Reconnecting

Growing up an Army brat, I attended 15 schools in 12 years.
Filling out a security questionnaire for me was challenging and
probably a nightmare for the guy who had to do the back-
ground investigation on me. I wonder if he got overtime. He
damn sure deserved it.

We moved in the summer. We moved in the winter. We moved
all the time. By the time we finally picked of the little blue stickers
the movers had stuck on our furniture, it was time for another
moving company to come and put on some fresh ones. There
were a few times that they just stuck new ones on top of the
old ones.

I think the longest we ever lived in one place was the last place
we were stationed in Germany. It was a little town in Bavaria
called Schwaebisch Gmuend. Still we managed to move from
a very temporary inn just outside of town, to temporary 8 bed
room apartment on the 4th floor for one year, to a 3 bedroom
3rd floor apartment after one of my best friends, Anneliece, and
her family rotated back to the States. We stayed in that apart-
ment for a little over two years.

I made friends all over the world. We had summer vacations in
Italy where we camped and ate corned beef hash cooked on
a Coleman stove and then toured churches and cathedrals and
museums all day. We got to drive through the Swiss Alps and
my sister ordered goat’s milk at a restaurant in Switzerland just
like Heidi used to drink in the book. We went to Austria, the
Netherlands, England, Belgium, and France. We swam in the
Mediterranean and North Seas. But we didn’t know probably
half of our cousins and never understood what the word “home
town” actually meant.

Now that the world has become so much smaller, thanks to the
internet and social networks such as Facebook, I’ve reconnected
with friends I haven’t seen for nearly thirty years. And most of
the other military brats I was friends with still remember me and
the fun we used to have at various posts around the globe. Today
there was a post about paper grocery bags from the commissary
and all of the 1001 uses for them that had all of us in stitches.
It didn’t matter where we were stationed, Germany, England,
Spain, Italy, Ft. Knox, Kentucky….we ALL used those bags in
the same ways.

Reconnecting with other military brats has helped me in the last
few weeks. It helped me to remember how complete I am as a
person; how my “weirdness” is not unique to me but to all of us
military brats…thus giving me a sense of normalcy. Whatever
THAT is.

I’m proud that I’m a military brat. I’m proud that my dad served
for more than 20 years in the US Army. I’m proud that his
service allowed me to reap the benefits of world culture, a larger
sense of appreciation for others cultures, a respect for humans
as a whole, and a sincere and deep lack of understanding of the
word “prejudice.” Thanks, Dad. (And thanks, Facebook.)

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