I read this article today about military kids answering the question, "where are you from." I appreciated the sense of normalcy the article provided. I have attempted many of the answers that the other kids had provided. I STILL struggle with the question, in fact, if for no other reason than I get asked it a lot at work. People want to know if I am from here and it is hard to say, "no, I am not really from anywhere." I usually answer, "before here, Tennessee." That often seems to suffice. I lived in Tennessee longer than anywhere else in the world (all of four years and two months... an eternity in the life of an Army Brat). I feel like Tennessee is "home." But Tennessee hasn't claimed me officially, yet. My "home" has always been "where the Army sends you."
I chose a job known for its mobility. I don't know how long I will be in any one spot, ever. I know that I feel more comfortable in some regions than others. I also know nothing is forever and if I wind up somewhere I don't really jive well with, I will move on soon enough. My background and upbringing probably has a lot to do with why I chose my profession. My family protects/protected the nation in a very literal way. I protect the nation in a different way. I help take care of of the places, stories, and ideas that make up the nation. I don't necessary think my life is on the line, although I know sometimes it happens. By moving all over the nation and parts of the world, I was granted a perspective that broadened my understanding of this nation and provided some insight to how the nation is perceived by other parts of the world. It also encouraged a severe sense of resilency in me; I can overcome anything. Doubt it? Watch me.
I will still trip a little in my answer to the "where are you from" question. I wonder if I will ever live in any one place long enough to call it home? But I will also smile when I see eyes glaze over as I ramble off the list of the elevenish states and two countries I've lived in during my life so far. What part of "Army Brat" did you not understand?
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