Apparently April is the Month of the Military Child (who knew?). The U.S. Department of Defense estimates that approximately 15 million Americans are former or current military brats, but interestingly this group isn’t often represented in Young Adult literature…which is something I’m trying to change. 🙂
So this month, hug a B.R.A.T.!
You know you’re a Military Brat when…
- People ask you that dreaded question, “So, where are you from?” and you stand there stuttering, never knowing exactly how to answer. This simple question almost always turns into a conversation!
- You hardly ever forget/lose your driver’s license, as you were “trained” to carry an ID on you at all times since age 10 (and that 10th birthday was a major milestone because it meant getting your first ID card!)
- You associate the National Anthem with going to the movies, since it was always played before the feature film at any theater on post/base. Everybody in the theater stood up and at the time that wasn’t at all weird.
- Going away to summer camp or college was no big deal, since you were used to being thrown into new groups of people and were usually able to adapt quickly.
- You lived in places many people associate with dream vacations (e.g. Hawaii, Europe, Asia).
- Every 3 years or so you get this “itch” to move to a new place or do something completely different.
- You felt strange the first time you went to a school or joined a group where almost everybody shared your race/religion, since for you, being part of a multi-cultural community was far more “normal.”
- Before you got into trouble as a teen, you at least reflected on how your actions might impact your soldier parent’s career.
- You go out of your way to make someone new feel welcomed (whether in school, the neighborhood, or the office), since you’ve been in that same situation many times.
- Some of your best friends are other military brats and no matter how many months or years you’re apart, the moment you see each other again you pick right up where you left off.
- You know the suffering that comes with saying goodbye to someone you love, and what it means to sacrifice for something greater than yourself.
- In many ways, you grew up fast and learned to carry responsibilities other American kids don’t usually deal with, especially if you ever had a parent deployed to a war zone. Despite these challenges, you have a resilient, independent, open-minded, and adventurous outlook on life!
Okay military brats…what else would you add? 🙂