“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…