Monday, January 3, 2011

Military Life...from the brat's Perspective: Jennifer Harruff

Jennifer is on the far left

The Military Brat Team and the Homefront Team are combining efforts to share our experiences with the military lifestyle so that others can fully understand the sense of community, sacrifices, benefits, and expectations we all share as members of a truly unique group of people. Each month we will feature a story shared by a Military Brat Team member, and a story shared by a Homefront Team member.

First Feature is written by Jennifer Harruff, shop owner  and blog leader for Head of the Etsy Military Brat Team and brainchild behind this series.

Military Life….
From a brat’s perspective

"Growing up in the military can be hard. I remember getting so angry and sad when we had to say goodbye to our friends and move all over the country because we had to go where the Navy sent us. We had to endure being a constant new kid at school, and we had to work our way into friendships, only to have them break apart when we moved again in a few years. However, with all of the struggles we went through, we had a great deal to be thankful for. I am the third of five children, so my siblings were my playmates wherever we went. We were great explorers and set out to conquer each and every hiding place, secret path, and playground we could find in the quickest time possible. It was how we claimed our territory and marked it as our home. We grew up for a time in Virginia Beach, Virginia, climbing trees, eating plums from our neighborhood trees, and catching the sweet nectar of the abundant honeysuckle flowers on our tongues.  There were marshy ponds nearby where we saw tadpoles grow into frogs, and caught turtles (of course, naming them after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Fireflies danced in the yard, and we held contests to see who could catch the most in a jar with holes in the lid. We caught caterpillars and made them little homes inside shoeboxes full of leaves, only to find that they had fled when we checked on them in the morning.
    The best part of growing up as a military brat in Virginia was definitely the military appreciation day held by Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. With five kids and two adults living on a Navy income, we could never afford to go to theme parks, so this was the greatest gift we had to look forward to all year. We got to go on the fourth of July. My mother, older sister, and I were in line for the terrifying rollercoaster, the Loch Ness Monster, and at the last minute my older sister chickened out. So I was trapped into going, pretending I was brave while I shook from head to toe. I kept my eyes shut tight the entire ride. My mom shook me and told me to look up at the fireworks as they exploded above our heads, and I wish I had actually opened them. At least I got to brag about how brave I was when I got off! The whole day was a fantastic experience that made us all feel like a family, and made us all very proud of our status as military brats."

Visit Jennifer over at:
Her etsy shop where she makes the MOST ADORABLE and dare I say SEXY APRONS
FaceBook fan page
If you would like to submit a story for this series please contact us ("Contact" tab at the top of the blog) for consideration.


LilacAve said...

Great blog post! I am not a military Brat, but my kids will be. Interesting to see what their perspective of our adventurous life must be like.

Nicole's Homemade Treats...The Blog said...

Great post - it is nice to hear of others experiences. Thank You for sharing Jen.

laura evans/photography said...

i'm loving these stories ... it's so fun to hear more about you guys. where you come from, your lives before etsy & how you ended up where you are. & as deb said hearing more of how it's going to be for my kids so hopefully i can learn from others & give them a truely wonderful life. thanks for sharing chica. xx

Glitterbird Glamour said...

My daughter was a military brat and she can identify! These kids get a completely different perspective, some great opportunities.

Reyna Red - Wind Dancer said...

Thanks for sharing Jen! Wow, after only years as a military spouse...I can only imagine what my kids will go through. Sounds like you had a fun childhood - friends (4 siblings) built in.

PaperOnParade said...

Wonderful insight! Makes me wonder if ours kids felt similar feelings when we were active duty. Great article and thanks for sharing!

Angela said...

I loved reading this because I am also the 3rd of 5 children and my dad was career AirForce. Now I am an Army wife and doing to my 4 children what I hated! LOL But I wouldn't trade any of it.

Robin Norgren said...

I have been on both sides but my life as a military kid was only from birth to 5 so I have very few recollections other than this awareness that I was born in Germany and spent time off and on there through those years.

Blue Room Gems said...

I love reading this! I am so glad to hear that a "Brat" grew up with such a positive perspective on her childhood. This is something I worry about raising 3 brats of my own!