Born on New London Submarine Base, Groton, CT, Terrill Ann and her four siblings grew up as proud Navy Brats. Her family moved frequently so Terrill learned to adapt, make friends and get involved in her new communities. Because of her love of architecture, landscape and art, she was drawn to local artists who created reflections of their environments. She became an avid collector of artwork and crafts, searching out unique treasures everywhere she lived or traveled. As a Navy Brat, she became a consummate beach bum–feet in the sand is her place to be, so she chose Pensacola Florida, a long-time Navy town in which to retire. Terrill Ann, an Army spouse for 30+ years raised four Brat sons, and worked and volunteered in supported those who serve—at the USO and Red Cross. She served as a spouse liaison, was a member of various wives’ clubs, managed a thrift shop and an overseas Stars & Stripes bookstore. She’s also worked for the Navy Exchange, Navy Federal Credit Union and in the telecommunications industry. She considers herself to be a “Jill of all Trades.”
Terrill Ann says, “Military children are affectionately known as Brats, and we embrace a unique military subculture and heritage all our own. Thousands of Brats embrace our unique name “Brat,” because it was lovingly bestowed upon us by those who serve—our parents and relatives.”
Terrill Ann recognized the need to document that unique heritage, and with the input of hundreds of fellow Brats, designed the Military Brat ID Seal. In the five years since its creation, it has been registered and copyrighted in the Library of Congress, and the Military Brat Seal has been embraced by thousands of Brats and their parents as a proud display of Military Brat Heritage. Terrill Ann is pleased to be part of the Museum of the American Military Family Team.
Military Brats Seal designs can be found on pins, challenge coins, patches, and badges of honor. They are purchased to recognize, honor or show appreciation and love for a Brat’s major milestone events, such as a graduation, retirement, birth or memorial. Terrill Ann continues to create unique gift items, many as limited editions.
Made in USA , the Brat Seal proudly waves the banner, “Pluribus Locis Nostrum” which translates to “many places are home” which truly reflects Brat heritage, past, present and future. Brats can continue to embrace their proud heritage with our Military Brats Seal , which can be found on ebay at https://www.ebay.com/usr/military_brat_seal?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
by Circe Olson Woessner
Recently my husband and I went out to dinner, something we infrequently do. The restaurant was new to us—and it was packed.
The waiter led us to a booth near a table where a family with three small children was sitting. I quickly looked around the room for any other empty table—but didn’t see one. Resigned, we sat down.
I was pleasantly surprised. The two oldest kids were busily coloring on coloring mats and the youngest was occupied by something he was nibbling. So far, so good!
Servers bustled around, bringing meals at a fast clip. Soon the family with the three kids left, and another group filled their seats. Our meal was delivered in short order, and while I wouldn’t say we felt rushed, I can’t say we were encouraged to linger.
I grew up in Europe, and my parents wrote travel books, so, dining out, as a child, was very different from my recent experience.
While my parents didn’t subscribe to the “children should be seen and not heard” philosophy, they did expect me to be quiet, well mannered, and patient during the sometimes hours-long meals.
When I was little, I would bring a pencil or pen to dinner, and, after I’d finished eating, I’d draw on the stiff paper tablecloths many restaurants in the 60s and 70s used. Because I loved drawing and had a large surface to work on, I got really detailed with my creations. I often gifted my “artwork” to the waiter or chef, who always accepted my offering with amused politeness.
Years later, my parents, husband and I went back to one of my favorite childhood restaurants, and the chef’s wife told me that she still had one of my tablecloth drawings!
When I was five, my family traveled to Rimini, Italy. We stayed at a grand hotel where elegant dinners were served in the ballroom. There was a live orchestra—and no paper tablecloths.
After I’d finished eating, and my parents were still working their way through a multi-course meal, the empty dance floor beckoned. I asked if I could go watch the orchestra—“yes, but don’t disturb the other diners.”
I edged over to watch the musicians. My toes started tapping and the budding ballerina in me started pirouetting and leaping. Soon, I was on the dance floor, doing all my ballet moves as best as I could. I was so into the music, I didn’t look to see the reactions on my parents’ faces.
When the music stopped, the diners applauded. I assumed they were applauding for me, so I curtsied.
I looked over at my parents, and my dad gave me a slight nod, so I continued dancing (quietly, so not to disturb the diners) until my parents finished their meal.
I don’t know how the other diners felt that night over 50 years ago at the Grand Hotel in Rimini; I hope I didn’t disturb them. At the time, I wanted to perform for them and bring them joy.
Last week, as I sat in the restaurant, those children coloring brought ME joy—they sparked a memory of me at their age, drawing pictures and dancing…
I applaud parents who include their children in family outings, and who set boundaries by providing both structure and creative outlets so that they, the kids—and their fellow diners— can enjoy a much-needed relaxing evening out.
As they say in Rimini, “Grazie.”
Diane Page Harper, the 2020-2222 MAMF Artist-in-Residence has spent more than a decade putting together her own personal puzzle through drawing, painting, and collage. . Her innate curiosity and playfulness shine through in each composition, and by inviting dialogue to develop organically on blank surfaces and by channeling her understanding of color theory and intuition, Diane draws forth underlying narratives from her subconscious. These stories often reach back to her youth as the child of a military family, and the travels, travails and triumphs that accompany that lifestyle. Her father was a forensic photographer with the US Army Crime Lab who taught himself photography by using his family as his subjects. He left behind a treasure trove of photographs providing inspiration for Diane’s work
Trained as a social worker, she returned to school and earned her studio art degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She believes in helping others connect with their most creative selves, and teaches through various venues, including her own studio, as a faculty member at the Museum School of the Arkansas Arts Center, and previously as an adjunct instructor at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.
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