Military brat websites & organizations

Military Brats Inc.
Dedicated to preserving the heritage and strengthening the cultural identity of those who grew up military.

Military Brats Online
At Military Brats Online, everyone gets you. If you have been living in the civilian world for a while, missing the moving about and making new U.S. military brat friends, this is the place for you. Military Brats Online is here to help you to re-connect with your U.S. military brats heritage and with friends you have met along the way in your nomadic life. Once you sign up and you are verified, you can search for old and new friends, edit your profile, create blogs and fully participate in the community including contacting other members.

Members can create their own discussion groups, chat, blog, create photo albums, form discussion groups, create events, and more! 

Think of Military Brats Online as a gathering place just for U.S. military brats (and spouses) and teachers, and a place where you can share your experiences growing up in a Military family, rekindle friendships, and a place to make new friends.

Military Brats Registry
Did you grow up in the Military? Do you have trouble answering the question "where are you from?" Then you've come to the right place! The Military Brats Registry offers you a way to find your friends and a way for them to find you.

There is no cost to register your information here, and no cost to search for your friends. If you have not registered, do so today...your friends may be waiting for you! DoDDS teachers and family members are welcome also.

Operation Footlocker
The traveling footlocker, full of objects and photos donated by military brats, is certain to uncork memories and prompt story-swapping. This is how we brats connect to our lost childhoods, and celebrate the unusual way we grew up.

Invite Operation Footlocker to your reunion or brat discussion group! There is no fee beyond shipping costs.

Overseas Brats
Overseas Brats is an organization and magazine for those associated with American Overseas schools designed to serve the needs of thousands of Overseas Brats

Since April 8, 1986, Overseas Brats has been making the dream become a reality for those associated with overseas schools who are looking for former friends and classmates through a number of ways: 
  • Serving as a central reference point for those associated with overseas schools and providing them information on how to find friends and classmates, and assisting them where possible with those that went to school abroad.
  • Actively seeking everyone associated with overseas schools as former elementary, junior high, high school and college students and alumni, educators and others associated with the schools through an ongoing international marketing campaign using the media and the Internet.
  • Helping more than 240 overseas alumni groups representing 178 schools in 56 countries with their alumni organizations and reunion activities.
  • Sharing the unique story of who we all are as Overseas Brats through our magazine "OVERSEAS BRATS".
  • Creating opportunities for those associated with American overseas schools to meet and share their unique heritage.

Books & movies about military brats
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A Look Back in Time
A memoir of a military kid in the Fifties
Author: Bernard N. Lee Jr., Copyright @ 2014

A Look Back In Time: Memoir of a Military Kid in the Fifties is a fascinating, insightful, inspiring, and sometimes hilarious chronicle of life while growing up in a military family - Colonel Arnold R. Goodson, United States Army (Retired).

When I was a child, we were always moving from one place to another. Making friends was something I looked forward to with an uneasy anticipation.

My dad was in the military. We moved, like clockwork, every three years until I was more than twenty-years-old. The things I saw and the places I lived are now a part of history. They form the canvass for A Look Back In Time: Memoir of a Military Kid in the Fifties.

There’s Humor: On the farm, the rooster crows before the sun rises and wakes long before a dreaming boy wants to open his eyes. That is another reason why I hated roosters. They don’t work like your alarm clock. You can’t punch them and then go back to sleep. 

There’s Intrigue: Dad sat in the chair next to the doorway. I plopped down into one right next to him. Although we were sitting just a few inches apart, I felt like I was marooned on Mars. My dad was silent and removed. Once again, I felt abandoned. 

There’s Suspense: As I entered the cobblestone roadway, there was a bright light shining in my eyes. Then, I heard the horn blow and wheels screech. I looked right into the jaws of death. I was headed straight for a military personnel carrier three sizes bigger than a Ford F150. I hit the brakes, braced myself, and waited for the truck to wipe me out!

