Purple Up! The Month of the Military Child (B.R.A.T.)

“Purple Up” in April for the Month of the Military Child, or what is affectionately known as a “brat”. While this word typically carries a negative connotation, in this case it’s meant as a badge of pride, a membership in a worldwide group full of (semi) normal kids with oftentimes unconventional upbringings.

As a child raised in the 90’s, I remember trendy mall jewelry stores vying for the babysitting coins of the tween set peddling chokers, bracelets, etc. adorned with “BRAT” in cheap glitter enamel lettering. I remember showing one of these to my mom asking if I could buy it and seeing her physically cringe. I totally get it. It’s not a cute word. It drudges up visions of Veruca Salt-esque mini dictators stomping around. But in the case of the military brat…it can be beautiful.

I’m the daughter of a 26 year veteran, an unabashed Navy brat, and mother of 3 beautiful young Navy kids. And I say we reclaim “brat” and break it down. Like any good military brat knows, every service LOVES their acronyms. So I’ll give it my best shot.

BIG-HEARTED – My daughters have yet to meet a stranger. I feel meeting new faces constantly and moving helps develop that open-heartedness. Life can be difficult and strained for the military child, so maintaining this gentle nature helps to ease the rigors and expectations.

RESILIENT – Military kids move on average between 6 and 10 times in their K-12 years. This is especially stressful during these formative years. But I’ve found that this can result in the ability to adapt very well in new surroundings. Military kids are able to bounce back, make friends and thrive amazingly, even under these conditions. I strive to be this resilient in my family’s upcoming PCS (Permanent Change of Station), and I will look to my children for an example of that special superpower.

AUTHENTIC – What you see is truly what you get. There’s no time for presenting one’s self in a false manner in the life of a military child. Be proud, be true, and being raised in a military lifestyle helps foster this authenticity.

TENACIOUS – Willing to attack the challenges of growing up and striving for greatness!

“Purple Up” in April for The Month of the Military Child, so wear purple to support! McConnell Air Force Base here in Wichita is hosting a Purple Up Party tomorrow, March 31st at 4pm. Enjoy music, refreshments, and community! If you can’t get on base to celebrate, please consider donating to charities that benefit military families or just give a shout to thank the smallest unsung heroes, who often have the biggest hearts!

 

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