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.
This feature is written by
owner of BP Design
From a brat’s perspective
When asked “Where are you from?”, I usually pause. Being a part of a military family means there is no one place that I am "from." Every 2 years, Dad would get new orders. We’d pack up and be gone. Each new base would have a whole new set of friends, all with the same story. It is always hard to explain to people what it was like growing up in a military family.
Most of my childhood was spent on the West coast. There were 4 short years that we spent on the East coast. For those 4 years, we resided in North Carolina. I remember riding all over base housing on my bicycle, learning the lay of the land. There were some woods behind our house that held trails and “hunting” grounds. We played in the Neuse River. A little pill box with a cat on the front held (still holds) my collection of shark teeth that washed onto the shore.
It was during those years that I learned to quilt. Dad was in Iraq. Mom and I would go to a fellow military family’s house and meet with other women. Everyone would bring their quilting. I still have the nine patch that I started. It has blue, pink and cream colored squares. This quilt was to be hand-pieced.
One day we got together for quilting, I remember the women sitting around crying and comforting each other. The call had come. We had lost one of our men. Each woman in that room was hurting for the one who had lost their spouse, brother and son. I haven’t picked up the squares since then. Maybe someday I’ll be able to finish it.
As a kid, I knew that Dad was working a lot. I didn’t really understand until that day. He was “working” for our freedom. Our right as a country to choose who leads us. Our right to be individuals. He was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for me, my siblings, Mom and people he had never met.
Now I am a mother of boys. Whenever we are in town and I see someone in uniform, I point them out to my boys. I tell my boys in a voice for those around to hear, “That man or woman is fighting for your freedom, just like your uncle.”
Thank you Briana for sharing your story! If you would like to submit a story for this series please contact us ("Contact" tab at the top of the blog) for consideration.
Robin Norgren, Blog Coordinator