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
Brats Helping Brats

When you move around a lot as a child, or live overseas, one of the advantages you miss is a "hometown" network - people who write you recommendations, or support your artistic endeavors in their infancies, or cheer you on just because, well, you're the "hometown guy" or the "hometown gal!"

This type of networking is particularly important for writers and artists and actors and musicians - even athletes. There aren't too many college football scouts roaming the streets of Ankara, Turkey to check out the latest halfback, right?

That's why Brats Without Borders is pleased to present this list of brats who are out there making their mark on the world. Support them, cheer them on, or just wish good thoughts for them. They're your "hometown" guys and gals!

If you know of any brats out there trying to make a difference in the world, let us know that, too, and we'll try to spread the word!

Adult Books
Children's Corner
Good Works

Films by or about Brats & TCKs

Donna Musil
Writer-Director of BRATS: Our Journey Home, the first documentary about growing up in a military family, narrated by legendary singer-songwriter, Kris Kristofferson (an Air Force brat), and featuring General H. Norman Schwarzkopf (an Army brat), author Mary Edwards Wertsch, psychotherapist Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, and many others.

Donna Musil
Writer-Director of Brats Raw: Kristofferson & Schwarzkopf, the uncut interviews of iconic military "brats" Kris Kristofferson and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

The Great Santini
The most powerful narrative movie made about growing up in a military family, based on the novel by Marine Corps brat Pat Conroy, and starring Navy "junior" Robert Duvall.

Ema Ryan Yamazaki
Writer-Director of Neither Here Nor There, a 35-minute documentary exploring cultural identity for Third Culture Kids who have grown up in places other than their home culture. Through six subjects, the film investigates the often overlooked effects on adults who had international upbringings, their struggles to fit in and their eternal search to belong. Yamazaki is a Japanese-British TCK raised in the international school system, who currently lives in New York.

Books by or about Brats & TCKs

Writing Out of Limbo
Writing Out of Limbo: The International Childhood Experience of Global Nomads and Third Culture Kids
Edited by Gene H. Bell-Villada and Nina Sichel with Faith Eidse and Elaine Neil Orr.
A groundbreaking collection of memoirs, interviews, theory, and poetry exploring TCK experiences in military, diplomatic corps, international business, education, and missionary families... and their ever-present search for belonging. Included in this collection is Writer-Director Donna Musil's first written account of her struggle to produce and distribute the BRATS film.

Pat Conroy
Author of The Great Santini, the powerful novel that helped start the modern-day "brat" movement... a teenage military son's struggle to find himself amidst the pressures of moving and a strict, authoritarian father.
Click here for the Kindle version!
Click here for the DVD version!

Mary Edwards Wertsch
Author of Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress, the ground-breaking 1991 non-fiction book which opened the eyes and soothed the soul of many a military brat, including the writer-director of BRATS: Our Journey Home, Donna Musil. Donna discovered Mary's book after embarking on her journey to make the BRATS film. It's a remarkable book, which covers both the positive and negative legacies of growing up in a military family. Every brat will relate to something in this book. Mary also founded Brightwell Publishing in 2005, which specializes in books and films that explore and strengthen the military brat cultural identity.
Click here for the Kindle version!

Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman
Author of The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment. Don't let the title fool you. This is an amazing book. If Mary Wertsch's book helped BRATS writer-director Donna Musil see "why she was the way she was," Stephanie's book helped Donna figure out "what to do about it." It's actually written for mental health professionals about children who grow up in environments where their emotional needs always took second place to "something else." In Donna's case, it was the Military Mission. In a missionary kid's case, it's God. In an alcoholic family's case, it's the alcohol. Whatever it is, it seems to affect individuals the same way. Stephanie doesn't designate the Military Mission as "something else" in the book. Donna made that connection when she was reading the book for personal reasons. But she does think Stephanie hit the mark and recommends it highly!
Click here for the Kindle version!

David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken
Authors of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds. One of the premiere books about the children of expatriates, missionaries, military personnel and others who live and word abroad.
Click here for the Kindle version!

Mary Lawlor
Author of Fighter Pilot's Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War. In a beautifully-written memoir, Professor Mary Lawlor shares her unconventional upbringing as the daughter of a Marine Corps and then Army father during Cold War America. She reveals the personal costs of those tensions and the way bold foreign policy decisions shaped an entire generation of Americans, defining not just the way they were raised, but who they would ultimately become. As a kid on the move, she was constantly in search of something to hold on to, a longing that led her toward rebellion, college in Paris, and the kind of self-discovery only possible in the late 1960s.
Click here for the Kindle version!

