BRATS: Our Journey Home A Donna Musil Film Featuring Narration and Music by Kris Kristofferson
UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show Operation Military Brat Order the film
UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show

UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show
The first contemporary art exhibition
exploring the American Military B.R.A.T.,
an invisible subculture

Presented by Brats Without Borders and the Military Kid Art Project

Made Possible by:
Newman's Own
Sprint Foundation
American Overseas Schools Historical Society
Museum of the American Military Family
Fisher House Foundation
Military Times

BWB Wins Newman's Own Award!

BWB Executive Director Donna Musil receives Newman's Own Award from Newman's Own President and COO Tom Indoe while General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (L), Fisher House Foundation Trustee Mrs. Mary Jo Myers, and Military Times Editor-in-Chief Tobias Naegele look on.

The Show
Tour Schedule
The Newman's Own Award
Our Sponsors
How You Can Donate
Contact Us

The Show

Download 1-page description of UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show

Military “Brats” – or children who grew up in military families – are one of the oldest, but least known subcultures in America. It’s not a pejorative term; it’s an historic, time-honored reference based on the acronym, “British Regiment Attached Traveler,” which most wear with honor. There are 2 million children whose parents are currently serving in the United States military, plus an estimated 15 million adult brats. They’re every age, race, religion, and socioeconomic class. They are the invisible Americans.

“UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show” is the first traveling museum exhibit exploring the life of a military child through art. Contemporary and cutting-edge, it's mission is to educate and raise awareness of the Military Kid subculture and it's life-long impact on an individual. We also hope the exhibit will stimulate discussion panels, arts classes, and other programs which honor the service and sacrifice of military children, past and present, and engender compassion and understanding between military and civilian communities.

Pictures say so much more than words, particularly when it comes to complicated emotions. Coping strategies that work well as a mobile child can be counter-productive as a rooted adult. The truth is - not all military children are resilient; some had more to overcome than others. The best way to improve the quality of life for military children is to understand their lives. The best way to understand their lives is to observe their artistic creations and listen to their stories - even when they're hard to hear.

“UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show” gives military "brats" young and old an opportunity to express their feelings, and in the process, connect with their subculture, families, and communities.

For more information about “UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show” or to inquire about bookings, please contact Brats Without Borders at

Gallery 1: Military Kid History
Introduces visitors to the Military Kid subculture via signage, archival photographs, and quintessential “brat” artifacts encased in an authentic footlocker, on loan from Operation Footlocker, courtesy of the Museum of the American Military Family. Gallery 1 also contains a plethora of resource materials, including books and brochures about military brat organizations and internet sites that serve military kids.

Gallery 2: Military Kids Reflect & Connect
In 28 pieces of original art, military and civilian children from the 1950s to the present express their thoughts and feelings about “growing up military” through art. Some of the topics they cover include mobility, war, diversity, living overseas, political turmoil, and solitude. This art is on loan from the American Overseas Schools Historical Society, current military families, and children who participated in Lora Beldon’s Military Kid Art Project, “The Hundred-Year Starship.”

Gallery 3: Military Kids Shine
Features artwork from famous military kid-connected artists who have made their marks in the international art world, and how "growing up military" influenced their art. (Upon request.)

Gallery 4: Military Kids Speak Out
Features video clips from a variety of sources about growing up military and the profound affect it has on one’s adult life, including:
  • BRATS: Our Journey Home - the award-winning documentary film, broadcast on American Forces Network (AFN), narrated by Kris Kristofferson, and featuring brats of all ages and branches of service

  • BRATS Raw: Kristofferson & Schwarzkopf - uncut interviews about growing up military from two legendary military brats, singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson and the late General Norman Schwarzkopf

  • Tom and Lora Beldon - interviews with father/daughter artists about their art and how it has helped heal some of the wounds from Tom's multiple tours in Vietnam (see Gallery 5: A Family Heals, below)

  • Military Kid Workshops - excerpts from Lora Beldon’s Military Kid Art Project classes and Brats Without Borders’s “B.R.A.T. Workshops”

Gallery 5: A Family Heals
This very special gallery features artwork by father and daughter Tom and Lora Beldon, both military brats. After two tours in Vietnam, Tom returned to a world he wasn't sure how to fit into anymore. He eventually divorced his wife, dropped Lora off to college, and didn't see his family again for 15 years. Then one day, Tom showed up at one of Lora's art exhibits. Unbeknownst to the other, each had been making art to help heal the wounds of war.

Lora’s conceptual series Everywhere and Nowhere examines the long-term effects of deployment and second-generational PTSD on herself and her family. The series is made primarily with graphite drawings inside hand-built toothpick frames.

Tom is a folk artist who creates sculptures and installation pieces inside fantastical “worlds” deep in the forest. Strongly reminiscent of Vietnam (but not intended to be), Tom creates his art as a private, joyous, meditative process, until now only shared with friends and family.

Because “kids serve, too” is not just a slogan...

Tour Schedule

“UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show” officially launched in 2013 and will continue as long as the public demands. To learn more about "UNCLASSIFIED" or to lease the exhibition, please contact Brats Without Borders at or call +1.855.USA.brat (872.2728).

