Books for Brats by Brats

Military Brats: Legacies of Life Inside the Fortress by Mary Edwards Wertsch
From the Introduction by Pat Conroy - "By writing this book, Mary Edwards Wertsch handed me a visa to an invisible city where I'm welcomed for the first time as a native son. Her book speaks in a language that is clear and stinging and instantly recognizable to me, yet it's a language I was not even aware I spoke. She isolates the military brats of America as a new indigenous subculture with our own customs, rites of passage, forms of communication, and folkways. When I wrote The Great Santini I thought I'd lived a life like no other child in this country. I had no clue that with The Great Santini, I had accidentally broken into the heart of both the military brat's truth and cliché. With this book, Mary astonished me and introduced me to a secret family I did not know I had. But Mary takes the testimony of these children of the military experience and tells us what it means. With her brilliant analysis of these far-flung anonymous voices, she lets us know that we are brothers and sisters who belong to a hidden, unpraised country. To those of us without homes or hometowns, Mary Wertsch gives us, for the first time, a sense and spirit of place."

Why Brat?

B.R.A.T. is an acronym for "born, raised, and transferred" and applies to children of members of the armed services. We are proud to be a part of the brat subculture and are honored by those in our family who have served our country as active duty, spouses, and brats.

You might be a brat if you...

  • and your siblings were born in different states or countries.
  • saw Santa land in a helicopter.
  • still imagine you hear Retreat at 1700.
  • went to eleven schools before graduation, three in one school year.
  • made friends fast, before the next move.
  • spent your vacations visiting relatives.
  • relatives spent their vacations visiting you because you lived near D.C.
  • never knew what to say at college when people asked where you were from.
  • remember your roots when you hear the Star Spangled Banner.
  • experienced places civilian kids only knew from movies and television.
  • feel immediate kinship with other brats regardless of race or gender.
  • loved summer camp, where you woke to Reveille, ate at the Mess Tent, and a quarter was bounced on your cot during morning inspection

BRATS: Our Journey Home

I have this DVD and anyone who knows a Brat should watch it. For me, it felt like watching a film about my home town. Here's the film promo and you can click on the picture to see the trailer.
A Donna Musil Film: The first documentary about growing up as part of a hidden American subculture. Everybody needs a place to call home; brats will find theirs in this film.
"U.S. military BRATS share intimate memories about their unique childhoods - growing up on military bases around the world, then struggling to fit into an American lifestyle with which they have little in common. Narrated and featuring songs by Kris Kristofferson. Interviews include General Norman Schwarzkopf."
Click on photo to link to movie trailer.

The Official Military Brat Flower

The dandelion is like a military brat. Its seeds are scattered by the wind and it puts down roots anywhere. It adapts to life among other plants, surviving in any location.