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APRIL, 6 2014


Nothing But Net Survival of the Fittest

Q&A: Leading Culinary Specialist

Month of the Military Child PG 2


by MCSN Matthew Carlyle

pril is celebrated as the Month of the Military Child. This tradition was started by former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger in 1986 in order to honor the sacrifices made by military children and families. The Voice is dedicating a series of articles in this month’s publications to the Month of the Military Child to commemorate the families supporting our mission. Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Mason Hoppe understands what it means to be a military child. He understands how his son, Logan, born Nov. 6, 2012, will feel when Mason has to move the family from one duty station to the next. He knows the importance of cherishing every second he has with his wife, Aspen, and their son. He has seen how dedication to his service earns the unwavering support of his loved ones. Hoppe learned all of those important lessons in how to be a military father by first being a military child. His father, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brandon Hoppe, Weapons Department’s G-2 divisional officer (DIVO), has served in the Navy since 1992, a year before his first child, Mason, was born. Due to his lifelong exposure to the

military lifestyle, Hoppe grew up accustomed to the inherent changes that come with the territory for a military family. “It was interesting growing up as a military child because I got to meet a lot of different people and see a lot of different places,” Hoppe said. “You don’t get to make a lot of long-term friends because you move so often, but it was a good experience.” The Hoppe family started in Texas and has since moved to Great Lakes, Ill., Norfolk, Va., Jacksonville, Fla., New Orleans, back to Texas, on to Hawaii and then to San Diego. They lived in Hawaii for eight years, the longest stay in one place the family experienced. Although constantly changing scenery can be jarring for a child, Hoppe embraced the adventure and molded his personality through the variety of his experiences. “I think the biggest benefit of being a military child is, it makes you cultured and open-minded,” Hoppe explained. “When you live in one place I’m sure you don’t get to see a lot of things out there. I mean, I’ve only lived in the U.S. but all the places I’ve lived are unique. Hawaii’s like another country itself. When you meet a lot of different types of people with diverse

personalities, your personality grows off pe of those experiences S3 Hop ise. L d n ea xerc and relationships.” 2 Hopp -fire e O e v W i l C a Hoppe admitted in ipate the most difficult partic aspect of being a military child was his father’s absence during underways and deployments. No matter how long his dad was home, Hoppe appreciated how his father always seized the chance to spend time with his family. “My dad being away wasn’t so bad because he was always part of my life when he was around,” Hoppe said. “I remember one time he was gone and he came back for about a week. In that week he taught me how to ride a bike. I was maybe seven years old. That is probably the most memorable experience of him coming back, spending most of his time with me and then leaving. When he was there, he focused on me and that was important to me.” Although he didn’t understand his father’s job until he joined the military, Hoppe was always impressed by his dad’s dedication to being a Sailor. “He was always motivated and always loved made me appreciate everything he did for us.” Hoppe’s admiration of his father’s service the Navy,” Hoppe said. “He loves wearing the uniform and loves what it represents. That inspired him to join the Navy Jan. 15, 2013. While he followed in his father’s footsteps, Hoppe respects his brother Devin’s decision to create his own path and join the Army. He’s also excited for his sister, Ashton, who is currently in high school and planning to take the college route. “All three of us experienced the military child life a little bit differently,” Hoppe said. “Due to those experiences, I’m not surprised that we’ve all paved a different path for ourselves.” One lesson Hoppe and his siblings all learned from their father was to take advantage of your time with family. “The best advice I can give anyone is to be involved while you’re home,” Hoppe said. “That’s the most important thing, especially when you’re in the military. You’re going to be away a lot. If you’re involved, your family is not going to remember so much you being gone but rather what you’ve done to be there and be involved.” Now that Hoppe is a military father as well, he understands the sacrifices and appreciates the rewards of the military from a new perspective. It has increased the pride he has always felt for his father and his service. “His love for the Navy makes me love my job,” Hoppe said. “I say the Sailor’s Creed with pride every day. It hasn’t gotten old for him, and I don’t think it’ll get old for me either.”

“My dad being away wasn’t so bad because he was always part of my life when he was around.”

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