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Signs That You Were Raised In A Military Family

Lots of incredibly brave men and women are willing to put their lives on the line to defend everyone’s freedom and protect the nation. While everyone can see and hear about their everyday operations, people in a military family, especially the kids, can get a unique taste of that life.

Their lives are shaped by their parents’ dedication to service and commitment to their passion and profession. With that in mind, we wish to feature the following tell-tale signs that you grew up in a military family:

Calling everyone by last names seems normal.

It is almost as if this behavior is innate, because remarkably, military brats quickly begin to refer to anyone by their last name. That is because troops refer to each other by their last name, a practice originating from their training in boot camp.

Anyone who is older than you gets to be referred to as “ma’am or sir”.

Calling an adult “ma’am” or “sir” is another natural mannerism and phenomenon. And you should always keep that in mind. You certainly know how to give respect to elders and fellowmen.

You’ve got friends all over the world.

This is the other side of the moving coin and perhaps another advantage of moving from one place to another. Since you move around all the time, you meet other military families who have lived it what always seems like more and more exotic places. Experiencing all of these different cultures really broadens your scope of the world and teaches you that people are people, wherever they are from.

Your respect to the American flag and to the national anthem is immeasurable.

For one, you’ve caught yourselves standing straight for the national anthem at a movie theater. The same thing happens during an awkward moment when you stand up just to find off-base theaters don’t play it. Meanwhile, you stop for Retreat and Evening Colors.

Your household chores were mandatory.

Mom never had to come in and make your bed because every morning before school it was your responsibility. Failing a parent-conducted room inspection resulted in more chores or pushups. So you learned how to do things the “right way” quickly and even at the very young age. This also promotes self-discipline and some sense of responsibility acquired at home.

You simply find it really difficult to answer this quite tough question: “Where are you from?”

Since you’re always moving, you never really know if you should answer with where you were born, where you lived most recently, or where you’ve lived that’s most important to you. For many brats, home is often more of a feeling than a place.

Answering this question always seems a huge challenge when all you want to do is to keep your mouth shut and explain nothing to anyone. After all, you don’t owe them any, do you?

You’ve learned the phonetic alphabet along with your ABCs.

The phonetic alphabet is a list of specified words used to identify letters in a message transmitted by phone or radio. For example, the word “Army” would be “Alpha Romeo Mike Yankee” when spelled using the phonetic alphabet.

Just like the military, you also refer to countless things with acronyms. Military slang and acronyms are tossed around in conversations with ease and as a child you learn to pick them up quickly. For instance, no one ever explained the meaning of “Hooah” (pronounced WhoAh) to you but you knew that it was short for “Heard, Understood, and Acknowledged.”

At a very young age, you memorized your Sponsor’s Social Security Number.

Inscribed upon your ID card alongside height, weight, and eye color, are you and your sponsor’s social security number. These numbers are more than mere references, they surely represent how responsible you could be to protect yourself and your sponsor.

Memorial Day means a lot to you.

For most, Memorial Day marks the first day of summer and is celebrated with barbecues and pool parties. Those traditions and celebrations really don’t change if you are in a military family, just the attitude surrounding the day is amplified.

Being with people who have served their country and have friends or family who paid the ultimate sacrifice makes Memorial Day a special day to raise a glass to old friends and to celebrate our freedoms. For you, it’s more than just a commemorative celebration, it’s more of a chance to reunite with your loved ones and pay tribute to their selfless service to their countrymen and the nation as a whole.

If you aren’t 15 minutes early, you’re late.

Being “tardy” doesn’t exist in the military world. You were early to school, doctor’s appointments, ceremonies, and parties — no exceptions.  And being 10 minutes early only signifies your being a latecomer. OMG!

You are a bit of a perfectionist, especially in your appearance.

Appearance represents a form of self-discipline, and in the armed forces, it is a requirement that a soldier is neat and well-groomed when in uniform. Leaders ensure that personnel under their command present a conservative military image.

Similarly, this practice was echoed into your childhood and that meant you didn’t get to sport a trendy haircut, loud fingernail polish, and especially an unsightly untucked shirt.

One thing is for sure: being a military brat is both an advantage and a privilege.
Congrats, you’re one of them!

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