Professor Alicia Cathell
COM 125 Utilizing Information in College Writing
September 17, 2006
Busting the Stereotype of a Military Brat
People all across the country have different stereotypes of military brats. It is dependent on whether the area has a military presence and if it does, it depends on the attitude towards the military. Obviously, in areas that have an unwanted military presence, local citizens will think of military brats as presumptuous and disobedient. In areas with a positive military presence, a more positive image of brats is portrayed.
The life of a military child (brat) is a wonderful, enriched, hard, and learning experience. Brats also have a great deal in common with other children. They make friends, play sports, go to school, live, laugh, love, and have hardships and stress. However, what separates brats from other children is the lifestyle the military brings: travel, living in other states, countries, and experiences of life that most dream about. Brat's hardships and stresses are the constant change and the friendships they leave behind. A brat's life is an adventure and full of learning experiences that they use for the rest of their lives. Adventure
Growing up as a military child, you never know when your parents will tell you that it is time to move and make new friends, but most military brats will say it is the best life out their. Greenley (2001) talks to a few children about their lives being a military child and how they learn to cope with so many changes in their life. Eleven-year-old Jamie LaRivee experienced such a life. She has seen more places than most children would see in their lifetime. She knows what her father is doing for our country and it makes her proud to be apart of something so amazing. Like Jamie, Jenna Decker, 14, has faced the exciting life of being a military brat. She feels that you have to combat many challenges being a military brat, but it is worth seeing so many different places and meeting new people (Greenley, 200l).
While stationed overseas, military bases offer services to help Americans enjoy the foreign culture. Practical foreign language courses are always provided, such as Survival Japanese. Field trips are frequent. Military families can take hiking trips to the top of Mount Fugi or orientation trips to the local hot spots. Bases have a central location that provides information to families that wish to venture on their own. By the time they start to get bored with the area, it is time to transfer.
Overseas military bases make leisure activities a priority. For example, at Yokosuka, military members and their dependents can register for Mount Fugi hikes, surfing classes, Junigatake hiking trips, rock climbing in Takatoriyama, Cross-country Mountain biking trip, and sea kayaking. In addition, military members and their dependents get to attend special events provided by base personnel throughout the year, which include parties, concerts, and big name entertainment. These activities give excitement and adventure to military personnel and their families (Leisure Activities, ND). Coping With Challenges
Being in the military, the children are going to come across many challenges that they will have to learn ways to cope. Quigley (2006) talks about a wife of a military soldier, Ms. Leyva, who saw her children's life as an adventure. She learned to make her life for her children a lot easier by maintaining a positive attitude. She believed that spouses should not just let their kids sit around, but get them to make new friends as quickly as possible. Perhaps the constant change in a military family causes the parents to carefully watch their children and help their development. Meanwhile, many non-military families are not experiencing changes that will cause them to carefully evaluate how their children are developing. It usually takes a major...