The only time I felt my girls got the short end of the stick as military brats was when they went off to college. We moved from California to Alabama the week after high school graduation, and then the girls went off to college. When they came home for the holidays, they came home to an unfamiliar place.
They didn’t know anyone, and they weren’t getting together with high school friends because those friends were in California while we were in Alabama. I felt sad for them. I remember coming home from college and seeing my friends and hanging out again. We robbed them of that experience.
That is just one issue military children face in their lifetime. As we wrap up the Month of the Military Child, let’s not forget National Military Brats Day on April 30. It’s the last day to honor all our military children — past or present.
The National Today website list five facts about military brats and some activities military families can do together to honor their brats.
Five Facts About Military Brats
- Military Brats are children whose parents are, or once were, members of the military community.
- One in every 25 American citizens is part of a military family. That means roughly 15 million Americans are military brats.
- Military Brats attend between four and 12 schools in their lives. Mine attended three different elementary schools on one base!
- Several famous people were military brats, including Amy Adams, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Alba, Chris Cooper, John Denver, Shaquille O’Neal, and Reese Witherspoon, to name a few. One of my favorites is Harris Faulkner, host of the Faulkner Focus and Outnumbered on Fox News.
- Unless they join or marry into the military, many military brats cannot go visit their childhood neighborhoods because they won’t have access to base once their parent leaves the military. That’s true for Illinois Girl, but not for Mrs. Tech Sergeant.
She and her family recently drove past our house on Langley Air Force Base, VA and Tech Sergeant’s house in Yorktown, VA. Mrs. Tech Sergeant also lived on the same street at Eielson AFB, AK that she lived on as a child. And, my grandson, Tony B, went to the same grade school as his father, in England.
A good way to celebrate National Military Brats day is to pull out pictures from past bases and relive some memories. Military brats may have it hard sometimes, but they’ve seen and done a lot more than their civilian counterparts.
Until next time,
How will you celebrate with your military brats on April 30?
Victoria Terrinoni is the author of “Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse,” available here or by clicking the Shop tab above. Watch for her new book on the Good Chaplain’s Africa deployment coming out in the fall!