Like many other military brats, I also have no place to call home. My civilian friends always laughed at me when we went on school trips because I was apt to call the hotel that we were staying at ‘home.’
My name is Jennifer Sieracki and I have lived at Plattsburgh AFB, NY, Fairchild AFB, WA, Pease AFB, NH, Portales, NM, New Richmond, WI, Eau Claire, WI and I currently live in Minneapolis, MN where I attend the University of Minnesota. Throughout my travels I have attended two elementary schools, one middle school, one junior high, two high schools, and three universities despite the fact that I am only a sophomore.
Like many other military brats, I also have no place to call home. My civilian friends always laughed at me when we went on school trips because I was apt to call the hotel that we were staying at ‘home.’ They never understood that where I lay my head is home. However, I once did consider New Hampshire to be my home. I lived there for six years, and when they announced that they were closing the base I was heartbroken. I insisted that New Hampshire was my home, though, up until we went back to visit a few years ago.
A brewery/restaurant now stands where my house once was. The other homes that are left standing have been broken into and vandalized. It’s like walking through a ghost town. Only one of my friends remains in the surrounding community. So now, I too search for home. The town I graduated from school in is not home. Many of my peers let me know that I was not like them. I often slipped between New England, southern, and no accent when talking. This led me to be picked-on throughout my adolescense. Minneapolis is definitely not home. The apartment I live in is worse than any military housing I’ve ever been to.
On the other hand, I don’t really want to find a home. As long as I will always be able to touch-base with my parents I’ll be fine. The thought of actually settling down somewhere is suffocating. My change of universities is proof of that. I want to go everywhere. I feel sorry for the civilian kids I went to high school with. They all want to settle down in the same area that they grew-up in. That’s definitely not for me. I’ve tasted the world, and I want to gobble it up. There are so many places that I want to go and see before I leave this world. There just isn’t enough time. Life would be boring otherwise.
I have, however, settled on the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. Finding a permanent partner once seemed impossible. Not only did I believe that I could go anywhere, but I also believed that I could date anyone. So many people go in and out of a brats life, that I think that’s what some of us tend to expect of everyone.
Now, I would prefer staying with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for two years now, and as many of you brats can validate, that’s quite a commitment.
All in all, I wouldn’t change my military brat life for anything in the world. Sure, I’ve got gypsy-feet, and I’ve had to work for my friends, but I’ve done so much more than many people have done their entire lives. I only hope that I can offer as much to my own children.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in Military Brats Online in 1997.