Psalm 45:10-11, 13-15

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take heart to what I say. Forget your people and your homeland far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. [...] The bride, a princess, waits within her chambers, dressed in a gown woven with gold. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful, enthusiastic procession as they enter the king's palace!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

You know you're a military brat when...

--If, when you went to a civilian movie theater for the first time, you were shocked to learn that nobody else was standing up before the movie.

--You see a child crying as they say good-bye to their daddy as they go off to combat and you start crying because you know what that feels like. (I have a little girl in my class now who's dad is “on a ship” and she's wearing a bell around her neck, so whenever she misses him she rings the bell. It's cute, but kind of annoying...)

--Your history teacher talks about different war sights in high school and you know where they mean, because you've been there.

--There's a new kid in town, and you can't resist the opportunity to welcome them into the community because you know what it's like to be new.

-- You've learned to write other military family's address in pencil- and you warn people to do the same with yours.

--The national anthem is played at a game and it means much more to you than just time to play ball.

--You never really know how to answer the question "Where are you from?"

--Your knees start to go limp at the sight of a military uniform.

--What will trouble you most about graduating college isn't becoming a real adult, it is that your ID card will expire and you'll become a civilian.

--The term "permanent address" is an oxymoron. (This was laughable when applying for college.)

--Your childhood friends were Christians, Buddhists, Jews, black, white, brown, and you never noticed a difference. (I don't think I noticed race until we moved to Virginia and I was in public school when a black girl asked me why my skin was still dark in winter. I don't know...maybe 'cause I'm injun. I don't think I even knew what to think of the question.)

--Your childhood neighborhood had a "Yard of the Month" award. (My mom won this award numerous times. In Japan, we even got a big torii to sit our front yard because of it.)

--Your base promoted safe driving by arranging wrecked cars with "bloody", mangled mannequins in high-traffic areas.

--"The economy" means going off-base and paying higher local prices.

--by the age of 10, your shot record was more than a page long.

--by the age of 10, you knew how to convert at least one foreign currency to U.S. dollars.

--the church you attended during childhood offered both Protestant and Catholic services.

--It's a daunting task to obtain transcripts from every school you've ever attended.

--All the "nice china" in your house came from the 100 yen store in Japan. (I never got china, but I sure got a lot of dishes there. I miss that place. It was the best.)

-- Bases you have lived on overseas were separated from the "economy" by a barbed-wire fence.

--Your house had a building number rather than an address.

--You cried on September 11th, you were also silently praying that your dad (or your friends, my dad actually warned me which of my friends were likely to be shipped out soonest) won't be sent to war because you knew war was now inevitable

--You have to explain to someone what a "7Day" is

--Your 10th birthday was a big year because you got your own ID card.

--You remember staying in an airport terminal waiting for Space-A.

--Base housing sucks, but you call it home anyway.

--You showed up to school the next day after a big sale at the BX- and 10 other girls are wearing the same shirt.

--You find typical American stereotypes of other cultures odd

--You saw protesters outside the base gate on the way to school on the bus.
(Not on the way to school, but it happened.)

--Traveling across the country in one car with two kids and your parents on the way to your next "home" was a vacation. (It was one van, three kids, and my parents. Vacations have rarely, if ever, actually meant a real vacation. It meant traveling across states, oceans, or continents to visit friends and family.)

--The question "where are you from?" becomes a conversation, not just an answer.

--You have to constantly repeat to yourself "My dad is fighting for the freedom for them to do that," so you don't beat the crap out of some civilians for disrespecting the military.
(I still have to do this. I have given my fair share of “you get to have your [stupid] opinion, because of what my dad/friends are doing” speeches.)

--Before doing anything too mischievous, you stop and think how it will affect your father's career.

--You experienced culture shock upon arriving in the States. (That first year back was rough...people just didn't/don't get it.)

--You've ever had to face being called down to the office while your dad was deployed.. and crying with relief when it turns out its only your lunch that you forgot at home....or your mom needed something out of the car!

--Saying good-bye is harder not because you're moving, but because you know this won't be the last time you do it. (I've been known to bawl at saying bye to little kids I knew, just because I knew this pattern would keep repeating over and over and over...until they're at least 18.)

--Your civilian friends find it weird that you can make friends in minutes and best friends in hours.

--Those same civilian friends will never understand what you've been through. But that's ok because they're the ones that are missing out. (I wouldn't have always described it as the “best” life, but I wouldn't want anything different. I got to live and experience a way of life that is...I guess there's no real point in trying to explain it, because the only people who will ever really understand are the ones who lived it too.)


topher //(0.0)\\ said...

So true..
And when your parents retire..
It's hard to finally fit in :/

Bren said...

this is so true. i feel like i don't fit dad retired last month and im insanely lost. i hate it

justinesipos said...

My dad finally got to a point in his career (when I just started high school) that he didn't have to be posted anymore, unless he wanted to. After two/three years in the same school I was getting anxious and by the time I graduated I was totally freaked out! I didn't know how to cope with being around the same people for that long:P