Children who grow up with parents in the military and spend time on or around military establishments know they are different from civilians.
Here are some tell-tale signs you were a member of a military brat:
1. People ask you, “Where are you from?” The simplest answer you can give is, “I’m from all over.”
2. You learned the phonetic alphabet along with your ABCs. “A” wasn’t for “apple,” it was for “Alpha all the way to “Z” is for “Zulu.”
3. You know SOP is short for “Standard Operating Procedure.”
4. You had a military ID that you must never lose. Without one, you are not part of the service.
5. At “colors” you drop everything and look for an American flag. On American military bases every morning and evening, the flag is raised briskly and lowered slowly. Military personnel are required to stop, face the direction of the base flagpole, stand at attention, and render a salute until the music stops.
6. You are a bit of a perfectionist, especially in your appearance which reflects on your parents. No dirty hair, loud fingernail polish, bare feet, or an untucked shirt.
7. Your doctor wears combat boots and fatigues. Hospitals and clinics on base are staffed with military doctors and medics.
8. Your chores were mandatory. Parent-conducted room inspection was SOP. You quickly learned to do things the “right way.”
9. If you aren’t 15 minutes early, you’re late. No such thing as “tardy” in the military world.
10. You have immediate respect for anyone in uniform because they are family.