillings. I think of the Neuschwanstein Castle and of beautiful villages. Now I think of rolling hills of green and never-ending forests. I think of tall mountains with waterfalls trickling and cascading down their heights. I think of the beauty that I now know to be true, natural Germany. It is a Kingdom of Beauty. Being here, in Germany, I've gotten to experience some truly wondrous places. Garmisch is one of these truly wonderful places. The mountain views are amazing and the trip there was full of lush greenery and m

Taking My Sister Back to the Naval Academy: COVID Edition

Looking around as I stepped on the yard for the first time since last year was immensely different. My eyes met crowds of unrecognizable people, all hidden under the refuge of their masks. Memories flooded my mind of the sadness I had felt dropping my sister off last summer on I-day at the very spot where I stood. My sister, Elizabeth, attends the Naval Academy in Annapolis. This year she is a rising third class, and was finally called back to the academy to return from her six-month absence. The months she had been home were a blessing to my family and I; we were able to spend valuable time with her thanks to corona. Elizabeth and I had rekindled the bond of friendship that had faded during

Roadblocks on an Open Road

I have a story to tell. It’s about uncertainty and perseverance. It’s also about love. From 2014 to 2016, my family was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. My sister and I adored living there. We had a neighborhood full of close friends, an amazing school with great teachers, and a strong sense of belonging. Yet, despite all this goodness, I remember being so excited when we learned we would be moving. It meant hardships, of course, but it also meant a wide-open road of possibilities just waiting to be explored. Unfortunately, I forgot that roadblocks happen. My father was stationed in Alabama. We were told housing would not be available for a while and the schools were not very safe, so my mothe

SCHOOL IN SWITZERLAND: learn from my U.S. college app mistakes...and my Swiss Success

School just started again, and whether it’s online, in-person or whatever your school might be doing, it probably isn’t the same as usual. If you’re a Junior or Senior, you’re probably still trying to go to your dream college in a year or two, but with COVID-19 cancelling many SATs, on top of all the normal things military kids face over the summer, things might be looking a bit difficult to say the least. If you moved your Junior or Senior year, then it's probably even worse. It’s almost as if you were dealt a great hand of cards, but the dealer was like, "haha give me those back I need to reshuffle again." Well, for those applying to college this year or the next, here’s a story from a

Fear of Not Moving

My dad signed his enlistment contract over 20 years ago. Little did he know that this choice would end up shaping my personality and guiding my entire childhood. With the Army ruling above all, as it does in most Army households, my dad’s job came before everything else. I’ve moved between war zones, European cities, and American suburbs. I’m on my seventh move in my fifth country. I have dozens of close friends that I’ve lost contact with, even more that I still text often, and my boyfriend who lives ten thousand kilometers away. My dad deploys every few years and is on TDY often. But when I think about my civilian friends and their stable lives, I get claustrophobic. The idea of staying in

Managing Stress During Unusual Times

As all of you know, the start of the 2020-2021 school year has been very off-putting. Although we ended the last school year in an online setting, beginning an entire school year in this way brings about many new challenges that have never been dealt with before. These challenges include the difficulty of communicating with new teachers, making friends, or simply getting used to the sudden workload, especially after the unusually long summer break. Combine this with the fact that the college application system is rapidly undergoing change, and stress is almost inevitable. Personally, stress has always been something that I’ve dealt with on a day-to-day basis, with school usually being the le

Bloom takes pride in being a safe platform for military kids to share their stories and be empowered. All of the opinions/beliefs expressed in articles belong solely to the author and are not a reflection of the views of the founders and editors of Bloom. Additionally, we understand the struggles and emotions of being a military child, but are not a mental health resource and are therefore unequipped to administer advice and assistance in that area. If you or a loved one are suffering from depression, abuse, or trauma, please visit our Resources page to find help.

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