So, all military brats are familiar with separation. Our parent(s) deploys, goes out on trips, or leaves for any of a number of reasons.
It’s hard, but we manage. Heck, we’re military brats; we always manage!
Well, when you grow up as a military brat to a career sailor/soldier/whomever, that feeling of transience and distance never gets to go away.
In my family, neither parent stays one place very long. My Dad is a career sailor with 28+ years under his belt, and he still moves every 2-4 years. My Mom works for the DOD, and just moved overseas again after several years of life just south of Atlanta, Georgia.
And where do I love? Oh, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I moved here in 2006 to live close to my Dad after graduating from Lakenheath American High School, and all went well until the Navy sent him elsewhere.
Sure, I see my family often (every few months), but I still have no sense of home.
If you attend “Brat” or DODDS reunions, why do you do so?
Again, the Museum of the American Military Family’s list of writing prompts for military brats has sent me scuttling to the dusty filing cabinets in my mind to share with you all just what it is about the brat or DODDS reunions that get me going.
Personally, the very first reunion I will attend will take place this Saturday in Albuquerque, NM as part of this group, ABQ Brats. I’ve lived in Albuquerque for 6 years and have been a brat much longer, so what took so long?
My last update on this site included a reblog of the American Military Family Museum’s blog post on Operation Footlocker. They offer an amazing service for military families all over the world, but we are incredibly fortunate to have them in this ‘hometown’ of ours.
One of my favorite features of their blog is the many writing prompts they offer for bloggers new and old, professional and amateur. So, to get started, let’s talk about our experiences!
Our first question:
Which Department of Defense schools did you attend? Give a brief-1-3 sentence memory from each. (Unfortunately, brevity is not my strong suit and I don’t want it to be.)
If you are a military brat, you probably have some weird ideas about home. We all do and each idea comes from years of practice. I’m not sure if this is the case with other brats, but my particular problem is with the idea of returning. Of course, none of us really have physical homes.I claim a small town in southeastern Wisconsin as my home, and genealogically, it is. My family and their forebearers (minus the more recent German and Irish immigrants) had moved to Wisconsin from back East.
Recently, I had the fortune to dig deeply into my past and my roots go back to the Mayflower. Even for me, a patriot at heart, I had never assumed I could be so rooted. It turns out, I do have roots.
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A sterling example of how well military brats adapt is the deep online roots they have already planted. Before the widespread dispersion of the internet, military brats had to go out of their way to maintain connections. Today, brats can make friends before taping a single box shut. The online brat community is getting better and better and I’m glad to share my experiences within that larger realm.
I’ve decided to gain this sense of community by starting ABQ Brats. It might give me some peace and closure to help other military brats deal with the lifestyle.
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