Texas Honors Brats

Air Force Brat Patty Beech asked the Texas Legislature to recognize the BRATS–and they did! Here’s her letter to Tan Parker.

Dear Tan Parker,

I am a resident of Texas and I am a Military BRAT. It has been estimated that there are approximately 10 to 15 MILLION adults who grew up as dependents of military service members — we are known as Military BRATS.

I am writing because with thirty-one (31) military installations in the State of Texas, there are approximately 1,800,000 BRATS who live within our state, according to a survey conducted by the Military BRATS Registry. I would like to ask you to present and support a resolution to recognize the sacrifice that the Military BRAT gives in service to our nation and our state by authorizing the wearing of a specially designed lapel pin. We are not asking for funding in any way. Supporting and passing such a resolution costs taxpayers NO TAX DOLLARS. This pin has been designed and produced by a BRAT. We are just asking that the wearing of that pin be recognized by our state and our country at large.

Many consider the term “brat” to be derogatory. However, when it is it applied to a military dependent, BRAT takes on a whole new meaning. Military BRAT is a term of endearment (uppercase BRAT that is). To us, BRAT has many meanings – Bold, Brave, Bright; Resilient, Respectful, Resourceful; Adaptable, Admirable; Tolerant, Tenacious, Traveled. We BRATS have not settled on any one meaning because, as our youthful military upbringing taught us, we must adapt to the circumstance in which we find ourselves.

Being a Military BRAT does mean sacrifice. We sacrifice what most would consider a normal childhood. Most of us attend between seven and twelve schools before we graduate from high school, and we move at least ten times before our 18th birthday. I attended ten schools and moved twelve times. Additionally, we do not have a hometown. When we are asked where we are from, the answer varies from BRAT to BRAT, but the simplest answer we give is this: “I’m a Military BRAT.” For those who have lived the BRAT life, that disclaimer says everything that needs to be said. Yet, for our service, support, and sacrifice, we have never been recognized or acknowledged.

U.S. Representative Bob Latta of Ohio has sponsored a resolution in the U.S, Congress to do just this in each of the previous two legislative sessions, only to have it languish and die in committee. The previous resolution was HR 1889, introduced in May 2013, entitled “Children of Military Service Members Commemorative Lapel Pins Act.” We’d like this to be subtitled as “the Military Brat Pin Act.” The purpose of this resolution is simply to authorize the wearing of a recognized lapel pin which identifies us as Military BRATS. We are not asking for funding. We are only asking for recognition that we served too.

Would you please work to support a STATE resolution to recognize the Military BRAT? Texas has the largest percentage of BRATS in the whole USA. It is important to us that we be recognized by our chosen identity — BRAT. It is who we are, even long past our separation from the military and the loss of our military ID Card. We were, we are, and we always will be Military BRATS. We earned the title.

Thank you for your consideration.

Patty Beech, Air Force Brat.

The result?

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