Local

April 12, 2013

Military Brats: Then and Now

In 1989, then Command Sgt. Maj. Daigle, 536th Engineer Bn., and his son then Spc. Daigle, 193rd Infantry Bbe., were stationed together in Republic of Panama.

While the term “military brat” may seem derogatory to some, many embrace the term, seeing it as a term of endearment and respect. As a child of a Soldier, the term “Little Traveler” was used in literature dating back to 1811. The modern acronym for today’s military brat is Born, Raised and Trained.

The definition of a military brat refers to children, current and former, of parents that served in the military. These children are set apart from civilians because of the challenges they face within the military community. Their lifestyle includes frequent relocations to new states or countries, constantly losing friendship ties, lacking a true “home town,” and being forced to adapt to these changes.

Non-military families often feel that these challenges are not worth the sacrifice of their children’s youth. However, many positive characteristics are gained that clearly outweigh the bad. There is much to be said about a child that can make a friend where ever they go, or can call a new place home knowing they will move away in a couple years.

In an interview with Col. Dan McFarland, Fort Huachuca garrison commander, he recalled memories of playing in World War II bunkers with his buddies and being able to see the Berlin Wall from where they were. He spoke about travelling around Frankfurt, Germany with his family in a Volkswagen van painted like an American flag. Throughout his nine relocations as a military dependant, McFarland experienced things that many civilian children would never know to dream about.

“When you grow up as a military brat, there are a couple things that you pick up on … you appreciate travel, you appreciate some of the structure that comes with living on a base, and you are exposed to people that, by their very nature, are patriotic and disciplined, with that desire to serve,” he said.

Then 1st Lt. Dan McFarland drives a M998 humvee from Iraq into Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm.

Throughout his military life, both as a dependant and now, McFarland said that he has noticed a common trait. “[Military children] either jump head first into the military lifestyle as they grow or they want nothing to do with it. I have two boys. My youngest has already declared that he is going to go in. He wants to be in military intelligence. The other one, not so much,” he said.

Command Sgt. Maj. Roger Daigle, garrison command sergeant major, also grew up with a significant military presence. At 19, he joined the Army himself, following in his father’s footsteps, who served for a total of 37 years. Daigle has been on active duty for 25 years and said that he plans to retire in the next few years.

Daigle explained that his father had a huge impact on his decision to enlist. “When my dad was National Guard, I enjoyed seeing the Army trucks and stuff like that,” he said. “As I grew older and we moved around, and we were at different installations, it grew on me more that I wanted to be in the Army.”

Over the years, there have been many changes that have bettered the life of a military child: post housing has been modernized and now accommodates larger Families; a large variety of emotional and physical support is readily available for dependants, such as counseling, youth programs and child care services; the medical care for Families has increased in quality and availability and technology advancements now allow children to hear their parent’s voice, providing a sense of security while they are apart.

Col. Dan McFarland, Fort Huachuca garrison commander, posed with his mother Joan, his brother Douglas and his sister Beth in Rothenburg, Germany in 1973.

“There is a huge difference for the kids from my experience growing up as a military dependant. The Army cares a lot more for the children now,” Daigle said. “There were always youth services, sports programs and activities like that, but now the Army does so much more for our [Families].”

The experiences that military brats encounter are immeasurable. They get to live history. They learn to adapt, build resiliency and take chances. Growing up in a military community can be challenging, but over and over, they grow up to be successful, worldly and educated.

Whether they go on to join the military or not, these “brats” certainly carry with them a sense of self that can only be learned within this unique way of life.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

FH schools to celebrate National Bike to School Day March 06

Students from Colonel Johnston, General Myer and Colonel Smith Middle Schools will be riding or walking to school on March 6 along with parents, teachers and community leaders. The event will begin from 7 to 8:30 a.m. with youth, parents and community leaders riding or walking from parking lot locations listed below or from home....
 
 

Chalk Talk

Colonel Johnston Elementary School History will come to life in Amy Sullins’ second grade classroom on Tuesday. Students have been researching a famous person from the American Revolution or Westward Expansion. They are writing a short biography and memorizing a speech in the first person. They will come to school dressed as their person and...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Diving platform at Barnes Field House helps with Soldier training

Courtesy photo A Soldier in full uniform jumps down from a platform mounted 6 feet above the pool at Barnes Filed House. The platform was installed to give a semblance of realism to water safety training offered here and make a...
 

 
photo

Chalk Talk

Colonel Johnston Elementary School History will come to life in Amy Sullins’ second grade classroom on March 3. Students are researching a famous person from the American Revolution or Westward Expansion. They are writing a s...
 
 

Prescribed burning to take place on Fort Huachuca

Sierra Vista — Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District, in collaboration with Fort Huachuca will begin spring-season prescribed fires on Fort Huachuca Monday – Wednesday. Prescribed fire activities are expected to continue throughout the year when favorable weather permits. Current plans include three prescribed fire areas totaling approximately 4,700 acres. The areas to be...
 
 

Outreach Ministries Program coordinator retires after 47 years

The longtime Chapel Outreach Ministries Program director is retiring from the federal government after 47 years of civil service. Jo Moore, a Fort Huachuca Main Post Chapel icon, has spent the past 31 years of her civil service working for the chapel on the installation. During her tenure, she and the programs she started have...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin