The BratBase – A Concept

And, what about a “BratBase?”  A place where Military Brats could visit to relive the experiences of their youth?  ‘Reveille’ in the morning, ‘Retreat’ at 1700 hours followed by ‘Taps’ at 2200 hours.  The lullabies of our youth…  And of course, the Base Theater, the Teen Club, O’Club and the NCO Club, Base Pools and so forth – all the things we grew up with.  An installation with a Front Gate and patrolled by folks dressed as ‘Security Police.’  A place safe for a kid…

This idea surfaced on a Facebook group page I administer, “The BratPin.”  When proposed, the idea “lit off!”  Who knew?  It was fun to watch at first, then I began to think, “why not?”  Why not “re-create” a place like this for Military Kids – old and not-so-old?  A place not only for “recreation,” but also one for healing…

It is beyond the scope of this post to go into the “healing” aspects of such a proposal other than to say that Military Brats spend a great deal of their youth in “grief” without actually knowing it – for we are always ‘leaving.’  We are always experiencing “loss” of one sort or another.  Loss of friends, loss of schools, homes, identities, etc.  A lot of us never realize it, but deal with “other issues” in life.  Pat Conroy once observed that, ‘…being a military brat damaged me.’  Oh I can relate to this – all too well!  I envision a ‘BratBase’ being a place where Brats can gather to share their experiences with others – to discover that they are not alone, as so many of us think.

So, how would I go about creating such a place?  Easy – first acquire an ‘abandoned’ military installation.  (sounds ‘easy,’ doesn’t it?)  If the government can use these former installations for “illegal aliens,” why can’t we use them for Vets?  And Brats?

How would I do it?  Through “venture capitalism.”  Disneyland and Cedar Point make money, don’t they?  (I really don’t want any ‘government involvement’ at all.)

Who do I envision administrating such an installation?  Former Brats!  Wikipedia estimates there are over 15 million of us out here – surely a few of us have administrative experience.

Who do I see operating and maintaining the installation?  Former Vets.  Preferentially, homeless Vets.  There are a lot of Vets “out there” who would love to work on an installation like this.  They have the training in all sorts of disciplines needed to operate a military installation: civil engineers, security, communications and so forth.  And they all have the Pride!

This is a comment off my Facebook site from Sue:

“In addition your idea about converting a military base is very innovative.  If my son had access to something such as this, he may still be with us today!  It is so important to support our veterans!  My wish would be that there never be another family to experience the pain of loosing a loved one.  What you are suggesting could make such a difference to our vets.  My Dad was career Air Force, and so many times before he died my son would say how much he wished his Pawpaw was still here to talk to – he needed that type of connection.  Your idea could be a lifesaver for so many who have sacrificed so much!!!”

I think this place could also offer Mental Health services – for both Vets, and Brats.  Something to consider ‘down the line.’

I don’t know if such a ‘concept’ can ever come to fruition; but I do know, if I – if we – don’t even look at it, it never will…

And I have my eye on Camp Perry to begin with!

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