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.


 
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Antiterrorism Exercise assesses installation readiness, reinforces important relationships

Gabrielle Kuholski First responders with the Fort Huachuca and Whetstone Fire Departments work together to get a wounded Soldier into an ambulance during the full scale exercise, Apache Warrior 2013, Tuesday. These first respon...
 
 

Labor Day Safety Message

Labor Day marks the traditional end of the summer season and celebrates the American worker and the contributions they make to our great country. I want to commend you on your efforts to control heat injuries through another hot summer. Your diligence and care for teammates contributed to an overall 20-percent decrease in accident fatalities...
 
 
Gabrielle Kuholski

VA clinical psychologist raises military sexual trauma awareness

Gabrielle Kuholski Michael Moore, Ph.D., military sexual trauma coordinator at the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Tucson, presents a session on military sexual trauma, or MST, in the Murr Community Cent...
 

 

Glass recycling now available in Sierra Vista

SIERRA VISTA – Clean glass bottles and jars can be dropped off for recycling at the new Sierra Vista Glass Recycling Depot as part of the city’s trial glass recycling project. The Glass Recycling Depot, located in the parking lot of the Pedro Castro Government Maintenance Center, is a glass collection point that is separate...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

FH Community Spouses’ Club accepting new members, shares plans for coming year

Maranda Flynn Fort Huachuca Community Spouses’ Club board members, Katrina LaDue and Lesley Hocker, (left foreground and background), assist new club members, Dana Edwards and Sandi Weishaupt, (right foreground and background...
 
 

Retiree Council shares news, notes Did you forget to care for your Family?

No one forgets to care for his or her Family on purpose. It just happens – more often than one might think when it comes to the military Survivor Benefit Plan, or SBP. Most often, retired Soldiers don’t know the federal law and the time limits it imposes on maintaining their SBP elections. If a...
 




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