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
Life as a BRAT


The average brat attends 10 schools in 12 years - some move as many as 36 times. They have no "hometowns" to go back to and rarely know their extended families. When they turn 18 or graduate from college, their ID cards are taken away, so they can't go back to the military bases they grew up on. Even if they did, there's no one there who knows them anymore.

One of the positive effects of this lifestyle is brats learn to get along with anybody, from anywhere. They can move and take risks. They're not afraid of change. At the same time, some brats become "change junkies" and can't settle down. Others have difficulties with intimacy, and lack a consistent sense of self.

Photo Courtesy of Joan McCarter Adrian

Here are a few excerpts about moving from BRATS:

  • "That was normal. What would be odd would be to live in the same small town for eighteen years before you go to college. That would be strange." - Olga Ramos

  • "Any chance I can get to leave the U.S. and go someplace else and bask in another culture or different culture, I'm gone. And just give me a plane ticket, you know, and I'm out of here" - George Junne

  • "I counted up all the little doggie names one time that I could remember and there were twenty-one. We did not move with our dogs" - Cindy Greenwood

  • "Trust is a really big issue in my life. I don't issue it out to people very easily. And when I do, I think there's always this thing in the back of my head that tells me they're going to break it." - Heather Wilson DeSpain

  • "I had two disastrous marriages. Not because maybe that, but I've not ever learned commitment. I've not learned the skills that it takes to keep a relationship going." - Catherine Howard Reed
The first documentary about growing up military.