KSLA Salutes: AFJROTC Cadet Andrew Laun

KSLA Sautes: Air Force Junior ROTC cadet Andrew Laun

HAUGHTON, LA (KSLA) - April is Month of the Military Child. From deployments, to new schools, military children are faced with unique challenges that other kids their age never experience.

It's a life, Haughton High School senior, Andrew Laun is very familiar with. He knows first hand what it means to adapt and overcome obstacles.

"It's definitely not an easy thing to put on someone and we go through just as much as our parents do, having to change constantly and never being stable in one place," explained Laun. "It's definitely hard on your psyche, but I think it makes you a better person overall because you get to experience so many different things you just become a better person."

Both his mom and dad served in the U.S. Air Force, a tradition the AFJROTC cadet hopes to carry on.

"I see myself going in and trying to do pararescue or be in logistics, trying to help get stuff together for the different missions."

The journey hasn't always been easy. Moving from base to base, Andrew says it's hard for military kids to find their place.

"Traveling every 2 to 4 years finding new homes new schools, I never got to make any solid friends."

Not to mention deployments.

"My mom spent over a year in Afghanistan," he said. "During that time, I was with just my dad, we called once or twice a month just to talk with her for a couple minutes and that was it. It was hard being so far away from her."

His parents have since retired from the Air Force allowing them to put roots in Bossier Parish.

"It's definitely a lot different. I was so used to them being away from 7 o'clock in the morning until 5 o'clock at night and kind of just, you know not having them here, now that they are here it's a lot easier because I can help them out with stuff they can help me out with stuff and it's not just everyone trying to do their own thing."

With just a few weeks left in school, Andrew's eyes are set on the horizon.

"I learned to become mentally tough, and experiencing different things gives me a wide view of the world and the way that things work."

He has advice to other military kids out there, trying to find their way.

"Be strong it gets better. No matter how dark the day, the light will always breakthrough."

Andrew plans to attend Louisiana Tech in the fall and enroll in their ROTC program and major in chemical engineering.

Tomorrow Bossier Parish Schools are partnering with the chamber and other community agencies for their annual Purple Up celebration to honor our local military children.

The Purple Up program will be held at 1:40 p.m. at Haughton Middle School.

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