(Written 5 Jan 2015)
Good Afternoon Ms. Kuhn,
A couple-3 weeks ago I sent an email to you inquiring about the possibility of a “Proclamation” from the Village of Whitehouse acknowledging Military Kids as “Military Brats.” Since that email we have been steadily gaining national acclaim for our cause. The latest being an article in the “Toledo Free Press.”
Why is this even a “big deal” to me, and other ‘Brats?’ It’s the essence of our heritage, of my heritage. I am ‘of’ Whitehouse, but not ‘from’ Whitehouse. I was brought to Whitehouse when I was 4 or 5 days old and lived here until I was 4 – when my Father was recalled to Active Duty on 7 November 1950. For the next 13 years I lived at 9 different locations in 12 different homes. I attended 13 schools during that period; 4 high school in 3 different countries.
“Military Brat” is a term given to me some 200+ years ago; not something recently conjured up. It has a rich history and meaning. “Brats” are patriotic, proud, tenacious, resilient, tolerant and so forth. And a much as we consider the term a ’term of endearment,’ there are those, predominately non-military who consider it a derogatory term.
We successfully shut down the initiative by the little Champs to ‘re-brand’ us. But what if we miss it next time – and there will be a “next time,” if we don’t claim our heritage now!
I moved back to the area in 1991, after my Air Force career. On one hand, it was the only “home” I knew. But Whitehouse really isn’t my home – any and all military installations that are enclosed in parameter fences are. So if I lose my Military Brat heritage, where does that leave me?
There is a similar proclamation working it’s way through the Texas legislature, hopefully to be signed this week. Once I have that in hand I hope to approach the Ohio State legislature for similar support. One state at a time, until we gain national recognition for who we are.
It would be a great honor to be recognized by my own “home town;” not as an individual, but a one who also served as a kid – as a Military Brat. And you don’t think these kids don’t serve? Try to imagine moving every 2 years of your life; without a choice and never complaining. I did – and I would do it again, in a heartbeat!
Thank you for you time here.
Robert F. Holliker Jr.
Lt. Col./USAF (Ret.)
Air Force Brat
– Are you aware that my Great-great Grandfather John Holliker “cleaned up” the area around of what is now known as the Little Quarry? When he was in his 80’s?
– Are you aware that my Grandfather Fred Holliker literally fed the folks of Whitehouse during the Great Depression, because they didn’t have any money to buy food?
– Are you aware that Fred fed these folks in the end, at his own expense? His choice. He “sold” his share of his inheritance of the Holliker Family Homestead, out on Cemetery Road.
– Are you aware that the folks of Whitehouse came together in 1937 to build a house for my Grandparents, Fred and Vilena Holliker – for feeding them during that Depression? That Ms. Kuhn, is called “spirituality,” and is a great reason why I moved back in 1991…