By The Duchess, 27th April 2015

For My Fellow Dandelions

22 Signs You Are a Military Brat

22 Signs You Are a Military Brat

Dandelion – [dan-dl-ahy-uh n] : Military Definition: The Dandelion is the official Military Brat Flower. It’s significance is great and many adopt the quote “Children of the world, blown to all corners of the world, we bloom anywhere!” Its seeds can be scattered by the wind and it puts its roots down anywhere. The dandelion adapts to life among other plants and can survive in just about any location.

I am a RAF BRAT – a child brought up in a military family, the Royal Air Force to be more specific. It was not until I met my now husband that I realised that not all children grew up the same way I did. That some of the things I think are ‘normal’ may not be normal to everyone else. So, for my fellow dandelions, (because you would be surprised how many of us there are, we seem to breed like rabbits!) here are a few things that may jog your memory and take you on a trip down memory lane. For those of you who are not Brats, take a look at the list and chuckle to yourself as to just how strange we are. Maybe then you will have a little more understanding as to why we do things differently to other people.

  1. You are amazed when you meet people who have lived in the same place for more than 3 years.
  2. You are amazed when you meet someone who has never left their hometown.
  3. You can’t answer the question “where are you from” without smiling and thinking ‘here we go again!
  4. You still make your bed with hospital corners.
  5. You can’t count the number of ‘best friends’ you have had over the years – you don’t even know where in the world they are now.
  6. You can’t count the number of schools you have attended… and not because you were expelled from them!
  7. You think it’s normal to worry about a bomb scare when you see a paper bag on the ground in a parking lot.
  8. You still check wheel arches and under the car for bombs and suspicious objects before getting in the car.
  9. You never put the hallway light on before you open the front door. EVER!
  10. You can meet another military brat anywhere in the world and become instant best friends.
  11. You still get itchy feet and the need to move house every 6 months, and if that is not possible you HAVE to re-arrange all the furniture in the house.
  12. You still get excited at the sight of military aircraft.

  13. You find yourself missing the heavy duty MFO boxes when moving house.
  14. You can’t understand why your other half needs 3 boxes for his bedroom clothes, when you are used to fitting your whole house in three boxes for fear of going over the allotted weight restrictions.
  15. Spring Clean actually means Spring Clear Out – after all, getting rid of stuff now means you don’t have to get rid of it later.
  16. You think it’s strange that not all kids have sat in a heavy warfare vehicle or military aircraft before the age of 7.
  17. Currywurst and pommes frites is a normal dinner for you.

    Jessica Spengler
    Jessica Spengler
  18. You still find it unacceptable to leave the house without making sure you can see your reflection in the shine of your shoes.
  19. The sight of carpet cleaner or toothpaste simply makes you think of “march out” day.
  20. Being ten minutes early for anything still means you are late.
  21. You can recite the phonetic alphabet in your sleep, and find anyone that can’t just strange.
  22. You still find yourself asking “what is that?” when friends refer to TV shows, or ANYTHING that happened in the years you were overseas (read as ‘holed up in a dark abyss where we knew little of the outside world’).

    Holly Victoria Norval
    Holly Victoria Norval

A dandelion may not be the prettiest of flowers, and it is even considered by most as a weed, but as Dandelions we scatter all over the world, transform even the most harrowing of destinations into our home and accept the surroundings we are given making the best of life. Maybe we could all learn a lesson or two from the brats we meet around the world.

What did you think?

    chat 3 Comments

  1. I resonated with most of this too…. would have added a few things such as military band music still makes me slightly dewey eyed… seeing anyone polish small objects reminds me of Dad polishing his buttons…being able to roam free from the age of 5, into woods and other places as the camp perimeter kept us friends safe… youth camp clubs well attended…neat gardens and pristine streets with no graffiti or rubbish… pride in our Queen and country…well behaved kids and teens on camp…power flower curtains and an itchy blanket….the excitement and sound of Dad’s car coming home after manoeuvres…

  2. Carol Morgan ● February 21, 2019 at 11:44 amReply

    Another one is that, when leaving a house, the Hoover is the last thing to leave!

  3. My list is endless. I learned to iron using soap instead of starch, that using flame on shoe polish got your docs mirror shiney. Room inspections taught me to keep a neat and tight ship. I love bagpipe music unless its the funeral march and then I cry. I get proud when I see our lads in uniform anywhere, even on TV. I have sat in tanks, military vehicles and learned to fire a manner of guns and weapons on ‘open days’ , done a basic training parachute jump on a scaffold. I took a RAF simulator test at 14 and landed a chopper and fighter on a boat lol (loved this so much) . While other kids were off going to fairgrounds I was zipping over rivers on lines and getting my face striped up with wax.
    We moved house every 3 years all over the country so that by 19 i had to move of my own accord or I would get restless. I have more penpals than hot dinners. I can wrestle a full grown man to the ground in cover of dark and know how to maim someone with my thumb.
    Our childhood version of hide and seek was camo , face paint and crawling on our bellies in the over grown grounds of the nearby hotel at 2am with our dad before sun up. You had to touch down on base before you got paint balled. (i think this one is questionable and bordering child line intervention ahah)
    I learned how to 2 wheel a landrover and do evasive manouvres at 15 around a training track.
    That’s only a snippet hahahah

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