Saturday, January 28, 2006

Brats: Our Journey Home

Where are you from? Umm...Somewhere, nowhere. How do you answer that question if you are a brat?

“Brats: Our Journey Home” is a feature length documentary about growing up as a kid in the armed forces. The documentary by Donna Musil tells a story about our unique hidden American subculture, but most importantly it tells us something about ourselves. It has interviews, commentaries, film clips, home movies clips, and still pictures to help tell the story. Kris Kristofferson, a brat himself, does an excellent job narrating and his music is heard several times during the documentary. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, also a former brat, shares some of his insight and stories.

The heart of this documentary is the dozen or so “brat” interviews. When the “Brats” start telling their stories there is an instant connection because the experiences they share are the same as yours and mine. Almost all brats can relate to the stories of living on base, living oversea, moving all the time, losing friends, and then having to make new friends.

At first I thought “Brats: Our Journey Home” was a story made for telling the civilian world about what it was like growing up in the armed forces. After watching it however I believe it’s mainly a documentary for us "brats". Inserted between the brat interviews and stories are commentaries by author Mary Edwards Wertsch, psychotherapist Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, and West Point sociologist Dr. Morten Ender. The commentaries from these individuals offered some eye opening insight on why we “Brats” are like we are – some good things and some not so good things.

The first time I watched this documentary I thought some of the brat stories seemed to be little bit on the negative or dark side. A couple of the brats mentioned that they had alcoholic parents, another brat tried to commit suicide four times as a teenager, and another brat told the story about how she was raped by a serviceman on base when she was a young girl. Were our families really that troubled or dysfunctional? After some self-reflection and recollection I accepted the fact that growing up as brat wasn’t all roses. Brats however are resilient and we move on. During the ending credits each of the individuals I mentioned above with the troubled childhoods are shown apparently leading successful and happy lives as adults.

This DVD is available for purchase at
I recommend this documentary; I think it’s good for the soul. You will probably need to watch it more that once to soak in all the information. I watched it three times in two days.

In this documentary it’s mentioned that since none of us really have a hometown, basically “hometown” to a brat is a "state of mind". I like to think that when brats get together at reunions, wherever that may be, we are home.

Order the DVD Now for $29.95


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the reference to
is incorrect, please change to , thanks, Dave Grant

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - please remove my email address from the comments.

4:30 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home