There's Romance: I could still smell the aroma of her perfume long after I could no longer see the greyhound on the back of the bus. 

There’s Something for Young and Old: I invite you to go along so that you can experience what it was like for a young man of color to grow up in the U.S.A. during the fifties. I am excited about the chance to share these memories with you. I hope you will find significant reflections of your own childhood among them.

Army Brat, Army Bride, Civilian
A life
Author: Darlene Gravett, Copyright @ 2013

Army Brat, Army Bride, Civilian: A Life reveals the ups and downs of military living through the experiences of one who was both a sergeant's daughter and an officer's wife. The military teaches many lessons but not how to transition to civilian life after more than thirty years of moving around in the Army, including attending five different high schools as a teenager. While in the Army, families learn to adapt to renting or buying an apartment or house in town or to being assigned a set of Army quarters on a military post. If in quarters, they must not paint walls or install carpet or leave holes in walls where pictures used to hang. Although the Army is a highly structured organization, flexibility is a key word for its families. Dealing with snafus, making decisions which seem right at the time but turn out to be trumped by the demands of the military, adjusting to new places, and making new friends every two to three years are all part of living the military life. Yet the adventure and excitement of this life are evident throughout.

Army Brats

In the decade following World War II, the time of the Baby Boomers, life was much different than today for the children growing up. There was almost unlimited freedom for kids. They could go out and play without parental supervision. “Be home for lunch!” or “Be home by ten!” was often the only restrictions they had during the summer or weekends during the school year. It didn’t matter if they lived in small towns in the Midwest, the cities of the east coast, or on military bases in the United States or Europe. They had plenty of friends to play with and the dangers of drugs or abduction wasn’t even on their radar. The biggest fear of the day was whether or not the commies would release the A-Bomb on American cities. Rock ’n’ Roll was taking over the sound waves and baseball was the national pastime. It was a great time to be alive. Europe was rebuilding after the war and the United States had a huge presence in Europe, especially in Germany. Growing up on military bases during the ’50s and ’60s left the door wide open for adventures and hijinks on a grand scale. Army Brats is a story of a young boy growing up as a military dependent during that time.

Base Jumping
The vagabond life of a military brat
Author: William Willis, Copyright @ 2013

Swimming in the mortar-riddled shallows of the East China Sea. Jumping off bridges into the barracuda-infested waters of the Florida Straits. Trudging through a fresh snowfall in the pristine silence of a New England forest. Hunting the elusive pheasant in the frigid, windswept plains of Illinois. Trying to stay out of trouble while experiencing great adventures with my brother while Mom was busy caring for the younger children and Dad was off fighting the great fight. Always being the new kid in school. Above all, watching each others’ backs and sticking together as a cohesive family unit—us against the world. This was my life growing up in a military family. Our family was persevering and resourceful, but not unique. I’ve known many military families, and all have made great sacrifices for their country. Soldiers wear the uniform and risk their lives, but the families are compelled to live a gypsy life with all the responsibilities of holding the family unit together. These families receive only a fraction of the recognition they deserve. This is their story as well.

Children of American military speak out
Author: Mary R. Truscott, Copyright @ 1989

Our journey home (DVD)
Author: Donna Musil, Copyright @ 2009

Did you grow up in the Military? Do you have trouble answering the question "where are you from?" Every Brat Has a Story has been the theme of the Military Brats Registry since 1997. Members have submitted hundreds of amazing stories about their unusual lifestyle as military depndents growing up around the world. This book is a compilation of many of those stories to further our goal of preserving the culture and history of "Miitary Brats"

Child of the Blue, A Memoir
Growing up military
Author: L. Diane Ryan, Copyright @ 2015

In Child of the Blue, L. Diane Ryan serves up a feast of amazing memories drawn from the happy chaos of her childhood growing up in an Air Force family. She writes with humor and passion about her adventures in far flung places with extraordinary people. But the book examines things far beyond a simple retelling of a family’s wide military travel. Ryan writes wistfully about the simpler times of her baby boomer youth and the marvelous adventures of her “free range” childhood. She talks of “family” in its many forms and the challenges and triumphs faced over the course of many moves over many years. She brings each place into clear focus and offers insights on the ever-changing times. This is a joyful book that celebrates those places, the times she lived through and the people in her life on her path to maturity. In extolling the unexpected virtues of military family life, she honors and pays tribute to her loving, often raucous, and remarkably resilient family.

