This blog post is part of a larger series for the Month of the Military Child. This week we’re featuring a post written by Elizabeth Dacus, a student at the University of Washington from Vancouver, WA.
Growing up, I didn’t fully understand the meaning of my dad’s military service. After serving in Desert Storm, my dad, Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Dacus USMC, continued his career as a middle school history teacher while still making weekend trips to the Yakima Marine Corps Reserve for training. To me they were just fun trips to a new place. I didn’t understand that with these trips my father was balancing his family, career and service, that he was still making sacrifices for his country.
Slowly, overtime, I started to recognize that my dad was doing something to help others. He was accepting the incredible honor and sacrifice of defending his country. I started seeing him in a different light and began to understand how he exhibited the values of the Marine Corps. Between his teaching, his family, and his service, my father lived the Marine values of honor and commitment. They form the basis of his moral code and shaped my own moral code. Growing up as a military child has prepared me for many of the challenges I have faced and the values of honor and commitment continue to motivate me to work hard today.
While my dad served his country through military service, he has inspired me to find my own way to dedicate my life to help others. After I graduate with a degree in sociology from the University of Washington, I plan on pursuing a master’s in public health and working in health administration. While there may be a growing need for doctors and nurses, there is also a need for health administrators to support them.
The support of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has lifted a big burden off of my shoulders during my time at college. Before applying for the scholarship, I was constantly worrying whether my family was going to have to give up something for me to attend school for another quarter. The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has given my family more stability and reassurance and allowed me to focus on my studies.
Ultimately, being a military child is an honor. It’s an honor to be related to those who have sacrificed for their country and to be able to thank them for their service. I’m proud to be a military child.