I Wouldn’t Trade Brat Life for Anything

My Dad was a ‘lifer’ and so I was born into the Army and indeed we did move with 10 schools from K – 12 and it was grand! I’ve seen more of this country than some see in their home state. We were stationed in Europe for 4 years and were able to travel to many countries.

Living on the economy briefly we made friends with German kids as well as other Brats. While living at a post stateside, I was babysitting a lot. One night as a father was driving me home he asked if I liked being a Brat. Most definitely, I exclaimed! Then he said, ‘ I’m leaving the Army, it’s just too hard on my family.’ I was surprised and told him about all the positives in being in the Military. Going to a variety of schools offered varied insights and traditions allowing us to appreciate what was different and strengthened by what was familiar.

We also grew up without some of the problems civilians faced like bigotry. Whether it is focused on race, religion, heritage, whatever it might be – we didn’t experience that. Friends were friends whether they were officer or noncom kids. One night at a meeting at the chapel a civilian pastor came to speak to us about being teenagers. We had a meal before the lecture, which was loud with laughter and sharing stories.

As the pastor stood before us he was looking out at us and had a quizzical look on his face. He began by asking us if we realized how unique we were. We looked at one another and shook our heads. What he saw were Black, White, Asian kids gathered together in deep friendships. We saw friends and that was all. There are bound to be exceptions but I believe they are just that, exceptions.

I would not trade my time as a Brat for anything in this world.

Jennifer Anne Jacoby Trippeer



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