The best kind of brat

The best kind of brat

by Tanaja Kristine
Stripes Korea

The word brat is normally associated with a negative connotation. While there are different kinds of brats from spoiled to rotten, I am here to reassure you that not all brats are behaving badly. The best kind of brat there is to be is a military one.

A simple definition of a military brat is a child who has a parent or parents in the military. It’s not easy being one. There are some things that may cause kids to not like being a military brat: the constant moving, changing schools and leaving friends behind.

I can relate, my mother was a captain in the Army. We were stationed in Georgia, Germany and South Carolina, her last post before getting out. During her time in the military, I visited London, Spain and Paris.

Being a military brat actually helped me transform into the woman I am today. I joined the armed services. I think that’s a direct reflection on how my mother handled her time in the service. She was a good example to follow.

It can’t be easy on parents. They also have to move, make new friends and deploy. But they want to do their job well and take care of their families.

“One thing is, I took my children away from an unlimited amount of family in Chicago to come to Alaska, where they barely have any family.” said Kenan Mason, a father of two girls, Laylah and Kenadi. “But I keep my family involved in activities they probably wouldn’t get the chance to do back at home. Laylah’s in ballet and she gets to interact with other kids who are also military brats.”

Davon Green is another hard-working father who serves in the Army. “Everything I do, I do for Arianna. It’s my duty to make sure she’s taken care of and set up for life.”

As children grow up in the military community, all kinds of opportunities emerge for them. Making new friends, meeting people from all over the world and traveling are all exciting things that may not have happened if they weren’t military brats. And, I believe, the academic and cultural experiences military brats encounter make them more well-rounded that those outside the military community. But brats have to embrace the life and make the most out of it.

The point is, even though there are few things that you may like about being a military brat at first, it gets better. Remember you’re not alone, there are other kids going through the same thing. More importantly, being a military brat is something to be proud of. It’s the best kind of brat to be!    

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