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Johnny Crow

I suppose I am a little weird. I mean my step father used to work for the Nevada test site when I was young, so I was always under the same guidlines as a miliary brat. Also, every two years (since I was four) my whole family moved to a new house every 2 years. even after I left my parents house at 17 I continued this fashion sometimes even earlier. I have been to well over 10-15 different schools. I grew up luckily in either Texas or Vegas, but the aspect of having to go to different schools and living in a new enviornment and new neighbors always gave me the ability to be adaptable. I also learned how to pack and move with the best of them... Not to mention I also work for the DoD myself. So in some part I too feel a part of the "tribe" though unoffically.


Sounds like you're an honorary member at the very least!

Mary Edwards Wertsch

I enjoyed this entry. For the record, I love the term "brat". Yep, we're all military brats, and the term to me is quite positive. As I explained in the preface to my book Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress, I think it connotes spunkiness, and that's the very quality that sees us through a very challenging way to grow up. Not only that, I think it suggests an unrepentant cussedness that is our last redoubt of individual willfulness in a life that often seems dedicated to stamping out that very thing. I think that's a very special asset to take into adulthood.

About the film, "Brats: Our Journey Home," by Army brat Donna Musil--it is really terrific. Last July Donna and I did a short tour of the East Coast to promote her film, and I had the privilege of sitting in the middle of a packed auditorium at the Virginia Beach Central Library for a free screening. Everybody in there was a brat or a brat's relative or teacher. And they went wild over that film. They wept, they roared with laughter, they didn't miss one nuance or visual joke. It seemed as though all the pent-up yearning of a lifetime for some kind of recognition of who we are and what we have lived through was concentrated a thousandfold in that room, and it exploded in a great paroxysm of emotion and relief. I'll never forget it.

Did you know there is a whole movement now around military brat cultural identity? You might say it began with Pat Conroy's The Great Santini, then my book, which is still the only book to unpack the ways we are affected by growing up in the military, and has been boosted by Donna's film based upon my book. Since 1997 our far-flung tribe has been served by Marc Curtis's Military Brat Registry,, which connects brats to long lost friends. Marc has also started "Every Brat Has A Story," which organizes annual cruises for military brats, where we all see Donna's film and I conduct workshops along with other presenters. I have founded a publishing company which is specialized in books and films which explore and strengthen military brat cultural identity (, and I also have The Military Brat Blog ( devoted to the same thing. Marc and I are in the process of establishing a non-profit organization, and our first regional one-day workshop will be in Phoenix at the end of March 2007.

Nicholas Skeen

Yes, I'm a brat! Dad's Air Force, mom's retired Navy, now works for government, uncle is Army, other uncle is Marine, grandad is retired Marine (Korea), godfather is Air Force, brother's godfather is also Air Force. :-) Lived in Florida, Alabama, California, Nevada, Alabama again, Washington DC, and probably going to California again soon. Very possibly one more move after that before I move out of the house. And I'm proud to be one!

Marc Curtis

Jeff, I've recently added an RSS feed for all the Brat stories I've received over the years. There have been far too many to include in my occasional newsletter, so I've finally gotten around to posting as many of them as I can in a free subscription feed at

Remember...Every Brat Has a Story..what's yours?


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