When They Take Away Your ID Card…

“The worst thing about being a military brat is, not being a military brat anymore.  When they take away your ID card, they take away your life.  Everything you’ve known. Everything that is security to you.”

Marc Curtis
(Marc Curtis runs the Military Brat Registry)

…only “they” never took my ID card away – dear ole Dad did.  In Jun 1964 Dad took me to Frankfurt Airport, West Germany and dropped me off at the curb to return to the States to go to college.  My brother and I had gotten into an arm-sluggin’ contest, and it annoyed dear ole Dad.  Yes, he did tell us to stop; but when has anyone ever passed an opportunity to slug a brother?  So, by the time we got to the airport, Dad was pissed. 

I acted as if it didn’t mean anything to me, but in reality, it was as if surrendering a huge part of me, my identification.  I later got it back, but it wasn’t ever the same…I always knew it was his; and not mine anymore…

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11 Responses to When They Take Away Your ID Card…

  1. Jackie Jones Frye says:

    Not totally true. A bunch of us (now adults, some for many many years) still consider ourselves “Brats”. That is a part of what makes me, me.

  2. Jackie Jones Frye says:

    Maybe it is just us Coasties, I don’t know.

  3. Joanna says:

    I was issued my last military i.d card at the age of 18. More than 30 years have passed and I still can’t part with it.

  4. Julene Church Suttles says:

    I still remember and can feel the sense of shock, loss, and even betrayal of having to give up my USAF ID in 1961 when Dad retired and I turned 18.

    I, along with so many others, remain a BRAT and cherish each and every one of those years and moves.

  5. Kate says:

    Oh how this rings true! But multiply it by 30. My now-ex (born and raised in the same house) just did not understand the importance of me losing my “ID” after growing up as a brat and then marrying in the military. At the age of 56 I was cast out. I think there is a book in there somewhere. OR here is my other idea. I told my mom I was going to write a book “How being a brat and wife gave me the skills to negotiate a divorce”. My friends were amazed at how I maneuvered through it.

  6. Cheeta17 says:

    And when can we expect to see your book?

  7. Beth Woodall says:

    My mom died Jan 1st, 2012. She was the surviving spouse of my retired USAF dad. I had to surrender her ID card to the casualty office at the base. Of her 76 years, she enjoyed, and I might add, earned, the use of those benefits for 59 years. I had to provide a copy of her death certificate and surrender her ID card. It was so much a part of her–I cried like a baby. Mom would pass five “civilian” grocery stores and drive ten miles to the commissary to buy a gallon of milk. She loved her commissary! I remember crying when I had to surrender my own ID card, but that paled in comparison to giving up my Mom’s.

  8. Tiffany says:

    I had to smile at this post. My dad didn’t take away my card, he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and living in Hawaii. But I vividly emember the day I knew I could no longer use my ID card. It was my birthday, June 16, 1992. I was 21. My parents called to wish me happy birthday along with the reminder that I had to turn in my card. When I did that…a stark fear came over me. I looked at my boyfriend then who is my husband now and said, “I lost my identity…I don’t know who I am anymore…I am officially a ‘Slimy Civilian’ as my dad would tease me unmercifully about.” My husband never understood what I meant but all he could do was look at me as I looked out the car window feeling lost.

  9. Cynthia says:

    Isn’t that strange? I was never asked for mine back. Dad retired when I was 16, and when I went off to college the following year, there were no bases nearby. I don’t think I surrended my ID to anyone — I think it just expired. All in all, I loved being a brat — but I didn’t feel as though I’d lost my identity or was no longer part of the tribe when I stopped officially being one.

  10. Levin says:

    Remember being at college. Rode the bus to Ft Snelling to use the base facilities, but it wasn’t worth the hassle. That was 40 years ago. Still consider myself a military brat.

  11. Sandra Westerbeck white says:

    As a military brat I had to give up my base pass when I got married over 52 years ago. But as life reversals go, my military widowed parent is now dependent on me. Having base privileges once again has made my life come full circle.

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