On the plane back from a well over due class reunion, with tears in my eyes, I put pen to paper and what I was feeling in the depths of my soul spewed forth, filling the pages. As I wrote I had no idea that my words would impact so many people. How I unknowingly found a way to express, what some many others have been feeling in their hearts, but were unable to put it into words. The response I got from this was over whelming and I was encouraged to share it here on my blog. To those in the civilian world, here is a small glimpse into the life of a military brat.
I woke up this morning and realized that I had left a huge part of myself behind in a seven bedroom villa in Vegas. That the last four days had been filled been occupied by some of the most important people in my life. A fact that had eluded me, until I stepped into the door and saw their beautiful faces smiling back at me. I realized at that moment, that for the first time in very long time, I was right where I belonged, surrounded by a group of military brats.
Funny how as I child I resented that term “Military Brat” a label I now wear as a badge of honor.
As Brats we understood that we had a very limited time to forge the ties that bind. We were forced to pack a life time of memories into a span of just a few years, before we were transplanted to another state or foreign country.
As Brats we were expected to hit the ground running, learning a new languages, and adjusting to new culturals, at a speed unrealistic to the outside world. Most of us attended no less than five schools in twelve years. We were the constant “new kid in the class” always forced to start over, yet none of us ever complained, this was our way of life.
As military brats we were often reminded that being in the military, we did not have friends, we had acquaintances, due to the fact that we were never in one place long enough to form the bonds that, civilians too often take for granted. But the truth be told, the bonds formed by military brats, are unsurpassable. The bonds that were formed between us, in the short time that we had together, have lasted us life time. They were forged from titanium, and built to with stand the passages of time. They are strong and unrelenting. What was shared in the brief time we as brats were allotted, can never be put into words, which will allow those that live outside our world to understand.
I must confess that I myself had forgotten just how tight and long lasting, those bonds I have with the Brats is my past still are, until I was blessed with the opportunity to meet up with those Brat that meant the most to me in high school. The moment I looked into their beautiful faces, I was instantly whisked back in time, I was sixteen again, and nothing had changed. Although thirty years had gone by as I stood there hugging my friends, I realized, time for us had stood still, and I was standing there in the presence of people who truly understood what it meant to be a Brat.
Looking back on it, it was not easy growing up as a Brat, but it molded me into the person I am today. As Brats, we are a breed of people, which no one outside the military will ever come close to understanding. We live hard, and love even harder, and the ties that bind, do not tarnish or fade with time, they just keep growing stronger.
Editor’s Note: Military Brats “The Ties That Bind” is from Carol’s World, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.