Ellie is a wonderful daughter. Born and raised by two military parents who spent their entire careers climbing the ladder of success and the one thing that Ellie knows and understands is the idea of being a military brat. She jokes about it but realizes that it is a difficult situation to be raised in. She was taught, or quickly learned not to create relationships with people and not to get attached because at any point in time she could be moving. In her lifetime she lived in over thirteen different countries with her mother and her father and never stayed in the same place more than a few years. In the reflection of her life the realizes that she is too young to be alone for the rest of her life. She embarks on a scary mission of discovering the person she can still create herself to be. The only relationships that she really forged were that between her mother and her father. So, when the time came that they both passed away she realized that her life had become a series of organized daily events mirroring that of someone in the military, even though she wasn’t. She has no friends, she has no family, and she is struggling right now to figure out how she can begin to live a normal life since she had never experienced living one. This is a coming of age story about a young woman who realizes that being a military brat, while a badge of honor, can also be a lifelong challenge.
My Badge of Honor
It was always funny to me that people would call themselves “military brats” as if it were a badge of honor. And then the older I got the more I realized that I myself was a military brat I began to wear that same badge. Makes me laugh still. Basically, it’s a way of life. It is full of honor in that growing up with two parents in the military is a special kind of life that every child doesn’t get to experience, and quite honestly probably shouldn’t. But what it did for me was it taught me how to be tough, strong, it made it very easy for me to pack up and move from place to place whenever I felt like I didn’t want to be somewhere anymore. Unfortunately, the other side of that coin is that it also taught me to be guarded and private. Having two parents in the military, the first thing that it drilled into my head is if you create relationships be prepared to lose them or to you have to walk away from them. Different schools, in different countries, be ready to move at all times. Now as an adult I find myself constantly walking away. Turning corners all the time to new things rather than standing in one place too long, that is me. But when you are always leaving you never experience the joy of staying, creating or being brave enough to let go and live.