Once a Brat, Always a Brat.

Jessica Power (Feb. 4, 2014) I have been to twenty-four of the fifty states, been on more road trips than I can even remember, and awaited nervously with my mom during my dad’s ten plus deployments in twenty-two years. I have friends that span the country (and further) and have moved ten times in my life. In short, I grew up an Army brat.

Like most military dependents, I had a childhood of moving when the Army decided it was time to PCS, celebrated several holidays and birthdays without my dad present, and still don’t know whether to call Texas or Colorado home. But even after it all, looking back, I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. I got to grow up with a sense of protection and a diverse community that not all can understand, nor can I exactly explain.

My mother grew up a brat as well, and obviously ended up a military wife. My dad (my hero) enlisted into the Army when I was four years old and just recently retired. I have a grandfather, three uncles and several cousins who have served or are currently service members. So to say the least, I have deep military roots and a strong sense of pride in this nation’s Armed Forces and that my family has been such an active participant. I have never once doubted the pure bravery and heroism of the men and women who take leaves of absence from their families to care for the state of their country. They deserve all of our support and gratitude for what they put on the line and sacrifice on a daily basis and I’d like to personally thank them for all they do.

I realize now how fortunate I was to be part of this subculture and have come to appreciate it even more after entering the ‘civilian’ world. I’m proud that I can still contribute to my military community by being part of an organization whose main focus is remember these heroes.

(Photo courtesy of Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)