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Military magazine publishes Odum’s work

Lauren Odum, at center, receives a commendation for her essay from Bob Jones High School Principal Sylvia Lambert and Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler. (CONTRIBUTED)
Lauren Odum, at center, receives a commendation for her essay from Bob Jones High School Principal Sylvia Lambert and Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – “On the Move,” a publication of the Military Child Education Coalition, published Lauren Jewel Odum’s essay that documents pros and cons of a military child’s life.

Odum graduated from Bob Jones High School in May.

“Lauren’s experiences offer great insight into challenges these students face,” Karen Sargent said. Sargent works with college and career counseling.

Odum has lived in Heidelberg, Germany, along with Hawaii, Arizona, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. She attended 10 different schools.

In her essay, Odum wrote, “The arrival of a new season was closely trailed by arrival of a new moving truck … filled with boxes, the vessel for which my family would spend two weeks packing a year’s worth of memories. …”

“However, in the face of adversity, I have accepted the inevitability of such frequent transitions and have grown substantially, both mentally and socially,” Odum wrote.

She better appreciates diversity. “I’ve been blessed to live all over the world and visit the most beautiful places with the most beautiful people. I have friends and family in every corner of the world,” Odum said.

Once, she flew in the back of a cargo plane from Germany to the United States to visit relatives. “The aerial view of Germany (was) absolutely stunning,” she said.

However, military life can prevent “a sense of belonging,” especially in a small town like Madison where “everybody knows everybody. At schools like Bob Jones, strongest bonds are made through extracurricular activities. Being rejected before you have even had a chance is an especially painful pill to swallow,” Odum said.

Luckily, she stepped out of her “comfort zone” and joined the cheer team, Beta Club, Key Club, Student Senate and drama productions.

“Overall, being in a military family has equipped me with life skills early on that have made me the person I am today. The positive definitely weighs out the negative,” she said.

Her parents are retired Maj. Marcus J. Odum and Kathy L. Odum. He works as acquisition manager with the Missile Defense Agency. She is a registered nurse.

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