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Victoria was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina at Fort Bragg’s Womack Army Hospital where her dual military parents were stationed. Victoria has loved art and music ever since her parents could remember. Like most military children, Victoria is no stranger to moving every 2-3 years. However, due to the fact that both her parents were active duty, and have had to deploy or attend training at the same time, she has experienced other than usual separation from them. She has lived with close family and friends during times when both parents were deployed or in training.
Her first separation began when she was 5 months old and still breast feeding. Her mother had an out of state training exercise that she was required to attend. This training lasted for 3 weeks. During this time, Victoria was cared for by her father until mom returned. Shortly after, Victoria’s dad deployed. This time her mom cared for her. By the time Victoria was 11 months old, her mom was also deployed and Victoria had to be brought to Miami, FL to live with the Wallace family who were close friends of her parents. The Wallace’s celebrated Victoria’s 1st birthday with her while her parents were away serving the country. Luckily, her mom’s deployment was brief and they were soon reunited. Although dad was still deployed, Victoria was still young enough to not display too much emotions over the separation from both parents at such a young age.
Before the age of 2, mom was gearing up for her first Army PCS (permanent change of station) to attend the Financial Management Captain’s Career Course (FMCCC) in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Victoria experienced her first PCS and had to be enrolled in a new childcare center, which is always a concern for new parents. The center had a good reputation and Victoria adjusted well.
After 5 months at the new duty station, Victoria and mom were thankful that dad returned in one piece from his 12 months deployment. Victoria had a book of artwork that she gifted her dad. At the time, her parents didn’t take notice of her work because as far as they knew, she was just like any other child scribbling away. Victoria’s mom completed the FMCCC and her new assignment was as a company commander. Upon return from deployment, her dad began his Adjutant General Captain’s Career Course (AGCCC) and was also assigned to be a company commander. With both parents juggling military school, civilian school and command, parenting was a challenge and Victoria spent a lot of time doing art. She also loved going to her favorite bookstore, Barnes N Noble on the weekends with her parents. She was always excited about finding new books to read and color. She also enjoyed the activity books that allowed her to decorate homes and do fashion styling.
Four months after Victoria turned 4 years old, it was her mom’s turn to go on a 12 month deployment overseas as Victoria and her dad PCSed to Daytona Beach, Florida. This relocation was a great one for her because she loves the beach and being in the pool. This was when Victoria immersed herself into drawing more and studying Florida school curriculum with her Aunty Doreen. Although the location was great, Victoria was often sad because she was now old enough to realize that mom was not home and not close-by to visit. Dad also super busy with his new job as Assistant Professor of Military Studies at Emory Riddle Aeronautical University, Bethune Colman University and Stetson University. Dad stayed busy, but always did his best to make time for his baby girl. Victoria displayed her dissatisfaction with the situation of her mom’s absence during this time every time her mom Skyped home. Her parents encouraged her to place her emotions on paper and draw characters to show how she was feeling about the separation. She has moved 6 times since Daytona Beach, a total of 9 moves in her 11 years of life and the only thing that remained constant has been her way of coping, her love for Art, learning new songs on the piano and creating and playing video games. She continues to draw in her spare time and has been requested to draw at her school and by people who have been exposed to her work ever since her parents surprised her with her first Art Show on her 11th birthday. Victoria was asked: Why do you love to draw so much? He response: “It has always been a great way for me to cope when my parents leave for long periods of time and when I feel alone. Nowadays, I draw at every chance I get.”
Showcasing her artwork brought Victoria enormous success, and she was happy with the outcome, although she admits that, “I was a bit shy at first.” The talented military child is committed to pursuing her dream and working on her talents so that one day she can achieve her goal of becoming a professional artist.
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