From an interview with Staff Sergeant Nathan Stryker
By Michelle Frese and Dana Caenan; Story idea by Celeste Desoto
Being part of a military family has it struggles and takes the efforts of all involved to make it work. From growing up in a military family, to serving two tours in the Middle East, Staff Sergeant Nathan Stryker gave Circles insight to what it is like to be part of a 3 generation military family.
Military families tend to move many times and that can be difficult for a child. Nathan Stryker told us that growing up he didn’t have the opportunity to form lasting friendships and he was always the new kid in school but that moving gave him numerous chances to “start over”. He also told us that while it was stressful he also got to learn about and experience other cultures and learned to look at the world from a much more varied perspective. Stryker told us that in some ways the experience made his family closer as the only constant they had was each other. And although he hadn’t planned on following in his father’s footsteps Stryker ended up carrying on the family tradition of serving our country and even enlisted early at the age of 17.
Being the serving member of a military family must be even more difficult than growing up in one. Stryker told us that since he had no control over the situations in which he served he focused his concerns on how his family was doing. Although getting mail and packages was difficult he was able to communicate with them via the internet.
After more than a year away from his family on his last tour Stryker has left active duty and is readjusting to civilian life. He told Circles that he has spent the past few months re-connecting with his wife and young son.
Stryker will continue to serve as part of the reserves but it will be at least two years before he could be deployed again.
Circles would like to thank SSG Nathan Stryker, his family, and all those who serve our country.