Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I am a military brat.  Now, I don't exactly know what that means, or why I am called that.  I normally think a brat is someone that is spoiled and ungrateful.  From what I experienced, kids raised in military families are generally neither of those.  

First of all, we lived in base housing--duplexes, for the most part.  Old duplexes, with a carport instead of a garage, and spiders. We used a lot of acronyms growing up.  I don't know what they stand for, but I can use them fluently:  TDY, ROTC, BX, NCO, BXPX, ID.  We played with red and blue ink pads with "Top Secret" stamps.  My dad would bring us stickers with different types of missiles on them, and I would say things like, "My favorite is the Peacekeeper" or "Can I have your Minuteman?"  We (well, my brother anyway) knew the names of every plane ever built, and we have TONS of photos of blue sky with specks on it--specks that were later circled and identified as "B-52" or "F-16."  

We would watch the news, and look at our dad whenever war or conflict was reported.  For some reason, those headlines seemed to carry a lot of weight in our family.  

I remember wearing my dad's navy colored cap, and slipping my feet into oversized shiny black shoes. 

I remember going to the base movie theater.  It only had one movie screen, so everyone would gather in the lobby, and then sit down in the theater together.  The commercials would play, popcorn would be eaten, drinks would be slurped, and then the moment would arrive.

We all stand up and watch the flag wave on the screen.  We put our hands over hearts and everyone in that room joined in singing The Star Spangled Banner.  As soon as the music stopped, there would be a cheer, and then the movie would begin.  


Now, knowing my background, you can imagine the feelings that filled my heart as I woke up one July morning to find about twenty American flags waving in my yard.

Did we have a family member serving in the Armed Forces?


Did someone die?


Was it Independence Day?


Did we have a Gold Medal Olympian living in our house?


Then why the flags?

Our neighbors put them in our yard to antagonize my husband.  You see, it was July 1st, and my husband had organized the 3rd Annual [Neighborhood] Canada Day Parade.  

The fact that I support my husband's parading around the neighborhood makes me a saint.

The fact that I thoroughly enjoyed having those flags in my yard...well, I guess that is what makes me a brat.


that raven chick said...

you know how when someone turns 40 or 50 or a significantly/ relatively/comparatively old age? and they stick a gajillion flamingos in their yard to annonce that?Well the flags may be signifying a significant pivital point of your patriotism for your country.

and Sister Token, I don't blame your husband, I mean you guys are cool just by your proximity to us! Canada pretty much rocks my world

Pam C. said...

I'm a military brat and my kids kind of are (my husband and I didn't get married till we were in our thirties so he retired five years after; the first two kids were born while he was still active duty). I appreciate the military and I love my country, but I could march for Canada. I've only visited Quebec and British Columbia, but I enjoyed both of them.

Tiffany said...

This was both lovely and hilarious. Always a fun read over here!

Robert and Sherry Leal said...

I am a previously unannounced blog-stalker. I think you're funny, inciteful, and relate-able. I can't believe someone (an American) would try to use the American flag in a negative way, however playful it might have been. America (and Canada, for that matter) is made of people seeking refuge from other countries. And those people, throughout history, have celebrated their heritage but were also proud to be a part of America as well, because that's what America is and was founded on: people from other countries gathering and creating unique communities not found anywhere else in the world. I think people forget what "patriotism" means too often, and what it means to be an American. They forget where they and their ancestors have come from. I say to your husband, "Parade on," and go further than your neighborhood.

kaila sue said...

i love it!

Token Asian Friend said...

The Canada Day Parade is a hit every year. Our neighbors put up shade tents and line the streets with lawn chairs. We even had a police escort and a fire truck last year. Non-Canadian neighbors build floats giving tribute to all things Canadian. It really is a celebration of the (relative) diversity within our community. All the flags are waving that day!

The flag message was given in the same way it was received, in good spirits.

Plus, it's not like they spray painted a blue "Y" in our yard. Now, THAT would have been offensive!


Quixotic Healer said...

"(relative) diversity"

Ha ha!

As a half Canadian, I salute you both!

Sincerely, ~A. Blog Stocker

Deanna E. said...

Keep that Canadian parade going Mr. Token Asian Friend! We Americans love our Canadian neighbors! And to you my Asian are the best military brat I have ever known!

Karen said...

wow, Asians can marry Canadians?


michellejohnnie said...

I wish I was in your neighborhood! That sounds like a fun tradition that I would love to be a part of!

StuTheWise said...

HAHAHA!!! I'm late catching this, but that is totally awesome. I'm sure your husband took it well.

I, too, was a half-Asian Navy brat. Well, I'm still half-Asian... just not a Navy brat anymore.