Christal Presley, Ph.D.
Author of Thirty Days with My Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD. A soldier's return home from war is often just the beginning of another, more internalized battle. In her memoir, Presley recounts 30 days of interviews with her Vietnam veteran father—conversations in which she attempts to understand her father, his PTSD, and her own lifetime of vicarious traumas.
Click here for the Kindle version!

Hudson Phillips
Author of The Oyster-Stuffed Locker. A beautiful collection of poetry by one of the interviewees featured in the BRATS film. While growing up, Hudson Phillips traveled extensively as the eldest son of a military family. At the age of eight, he experienced a wartime evacuation from the Panama Canal Zone at the outbreak of WWII. He attended high school in Heidelberg, Germany, during the post-war period of occupation. Following graduation from Colgate University and Colgate Rochester Divinity School, his work led him through the breadth of American life: the ending of segregation in the South, the peace movement and the draft, the emergence of the counter culture, and extensive work with developmentally challenged youth and people with special needs.

Sarah Bird
Author of The Yokota Officer's Club and many other wonderful books.

Constance Squires
Author of Along the Watchtower, the debut novel of a wonderful new "brat" writer! Set against the closing years of the Cold War, Ms. Squires introduces the family of Army Major Collins, as told through the eyes of Lucinda Collins, his eldest daughter.
"I loved this book. It made me laugh. It made me cry. I wanted to throw my arms around that little hard-headed military brat searching for roots in her rootless world. In the end, she realizes what every survivor eventually does – no one is going to save you, you have to do it yourself." --
Donna Musil, Writer-Director, Brats: Our Journey Home.
Click here for the Kindle version!

Michael Ritter
Author of The Brat Chronicles.
"The Brat Chronicles had me laughing out loud from the first chapter. The Griswold Family has nothing on the Ritters. From falling in French toilets to feeding seven on a Master Sergeant's salary, 'it's all just part of the adventure.' Michael Ritter may well be the Jeff Foxworthy of brats!" -- Donna Musil, Writer-Director, Brats: Our Journey Home.
Click here for the Kindle version!

Elizabeth Berg
Author of Durable Goods: A Novel.
The first of three novels by Berg that form a trilogy about 12-year-old Katie Nash, based in part on the author's own experiences as a daughter in a military family. See also Joy School and True to Form!
Click here for the Kindle versions of Durable Goods, Joy School, and True to Form!

Scott Hawley
Author of Hot Times During the Cold War: An American Comes of Age in West Germany.
A wonderfully introspective and thought-provoking book of poetry about growing up brat in Germany in the 80s.

Thomas Slagle
Author of Death by Innocence. In 1969, at the height of the Viet Nam War, four American military and State Department brats spend their last year of high school on an American military base in Ankara, Turkey. Rampant drug use and innocent lapses of judgment combine to produce emotional scars that will last their lifetimes. Great book!
Click here for the Kindle version!

Patricia Y. Stallard
Author of Glittering Misery: Dependents of the Indian Fighting Army. The standard work on nineteenth-century military dependents, the women and children who followed the Indian fighting army west after the Civil War. In 200 years, some things never change!

Allen Clark
Author of Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior, a personal story of a Vietnam Veteran (and Military Brat) who lost his legs but found his soul.

Faith Eidse and Nina Sichel, Editors
Author of Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global.
A beautiful book of deeply personal memoirs from authors like Pat Conroy, Isabele Allende, and Carlos Fuentes, about moving around the world as a child from South America to Africa.

Morten G. Ender
Editor of Military Brats and Other Global Nomads: Growing Up in Organization Families, a Sociology Professor at West Point, and an expert on military children. After World War II, American political, military, corporate, and humanitarian responsibilities abroad expanded greatly. With families in tow, government officials, military service personnel, business executives, and missionaries began to travel and live, in increasing numbers, outside of their home country. Other nations followed suit. Ender examines this legacy of the late 20th century and analyzes the social, psychological, and historical imprints on people who came of age in these service organization families.

Sam Oglesby
Author of Wordswarm, a collection of short memoirs by a Third Culture Kid who went on to work as a diplomat and international civil servant before retiring to the South Bronx. Also check out Sam's other books, Encounters: A Memoir: Relationship Journeys from Around the World and Postcards from the Past: Portraits of People and Places!

Lucinda Franks
Pulitzer Prize-winning Author of My Father's Secret War: A Memoir, in which a daughter discovers that the remote, nearly impassive man she grew up with had in fact been a daring spy behind enemy lines in World War II.

Jean Walters Gayle
Author of The Colonel's Daughter, a true story of Occupied Germany 1946-1949.

Gail Hosking Gilberg
Author of Snake's Daughter: The Roads In and Out of War.
An Army daughter's autobiography about her father, who was a soldier in Vietnam.

