Alright, Military Brat–are you feeling better about your experiences? We’ve covered the heavy-duty stuff you will have to go through, like being responsible while Mom and/or Dad are deployed. But we’ve also started talking about the great aspects of being a military brat. Let’s continue looking at those silver linings.
You now can adjust quickly and without warning to changes.
This skill will serve you will as you grow older and adapt to adulthood. Those persnickety old folks that hate change? That won’t be you– you’re going to be the cool Old Folk who loves to see and try new things. For now, being able to quickly adjust and adapt to changes will help you settle in more quickly as you transition from one home–or continent!!–to another. As an adult, this skill will be invaluable as you might have to switch jobs or adjust to new coworkers often.
You might have to move in the middle of your school year…
…but you adjust and adapt quickly now, remember? Having to start a brand new school every few autumns or in the middle of the school year is difficult. But the silver lining in this situation is that most military kids grow up in a military community. This means civilians (non-military people) in the town or city you live in are used to being around military members, so you get to blend in. Even better? Schools in military communities will be full of ‘regular’ kids and other military brats. You get the best of both worlds: you can befriend kids who have grown up in the local area and other military brats you’ll have shared experiences with. Maybe making new friends won’t be as hard as you originally thought, eh?
You will most likely lose the accent of your home state–unless you’re from the Midwest.
This isn’t a major downside at all…though if you really miss your accent and need a silver lining, think of it this way: If you’re ever on the lam and you don’t want people to know you’re from the land of the Goodfellas, you new mid-western accent will come in handy.
Ultimately, Military Brat, you are an important and beloved part of the Armed Forces. You will suffer the pain of separation from a deployed parent and you’ll hurt when you have to move and say goodbye to your friends. But you’ll have a lot going for you, too. As a modern-day nomad you’ll get to travel to places that many people will not have the privilege of seeing in their lifetimes. You’ll be exposed to interesting peoples, cultures and languages. You’ll be blessed with life-long skills that some people never develop–like adapting to change and handling stress like a pro. And maybe one day, you’ll bless the Armed Forces with a military brat of your own!
CJ Heath is a proud military brat with four military brats of her own. They have weathered Papa’s deployments, loss of friends and constant scenery changes. However, they’ve also experienced the wonders of different cultures and had more than their share of Dampfnudeln at Germany’s Christmas Markets. They look forward to seeing what adventures the Armed Forces will give them next.