By R. Michael Brown, Marketing Consultant, Freelance Writer & Military Brat
April was designated as a recognition month for children of U.S. military service members that grew up in the military, moving from base to base, all over the world. Military brats are different from their civilian counterparts.
- Having to change countries, states, schools, athletic teams, friends, and your house every three to four years while you’re trying to be a kid?
- Watching your parent deploy for months at a time, sometimes not even knowing where they are going because it’s a secret. But often you know it’s to a dangerous place, including war zones.
- Waiting for and reuniting with your deployed parent, usually at the flight line (military airport), over and over again. Each time you hope they get off the plane.
- Keeping few material possessions because when you move a lot, you can’t have a lot. You live “light.”
- Caring for a wounded warrior, your parent, that was hurt, possibly for life, while in action.
- Living in base housing or just off-base and hoping and praying the military staff car doesn’t stop at your house with a military chaplain and officer to inform you that your parent is missing-in-action (MIA), a prisoner-of-war (POW), or killed-in-action (KIA).
Anyone that says that the children don’t serve in the military, along with their parents, don’t know what they are talking about. These kids also sacrifice for their country as their parents serve.
Over 2 million US military brat children have had a parent deployed since 9/11. Half of them have experienced two or more deployments.
The term “military brat” is a badge of pride worn by generations of kids who traveled the world with their parents, moving into adulthood with the knowledge that they have the strength to handle anything. They are fiercely patriotic.
Military brats naturally develop organic strategies and tactics to deal with their situation. It makes them:
So this month I’ll be honoring the military brat. Hope you follow along and honor them too.
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