Being a B.R.A.T.
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Webster-Mirriam definition of brat. (Entry 1 of 2) 1a disparaging : child specifically : an ill-mannered annoying child a spoiled brat.
According to Wikipedia, the origin of the term "military brat" is unknown. There is some evidence that it dates back hundreds of years into the British Empire, and originally stood for "British Regiment Attached Traveler".
According to the Russian language, a brother is is pronounced, you got it, 'brat'.
Facebook groups of children of Canadian military members refer to themselves as brats, Born, Raised, and Transferred Somewhere.
All three definitions for brat apply to me, however, as definitions go, Merriam-Webster had me pegged pretty good.
I first heard the term in about 1965 in Clinton, Ontario, a small town near CFB Clinton, Adastral Park. We were living on a farm outside of town, waiting for a PMQ to come available on base.
This was my first experience living 'off base', 'on the economy', 'on civi street'. Not that I had had much experience, I was only about seven years old.
When I first heard the term it was definitely derogatory but I didn't make the connection that it was also referring to me. Of course, some kids on base were brats but certainly not me. I was a little deluded. I've come to grips with my reality and now embrace the term in all its meanings.
That time I heard the term, we were visiting some friends of my parents who lived in PMQs. For those familiar with military lives and the plethora (many) of acronyms that pepper the language of military culture, PMQ means Permanent Married Quarters, housing available to families on base.
My two older brothers, (Mark and Robin) and I were sent outside to play. "Go make some friends." A short while later I had learned the phrase 'military brats' and was engaged in a rock fight with some of them.
Don't worry, no one died and, a few months later, after we had moved into our own PMQ, some of those brats became our friends. Such is the culture of Military brat life.
I invite you to follow this blog line as I share my experiences and memories growing up a brat. I guarantee it will be entertaining. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always interesting.
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