Courtesy of the Overseas Brats Home
You know you are a military brat if you . . .
. . . actually like the clothes at the BX and don't mind that 100 other people
are wearing the same thing.
. . . know that all your former very best friends are as long gone as your last move.
. . . always wish you were back at the last place you were stationed even 20 years later.
. . . answer the question "where are you from" with "I'm kinda from all
over the place."
. . . are able to imitate others' speech patterns easily.
. . . are amazed at people who have lived somewhere more than three years.
. . . are amazed at people who have never left their hometown.
. . . are amazed at people who have who have never seen foreign currency.
. . . are amazed at people who think Frankfurt is a some kind of hotdog.
. . . are asked "where did you learn to speak English so well".
. . . are asked is it hard always moving around when you don't know anything different.
. . . are brought to tears by military music.
. . . are going to a grocery store but call it a commissary.
. . . are initially confused when asked where you are from, but quickly respond
. . . ask what they mean when someone asks where you are from.
. . . at age 22 are trying to find someone in the military to marry so you can get a new
. . . avoid visiting the doctor because you don't trust civilian hospitals.
. . . bagged groceries at the commissary on payday.
. . . bought US savings stamps.
. . . can ask for a beer in most European languages.
. . . can bounce a quarter off your bedsheets and have hospital corner on your bed.
. . . can call up actual memories of a country while you're in geography class.
. . . can identify ranks and duty stations by the stickers on a car's bumper.
. . . cannot speak the language of the country in which you were born.
. . . can recite all of the AFRTS commercials along with the television.
. . . can remember ordering a Big Mac, fries, and a beer.
. . . can still convert foreign currency in your head.
. . . can talk to anyone and everyone from anywhere and everywhere.
. . . can't convince a stateside cousin that your Japanese kimono doll REALLY came from
. . . can't drink Budweiser without being coerced.
. . . used to drink in bars that are older than the United States.
. . . have drunk water from Roman aquaducts.
. . . conceal your father's rank because once people find out he has stars they'll never
treat you the same.
. . . craved to have a class six ration card.
. . . didn't save things so you wouldn't go over the weight allowance of the next move.
. . . didn't see a TV till you were almost a teenager.
. . . do not understand why many of your friends are afraid to be in an airplane.
. . . don't believe it when someone tells you they never left their hometown.
. . . don't feel quite right seeing military personnel younger than you.
. . . don't really know how to answer the question "what is your home town".
. . . don't remember the names of your childhood friends.
. . . draw stares when you say that you and Hemingway had drinks in the same places.
. . . draw a quick map of the world when someone asks you where you are from.
. . . have crossed the Atlantic or Pacific an odd number of times.
. . . were welcomed to a country by an American kid who asked if you knew how to say
@#$%!* in the local language.
. . . enjoy seeing guys in fatigues on city streets.
. . . ever got sick eating chocolate field rations.
. . . remember that every room you've ever had was stark white and you couldn't put nail
holes in the walls.
. . . find that everyone complains about your name being the most scratched out in their
. . . find that everywhere you go, you think you see someone you went to school with.
. . . expect someone else to do the housework but can't afford it.
. . . feared turning 21 because they would take your ID card away.
. . . feel like you should be visiting the states rather than living in them.
. . . feel more at home on a military base than in town even though you've been a civilian
for 26 years.
. . . feel more comfortable living near a military base and get bummed-out when a base
. . . felt like a part of history that was happening around you.
. . . find that you can easily amuse yourself for hours at airports, train or bus
. . . find yourself with friends throughout the world.
. . . get frustrated when others talk about going to their hometown to see old friends,
. . . get nostalgic when seeing O.D. Green.
. . . get the itch to move every 3-4 years and forever feel like the outsider in the
. . . give someone a break because they are in the military.
. . . go into culture shock upon returning to the States.
. . . got beer from the Limonade man at the kiosk.
. . . got dressed up and played pranks at Fasching.
. . . got grounded or restricted to quarters or put on KP duty.
. . . got in trouble on the train to Berlin for taking a picture.
. . . graduated from a high school you only attended for a year.
. . . had a dad who brought you a used SAM to play with.
. . . had a father who was always telling you to "police the area".
. . . had a pup-tent in your yard until your parents found out what was going on in there.
. . . had a supply of K-Rations that you traded with your friends.
. . . had Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in a mess halls.
. . . had your introductory speech prepared and memorized for your first day at a new
. . . had your school lunches planned and served by people wearing sergeant or private
. . . had a job delivering the Stars and Stripes.
. . . think it was normal to have the newspaper editorial staff's names include their
. . . have a collection of bunch of beer caps from everywhere.
. . . have a very best lifelong friend who you have known for less than a few years.
. . . have been asked just where in NY Apo is.
. . . have been hit on at the age of 13 by men in uniform.
. . . have driven four hours to Munich for the taste of a poorly done Big Mac.
. . . have to explain that being born in Germany does not make you German.
. . . have to explain why your SSN is from an APO and your home of record and state of
residence don't match.
. . . have forgotten how to speak more languages than most people ever learn.
. . . have USAA as your insurance company.
. . . haven't seen your best friend since the last time Dad was transferred.
. . . hear the sound of freedom when military aircraft fly by, while civilians complain
about the noise.
. . . know exactly how horrible AFN commercials are.
. . . inexplicably have the urge to move to a new place every year for no reason at all.
. . . keep bumping into people all over the world who know friends that you haven't seen
. . . kept evac-backpacks by the front door with clothing and passports in case
. . . knew the rank and name of the kid next door's father before meeting the kid next
. . . know how great it is to be able to return to base and your little slice of America.
. . . know how to pack a footlocker.
. . . know kilometers better than miles and Celsius better than Fahrenheit.
. . . know that Radio Luxembourg was the number one way to keep up with the latest rock
and roll hits.
