Hi, my name is Reiley Kramer. I am the daughter of Chief Warrant Officer Shaun Kramer of the US Army. It’s not very likely that anyone who reads this will already know who my father is, but in order to understand my story it’s important that I tell you. My dad has been in the Army my entire life. My earliest memory is my family’s move to Hawaii. Yes, it was a beautiful place to live and I highly recommend visiting if you have the chance, but living there also came with constant change. The longest friendship I had there lasted 3 years because we were lucky enough to have moved there around the same time. As a military child, I don’t have any cousins or grandparents just down the street and I never have. Honestly, I haven’t even lived in the same state as any extended family member since I was a year old. I won’t be graduating high school with the same people I’ve known since kindergarten and we won’t be going off to the same colleges either. Every house I live in is temporary. And while I’m not rather fond of it, change is an ever present constant in my life. Regardless of this constant state of uncertainty, I am fully certain where my home is.
I have yet to find a home in a place, but I have found many homes in my relationships with others. The first home I ever found was in my family. I have been blessed with a family that, without a doubt, will always be there when I need them. We have been through many challenging and beautiful seasons that anyone else will never see or understand. Every single one has helped us grow stronger and closer together. My family will always be my home. I have also had the privilege of discovering a home outside my family. Moving as often as we do means that most friendships don’t last, but to cherish the ones that do. I have friends that live across the country, but I have complete faith that they would drop everything to help me or be there for me should I really need them. Home is found in the love, compassion, trust, selflessness, and memories shared between people. Houses can be sold and people can move, but people will always be home.