A Military Brat Reflects: What You Taught Me, Dad

By Sharyn Earl, from Operation Footlocker Archives

One of my first memories is of you showing me the world, Dad. You held me up to the airplane window as the plane was taking off and said “Look!”. I remember looking down to see tiny houses cars and roads receeding below.

“Toys!” I exclaimed.

“No,” you said. “These are real.”

You were always showing me new parts of the world–whether I wanted to see them or not.

“This is the Atlantic Ocean,” you explained as I stared out at the seemingly endless expanse of sea from the deck of a ship bound for Panama, where we would live for three years. When we got there, you showed me the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean at the same time when we visited the locks in the Panama Canal.

You showed me the entire breadth of the United States from the window of our station wagon. You made sure I saw Niagra Falls the Jersey Shore, Tidewater, Virginia, Washington D.C. the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Rushmore, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Columbia River. You showed me how to stand in four states at the same time in Four Corners, with two feet in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

You took me to big cities, small towns and military installations in the middle of nowhere and taught me how to live in them. I often didn’t like learning to live in all of those new places, but I usually found something good about each one. You tried to show me the best that each place had to offer. You taught me to be at home wherever I am.

Thank you, Dad, for showing me the world.

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2 Comments on “A Military Brat Reflects: What You Taught Me, Dad”

  1. Christine says:

    Must be a Brat thing. You just described my father and me.

  2. Ellen M. Shriver Lopes says:

    I can relate 🙂


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