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News from Around JRM

Military Children Rise to the Challenge

27 April 2023

From Valerie Maigue , U.S. Naval Base Guam

NAVAL BASE GUAM (April 27, 2023) – Guam High School student Gema Xol Monroy is aware that her mom Master-at-Arms 1st Class (MA1) Alexandra Monroy holds an important role in service to our nation.
NAVAL BASE GUAM (April 27, 2023) – Guam High School student Gema Xol Monroy is aware that her mom Master-at-Arms 1st Class (MA1) Alexandra Monroy holds an important role in service to our nation.
“I think I was around 11 or 12 when I realized that my mom did different things than what most of my friends' parents would do,” Gema Monroy said. “By that time I truly understood that my mom was a (Navy) cop and I believe she worked the hardest job.”
MA1 Monroy is assigned to U.S. Naval Base Guam’s (NBG) Navy Security Forces (NSF) and throughout her military career, she has served around the world, from Guam to Italy and Florida to California.
Every day around the world, military service members just like MA1 Monroy work in service to our country and many service members must leave behind their way of life, their homes, and their families.
In turn, there are 1.6 million military children throughout the world. Each year, the month of April recognizes military children and shows that honor, courage, and commitment are also instilled in their kin who make sacrifices for our nation.
Several activities onboard NBG have been held to recognize military children throughout the month, including the McCool School Month of the Military Child Parade and a Navy Exchange Guam giveaway.
“While April is the one month that we dedicate to military children around the world, they contribute to their parent’s service to our Nation every day,” said NBG Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Luckett. “Military children make incredible sacrifices and sometimes miss out on experiences that others may take for granted. We are grateful for the support they give their parents. They too are an integral part of our mission and we honor them.”
Sixteen-year-old Gema Monroy is the older sibling to her brother Joaquin Andres Monroy with another sibling on the way.
“Sometimes, I feel like since my dad was home I didn’t need to play such a big role in being the leader of the house, but as I’ve gotten older I do find myself taking care of everyone and making sure everyone is good,” Gema Monroy said.
As a member of the NSF community, whether executing crime prevention programs or carrying out anti-terrorism measures, MA1 Monroy wears many hats.
“A challenge as a military family was separating work from home life. You have to balance your obligation to your command, Sailors, leadership and family,” she said. “You have to set standards of importance. Not every work issue is an emergency and needs your attention at that very moment. I had to learn to set them as so. You need to be fully present for your family, mentally and physically every opportunity you get. Value to the fullest, all the moments you can get.”
Military children are also faced with unique challenges including not seeing their parents for extended periods, or the changing of schools and support networks.
“I have always been jealous of people who grew up with childhood friends,” Gema Monroy said. “That is something I’ve always wanted and I never got to fully connect with friends with the constant moving. I do miss my family back in the states as well.”
After nearly 22-years of service, MA1 Monroy will be retiring from the Navy in a few short months.
“I’m so proud of my mom – she works so hard and she finally has time to focus on herself,” Gema Monroy said. “Being a military child has its ups and downs but in the end you will thank your parents for the opportunities they gave you and how far you’ve come.”
To find resources for military children of all ages visit the Military Parent Resource Center online at Military Parent Resource Center | Military OneSource.

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