Area military child dives in to new relationships

Moving to a new city can make a kid feel like a fish out of water.

So imagine having to move every 2-3 years to a new city, make new friends, and find new clubs and groups to join. Such is the life of a military child.

April is designated as the Month of the military child. Every April, we recognize the sacrifices that military children make and the important role they play in our communities. Moving to a new base every couple of years is just one of the many challenges military children must overcome with their families. But these resilient children always manage to integrate into their new communities, whether in school, sports, or community groups.

One local military child uses his passion for swimming to build new relationships.

James Pinter swims competitively at the Y-M-C-A. He and his team even made it to nationals this season. A pretty impressive feat, considering he’s only been on the team in La Crosse since September.

James and his family moved to Sparta in July, joining his father, Colonel David Pinter, who has been garrison commander at Fort McCoy since March.

It’s just the latest stop for James in his young life.

“I was born in Iowa, then I moved to Kentucky, then we moved to California, then Virginia, and then here. So, what, is that five?”

James says no matter how used to moving you may get, it can be hard to pull up your roots. But James, like the many other military children living in our area and across the nation, has adapted. James’ survival tactic? Swimming, which is something of a family sport.

“Swimming has always been our go to,” says Sheila Pinter, James’ mother. In fact, all three of James’ siblings are also swimmers; his two older siblings even play water polo collegiately. James says swimming gives him a head start to diving in to new relationships.

“It’s actually a lot easier. I feel like some of the stronger relationships are with people from the different swim teams I’ve been on. Just because they make it a little bit easier.”

James knows that his time in our area will eventually come to an end. And while it may be difficult to say goodbye when they have to leave Sparta, James is focused on the present.

And when he does move, one thing will stay constant. James plans to just keep swimming.