Golden Ghetto
How the Americans and French Fell In and Out of Love During the Cold War
Author: Steve Bassett, Copyright @ 2018

Considering the suspicions, jealousies, bigotry, and crass opportunism inherent whenever one power occupies another, Golden Ghetto: How the Americans and French Fell In and Out of Love During the Cold War pieces together an improbable tale of how fear and skepticism were crushed by trust and friendship. Award-winning journalist Steve Bassett stumbled onto this story shortly after he and his wife purchased a home in Sainte Colombe in Central France. They heard countless, somewhat mystical tales about how a huge U.S. Air Force base transformed the political, economic, and social lives of two French and American generations lucky enough to grab on to the base’s brass ring. If ever a U.S. military base deserved the sobriquet “Golden Ghetto,” it was the Déols-Châteauroux Air Station (CHAS), which for sixteen years during the height of the Cold War was considered one of the most desirable postings in the world, until Charles de Gaulle booted the Americans and other NATO military out of France and the Golden Ghetto was padlocked. Based on hundreds of hours of research and interviews, Golden Ghetto is a collective memoir, a first-ever look at life on an overseas base from the perspectives of both the occupied and occupier. Professional and amateur historians as well as casual readers will be enthralled by this bird’s eye view of how early Communist-driven distrust and paranoia never stood a chance against handshakes, smiles, and kisses.

Growing Up Military
Every brat has a story
Author: Marc Curtis, Copyright @ 2009

Did you grow up in the Military? Do you have trouble answering the question "where are you from?" Every Brat Has a Story has been the theme of the Military Brats Registry since 1997. Members have submitted hundreds of amazing stories about their unusual lifestyle as military depndents growing up around the world. This book is a compilation of many of those stories to further our goal of preserving the culture and history of "Miitary Brats"

Military Brats
Legacies of childhood inside the fortress (Volume 1)
Author: Mary Edwards Wertsch, Copyright @ 2011

A startling, groundbreaking exploration, Military Brats is the first book to identify a cultural group--children of the military--that had been completely below the societal radar. Based on five years of research, including in-depth interviews with eighty military brats from all the armed services as well as physicians, teachers, psychologists, social workers, and others, this book finds the patterns that link all military children to a common cultural identity. Wertsch employs extensive research to probe the consequences—both positive and negative—of being raised in a family characterized by rigid discipline, nomadic rootlessness, dedication to military mission, and the threat of war and personal loss. With its clear-eyed, sometimes shocking depictions of alcoholism and domestic violence, and its empathy for military parents caught up in an extremely demanding way of life, Military Brats provides catharsis, insight, and a path toward healing. Mary Wertsch not only defines America’s most invisible minority for the very first time, she also passionately exhorts the children of warriors to come to terms with their native Fortress legacies so that they might take full advantage of the positive endowment that is also their birthright. Civilians will find this book eye-opening. Military parents will find it at once challenging and sympathetic. And military brats will know in their hearts that this is the book they’ve been waiting for. This new edition retains the same content as the original, with only minor changes. This edition is now labelled Volume 1; a Volume 2 is in the works.

9 Rules of Engagment
A military brat's guide to life and success
Author: Harris Faulkner, Copyright @ 2018

The Emmy award-winning news anchor of Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner and co-host of the talk show Outnumbered shares the lessons she learned growing up in a military family paying homage to the military ideals that shaped her and showing how everyone can benefit from bringing the wisdom of military service into their lives.

