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Family Turns to Faith to Overcome Obstacles Post-Military Service

3 years 3 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, September 26 2017 Sep 26, 2017 September 26, 2017 4:01 PM September 26, 2017 in News

WESLACO – Being in a military family sometimes means calling a variety of places home.

“I was constantly moving all over the place. I was born in Missouri, moved to Illinois,” Carl Henry “CJ” Farmer Jr. said.

His family then picked up and moved to California then back to Illinois. Then, “To Italy, back to Illinois.”

It’s life in a military family.

“I just have been all over the place all my life, so I kinda just adapted to the lifestyle,” Farmer Jr. said.

The road his life would take began years before he was born. Farmer’s father, Carl Farmer Sr., made decisions that would affect his future.

“As I look back at the age of 17, when I made the decision that I needed a different life,” he said.

Farmer Sr. was born in Detroit, Michigan. His mother was a single parent with eight children.

“When you’re in a poor family, you have to begin to make choices, otherwise you continue to repeat what everyone else is repeating in the family,” he said. “I said, if I’m going to have a different life than what I’ve grown up in, I have to have different mentors in my life. And so I joined the military in order to obtain that and that was the beginning.”

He chose the Navy and some of his fellow sailors changed the course of his life.

“Seeing these young men who at my age living out their faith in a different way I had never seen,” he said. “I began to hunger after that type of relationship.”

Farmer Sr. said he found his wife, Olivia, the woman he knew would help keep their family in course.

“Most of the time, we lived in a military base where there’s military housing. You really get to know your neighbors, you know. You’re there for a short period of time, you don’t always have your extended family present, so you learn early on, you learn to connect with your neighbors,” she said.

Texas has 15 active duty military installations, so connecting with military families was also important. CHANNEL 5 NEWS found the Texas Education Agency tracks military-connected students.

Every district submits the information with their student demographics. Their goal is to provide resources to help military families transition to a new home and school district.

“It was really when I went to college – it was a Christian college – I started getting all these different mentalities. People questioning is it really bad to do this? Where is the line on the different issues?” Farmer Jr. said.

He said he never had trouble adjusting as his family moved. But after high school, his values were tested.

“So it started to get me to question what I believed and I started disconnecting from what my parents believed,” he said.

Farmer Jr.’s father mentioned what carried the family through tough times.

“Our faith in God is what gave us the strength to make it through every obstacle. Life wasn’t easy but we had that to fall on,” Farmer Sr. said.

And his son answered in a similar fashion.

“My faith became, it wasn’t’ underneath my parents anymore, it became my own,” he said.

And Farmer Jr. came into his own. He learned what he needed from life.

“If you have a goal, surround yourself with like-minded people. People who will push you, tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear,” he said.

Link: TEA - Military Family Resources 

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