Opening Closing Host Institution Status
8/1/2015 9/4/2015 Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO (tentative dates)
Future Show
10/24/2014 11/15/2014 Lake Placid Center for the Arts,
Lake Placid, NY (free admission)
Open Now!
6/27/2014 8/10/2014 Old Dominion University,
Norfolk, VA (free admission)
3/8/2014 5/31/2014 U.S. Space & Rocket Center,
Huntsville, AL
8/16/2013 10/26/2013 Hampden Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, VA (free admission) Concluded

The Newman's Own Award

In 1982, Paul Newman founded a company with a revolutionary social goal: to give away 100% of after-tax profits from the sale of its products to educational and charitable organizations. The company that grew out of this venture, Newman's Own, Inc., has now given over $300 million to thousands of charities. In 2012, “UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show” was the proud recipient of one of six Newman's Own Awards given to community organizations that break the mold and create innovative programs that improve the quality of life for military families, past and present.

The annual Newman's Own Awards program celebrates the original thinking and work ethic that made Paul's idea flourish. Tom Indoe, President and Chief Operating Officer of Newman’s Own, presented the award at the Pentagon to Lora Beldon, President of the Military Kid Art Project, and Donna Musil, Executive Director of Brats Without Borders. Joining Indoe were General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation; and Tobias Naegele, Editor in Chief at Military Times (Gannett Government Media Corporation).

“We have all been collaborating since 1999 with a primary mission, recognize these incredibly innovative and selfless ideas that help improve the quality of life for the military community and help make dreams possible. Newman’s Own is proud to be part of this worthwhile endeavor,” said Indoe.

Lora Beldon & Donna Musil with Montel Williams!

Military Kid Art Project Founder Lora Beldon and BWB Founder Donna Musil with Montel Williams.

A total of 164 entries were received for the 2012 program. Six judges evaluated each entry based on the organization’s impact to their respective communities, creativity and innovation. Judges for the 2012 competition were:

  • Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, Spouse of General Martin E. Dempsey, USA
  • Mrs. Mary Winnefeld, Spouse of Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr., USN
  • Mrs. Mary Jo Myers, Trustee, Fisher House Foundation
  • Mrs. Tammy Fisher, Trustee, Fisher House Foundation
  • Mr. Bill Lee, Assistant to the President, Newman’s Own
  • Mr. Mark Tilley, Director, Sales, Newman’s Own

Click here to see the official press release. Click here to find out more about the Newman's Own Awards. For more information about “UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show” or to inquire about bookings, please contact Brats Without Borders at

Our Sponsors

“UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show” would not be possible without the following wonderful people and organizations! Thank you.

Corporate Contributors
Newman's Own
Sprint Foundation
Fisher House Foundation
Military Times
Operation Military Kid - Virginia

Individual Contributors
The Herring Family
The Toft Family

Contributing Artists
Lora Beldon
Tom Beldon
Ian Campbell
Joy Marie Campbell
Patty Carroll
Lainey Drake
Jessica Finch
Linda Gruver
Henrico High School of the Arts students: Morgan, Donarich, Ellen, JeRan, and Zachary
Peter Hornig
Melissa Hyatt
Robert Jeibsing
Marcia Lee Kushner
Gary Layton
Patricia McEwan
C. Moposno
Donna Musil
Helga Pfaff
Mark Poe
Rex Ray
Don Richards
Annalise Sackreiter
Linda Scarlett

All the military and civilian students at Henrico High School who participated in the Military Kid Art Project's "Hundred-Year Starship Project"

All the military brats who participated in BRATS: Our Journey Home, including Kris Kristofferson, General Norman Schwarkzopf, and Mary Edwards Wertsch (click here for a complete list)

All the Unknown Artists in the AOSHS Archives

In-Kind Contributors
AC Moore
Zooom Printing

Content Collaborators
American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS)
Brats Without Borders
Pearl Campbell Collection (Addis Ababa Elementary School, Ethiopia) (AOSHS)
David Glasgow Farragut High School Collection (Rota, Spain) (AOSHS)
Freda Harshbarger Collection (AOSHS)
Henrico High School of the Arts (Henrico County, VA)
James McGrath Collection (Hanau American School, Germany) (AOSHS)
Sophie Janet Collection (Boeblingen American School, Germany) (AOSHS)
Jean Grant Collection (Yokota East Elementary School, Japan) (AOSHS)
Military Kid Art Project
Museum of the American Military Family
Operation Footlocker

Special Thanks
Art180, Betsy Kelly
Megan Baker, Operation Military Kid
Tom & Wally Beldon
Chase Lanier
Colonial Heights Consignment Shop
Diane Dillard & Lonnie Broadnax
Pam Fox
Dr. Kathleen Jamison, Virginia Tech
Louetta Jones
Christian Kyrios
Tito Luna
John MacLellan
Christy McAnally
Laurie Meadows
Dena Musil
Science Museum of Virginia
Mary Scurlock
Nancy Tate
Teresa Tolentino

How You Can Donate

Your gift to "UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show" is greatly appreciated, and helps underwrite the creation and management of the show. It also helps keep costs down for smaller venues in areas that serve a lot of military families. Thank you for your generosity!

Click the logo below to donate!

Contact Us

To learn more about "UNCLASSIFIED" or to lease the exhibition, please contact:

Brats Without Borders
P.O. Box 9186
Denver, CO 80209
+1.855.USA.brat (872.2728)

The first documentary about growing up military.