Growing Up in a Military Family


Ellie Drost, a junior at Padua, has lived in more places in 16 years than many people get to experience in a lifetime. She was born in Enid, Oklahoma as the eldest child to the Drost family. Her father was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Department which resulted in lots of moves and changes in her life growing up. 

When her father was deployed, she and her mother moved up to Massachusetts where her maternal side of the family resided. After about a year, they moved to Utah with her dad, and then Kansas two years later, and then Holland two years later, and then back to Enid two years later. This brought her total number of years in Oklahoma to 5 so Drost feels that it is very nostalgic because it’s the place she remembers the most. In 2017, the Drost family moved to Cecil County, Maryland, where they have lived ever since. 

All these moves allowed Drost to gain a deeper appreciation for multiple things and acquire certain qualities, specifically adaptability. 

“It gave me an appreciation for travel, and a willingness to, like, see other places and try new things,” Drost reflects. 

While being a military child certainly provides a good opportunity to see a lot of the world, it does not come without additional responsibilities, particularly since Drost is the eldest child. She has a younger sister, Mary, who is a freshman at Padua. Drost also has three brothers: John (Age 12), Damian (Age 10), and Isaac, who was born this past June. 

As a result, Drost was expected to help “keep her younger siblings in line.” In fact, her father was the commander of his squadron, which meant the family was invited to lots of military events.  She jokingly states, “I would have to make sure that John and Damian weren’t wrecking anything or anyone or each other.” 

In terms of her education, Drost explains that she and her siblings had pretty consistent schooling as they mainly attended Catholic schools. As a result of her time in the Netherlands, she did learn a bit of Dutch but she has understandably forgotten that after all these years. 

Drost feels that it was a big culture shock “moving from Oklahoma. Which is like farms and stuff… to here.” Besides the different environment, there were subtler differences like the fact that Drost had never experienced allergies before and had never witnessed places being in such close driving distance from each other. 

When asked about what she aspires to do in her future, Drost replies that she is considering going fairly far away for college. She does not typically get homesick, due to the fact that she has moved around so much. Beyond college, Drost reflects that, “there was a point in my life where I was considering being a lawyer in the military.” More recently, she is considering a profession in teaching or as a novelist, as writing is one of her greatest passions and she has even launched a new Creative Writing club at Padua. Whatever life brings her way, Drost is surely ready for her “next big adventure.”