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Monday, July 2, 2012

A Common Bond

I recently had a conversation with a girl in my Social Psychology class who is married to soldier based in Ft. Stewart. We began talking about how he is getting out of the military. I had mentioned that I grew up as an Army brat until 1996 when I moved to Georgia after my parents got divorced. She immediately began asking me questions about how it was like being raised in that environment. I was still pretty young when we moved out of the military {I was 12}, but this is what I remember.

• I do not remember color. As in race. It wasn't until I moved to Georgia and began going to a civilian {meaning not on a military installation} school.
• I do not remember class. I distinctly remember not understanding social status until a few months after I moved to Georgia when kids found out what neighborhood I lived in. Not that it was a poor neighborhood, but their was a clear lack of higher income. {Let me note that I would not trade my childhood in Georgia for anything. Everything I learned I was taught by the experiences we grew up with and those make me what I am today.}
• I remember having a lot of friends. This could be related to the "lack of social status" or because kids just don't care who they are friends with. Either way, there was always an abundance of children to play with.
• I remember {or at least I see pictures and reminisce} being raised with culture. I mean, I lived in Germany for three years! How cool is that?!
• I remember moving every three years. As I think about it now, I don't recall how I reacted to each move, but since living in Georgia for 16 years, I can honestly say I'd love to move like that again.
• I remember walking to school. No, it wasn't uphill both ways in the snow. :-) I didn't ride a school bus until I was 12.
• I remember playing with kids in the neighborhood. Every afternoon. Every day. Until the street lights came on.

The military community is something incredible in my eyes. Yes, there is an equivalent to a social status amongst officers and enlisted, but I can distinctly remember as a child not understanding a difference between social economic status and race. There was a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood. And let's not forget the ability to grow culturally. When I first moved to Georgia, I was shocked that most of the people I went to school with were born and raised here. What a foreign concept for me!

Overall, I am so thankful for the opportunity to be raised in such an eclectic community. I can't imagine growing up any other way.

1 comment:

  1. I feel the way. It was not until my Dad was stationed in Georgia when I was nine, that I ever noticed people caring about what color skin you have or how much money you make. It's funny how it's different when your on base.

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