Why I'm Pround To Call Myself A Military Brat
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Why I'm Proud To Call Myself A Military Brat

Growing up a military brat can have its challenges but we wear our title like a badge and learn to own it.

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Photo by William Snodgrass

"Where are you from?" This question comes up in almost every conversation. It's a simple question really, with a simple answer for most. For me, this question was always difficult to answer. Well, it depends what you're asking, I'd always respond, are you looking for where I was born, where I lived the longest, or where I enjoyed living the most. For people who have one definite home that has always been their home, this question seems so natural. To me, it was always different. How do I call only one place my home? It's impossible. It's impossible to derive one single place I call home when every place I've lived has made me who I am.


Photo by William Snodgrass

Looking back at my life, I realize I did not have what most would call "a normal childhood." I share this unique childhood with thousands of Americans around the world who are also proud to call themselves military brats. A majority of military children wear the nickname brat with a sense of pride and honor. The term has been proved so endearing, a possible name change in recent years has resulted in an uproar across the globe. Being a military kid has allowed me to have had experiences many are not able to experience, and quite honestly, I did not always appreciate this aspect of my life.

Photo by William Snodgrass

Before I was even eight years old, I had lived in five different states and had been on road trips across the United States and overseas. When I was six months old I flew to South Korea for the first time to see my relatives, and it would later become the place I would live the longest. Moving from place to place became custom for me, and a small part of me seemed to envy the friends I would have to leave behind every couple of months because it seemed like they lived such stable lives. I wouldn't come to embrace and appreciate this part of my life until years later. As a child, it was difficult for me to adjust after every move. I wasn't able to grasp what I was a part of, to me it was just moving to new places, it was something I always expected.


Photo by William Snodgrass

Growing up as a military brat also meant redefining home and my way of life after every move. When most people ask me where I'm from I usually say South Korea because it is where I lived the longest and it is the place I identify as home the most. However, to the military family, home means so much more than a destination or a place you live. I was part of interconnection of networks much bigger than that, I was part of a family of military brats across the world that act as advocates for the United States. Military brats are representatives of their parents and the United States.


Military brats who have endured a long deployment of a parent or are stationed overseas often draw support from each other and the base community. Life as a military brat is eye-opening, liberating, and downright exciting. Brats are always learning about new cultures, traveling to beautiful places around the world, and feeling the warmth and camaraderie that permeates through all military bases. Not only have I been able to create vast connections with friends around the world, but I have also been exposed to ideas and people of all backgrounds, and for this, I will forever be grateful for my military family. What I have come to discover over the years is that home is where your family is, and family can be defined as the people who understand and are there to support you when you need it. No matter where I go I will always have a family who understands what I'm feeling because I will always be a military brat at heart.


Photo by Shin Pyoung Cho

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