Exploring the Military Dependent Experience: Insights from the Daughter of an Active-Duty U.S. Marine

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“That adaptability, that flexibility, that go-with-the-flow mentality [that military dependents develop] are such important qualities. That’s what people are looking for when they employ you. That’s what helps you when you become a leader in an organization. Hold on to those qualities and use them, sell them when you’re telling your story and when you’re marketing yourself to people. Those qualities hold a lot of weight - especially when you have a powerful story to tell that backs it up.”

This week on the FourBlock Podcast, we’re joined by FourBlock’s very own Audrey Garcia, who is the daughter of an active-duty service member currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Audrey is the first guest we’ve had on the show to share her experience and discuss what it’s like to grow up in an active-duty military family. Audrey joins co-host Mike Abrams to talk about some of the challenges, differences, and great things about growing up in the active-duty community as a military dependent.

In this episode, Audrey generously shares her personal experience and illuminates the experience of being a military dependent, the oldest sibling in her family, and the child of an active-duty military member who was often deployed.

Audrey moved seven times before the age of 18 and has lived all over the country. During that time, she had to navigate the many challenges associated with being a military dependent, including the mental health impact of uprooting your life, having to start over in new schools with new people, and dealing with the frequent deployment of a parent and the subsequent reintegration process. Mike and Audrey then discuss what overcoming these challenges taught Audrey about herself, how they shaped her into the person she is today, and what opportunities being a military dependent afforded her that she never would have had the chance to experience otherwise.

When it comes to what she wants civilians to know about children of active-duty service members, Audrey noted that while their experiences are certainly different, they’re still just trying to navigate growing up, just like everyone else: “Children of service members go through things that aren’t necessarily the norm, but it doesn’t make them any different from civilian children.”

Audrey attended Boise State University where she earned a B.A. in Communications. As an avid volunteer, she has worked with mental health and animal welfare nonprofits. She understands first-hand the impact and importance of veteran service organizations for service members and their families. Audrey brings her social media and nonprofit experience to FourBlock as the Social Media and Community Engagement Manager, helping to grow FourBlock’s online presence and increase engagement on our social media platforms.


Welcome to the FourBlock Podcast, a show that examines veteran career transition and the military-civilian divide in the workplace. General Charles Krulak coined the term “Three Block War” to describe the nature of 21st-century military service defined by peace-keeping, humanitarian aid, and full combat. But what happens next? Veterans are often unprepared to return home and begin new careers. We call this the Fourth Block.

FourBlock is a national non-profit that has supported thousands of transitioning service members across the nation in beginning new and meaningful careers.

Mike Abrams (@fourblock) is an Afghanistan veteran, FourBlock founder, and author of two military transition books. He’ll be representing the military transition perspective. Lindsey Pollak (@lindsaypollak) is a career and workplace expert and New York Times bestselling author of three career advice books. Lindsey will be representing the civilian perspective of this issue.

Veterans, explore new industries and make the right connections. Find a career that fits your calling. Join us at fourblock.org. Sponsor our program or host a class to equip more of our veterans at fourblock.org/donate.

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