How to Piss Off a Military Brat

The following was published in and I have added a few words to Spike’s terrific list.

How to Piss Off a Military Brat—C-M “Spike” Daeley

June 11, 2015

Salute us.

Ha ha, no seriously, you’re definitely the first person ever to think of it. You should totally do stand-up. I mean it! How are you not writing for SNL, RIGHT NOW?!

[Salute the flag. Salute the rank, but never salute a brat. You’ll probably do it incorrectly no matter what you salute. Snap, not slop.]

Mock our Exchange clothes.

The Base Exchange is the epitome of contemporary haute couture, boasting up to THREE WHOLE STYLES at any one time, each one fresher than the last. To criticize is to be exposed to fashion’s eviscerating bite. Don’t be left behind…

[Quality, not quantity. Base Exchange clothing lasts and lasts and lasts. They outlast any fads that civilian stores are offering.]

Speak ill of AAFES “fine” dining.

Growing up on bases abroad, if you wanted pizza, it was Anthony’s Pizza. Fried chicken was Popeye’s. Sandwiches were Robin Hood. All courtesy of your friendly Army and Air Force Exchange Service. As I type this, the nostalgia is overwhelming me and I’m simultaneously craving all three.

Call us anything other than “brats.”

We’re not “military kids,” we’re not “military children” and we definitely aren’t “C.H.A.M.P.S.” (Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel). Despite its less than pc origin, “military brat” has become such a term of endearment that attempts to change it have been met with resistance, outrage and even threats There’s no denying the overwhelming majority of brats are fiercely proud of our heritage and we don’t have any plans to change the nomenclature.

[We earned the name “brats,” and many take personal pride in being identified as “Army brats,” “Navy brats,” “Air Force brats,” “Marine brats,” and “Coast Guard brats.” Don’t disrespect us nor our military branch.]

Say all the services are the same.

That’s like telling a quarterback to score a home run. We all know the Navy is the best.

[I agree with the first sentence, and realize that Spike is suffering from delusions. Army is the best, hands down although my father was stationed at Pearl Harbor with CINCPAC, and two Air Force bases—Atlantic Highlands and Ent.]

Don’t show up to a BBQ.

Take service members from every grilling mecca in the USA. Marinate with recipes learned serving abroad. Season with tax-free booze from the Class 6 and enough commissary goodies to feed an incredibly massive group of people… and you have a BBQ that is not to be missed. When my dad was stationed in San Diego, summer cookouts meant some of the best burgers, hot dogs, ribs and steaks ever. PLUS lumpia, yakitori, my uncle’s mom’s teriyaki wings (if we were lucky), and WATCHING THE BLUE ANGELS! Do YOUR BBQs have air shows?

[There’s nothing like food cooked on a hibachi on a lanai at Schofield Barracks, or BBQ eaten on the shores of Fort Hancock in site of WWII pillboxes that once guarded New York Harbor. It’s not only the food, it’s the atmosphere.]

Imply we aren’t flexible.

Readiness is not something the military takes lightly. When mom or dad get new orders, there’s no debating them. New city? OK! New country? Why not? New school? BRING IT ON! In Okinawa, I remember coming to school on more than one occasion to find out that a friend’s family had flown stateside with less than 48 hours’ notice.

[Flexibility is one of our middle names. Conversations stop when I list the schools I attended in thirteen years which were fifteen in two countries and eight states.]

Disrespect the colors.

Symbols are important and Old Glory represents something people are willing to live and die for. And those people are our parents. It’s that simple.

[Respect the U.S. Flag Code. Please do not display faded or torn flags. Do not display the flag to sell cars, sandwiches, sod, or furniture. Do not lay your food on table cloths that suggest the U.S. flag. And please, please, please do not wear shoes suggesting the American flag.]

Mistreat our veterans

That’s our family right there. Put politics aside and give them the respect they deserve.

[I support respect for veterans, but I refuse to support a political party that only gives veterans lip service while cutting their benefits. I refuse to support a party that puts our soldiers in harm’s way for nothing more than to make millions in government contracts.]