The Real Boss in a Military Family

Kelsey's story is just one of many to come in April, The Month of the Military Child.
Continue to visit as FNC continues its celebration of military brats, young and old!

Are you a military child? Click over for information on how YOU can submit your story!

When my dad walks into a room people salute. When my dad talks to you, you respond, “Yes sir.” When my dad tells you to do something, you do it, and you do it well. That is, unless you are me.

My dad is a Sergeant Major in the United States Special Forces. People are afraid of my dad. Privates and officers alike shudder at the sound of his name, voice, and especially at the sound of his rank. He is the man that people fear and want to be. At work, he is “the man.”

As such, I feel that it is not only my responsibly, but my moral obligation to make sure that my dad doesn’t get a big head. That is why when my dad walks into the room, I ask him to bring me a drink. When my dad talks to me, I giggle and call him “old man.” When my dad tells me to do something, I ask him why, and inquire as to the urgency of the matter at hand. I tickle my dad if he gives me attitude, tease him if he so deserves, and I make sure he knows who is boss … me.

While this may sound like overt rebellion or disrespect, I have found that if I did not take on the task of controlling the old man, I would not be fulfilling my duty as a patriot, a daughter, and as an American. If I did not keep my father grounded, he may just float away, and the United States government would have to spend even more money to replace one of the great soldiers of our time.

It’s funny when my father starts acting like a real dad. I’ve always considered my family more of a team then anything else. My mom is the pilot, keeping the family together during my father’s frequent deployments; I am the co-pilot there for emergencies and dirty jobs; my brother is the stowaway who prefers his guitar and his room more then the cockpit; and my dad, well, he’s the officer who isn’t around much, but when he is prefers to delegate his responsibilities to his subordinates, or in my family’s case, myself and my brother. Our unique family dynamic is what made my childhood different from that of the civilian child.

Because he was so often deployed, sacrificing himself in order to defend freedom, my father has never been the decision maker of the family. I admit, every once in a while, my mom will let him call a shot or two, but my brother and I know who really runs things. As a result of his impending retirement and the subsequent lessening of deployment, my dad has been around a lot more and, as a result, has been trying to act like a real dad, bossing me around, setting ground rules, and the like. Personally, this comes at a bad time for me, considering I’m in college and it is the time to cut the leash, not buy a shorter one. That’s why I have made it my mission to deflate the head of the Sergeant Major that lives in my house, and show him where he stands in the hierarchy of the Lamb household. It’s a difficult task to be sure, made further difficult by the continuing respect of his peers at work, but I am up for it.

While the account that I have related is true, I am very proud of my dad, his ideals, and his many accomplishments. My dad saves the world one bad guy at a time, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Just don’t tell him that I said that, because we don’t want him to know that in reality, he may just be the boss.

• Are you a military child? Click over for some tips on facing deployment.