MILITARY BRATS: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress

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Germain-en-Laye, France.

2 editions of this work

Bases where she lived growing up include Ft. Myer, Virginia; Ft. Bragg, North Carolina; and Ft. Monroe, Virginia. She worked for two newspapers in Virginia, doing investigative reporting, feature writing, and a column, before moving to San Francisco and Chicago to pursue other projects.

Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress book download

In she married James V. Wertsch, Ph. They have two sons.

Wertsch now lives in St. Louis , where her husband is on the faculty of Washington University in St. She is routinely interviewed and invited to speak on the subject of military brats.

[PDF] Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress | Semantic Scholar

She collaborates with Marc Curtis of the Military Brat Registry to present workshops for military brats around the country and on annual cruises. Others they know sense this and frequently turn to them for help. The daughter of a Marine Corps sergeant, asked to name some of the good things we learned inside the Fortress, said, "I'm very good in a crisis. The more extreme the circumstances, the more calm I get.

MILITARY BRATS: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress

I'm able to pull everything together at once; I know exactly the kinds of things that should be handled, and in what order. That is something I know I got from my father. Some military brats, however, seem to thrive on crisis -- another trait common to adult children of alcoholics. That is the home I was looking for when I began this book.

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And that is the home I have found, the home I share with other military brats. Our home is not a place, but the shared experience of the Fortress and its many legacies.

Our home is hardship and what we learned from it. Our home is a rich fund of values and ideals. Our home is a special quality of freedom that one can obtain only, ironically enough, inside the ironclad Fortress.

Mary Edwards Wertsch

What I found is that we military brats have a home like that too, a home that we all share, that lives in each of us, that we can visit in one another. I could not have found it without the help of the many military brats who shared their stories with me. The sharing of stories, I learned, is what roots are all about. Subtract the sharing, and what do you have?


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Only a bit of dry knowledge fit to be filed in a dusty folder somewhere. Real roots are about connection -- the bonding with others who share a similar lived experience -- and the recognition that who we are individually is due in large part to that lived experience.

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