BY SAVANNAH PRESCOTT
Growing up, David Edwards lived in all corners of the nation. From the islands to Hawaii to the marshes of South Georgia, he’s covered the entire nation and feels like the experience has molded him into the person he is today.
“I feel like I see what goes on in the world differently than most people because I’ve seen what people sacrifice every day for their families and friends,” Edwards said. “Being a military kid wasn’t always easy. I’ve learned how to make friends as moving from state to state was difficult for me. Sometimes we would get orders and move in the middle of the school year.”
Edwards was born in Hawaii, went to elementary school in Texas and then to middle school and high school in Georgia.
“It was stressful moving across the country because everything changes and you start from scratch every time,” Edwards said. “Most of the time, at least one of my parents were deployed out to sea and one was home. One year, both of them were deployed to different places and I moved into my grandma’s house, which was fun for a five-year-old, but it wasn’t the normal life every kid should have.”
For most American households the Fourth of July is a time to grill out and watch some fireworks. But for the Edwards, it’s almost a sacred holiday.
“Since my parents were both in the military, our house was very patriotic,” Edwards said. “The fourth of July and things like the national anthem at sporting events always is a big deal to them. We were always the people with the biggest fireworks on the Fourth of July, and they (Edwards’ parents) were always so proud.”
Edwards went on to talk about how he didn’t quite understand the danger his parents were exposed to until he got older.
“When I got to a certain age I actually understood that they were putting their lives in danger,” Edwards said. “My dad served in Desert Storm so that really made me understand that they put their lives on the line. They weren’t on normal business trips and traveling like most parents, so as a kid it was hard to understand why my parents had to leave every few months.”
His parents dedicated most of their lives to military service and have seen amazing places along the way.
“Both of my parents retired after 25 years in the Navy as Medical Corpsmen, both achieving the rank of Chief Petty Officer. My dad was mostly deployed in the Middle East and Mediterranean and my mom was mostly in Asia and Japan … When they retired from the Navy it was different seeing them in civilian clothes … because I had seen them in uniform since the day I was born. It took them a while to adjust to normal life and sometimes I feel like they still haven’t,” Edwards said.
Before Edwards came to college, he thought about joining the military, but his parents wanted a different life for him.
“I sometimes felt like I had to live up to the bar they set and join the military, but my dad always told me to be better than he was, and both of my parents really pushed me to go to college and get my degree,” Edwards said. “After college I don’t really plan to move around very much … I’m thankful for my parents and everything they’ve done for me and this country but I just don’t feel like packing up the house and moving every few years any more.”