Growing Up Military

By Daniel Smith, Army Brat, Army Veteran

There is a unique experience in growing up in a military family. Your life is influenced by a host of encounters with different people, places, and if you are really fortunate, foreign culture.

My first ride on an airplane was taking me to Germany. You learn about places in school but you never quite get the flavor of culture until you set foot out of your zone.  As a kid you always wonder how you will be received at any new school but to throw in the element of being in another country things run through your head.

For me one of the things was “how would I communicate?” Not understanding that I was going to an American school. I thought I was in Germany so I must be going to a German school. I made my way to my first day at Karlsruhe American High and my learning curve started in less than 5 minutes. I met 3 guys right away; Ralph, Leonard, and Robin. Each of those guys came from a different part of America, each with their own American flavor.

As we clowned our way through the experience together we learned a lot. Our school field trips were to magnificent castles and the stories that those walls contained. A history not to be undone by time  that  the United States won’t be able to offer  for 1,000 years.  That is where for me personally, an interest was born in history and the events that shaped the world and not just my comfortable corner of it.

As the years past and after much research and study of cultural history I decided to write a series of novels set in historical events but fiction that is also adventurous. My experiences in Germany led me on a romantic trek for the days of kings, queens, castles and intrigue. Coming from a military family left me with a tradition to follow. I did my own years in the Army as did my dad and had the fortune to go back to Germany twice more and visit more castles, culture, and history. It set the stage for wanting to travel to other cultures and I found myself in the South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Being a military brat is the greatest opportunity that you can ever be afforded. I wouldn’t trade that experience for all the gold in Solomon’s mines.


2 Comments on “Growing Up Military”

  1. Caroline says:

    I loved being a military brat! It definitely changed who I am as a person today. This inspires me to write a few stories on my blog too! Thanks!

  2. Candy Ferrall says:

    Awesome story. To often I see stories of how hard it is to be a military brat and the things they missed. Perhaps we missed being in the same place our entire life but what opportunities we had by moving around. I was able to live in Germany, England, and Turkey, each had their own unique culture and language. My family adopted some customs from each to add to our own family customs. I, too, developed a love for history. I loved visiting the castles and museums in those countries as well as visiting historical sites in this country. I have also developed a love a travel from my life as a “brat.” It wasn’t always easy but it wasn’t always a hardship either.

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