Christine Kriha Kastner
Author of Soldiering On - Finding My Homes.
A military brat returns to Okinawa 40 years after attending Kubasaki High School and has the adventure of a lifetime - just not quite the karaoke, sake, and pachinko experience she expected!
Click here for the Kindle version!

Marilyn Celeste
Author of Once a Brat, Always a Brat, about her world-wide travels with her army officer father from 1938 to 1958, and Diagnosis: Lupus, an intimate journal of a lupus patient.
Click here for the Kindle version!

Jane Barcroft
Author of Pink Sand Poems, poetry inspired by the author's experiences growing up in Bermuda.

Robin Pascoe
Author of Raising Global Nomads: Parenting Abroad in an On-Demand World. Any parent considering moving children abroad should read this book.

Tony Savageau & Walter Chalkley
Authors of Train of Thought, about two old friends reliving a post-high school train trip through Europe 15 years after the fact.

Mary Truscott
Author of one of the first books about growing up military, Brats: Children of the American Military Speak Out.

William Wiseman
Author of Flyby, a novel about an Air Force brat who is mysteriously catapulted back in time to 1943 as the reincarnation of a bomber squadron commander to lead the most disastrous raid flown in the history of the 8th Air Force.

David Burgess
Author of a number of very funny books, including He's Not a Doorman, a field guide for civilians who interact with military members on an infrequent basis.

Children's Corner

Books for Brats
Michelle Ferguson-Cohen, Author of Mommy, You're My Hero! and Daddy, You're My Hero!, called the "Dr. Seuss" for military brats by The Washington Times.

The Hero In My Pocket
A unique book for children whose lives have been affected by the loss of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, by Marlene Lee.

Brats Press
Sandi Lorenzana publishes products that encourage conversations about feelings and teach coping skills for military families, including - Coming Home Series: Navy Dad.

Samia Mounts
Author of Frunk the Skunk, about a spunky 11-year-old who moves to Seoul, Korea. Her debut novel captures the vulnerability of adolescents and conveys the nuances of everyday life on an American army base.

Every Child Can be a Hero
Authors, Janet and Jordan Sebring
An uplifting story about a little boy named Tommy, who learns there are many different types of heroes and that someone doesn't have to save someone's life in order to be someone's hero.

Because Daddy's Coming Home Today
Author, Timothy J. Chatlos
A touching book written by an Army Staff Sergeant trying to explain deployment to his 3-year-old son. Illustrated by Marine Corps member Michael Knight. Both Chatlos and Knight served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Click here for the Kindle version!

Music by Brats & TCKs

Brett Mikels
Beautiful music. Brats will definitely relate. A blend of Soul, R&B, and good old Rock-N-Roll. This guy is good.

Christa Wells
2006 Gospel Music Association Award for Songwriter of the Year. Wrote the touching song "Before the Tree Comes Down" to the troops in Iraq.

Art by or about Brats & TCKs

Lora Beldon
Thought-provoking art about growing up "brat" during the Vietnam War from a Richmond, VA educator/visual storyteller/conceptual artist.

Tim Gifford
Breathtaking sculptures from a United Nations brat and fireman living in Colorado.

Jerry Gryniewicz
Beautiful photographs from a military brat and USAF veteran in Vermont.

Frank D. Kelley
Lakenheath brat whose Multiple Sclerosis, wheelchair, and prostate cancer doesn't stop him from creating wonderful electronic crayon art and performing stand up comedy!

Theatre by or about Brats

Linda Escalera Baggs
Playwrite and Marine Corps brat from Richmond, VA, author of Silent Heroes.

Susan Lyles - And Toto Too Theatre Company
Theatre company in Denver, CO, run by Air Force Brat Susan Lyles, that focuses on producing new works by women playwrights.

Other Brats Doing Good Work

Marty McCarty
Executive Director and Board Member, Military Community Youth Ministries. A "brat" himself, Marty has spent many years giving back to his community and helping make life better for current-day military children around the world, particularly teenagers, who need as much attention as we can give them. Marty has also been an ardent supporter of Brats Without Borders and the work we do to help military brats and TCKs. For more information, see Military Community Youth Ministries.

Tim Heinemann and Worldwide Impact Now (WIN)
Founder, Worldwide Impact Now. Since retiring from the Army after 30 years, Retired Colonel Tim Heinemann has dedicated his life to providing humanitarian assistance through his nonprofit organization, WIN. Tim is currently focusing on three initiatives in Burma, Kenya, and Mexico. In Burma, ethnic minorities struggle for survival against a repressive military dictatorship. In Kenya and Mexico, WIN is partnering with tribal leaders on school-orphanage projects. To find out more, visit Tim's websites at

The first documentary about growing up military.