30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 16

Write about something that you miss.

Immediately, the first thing that pops into my mind is being a military dependent. There are so many things I miss about the places/things I had access to during my formative years. I miss my dependent ID card. I miss having the rank sticker on my car saluted as I drive through the base gate. I miss shopping at the Commissary and BX and eating in the food court in front of the BX. (All of those places had a smell specific to them… the way Kmart used to smell different than Walmart… and (to me) it was the same smell, no matter the time zone or zip code.) I miss going to the doctor/hospital/clinic on base. I miss brunches at the O-Club. I miss standing for the National Anthem before a movie… and experiencing an entire base stopping/saluting (pedestrians AND vehicles) as it plays through the base speakers at 5:30pm.

You don’t realize how special these routine and mundane things are, until you suddenly don’t have them. (Not that it’s ‘suddenly’ anymore. It’s been 16 years. But that means, even at 38 years old, I’ve still spent more than half of my life as a dependent (22 years).

You know that old adage “You can never go home again,” by Thomas Wolfe? It means… you can’t go back to the way things were. Cities change, people change/move, etc., etc. The way it was, won’t be how it is… ever again. And if you are a current civilian who was once a dependent… and you no longer have access to the bases you used to live on… this is literal.