Born into a military family, Harris Faulkner revered her father, a decorated career officer who served three tours of duty in Vietnam and raised his children with the values and ideals of the U.S. military. Accompanying him from posting to posting, young Harris experienced firsthand how success in life was rooted in the knowledge, integrity, and leadership that came from her military surroundings. Indeed, these formative lessons in leadership and work ethic became the guiding principles for her career as a journalist, lessons she credits with her rise to become one of the top hosts on Fox News.

Now, she shares the advice, wisdom, and tools that she absorbed through her military upbringing, examining how these ideals have shaped her professional and personal outlook and how everyone can incorporate them into their own lives. Using her father’s career as the backdrop to her experience, she explores the lessons in courage, duty, patriotism, and responsibility that helped her succeed, demonstrating the truth to the axiom that in military families everyone serves—together. Along the way she also interviews current and former military families, generals and other officers, and tells stories from her father’s career to illuminate how and why the message and mission of the military is so effective at changing lives both on and off the battlefield.

Illustrated with sixteen pages of never-before-seen photos of her early life and career, this instructive book, part memoir, part motivational life guide, reminds us of our most important values—the keys to a successful life.

Once a Brat, Always a Brat
Author: Marilyn Celeste Morris, Copyright @ 2010

Brat: Def: (1) An unruly child Def: (2) A child of the military We wear the brat name with pride. Those who argue that the term is demeaning simply don t understand. Once a Brat, Always a Brat is not intended to be a serious study of children of the military. It is neither an apology nor a rallying cry for our unique experiences. While some of my fellow military brats, missionary kids, children of the diplomatic corps, oil company employees offspring and others raised outside their home country may find similarities in my narrative, I must emphasize that the first part of this book is based solely on events transpiring between 1938 and 1958, with comments on how the military brat experience affected my life. Other military brats have contributed to this book, writing about their experiences in their own words. A resources section is included for those who are seeking information about the various organizations who can offer advice and counsel to our current military brats and their families.

Saigon Kids
An American military brat comes of age in the 1960's
Author: Les Arbuckle, Copyright @ 2017

Looking for unusual coming of age books? Follow the coming of age adventures of a U.S. military brat during the early Vietnam war years in Saigon

The early Vietnam war years through the eyes of a U.S. military brat: In May of 1962, Naval Chief Petty Officer Bryant Arbuckle flew to Saigon to establish a new Armed Forces Radio Station(AFRS). Next to follow were his wife and three boys, Leslie among them. Saigon Kids is the candid, recondite slice of fourteen-year-old military brat Les Arbuckle’s experience at the American Community School (ACS) during the critical months of the Vietnam War when events would, quite literally, ignite in downtown Saigon. In 1963, Saigon was beautiful, violent, and dirty – and the most exciting place a fourteen-year-old American boy could live. Saigon offered a rich array of activities, and much to the consternation of their parents and teachers, Les and his fellow military brats explored the dangers with reckless abandon running from machine gun fire, watching a Buddhist monk burn to death, visiting brothels late at night or, trading currency on the black market.

Coming of age in the streets of Vietnam War torn Saigon: When Les first arrives in Vietnam, he is a stranger in a strange land, expecting boredom in a country he doesn’t know. But the American social scene is more vibrant than he expected. The American Community School is a blend of kids from all over the globe who arrived in Saigon as the fuse on Saigon was about to ignite. As the ACS students continue their American lifestyle behind barbed wire, Saigon unravels in chaos and destruction. In spite of this ugliness – an ever-present feature of everyday life -- Les tells his story of teenage angst with humor and precocity. 

Coming of age tale with a twist:The events leading up to the Vietnam War provide an unusual backdrop for this coming-of-age tale with a twist. Saigon Kids will also make a perfect companion to the documentary film (sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts) currently in production. The film chronicles the lives of “military brats” living in Saigon in the volatile years from 1958 to 1964.