. . . know the words and tune to military march songs.
. . . know what "the land of the big PX is."
. . . know what a jump tower is and after a few beers - thought it made good sense to
. . . know what Ami geh heim or knittle in die buxe means.
. . . know what the "land of the round door knobs is".
. . . know what the relative value of a pfenning, won or yen is compared to the U.S.
. . . knowing about a variety of cultures.
. . . left school frequently for bomb scares.
. . . like institutional-style cooking and enjoyed going to the Mess Hall.
. . . liked going shopping with mom for an hour and a half drive because the BIG PX sold
. . . listened to Armed Forces and VOA radio for the 1st 10 years of your life.
. . . made better grades in geography because you'd been to the places you were studying.
. . . meet another military brat sometime somewhere and are instantly bonded.
. . . miss shopping at AAFES or the PX.
. . . had Scout camping equipment that had US instead of BSA stamped on it.
. . . have siblings who were born in various foreign lands.
. . . munched hot brotchen & gummies on the way to school.
. . . name schools in three countries on two continents when asked what high school you
. . . never quite finished decorating your place because you knew you'd be moving soon.
. . . noticed Tom Cruise in uniform, outside with no hat,and having a non-regulation
haircut in Top Gun.
. . . painted a picture on the Berlin Wall before it fell.
. . . panic when you can't find your ID or passport.
. . . played American Football at the schwim bad to impress the German girls.
. . . polished your fathers boots and brass for his upcoming inspection.
. . . put your hand over your heart at 5 p.m. knowing the flag was coming down. . .
. . . realize that the latest fashion in the states is not the same clothes you bought on
. . . refer to being in the U.S. as in the world.
. . . remember following your favorite film as it made the rounds on the AAFES theater
. . . remember being able to watch the Super Bowl or World Series live on TV at 2 am.
. . . remember Chris Noel's dedication show on Armed Forces radio during the Vietnam war.
. . . remember hanging out at the AYA.
. . . remember the Saturday afternoon tank rides at Fort Hood.
. . . don't understand why your adult friends think videos of B52s taking off look spooky.
. . . say think OPSEC to your friend so they will keep it secure then realize it won't
make sense to them.
. . . start a major portion of your conversations with "when I was in. . .
. . . feel the need to stand up and recite the national anthem at the start of movies.
. . . still do yard detail!
. . . still get the urge to pack up and move about every 22 months.
. . . still look for you ID card after you've grown up.
. . . stopped saying "I used to live in Japan" because people kept asking you if
you spoke Chinese.
. . . talk to someone with an accent and pick it up yourself.
. . . tell everyone you are from a town that you haven't lived in since you were 4 years
. . . find that the oldest friend you have is from your senior year of high school.
. . . know that the term "combat loaded" refers to how the movers load the van.
. . . think locals have such a limited perspective.
. . . think of your childhood neighbors fathers and mothers by their rank.
. . . think the US seems like a foreign country.
. . . think you see old classmates on every corner, whether you are in Brussels, Bangkok,
. . . thought all doctors issued all purpose capsules for every ache and pain.
. . . thought all pens had "US Government" printed on them.
. . . thought all aspirin came in 5,000 count bottles.
. . . thought everyone slept under green or blue wool blankets that had "US" on
. . . thought that a firing range made a great playground.
. . . thought that the Quartermaster was the real Santa Claus.
. . . thought vacations meant going stateside to visit the grandparents.
. . . told civilian friends stateside where you lived and they complimented your English.
. . . try to remember to drive on the right side of the road.
. . . try to take out your ID card when you enter a grocery store.
. . . use words like "hit the deck", "visit the head" and "pogey
. . . thought it was normal to ride your bike over to the nuclear weapon storage area part
of the base.
. . . used the federal warnings on your I.D. card to convince your cousins that you
were a military agent.
. . . waited every Saturday at noon for the alert sirens to go off.
. . . went into hysterics when your grandparents thought of selling their house.
. . . went out and found everybody leaving on Maneuvers.
. . . went to school in a converted POW camp.
. . . were born in an US occupied country and moved every 3 years.
. . . were more interested in your new friend's father's rank than what color your friend
. . . were pleased to find upon returning stateside that the locals spoke American.
. . . still think of yourself as a yeoman after 20 years as a secretary.
. . . find that battleship gray makes you feel warm and fuzzy.
. . . can shine your military kid's brass better then he can.
. . . come to the US, turn on the T.V. and are surprised that the shows are in English.
. . . first log-in to this web site and get the goose bumps.
. . . see a homeless person and somehow feel spiritually related
. . . find that your civilian boss has to ask you more than once not to say "Yes,
sir" and "No, sir".
. . . woke up to F-4's roaring overhead.
. . . had classes interrupted by the roar of an entire wing of jets taking off in pairs
. . . wonder if dad signed a hand receipt when you were born.
. . . wondered who your new best friend would be as you enroll in yet another school.
. . . make things up about where you are from to avoid the headaches of telling the whole
. . . are confused when your fiancée talks about watching trees grow large in front of
. . . can recite which aircraft were in service in which era because you watched them fly
. . . graduated from 12th grade and it was your 13th school.
. . . had your own punch card at the local Class VI store since you were 16.
. . . have climbed down to Survival Beach and back up.
. . . used Script or MPC's instead of green backs.
. . . went on week-long field trips to England, France and Italy.
. . . had been to every Gasthaus in Germany, both East and West before you were 18.
. . . your SSN, home of record, state of residence, and place of birth are far from
. . . know transfer meant pack your toys and say see ya later.
. . . were in your late teens before you realized flashlight batteries came in any color
. . . and your friends played army in an abandoned concentration camp.
. . . attend high school reunions in a different town each time and you never attended
school in any of the towns.