Memories from A Military Brat

I remember as a teenager being very fortunate to have travelled with my family to different places due to my father’s enlistment in the US Airforce.  I look back on it now and really wish I had taken advantage of the opportunities or appreciated it more then.  My earlier childhood years my father was given isolated tours.  We weren’t allowed to go, so we would always go back to Detroit to live.  We had already moved from Florida, Louisiana, Indiana, and Oklahoma where we had about a 3-4-year tour at each base.   The memories of Louisiana with its black berry bushes, Oklahoma had its tornadoes, but also its firefly’s.  Oh, Indiana, I can still hear the sounds of MJ on the radio singing “Going Back to Indiana.

I was 15 years old when we received orders to go abroad to Aviano Italy.  It would be a three-year tour.  Italy is a remarkable country.  There were opportunities to travel to so many other countries.  My parents did take advantage of some trips.  The only one I went on was to Frankfurt Germany and Rom, Italy.  I was heavily involved in sports such as basketball and track.  Our team traveled to different military bases to compete.   

There were some adjustments to make in Italy.  We stayed off base and had to adapt to getting water and the use of electricity.  The one thing that stands out were the earthquakes. I remember having to leave our home and get inside our car, which was an old station wagon.  The buildings were shaking.  We experienced many small tremors, even during school hours.  In 1976 a town not to far from us was destroyed due to an earthquake.  Many people lost their lives.   

We were very fortunate.   After the tour we move to San Antonio TX, where my father retired and I met my husband, who was in the military.  The one thing I can say that I do regret is that having graduated from high school in Italy I have not been able to contact anyone about high school reunions. 

Even now It’s really great to have the memories I have.  The military is very supportive to their families.  My husband served 33 years and has since retired.  I feel very blessed to have this part of my life to share with my future grandchildren someday.  If you get the opportunity to experience another culture or country, cherish it and appreciate it to the fullest.

Source: NY Times