The Brat Chronicles
Author: Michael Ritter, Copyright @ 2006 

In 1972, there were 371,366 dependents of military personnel living overseas, people who spent their childhoods in a world that stops promptly at 5:00 in the afternoon to pay homage to the flag; where everything is painted in shades of green, and hometowns are places that only exist on television. The Brat Chronicles reflects the experiences of these thousands of Americans who fought the good fight, not on the field of battle, but in living rooms of military housing around the world. "We live in a world that tells us how we should act, think, love; and, driven by an overwhelming need to be accepted, we all too often lose that which is most precious to each of us... our souls. We follow others' leads, we conform, we do the "right thing" and smile through the sadness that screams from our spirit, as we try to please those around us. Like Cinderella's evil stepsisters, we try to turn that special shoe that was made just for us, into one size fits all. And while many of us manage to squeeze our foot into someone else's shoe, the pain eventually causes us to limp through life, never taking the opportunity to realize how special each of us is. God intended for each of us to be individuals, to follow our own paths, to run joyfully through life, experiencing the wonder of the world while wearing our own shoes... or better yet, without any shoes at all." - The Brat Chronicles

The Great Santini (Novel)
Author: Pat Conroy, Copyright @ 2002

Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He’s all Marine—fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife—beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben’s got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn’t give in—not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son. Bull Meecham is undoubtedly Pat Conroy’s most explosive character—a man you should hate, but a man you will love.

The Ignorance of Bliss
An American kid in Saigon
Author: Sandy Hanna, Copyright @ 2019

The Ignorance of Bliss tells the true story of ten-year-old Sandy, who moves with her American military family to Saigon, Vietnam, where her father, the Colonel, serves as a military advisor to the South Vietnamese Army.

In 1960s Saigon Sandy finds a world of crushing poverty and extraordinary beauty; a world of streets, villas, and brothels, where politics and intrigue reside between plot and counterplot. Blissfully living a life of French decadence, Sandy maneuvers between coups, spies, bombings, corruption, and scandal as she and her thirteen-year-old brother, Tom, run an illicit baby powder and Hershey bar business on the black market along with a life of school, scouts, dance parties, and movies at the underground theater.

But when the Colonel's Vietnamese counterpart, Colonel Le Van Sam, delivers and expose on the current ruling Diem regime, Sandy finds that her constant spying on her father's activities has brought her face to face with the reality of Vietnam and the anti-American sentiment that pervades it. This coming-of-age story takes place in a turbulent country striving for nationalism, giving the reader a stunning look into the life of military dependents living abroad and the underlying ignorance that surrounds a misunderstood time in history.

Tumbleweed Forts
Adventures of an Army Brat, Arizona 1960-63
Author: Frank Warner, Copyright @ 2021

Like any good soldier's son, Frank was an adaptable youngster. He moved with his family from fort to fort, country to country, accepted each change, and was ready to move again.

In 1960, his father was ordered to Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The desert garrison was the fifth Army post of Frank's childhood, and the first post he never wanted to leave. Here at age ten, he was best friends with Flavio, who saved his life from deep waters and helped him hunt for Huachuca Canyon gold. Here, too, Frank took a liking to Emily, a captain's daughter who chased dust devils and spelled well.

In Arizona, Frank's father tested and improved the Army's early drones, and his mother worked hard to keep the family happy, healthy, and together. For Frank and his three brothers, the friendships and vast spaces of Fort Huachuca made it a perfect playground. Then in 1963, when his father received orders for Vietnam and told the family it was time to move again, Frank was so alarmed he wrote President Kennedy to ask that the orders be canceled.

Tumbleweed Forts celebrates a youngster’s joy in a desert full of life. It’s a story about family, friendships, life's surprises, and all those special places that find a home in our hearts.
Resources & books that celebrate the heritage of military brats

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