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1st Theater Sustainment Command

News Stories

Resilience: a Castaneda family affair

By Sgt. Noelani Revina-Gambill | 1st Theater Sustainment Command | May 01, 2024


Hardships like moving frequently, starting over at a new school, and being apart from a loved one for long periods of time are a common reality for children of parents in uniform. The Castaneda family knows these circumstances well, but they believe they hold an impactful potential to harness resilience despite their turbulent nature.

Sgt. Maj. Oscar Castaneda, chief human resources sergeant, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, and his wife, Vanessa, share over 18 years of marriage and three children, Jace, Evan, and Ava. From Fort Riley, Kansas to Fort Drum, New York, Castaneda’s two decades of service helped fortify values of family, meaningful work, and patriotism that he believes shaped strong paths forward for these military children.

“The fact that they find ways to cope and make the best out of it amazes me and makes me extremely proud of them,” Castaneda said. “And although they adapt and overcome the constant moves, it is still a stressor in their young lives. I am proud of how resilient they are in their own unique ways.”

Jace, a junior preparing to graduate at Fort Knox Middle High School, experienced moves to three different high schools in 3 years with his siblings. Despite the turmoil that potentially presents from starting over, he reflects on his perspective toward resilience.

“Resilience means you don't quit. It doesn't mean you are invincible, things still hurt both physically and mentally. It means you got back up afterwards and continued pushing, even if everything seems against you,” Jace said.

Evan, a junior high student, and baseball player also attending Fort Knox Middle High, is soon to approach high school. He shares that making the best of a situation can be helpful to overcome these situations.

“The toughest thing for me was always moving and leaving people behind every year or two,” Evan said. “Be patient, because who knows where you land next? It can be the best spot you’ve ever lived and reminds you to thank your family member serving in the military.”

In addition to holding a strong mindset on resilience and gratitude, the Castaneda family also believe leaning on each other with mutual support and dedication helped their family thrive. For Ava, a student at Scott Intermediate Middle School, remembering the support from her family and community made a helpful difference for her.

“Saying goodbye to all my friends is a very hard experience, and especially leaving a beautiful home after you get used to it,” Ava said. “The thing that helps me is remembering that I have a home. Lots of people in the world don't and are not as fortunate. My dad coming home every day from a long day at work, and still being available to help us out… I'm grateful for what he does in general.”

Together, the Castaneda family continues to navigate the lifestyle challenges of the military with unwavering determination, serving as a guiding light of resilience in action.