The ‘My Life as a Military Brat’ series talks about my my life growing up. When people ask where I am from, it is sometimes easier to just say ‘Everywhere. Military brat’. I have been asked by many readers to talk more about what it was like growing up in Europe as a military kid. For me I loved it and love that my parents chose to keep choosing overseas assignments.
I was born into a military family that was stationed overseas in Europe, on my father’s second tour in England. For the next seventeen years I would move around frequently as my father chose other overseas assignments. Sometimes we would live in a place for a few months and sometimes for a few years. Up until today I have still never lived in one place for longer than three years at a time. There are so many numbers in my head correlating to aspects of my life as a military brat.
Thirteen is the number of bedrooms in homes I had until I left the house for University. Nine is the number of schools I attended until my high school graduation. Four is the number of countries I grew up in and two is the number of continents. I still have a hard time tallying up the number of countries I have step foot in (up until the age of seventeen) without talking it over with my mum. Even though it has been thirteen years since I grew up as a military dependent, I am still attached to my military brat identity.
What is a military brat?
Many traditions in the US military come from the British Army. For example, if a member of the British Army was given an assignment to India and could take his family with him, they went with the member in an Admin status called: BRAT status. In this instance BRAT stands for: British Regiment Attached Traveler. As time went by it became a title given only to the children (omitting the wives) of the military member and taken to be used in the US military world as well.
A Military Subculture.
On top of living the life of an ‘american’ family and living in different countries and cultures overseas, there is a military culture too. It is not something you choose like your parents who joined and becomes an integral part of every day life. So many expectations are set on rules & regulations and conduct for the military kids. There were also many privileges and perks of having a military ID card: the comforts of ‘home’ for shopping on base, free admission to the on base cinema (overseas), and military resorts and lodging. Then the day to day life of hearing reveille in the morning, the retreat at the end of the duty day, and having to stand for the pledge of allegiance before a movie begins on post. When I think of my own life growing up overseas it becomes a mishmash of so many different cultures and growing up military is a huge part of that.
As a military brat we were always moving. I was constantly in a cycle of three phases: being the new kid, finally being settled, and preparing to move. There was one year where I went to four different schools on two different continents because we were following my father to keep together as a family. As of today my sister and I both still move around frequently only staying in one place for a few years at a time. Often asked how I can do it, I answer from the heart: It is all I have ever known.
Q: Do you have any questions you would liked answered in this series?
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I have one extra special treat for you today, a guest spotlight! You may remember Lindsey as this is her second time sponsoring A Compass Rose. I love having her aboard on the side bar and getting sick with wanderlust from her blog. One of my most favourite posts is her recent one about dancing on tables at Oktoberfest
! Now theres one for your bucket lists, I know it is on mine! For her #TravelTuesday post this week she took us all with her to The Swiss Countryside
with beautiful photographs of picturesque views! She has just started a twitter account so you can now send her tweets
“Hello everyone! This space is called ‘A Broad’s World’ but you can call me Lindsey. My blog meanders through my life abroad, from leaving Thailand to transitioning into Australia, and all the adventures in between. Occasionally I get distracted and write something on the lines of the very chaotic yet always rewarding task of being an ESL teacher, or about concoctions that I bring to life in my kitchen, or about the preparations and results to my sometimes-insane decisions to participate in marathons and other outdoor adventures. I hope you enjoy this space that acts as my creative outlet and I hope you stay awhile!” – Lindsey (A Broad’s World)
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*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | www.bonnie-rose.co.uk