BRATS: Our Journey Home A Donna Musil Film Featuring Narration and Music by Kris Kristofferson
BRATS: Our Journey Home
BRATS: Our Journey Home
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BRATS: Our Journey Home
Online Associated Content review

"A Military Brat's Review of BRATS: Our Journey Home by Donna Musil"
Lucy Newman, Associated Content
July 20, 2007

We moved every three to four years and with each move we lost personal friendships we've made during our stay. Then had to begin all over again once we reached our destination. When we moved back to America, we knew we may have to go to school off post where teachers and non-military children would never understand us. They seem to think we really do live our lives as portrayed by Hollywood. The militant father, obedient mother and disciplined children used to taking orders. For a brat like me, you can always tell who's new to the military world (those who have married into the military), those who have lived in an area all their lives and those who have lived the military life all their lives like I have. Always feeling like we didn't belong in the civilian world or to any one area.

The movie pointed out many truths that seemed to have lifted a heavy weight from shoulders as I watched this film. Truths such as we seem to be more open minded people as we grow up, everything we did reflected on our parent's career in the military, there was no racial problem in the military since in my case 'we only saw green.' The only segregation was by rank - the officers and the enlisted - as I was often reminded of this growing up. Enlisted children do not play with officer's children and this included dating. Which was sad, but I didn't want to do anything to get my father in trouble with his chain of command. It was bad enough I seemed to have had discipline problems in the local schools.

I argued with my dad that we should live on the installation because the school's were better. In fact for a military child they were, because you went to school with others who were experiencing and living the same life as you. The teachers understood your needs and worked with you, especially when a parent had to deploy or go away for a month on training missions. Causing a great stress in your life. Off post, you were treated as a disruption and often punished whether you deserved it or not. This is true today.

If you ever talk to the military children of today, they'll say the same thing. According to a little girl I interviewed one day, she said 'it's easier to go to school on the base because everyone shares the same experiences you are and knows what you are going through. I feel safer here. Off post they don't understand because they can go home every day and know their parents are there. I may go home and he's gone for weeks or even months.'

At the end of the movie I felt as if someone understood me and I wasn't alone. Other brats have been looking for their former classmates all this time. But I also learned how others viewed us when a woman in the audience voiced that military children grow up and are taught violence on the military basis. Which, myself and a few others gasped that she thought that way. This was simply not true and obviously she missed the whole point of the movie.

What I came away from the film with was that we are global nomads, learning to keep up with our parent's career and experienced many things first hand by sacrificing everything to make it happen. I thought the film was great and explains the real military brat without all the Hollywood glamor, pretty faces and well-known actors. This was a movie that really does tell our story and I recommend it.

BRATS: Our Journey Home
BRATS: Our Journey Home
The first documentary about growing up military.