I just read dozens of Veterans Day messages on my Facebook newsfeed, the majority from former classmates at Kaiserslautern American High School. They brought back memories of moving to new cities, states and countries; enrolling in new schools (sometimes 2 or 3 in the same year); making new friends; learning new customs; all the while, our fathers, mothers, or both parents doing their duty for Uncle Sam, in the US, South Korea, Germany, the list goes on.
Sometimes, I dreaded starting a new school, especially mid-year, but deep down I knew that every student I would meet, was living the same lifestyle I was, which made it so much easier to make friends. Unfortunately, I lost touch with many cool kids when I moved away. I found it hard to write letters, although I tried very hard. They tried, too, but letters petered out and new friends took the place of old pals.
Years have passed; decades, in fact. Then, Facebook comes along and suddenly, here are familiar names! I knew this person from Fort Belvoir, that one from Fort Bliss. Here are a number of people from K-Town, Sembach, Ramstein, even one from Bitburg. The next thing I know, we’re having yearly get-togethers in different cities, the most recent “reunion” taking place right here in Seattle. The years melt away. We may be older, wiser (or not so wiser), stressed, carefree, depressed, bubbly, busy with family or blissfully (or not so blissfully) unattached, but in many ways, we haven’t changed a bit. Age-old conversations pick up where they left off. New conversations spring up. Old flames reconnect. New flames ignite.
My husband commented recently about the people he met at my recent reunion, who welcomed him as a member of the K-Town family right away and treated him as though they’d known him for years. This is not unusual. It’s the way we are, the way we grew up. We’re military brats. We’re used to making friends quickly. And now, thanks to social media and this wonderful thing called the internet, we don’t have to worry about losing touch ever again.