MILITARY MATTERS: Brats - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

MILITARY MATTERS: Brats

Posted: Updated:
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Phenix City students participate in 8th annual Crosswalk

    Phenix City students participate in 8th annual Crosswalk

    Thursday, April 17 2014 1:45 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:45:04 GMT
    More than 30 students got the chance to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Wednesday night, April 16. It was all part of the Crosswalk event at First Baptist Church in Phenix City. Participants walked moreMore >>
    More than 30 students got the chance to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Wednesday night, April 16. It was all part of the Crosswalk event at First Baptist Church in Phenix City. Participants walked moreMore >>
  • Voter registration deadline is April 21

    Voter registration deadline is April 21

    Thursday, April 17 2014 1:24 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:24:09 GMT
    The deadline for voters to register is quickly approaching. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is reminding voters that April 21 is the last day to register for the May 20 primary.More >>
    The deadline for voters to register is quickly approaching. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is reminding voters that April 21 is the last day to register for the May 20 primary.More >>
  • Reminder: CRCT testing is April 15-25

    Reminder: CRCT testing is April 15-25

    Thursday, April 17 2014 1:24 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:24:09 GMT
    Students in Muscogee County are asked to get in bed early tonight to prepare for an important test.  The CRCT test starts tomorrow April 15 for some students in the school district. Winter weather caused
    More >>
    Students in Muscogee County are asked to get in bed early tonight to prepare for an important test.  The CRCT test starts tomorrow April 15 for some students in the school district. Winter weather caused students and staff to lose four days of prep time for the tests.More >>

By Chuck Leonard  - bio | email 

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) -  Fred Brown says the hardest part of being a military brat was the constant reassignments.

"I mean I was picked in the 8th grade the most likeable guy. I thought, man, this is going to be great! High school is going to be wonderful! Then, we moved."

If that sounds familiar, you may be interested in a film written and directed by former Fort Benning, Ga. brat, Donna Musil.  "Brats: Our Journey Home " tells the story of military life through the eyes of the sons and daughters of our soldiers.

Musil says it was her own need for information that led to the project.

"Well, originally the purpose of the movie was to help myself. To try to really understand who I was and where I was from."

Oddly, she thought her experiences were unique, but quickly learned that others felt the same way.

"Absolutely, and I didn't know that before. By the time I was 16 years old I had moved twelve times on three different continents and for a large part of my life, particularly my young life, I really didn't know what that meant. But I just knew that I wasn't from anywhere."

That is a theme heard over and over in the documentary.

When asked where he's from, Army brat Marc Curtis replies, "From? Uh, I don't know. I was born in San Francisco, and I kind of call that my home, but I never actually lived there."

Air Force brat Heather Wilson-DeSpain views her roots as being much broader. "I'm from everywhere."

Others seem perplexed by the question. Valerie Anderson, whose father was in the Army, says, "I'm not from anywhere", while Air Force brat Cindy Greenwood gets technical. "That's always been a loaded question for me because it was, ‘Do I tell them about the place I was last'?"

Two well-known figures are part of the documentary. Kris Kristofferson serves as narrator and even provides music for the movie. Retired General Norman Schwarzkopf shares his experiences as both a military child and father.

For local flavor, WTVM talked with a Columbus soldier about his life as a brat. Lt. Gen. Bill Caldwell, whose father spent his career in the Army, now heads up the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan.       

He told us via satellite from Kabul, "I absolutely loved growing up as a military brat, living all around the world, between Europe, the United States, out in the Pacific. It was a wonderful experience, but I had great parents that made it very special."

Too bad not every brat feels that way. Some blame their parents for what they call dysfunctional childhoods.  Others feel the military itself is the problem. That's why Donna Musil suggests an open line of communication.

"I encourage all the people of Columbus to talk to the military kids around you. Listen to their stories. Share your own. I think you both have things to teach each other."

If you'd like to know more about Brats: Our Journey Home, or wish to purchase a copy, go to www.bratsfilm.com.

Copyright WTVM 2011. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.