Introduction to “Military Brats” – 7

I’ve spent my life and my writing career thinking I was southern.  That was only partly true and a tribute to my mother’s fiery sense of belonging to the South.  Because of this book, I know now that I’m something else entirely.  I come from a country that has no name, the one that Mary Edwards Wertsch discovers in this book.  No Carolina, no Georgian, has ever been as close to me and what I am in my blood than those military brats who lived out their childhoods going from base to base.

It’s ironic as hell with me.  As a child I always told folks I was from Whitehouse, Ohio.  Then, after coming back to Whitehouse for college, I told folks I was from the Air Force.  Then in 1968, when I went on Active Duty, I was once again, ‘from’ Whitehouse, Ohio.  The truth is, I was never sure where I was from, or where I belonged.

It’s interesting; today when I meet someone from here in Ohio, they might mention that they went to Cedar Point, an amusement park in Sandusky, OH, for their Senior Class Trip.  Or perhaps a trip to Washington DC.  I hesitate to tell them that my Senior Class went to Rome, Italy for our Class Trip!  For 6 days!  We were originally scheduled for 5 days, but the Italian train guys went on strike.

Where a lot of them might have ridden the ever frightful “Double Rat’s Ass Twisty” roller coaster, we met with the Pope!  Even though not Catholic, I had my high school class ring blessed.  Thought I could use the help…  Then a few guys rode motor scooters around the Circus Minimums.  (I was not part of that crew.  Would liked to have been…)

The point here is, no matter how close I become to anyone here in Ohio, I am never closer than I am to someone I just meet who I discover is a military brat.  Doesn’t matter what service…

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