Military Brat

How a personal experience affected my life and made me who I am.

I have never lived in one place for more than four years at a time. The reason? I am an Army brat. Some feel sorry for me, but I think my life was greatly enriched by moving so often. My life has given me many unique opportunities to observe and live in other cultures, including a whole different lifestyle within the military community itself. I feel that this experience as a military child has positively developed my character and has enabled me to adapt readily to new situations.

Moving exposed me to many different countries and cultures. I was born in Germany and subsequently moved to Minnesota, Hawaii, Holland, Hawaii again, Pennsylvania, and finally back to Hawaii. In all these situations, I was struck by both the differences between people and places and our remarkable ability to get along anyway. For example, people of many countries converge in Hawaii, where one can hear five languages spoken around him at once, whereas Germany is a fairly homogenous place. In Holland, I attended an international school for two years and befriended Canadians, British, Germans, Dutch, and Yugoslavians – a wonderfully diverse group that found plenty of commonalities to share.

Living in a place is the best way to learn about its local...

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