A place to call home

Rebecca Kelley

Fri October 25, 2013 12:57pm

San Diego County is home to the largest concentration of military men and women in the nation. According to a study done by the San Diego Military Advisory Council, 32 percent of San Diego’s real estate is occupied by military. As our nation pays tribute to the 280,000 veterans that reside in San Diego County [Defenseweb] this Veteran’s Day, I thought it would be a perfect time to feature the Morrison family.

Dani Morrison, Chad Morrison and daughter Wren Morrison have called Eastlake their home for two and a half years. Chad is a chief in the United States Navy. Both being from Minnesota, the Morrison family has lived in Hawaii, Maryland and most recently Texas. They’ve been through five deployments and have made friends that are like family in each community they call home.

“We heard about Eastlake from our military friends who previously were stationed here. They said that Eastlake is the best community for schools, shopping and parks.”

Being a transplant and a wife of a veteran, I know something of what it feels like to move to a new place and yearn for that sense of home.

“Consistency is the key. No matter where our family is stationed, I make sure that the inside of our home looks and feels the same from place-to-place. This way, our daughter Wren will have that sense of normal.”

Both being moms (and originating from cold weather states), the topic of holidays came up.

“Holidays are difficult for military families. Not only for the families with deployed loved ones, but for the families that can’t afford to go home. They’re especially hard for the younger members of the military who are thousands of miles away from anyone they know. The kindest thing someone could do for a member of the military is if you know a military family or military member who might be alone for the holidays, extend an invitation to them to share a meal with you. It would mean the world to them. We have shared numerous holidays with our neighbors and our friends.”

You will most likely see the Morrison family walking their dog Baxter at the parks in Eastlake, or working out at the YMCA.

“My hope is that all military members feel as welcomed and embraced as we have been in Eastlake. I also have a dream that my family can take a vacation … together.”

Rebecca Kelley is South County regional director marketing, media and community relations at South Bay YMCA.