What is a Brat?

OceanKisses Family Portrait, 1960
OceanKisses is sitting next to Daddy

Chaplain Lt. Col. Peter W. Booke and Laura Booke
RibbonalitybySushi's parents

Terryann, 1963, Japan

Odannysgirl's Parents

Odannygirl, Shelly, on a train in Turkey
Military Brat is a term for a person whose father or mother (or both) served in the United States Armed Forces during their childhood. The term “military brat” may seem harsh and unkind to many people but in reality it is a term of endearment. Don’t be afraid to call us Brats – we love it and cherish it. It is about who we are. We are proud Americans and proud of the culture our parents raised us in.

The average Brat attends 10 schools in 12 years. I’m a below average brat. I only attended 8 in 12 years. Most brats have never lived in a place more than 3 years. You might argue that we have no roots and no hometown. But, I would have to disagree. My roots are my country, family and friends. They are the millions of people like me whose parents served our country. My hometown is America.

Brats are highly creative people too. We often moved in the middle of the school year and learned quickly the most creative and effective ways to make friends. Brats are also creative because art gives us an outlet to express how we feel and to share our incredible experiences. TerryAnn, one of our bratty teammates has written in her blog (http://justsoterryann.blogspot.com/2008/05/military-brats-how-i-survived-11.html) “I am an experience junkie.” That’s what it means to be a brat. We must live our lives to the fullest.

“We military brats have lived dozens and dozens of places, few of which remember us, and we have known tens of thousands of people, few of whom hold us in their thoughts. We are incredibly adaptable. We can transform ourselves to a large degree, to become, for a time, what others wish us to be. We are good at this, almost shamanic. We grow up learning to pick up and shed accents, slang, manners of dress and attitude and behavior. We are quick studies at mirroring the people around us. We are natural actors, disappearing into a new role, then shrugging it off like a discarded silk caftan pooling in iridescent folds about our feet, already forgotten, as we reach for a completely different garment in which to lose ourselves.” Mary Edwards Wertsch – brat.


oceankisses said...

Fantastic first blog! You did a great job! (oceankisses)

AngeeArt said...

Great looking Blog, you guys did a wonderful job on it! Would you add me to the list please? I'm bratty too.


Heather (Mother of Jackals) said...

I was a really below average brat. I got to grow up mostly in one town. However I had the experience of having dad being gone TDY in short intervals most of the year and being stationed half way around the world for 3yrs. It's a lifestyle many Brats would understand I think.

terryann said...

woopee! that looks so good! I love the yellow!

Odannysgirl said...

Angeeart, I'm sorry about that! I got the list updated and your shops are there now.


Karen Casey-Smith said...

Wonderful post, RibbonalitybySushi! You and Odannysgirl have done a great job putting this together. Thank you both so much.

Liz Edgar said...

Wow! This is awesome!!!

We stayed in one place while dad left us. Sometimes I wonder if I would have known him better if we got to travel abroad with him.

Three cheers to Odannysgirl and RibbonalitybySushi!