By Carla Olivo, USMC Spouse

My husband and I have often had a good laugh at the antics of one of our kids, our military brats. Usually, it is something they say, but sometimes it’s their wacky assumptions about military life.

Military Brats

One time, my six-year-old son and I were dropping my daughter off a basketball practice at a neighboring school. As we were walking through the lobby, my son asks me if he can go to this school next year. Now we had only been at this duty station for a couple of months, and I had been leery of the school he was attending for First Grade. This new school had more kids in the First Grade alone than his prior school had in First through Eighth Grades! The overcrowding was so bad that they had trailers in the parking lot.

So when he asked if he could attend this new school, my brain went into overdrive. Is he being bullied? Is there a mean teacher he doesn’t like? Naturally, I had to pursue a line of questioning to get to the bottom of this. I asked him why he wanted to change schools next year. Was he unhappy with his teacher? “No Mommy,” he said. “I went to preschool at the Y. I went to First Grade at St Pat’s. This year I’m at Silverbrook, and now I choose this school for next year!”

And then it hit me! Three moves in four years! He had attended three different schools at three different duty stations in the three years he had been going to school. My little six-year-old wasn’t associating the change in schools with PCSing! He just thought it was normal to switch schools every year, and dog gone it….he was going to PICK his school!

Off to War?

I also remember the time my daughter’s First Grade teacher asked how long my husband had been deployed. Um, he wasn’t deployed! This was 2003, and the war in Iraq had just started and was all over the news and the talk of the adults at the playground. Apparently, my daughter thought that when my husband left the house each morning dressed in his BDU’s, he was going off to war only to return each night in time for dinner at our South Florida home.

My children loved to tell people that their father killed people for a living.

He went to work in a cubicle at the Pentagon and fighting D.C. traffic was as close as he got to daily carnage!”

PCS Tales

When we got word we were moving to Miami, my three-year-old daughter told everyone we were moving to “Mommy’s Ami’s house.” On the road trip south after we said goodbye to my parents in Delaware, she said, “I need to find me a Florida Mom Mom.”

My kids love telling people they are from “Nowhere” as if they landed here from another planet!

Silly? Yes….but my husband and I are always entertained!

And who hasn’t had this happen? The fight over bedrooms. During one house hunting trip, we told my son that he could pick his room first this time because my daughter picked first during our last PCS. Of course, it took hours and quite a few tears trying to explain to him why the Master Bedroom was off the list of choices.

Have your Military Brats amused you? If so, please comment below. I promise we will leave out the names to protect the innocent!

When she is not running two military brats around to activities, Carla Olivo enjoys writing about her experiences as a mil-spouse. She has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting and Documentary Reporting.  She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel and their two children.

Carla Olivo

Director of Strategic Communications