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Shared Experiences: Military Brat Cousins



When my sister and I were little military brats, there were times when it felt like we were the only ones in the world going through the hardships that came with moving and being children of a military family. This feeling persisted when we lived on a military base, and especially when we lived far away from any bases. People around us did not understand our lives, so it was challenging to adjust to our new environment and make friends. Despite this, my sister and I were lucky enough to have cousins who were also military brats.


My cousins and I did not always live close to one another, but we would play games together and spend time with each other whenever we had the chance. Because they were also military brats, they understood the uncertainty of moving around and knew, just like my sister and I, the importance of cherishing every moment.


I remember one time a few years ago, my family was PCSing out of Fort Hood, Texas at the same time my cousins were PCSing into Fort Bliss, Texas. It was only an eight-hour drive, so my family and I traveled to meet them there and help them unpack their goods. It was a neat experience because not only did I have the opportunity to explore a part of the country I had never been to, but I was also able to get to know my cousins better. I experienced moving from the outside-in and saw how expertly my cousins handled their move. I realized that I really wasn't living the military life by myself. The people who could understand and relate to me the most were right in front of me all along and were going through the very same things my sister and I were. Now we have plenty of shared experiences and memories!


My life up to this point feels like it has been lived all over the place, and it has been. But so have the lives of many other military brats around the world, including my cousins. We have seldom lived in the same place or even relatively near each other, but we traveled to see each other whenever we could. I can recall holidays spent at my grandparents’ house when we were very young and how we would go to amusement parks and ride roller coasters together because we were scared to go alone. Classic military kid road trips are a frequent childhood memory after all the traveling we did to go visit other family members once we got together so everyone could reconnect with one another.


My point is, even though my military cousins are spread out over the country and lead lives different than my family, we all still boast similar experiences of leaving a place and adjusting to a new one. Despite the distance, my cousins and I love each other because, for years, distance was only a small obstacle to spend time together and share experiences.


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