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“I Know” by Elisa Solomon

“I Know” by Elisa Solomon

I know what it feels like to move again and again, I know what it’s like to see the brown cardboard boxes never end.

I know what it’s like to have to adapt to a new environment, and I know what it’s like to see loved ones dream of retirement.

I know what it’s like to have to make new friends, just so you can leave them before the year even ends.

I’ve been to the airports waving my last goodbye; I know what it’s like to see the plane shoot for the sky.

I know what it is like to see loved ones deployed for years at a time, and I know what it’s like to wait on their call at half past nine.

I know what it’s like being up late at night, worrying about your loved ones--Are they alright?

But I also know what it’s like to see loved ones come home. I’ve experienced the laughter and the hugs; the joyous reuniting; the storytelling and the smiles.

I’ve seen the sense of relief in my mom’s eyes, the gentle exhale, the soothing sigh.
And I often wonder how we did it, and then I remember we’re military, we push through it.

The military families have the endurance, the ability to persevere through even the strongest storms.

The military families provide support and while the Soldiers are gone, we hold down the fort.

Military families have strength, the ability to face trials and tribulations head on.

Military families are the shoulder to cry on when a best friend’s dad who saved his unit is now gone.

Military families are the elite force, and do so much to show their support.

They extend themselves in times of need, which is the true fulfillment of duty, honor, country.

Military families go through a lot at times, and are heroes as much as the Soldiers they stand behind.

And though we are not on the very front lines, we are the strong, supportive, loving, faithful, honest, hopeful, brave foundation that makes the armed forces shine.

So thank you Soldiers for all that you do, and thank you families for just being you.

Elisa Solomon, Poet

Elisa Solomon is a rising sophomore attending Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Active in both her school and community, Elisa is a member of the Mount Vernon Marine Corps JROTC (MCJROTC) program and its Color Guard. Elisa is an “A” student in a full honors program and team captain of her high school basketball team. She is a Student to Student ambassador helping new students, primarily military kids, make the transition to their new school easier. She often volunteers her time mentoring young kids in programs such as the Riverside Elementary School Running Club and the newly created young girls’ mentorship program at Walt Whitman Middle School. She is a member of “Top Teens of America,” a national program that is dedicated to nurturing rising young leaders.

Elisa is a military child whose parents are both retired Army Officers. As a military child, she lived in many places but considers her favorite place West Point, NY. Elisa was born at West Point and dreams of following in her parents’ footsteps one day by graduating from West Point and becoming an Army Officer.