DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
She walks to the snack bar with her little brother and two dollar bills in hand at the Dyess Child Development Center. Standing on the tip of her toes she gives the cashier the money so that she can get a quick snack for her and her brother before they settle down and start their homework.
This is how 10-year-old Taylar Spry spends a normal day with her brother, Talon Spry, and her mom, Tech. Sgt. Tanisha Sauer, 7th Operations Support Squadron aviation resource manager.
Since she was a little girl, Taylar expresses her awareness of how hard her mom works both as an Airman and as a single mother raising two children on her own.
“She helps out a lot, whether it’s with the dishes or mopping and sweeping,” Sauer said. “She knows that sometimes I’ll be working late or having a hard time doing things by myself and she’s always there to help out with whatever she can.”
For Taylar, she says lending her mom an extra hand from time to time isn’t much of a chore. Knowing that her mom is always working her hardest to support their family and their country, she tells how she enjoys taking on extra chores around the house.
Since Sauer is a single mother serving in the Air Force, she believes her children have grown much faster than they needed to with their experience of the military.
“I think she’s a little more mature than most children who aren’t from military backgrounds because she’s had to deal with things like me being deployed and gone for long periods of time,” Sauer said.
Being in just 4th grade, Taylar already knows her mother’s sacrifice to her country.
“I think it’s awesome that my mommy puts her life on the line every day to serve our country,” said Taylar. “It’s crazy because my mom is ready to give her life for our nation and people she doesn’t even know.”
Deployments and moving bases every couple of years is often a part of the norm for military children, but for Taylar, she expresses it also counts as the best part of being a military child.
“When my mom got orders from Alaska to Abilene, it was a really big change in my life,” Taylor shrugged as she continued eating her snack. “But I like that I get to travel a lot because I’ve been to almost 20 different states already, and I’m only 10.”
Although some military children might enjoy the adventure of moving to a different base, adjusting to the new environment can be difficult.
“I believe the hardest part about being in a military family is moving and having to make friend all over again while also having to adjust to a new home,” said Sauer. “It’s hard for any kid their age to have to reintegrate to a new area while they’re still growing and trying to figure themselves out.”
Although Taylar says she doesn’t mind moving, making new friends or helping out around the house she believes there are a few downfalls to the military child lifestyle.
“The worst part about my mom being in the Air Force is that she has to deploy or go on TDYs sometimes,” said Taylar. “When she’s gone I really worry about her and miss her more than ever.”
Sauer’s son and daughter are no strangers to this aspect of the military. Since they’ve been born, she has completed four deployments and had to leave her children with their grandparents.
“I have gone on a couple deployments and TDYs since I’ve had my kids and (the children) are always my strongest support system,” said Sauer. “Their strength while I’m gone is what gives me motivation to be the best mom possible.”
Knowing she has to be strong while her mother is away, Taylar says she keeps her favorite stuffed animal by her side.
“My mom got it for me when I was still little, and ever since then I keep it with me wherever I go because it reminds me of her,” Taylar smiled as she talks about the toy that she keeps dear to her heart.
Just as most military children do, Taylar looks up to her mother for all of the hard work she puts in to their family and the Air Force.
“One day I want to be just like my mom and help people like she does,” said Taylar. “I love her so much, and I think she’s the most amazing mom in the whole world.”
As the Department of Defense-recognized Month of the Military Child comes to an end, military children are distinguished for their hard work and dedication they put into their family. Taylar is one of the many children celebrated during this month.
Editor’s note: This article is the second of a two-part series on the contributions of military children recognized during the Month of the Military Child.