As Army Brat Mary Edwards Wertsch points out in her book, Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress – not all military families are the same, but they are different from a civilian family. Everything is saturated with the military culture – the family structure, vocabulary, the way they communicate, even the responsibilities of each member, and their view of the world. Military brats leave this environment with a unique set of values, strengths, and vulnerabilities.
Here are a few excerpts about family life from BRATS: Our Journey Home:
"Of course my father was always right. If he was wrong, it was because we thought he was probably wrong, but he never was really wrong." - Michelle Green
"I remember my dad talking to me about honor and integrity when I was seven. When he left home to go to Iran, he ceremoniously presented me with his West Point sword and said, "You're the man of the house and you have to take care of your mom and sisters." I took it very seriously." - General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
"I spent some time with a counselor once and after three or four sessions, he looked at me and said, do you ever quit? I went, of course not! And it dawned on me that other people quit. They go, "I quit." You know, but I don't. I'm, I just, claw, I hold on. I hold things til, you know, and in that persistence, I usually manage to succeed." - Laird Knight
"I don't know if what, the reason that I'm emotional is because of the lack of relationship I had with my dad. It may be. Because I can't really remember too many times where my dad would tell me, hey son, I'm really proud of you. Hey, son, great job. I can't remember hugging him that much." - Dan Rockholt
"The first time I ever saw the wall in Vietnam... I just cried, because there should be a wall for people like my dad. He didn't die until ten years later, longer than that... but he was as equally devastated and killed by the war ... as anybody on that wall. No question." - Margot Knight