About

ABQ Brats was founded on Memorial Day 2012 by the daughter of a career sailor and long-term DOD employee, Rachael Cleveland.

I’m 24 years old and have lived in places many people can only dream about. I am acutely aware of just how small the world is and I am still drunk with excitement about the many possibilities for the future.

In 2006, I relocated to Albuquerque, NM from RAF Lakenheath, England to go to the University of New Mexico. My dad was stationed here a few months before after a stint in Italy for a few years. Although I have family around the US, I had never lived near any of my ancestral homelands and so I figured that this hot little spot in the desert would be a good bet. Plus, I could see my awesome dad and get my learning on.

In the 6 years since I moved here, I’ve fallen deeper in love with the city. Whenever I leave, I’m in a hurry to get home. That almost never happens.

Life’s been pretty good to me, but I had I’ve struggled with severe depression and anxiety my entire life. The rootlessness and occasional homelessness put major stresses on my psyche and I’m only starting to unpack just how much of an emotional impact my childhood as a glorified bum had on me.

I wanted to meet other brats to talk about how this is going for them as well, but I couldn’t find any. There were groups for spouses, veterans, and more, but there was nothing for just the brats. If you’re anything like me, you have infinite bounds of respect for the work our fathers and mothers did and do for our country. Still, we did something significant, too. We’re a subculture. Check the Wikipedia article! We have our own dialect, traditions, rituals, and ideas. We’re an extremely special group, and we’re too humble to say the truth: we served in our own ways.

This is our own little hometown in the middle of Albuquerque. Only other brats really get what it was like and so we’re the best ones to help each other through these next few years of transition.

Let’s become a family! I’ve started this page to help connect Albuquerque-based brats with a larger brat community. There are a lot of us out there and whether new or highly acclimated to civ life, we have something to learn from each other.

I’m happy to arrange meetings, gatherings, forums (fora?), BBQs, or other events for all of us. I’m so excited to finally meet my fellow sisters and brothers; I’ll do whatever it takes!

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with what’s going on and to read all of my articles, view links to helpful resources, and learn from the wider brat community.

Be sure to say hello below so I can know you’re here! Most of all, welcome home!

Want to be part of a larger community? There’s also a Brats of the Southwest page!

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One response

  1. […] Flightless Birds: ABQ Brat Life Making the transition to civilian together Skip to content HomeAbout […]

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