Tiger Times

A day in the life

Living on an Air Force base as a child

graphic+by+Langley+Leverett
graphic by Langley Leverett

graphic by Langley Leverett

graphic by Langley Leverett

Story by Emilee Slayton, staff writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Brushing my hair was the worst part of the day. I can’t think of one day were I woke up and my hair didn’t look like a tornado just blew through it. My ratty hair and my princess nightgown was a highlight of my childhood that I will never forget. But my experience living on an Air Force Base is a memory that will last with me forever.

I grew up at Fairchild, a secluded Air Force Base in Washington State. Growing up around adults who wore the same clothes and went to the same places every day was probably the most eventful and interesting aspect of my childhood. The sight of woodland uniforms everywhere. The enormous plane hangars, which I thought was a grown-up’s playground. The Base Exchange (BX) was everything a person could have in one building. You could go into the BX for many things (Haircut, food, books, etc.) But the thing that I will always remember is walking towards the candy bar, which had my favorite candy, tiny chocolate stars covered in rainbow sprinkles. I remember that the most.   

My childhood consisted of watching “Cadet Kelly” and eating Ramen Noodles, which is the exact opposite of what people think military kids do while living on base. Living on a base is not the guns and bullets lying on the ground everywhere type of place that they are made out to be. While it may have its uttermost boring sound, FairChild did a lot for the families, especially the children, to keep them entertained and happy during a time if one of their family members were on duty.

Growing up as a military brat has changed the way I see the world. I gained experience of a realm that I didn’t even know existed. ”

— Emilee Slayton

During the seasons’ festivities, the base was more spontaneous whenever it became halloween or christmas. For halloween, the kids would always get to have a halloween party and we always had a competition for the most spookiest house. Christmas felt more traditional than halloween however. Every year we always had the same christmas tree on the base that we used for decorations. It was the most beautiful tree I ever saw, the glistening lights like diamonds, the bright green and red colors. It felt so comforting to see the tree during a freezing winter. Even though winter was beautiful on base, summer was a little more exciting. The base has this annual event called an airshow.

Everyone would gather where all the airplanes were and got lawn chairs and blankets to sit on. Pilots would fly in aircrafts that used to be on display or were already in use. Observing the jets as they flew over my head was probably the coolest thing ever. In the blink of an eye, jets would disappear into the clouds, only leaving the trace of condensation behind them. Usually, the finale was were everyone would go crazy. Pilots would come together and gave an awesome show of planes all together in-sync flying. The crowd would go wild. Screams and cheers everywhere.

Retreat always started at 1630 (4:30pm). Kids on the playground would stop playing, people walking outside would stand still. Everyone had to face the speaker where the music was coming out from and put a hand over their heart and stand in silence. Doing this is a form of respect to honor the people who are active or have died in the military. Children always had to do it, even if some of them didn’t know what it truly was. It helped the children to start learning about customs and courtesies.

The memories I’ve made there might have not been as exciting like going on a jungle safari or taking vacation trips to Japan, but I have learned the value of respect and morales from the military, and I’ll always carry that pride with me throughout life.              ”

— Emilee Slayton

Growing up as a military brat has changed the way I see the world. I gained experience of a realm that I didn’t even know existed. Even though I didn’t live on the base long, due to my parents divorce, and I really started separating from the military culture. The Air Force was still a part of me everywhere I went. Whenever I was a baby, my family would always move from place to place, leaving a home where we made memories all the time. Our family and just military families in general always have a look into different cultures whenever we moved. For example both my sister and I were born in Germany, so we still have some of the german culture and foods that we grasped onto whenever we moved again.

So, to all the military kids out there. Enjoy living on the base. No, it’s not a prison of eternal boredom. Find things to discover, learn history of the military, walk around and look at all the planes on display. Eventually, one day you’re going to leave and probably only see the base once or twice after leaving. The memories I’ve made there might have not been as exciting like going on a jungle safari or taking vacation trips to Japan, but I have learned the value of respect and morales from the military, and I’ll always carry that pride with me throughout life.                 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Writer
Emilee Slayton, staff writer
Emilee Slayton is a sophomore and is a new staff writer for the Tiger Times. Emilee spends her days writing stories and looking at cute corgis on instagram. Emilee is sarcastic, cranky and most of the time she listens to the Backstreet Boys. Her favorite subjects are photojournalism and history, and hopes to gain new...
Leave a Comment

Please leave us a comment. All comments must be approved before they will show online.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • A day in the life

    FEATURE

    Registrar Retires

  • A day in the life

    VIEWPOINT

    Mass Shootings – the cultural problem we created

  • A day in the life

    ENTERTAINMENT

    A conversation about conversion

  • A day in the life

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Back to school style inspiration

  • A day in the life

    NEWS

    A lost connection

The School Newspaper of Texas High School
A day in the life