I’m an Army Brat… hand written letters, moving, new friends, lots of adventures, crying in bed, the Cold War, Chernobyl, Leavenworth, housing, family far away… just a few words that popped in my mind. I guess I’m an Army Brat of the 80s and 90s who calls San Antonio home. In a professional setting, it makes me happy to meet another brat. We’re proud people, and as soon as I meet another one at work, we try to find a common duty station. I get to throw in Camp Humphreys, Korea, from time to time since I visited my brother while he was stationed there.
It blows my mind that some people have never been out of the country and let alone their state in some cases. Forget Foursqaure badges- I have a badge the human eye doesn’t see at first glance. Last year I wrote a blogpost about returning to my birthplace for the first time since 1981; never thought that would happen. This year my mom gave me two bins of photos. Years of memories that she hadn’t placed in photo albums. Pictures of diversity, happy kids, Girl Scouts, family visits, and trips sat in these bins. Memories I had forgotten until this year. Pictures of homes I’d never see again, but lots of smiles.
Growing up as a military child is hard, but you couldn’t tell from the photos. My dad provided an amazing opportunity to us. He worked hard and took TDY as my mom stayed home with us to keep us grounded. We were fortunate to never have my dad deploy like children do now. It makes our tough times seem silly and petty. But nonetheless, our home is where my dad, mom and brother can come together for laughs and tears. Our home isn’t a structure, but us together. That’s where I’m from… a family not a location.
To all those Military Brats wishing they could go back “home”, have a Skype call with family and friends. Share the memories, a few tears and joys of your experience this month. Take the time to write a letter to send in the mail. Reconnect with an old friend. But never forget who you are because there are others in our community who need us. Find a military child or family service in your area and consider volunteering or donating to the support groups helping other military brats.”
Not sure where to volunteer? Try these wonderful organizations: