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Lessons from Winter Storm Uri: How Community is Important in a Military Teen's Life

My mom always talks about her one snow day growing up. During a blizzard in Montana, a train exploded and caused the power to go out all across the city. Her house was the only house in the area with a fireplace. Her family’s friends came together at her house. This was a moment where people saw the importance of community.

You can see the importance of community in many different ways. I recognized its great importance just a few months ago in Texas. In February, 2021, a great winter storm known as Uri affected many parts of North America, including Texas. Many people lost power, some for just a few hours, and others a few excruciatingly long weeks. While we did not lose power, another military family was not so lucky.

Community is a very important part of any military teen’s life. Community can come in many different forms. We need to be a part of someone’s community as much as we need it for ourselves. Our friends needed us to be part of their community, and they were a major part of our community, too.

During Winter Storm Uri, our friends lost power to their house at the beginning of the storm. When the inside of their house hit 20°F, we took them into our house. They have a family of seven, and we live in a small house. It was a tight squeeze, to say the least. We helped them get through the storm in many ways.

However, they did much more for us than we did for them. They showed me the importance of community. They showed me that you gain when you give and that when you move a lot, you can look to similar people for a strong community. They helped me see the importance of good people in your life, and how people can teach you more about yourself. It also showed me that a strong community is how we bloom where we are planted.

Community does not just have to come from the military community. A lot of our people have lots of land where they can get firewood from (remember where we are talking about). They would give out free firewood to people who had lost power. Other people were letting neighbors shower in their houses and feeding them a warm meal.

As military brats we must find a way to engage in some form of community. Our lives will be too lonely without it. Within the military community, we can find people like ourselves who understand what we are experiencing. We need to be able to make heartfelt connections with people who can help us, and we can then help them in return.


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