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A military brat is the child of a parent who serves in the United States Armed Services. With its ups and downs, holding the title of a military brat with pride is a commonality between every child of a parent who serves for their country.
There are currently almost two million United States military children who proudly support their parents. Being a military brat not only means you have a unique childhood, but a ton of unspoken truths that will forever be relevant to your life.
You automatically have a bond with other military brats.
As the first truth about being a military brat, building a bond with other military brats is always automatic. Though you move a lot from military base to base, immediately forming a bond with other kids was always guaranteed throughout your childhood.
And even in adulthood, finding commonalities between other military kids is easy. From exchanging stories, to comparing post location, you might even find that your parents serve similar roles in the military, or even knew other. You'll always be able to find a friend, no matter how often you moved. Plus, you got used to it.
Home is where you and your family are.
Like most truths about being a military brat, your childhood included a lot of moving, and no real sense of "home." So instead of thinking of a single house that you grew up in as a kid, you picture your family together.
Though a certain house might not have always felt like a home, wherever your family was, that feeling of home came with it. This feeling will be similar today, and making a house feel like a home just includes one thing, family, not a comfy couch, lots of pillows, and a red kitchen.
Independence is key.
As something that almost comes naturally to a military brat, independence is an essential trait for those who grew up with parents who served for the country. Being able to be fine on your own came as a second nature, and from a young age, you were perfectly fine with finding comfort in being alone. Finding true friendships are hard to come across, but Skype is always an option to keep up with your old friends.
And because your military parents were often busy with responsibilities, you even taught yourself a lot of lessons on your own, with trial and error of course. And to this day, you can attest your independence to your childhood, though tough at times, but well worth the journey.
Turning 10 was a huge deal.
Next on our list of the top truths, turning 10 was a huge deal for any military brat. It's a milestone that other children wouldn't know growing up. This is because at 10 years old you get your military ID.
And this means that you finally have a status symbol, and that you can buy your own stuff at the PX/BX. Plus, you can even get past the guard gate without your mom or dad. And if you were the first among your friends to get your ID, you were the coolest among the group immediately.
"0-dark-30" and "1400 hours" are typical terms.
0-dark-30 meaning the early hours of the morning, and 1400 hours meaning two PM, the military time terminology is second nature to any military brat, of course.
Measuring the time based on the entirety of the 24-hour hour day is often a preference for military brats, and can even be hard to fix the habit of, outside of military grounds. However, it's easy to decipher the 24-hour lock and the 12-hour clock.
You're a professional packer.
Becoming a professional packer is undeniable for any military brat. You've got the process down, though no one enjoy packing, you know how to be efficient and quick.
With the history of moving from house to house, you can pack your room up in a few hours, and know where everything is in boxes. And unpacking? That's a piece of cake. Your process in undeniable, and even if you haven't packed up lately, you know exactly how you'd do it.
Homecomings are the best days of the year.
Even better than Christmas, for a military brat, homecomings are the best day of the year. An obvious truth for any military brat, there really is nothing like the feeling you get on homecoming morning.
A feeling that is indescribable, seeing your parents for the first time in who knows how long is one of the most memorable moments of your life to this day. And you'll always remember where you were when you go to hug them for the first time in months.
Grocery store is not in your vocabulary.
As a truth about being a military brat that civilians wouldn't think of, grocery stores are really the commissary. So really, "grocery store" is not in your vocabulary, and you can really get just about everything you need at the commissary, for an affordable price, and tax-free.
Plus, popular clothing brands are never full-priced. Walking the aisles of a typical grocery store can be somewhat painful for those who grew up having the convenience of the commissary. However, it is nice to go to the grocery store and not see every single person you know.
The question, "Where are you from?" is tough.
It really doesn't feel like one specific place was your home, but rather a mixture of all of the homes you lived in. Much like the truth about home being your family, but not a home, answering the question, "Where are you from?" can be a big troublesome.
To make it easy, you can always say where you were born, or where you lived for the longest amount of time during your childhood, but nothing quite seems right.
You grow up fast.
The final truth about being a military brat is the fact that you grow up fast when you have a parent, or parents, who are in the military. Because you have to be okay with being independent, your parents missing important moments, moving around a lot, not having a lot of money, and many more struggles, this forces military brats to grow up awfully fast.
However, they wouldn't change the upbringing that made them into what they are today. And with great pride, they will forever refer to themselves as a military brat.