Brat Facts

I come from this close-knit family of Brats.
Military Brats, that is.

We go through all of the horrors a military family entails. We face the hardships of our parent being gone for many months at a time and having to learn how to be strong without them.
Sometimes. . . It's a nightmare.

But despite all of the troubled skies that we most often have to face, I know I wouldn't trade this life for anything.



*Cover created by Infinite_Exho

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33. Fact 27: Facing the Reality that They Might Not Come Home.

This is sometimes a hard story for me to tell, so please bear with me. But I feel as if it's my duty to share because while it's a difficult one it still gives insight on our live and what our families went through being in the military.

 

My dad has served overseas many times, and the most common time period for him to be gone was around 9 months at a time.

 

"Things are going to be happening over there that's going to seem scary to you but no one but us on the front lines know exactly what's going on up there." He would tell my mom. "Don't listen to the reports on channel 5, hell--don't even turn on the news, it'll just scare all of you." He would say to my mom and my siblings and I.

 

It was 2005, the middle of the summer, I think, and I had just turned 5. My dad was already thousands of miles away from his home and we were expecting his routine call on his SAT phone.

Needless to say, my family and I were getting anxious when he didn't call that day. But we knew that everything that happened over there was unpredictable so we didn't worry too much.

 

We didn't hear from him the next day.

Or the next.

By this point, we had feared the worst. It's human nature and you can't control where your mind wanders when you don't know what's going on.

I kept expecting that dreaded knock on the door, but that knock never came--thankfully--and finally we received a word from him.

 

My dad was driving one of his vehicles along with his group of airmen inside of one vehicle and another group in the one behind him.

 

And then he drove over an IED.

 

An IED is an improvised explosive device that can be buried into the ground and blow up when pressure is applied to it.

 

I had never heard this story until about a year ago when he had shared it with me around the time I expressed I was serious about joining the military.

 

I remember not receiving his call for a few days, but I don't ever remember him sharing this story to me, so my small little 5 year old mind didn't think that much of it because I wouldn't have understood why it was a daunting thing to not hear from him.

 

"As soon as I felt that thing go off and the back tires fly up, I yanked my gunner down from his position and got him inside of the vehicle. My ears were ringing and I couldn't hear or see anything. Smoke and dust and dirt were everywhere." He described those first few seconds of what had happened. "I thought we were going to die and that our vehicle was going to flip and crush us all, but only the back wheels had gone up and our vehicle was standing on its front two wheels.

We slammed back onto the ground and I had to keep driving and get away from the compromised area. While I was getting us out of there my guys had all tapped my shoulder to let me know that they all were okay. They tapped me because none of us could hear anything and I needed a way to know that they were alright.

Once we were out of that zone I checked to make sure that the vehicle behind us was okay and hadn't gotten the worst part of the explosion and they were all fine too."

 

My dad paused in his story as if he were reliving this whole day. He thought and waited for a good minute. 

 

"The IED was buried too low in the ground." He said finally. "If it had been any higher up, all of us would have flew and I probably wouldn't have come home in the same physical condition that I had left in. And I like to think that God was watching out for me and my men. Well, really, I like to think that God and your grandfather were watching out for us. And had that gone a little bit differently, I wouldn't be alive anymore."

 

My dad has told me several different times that you need to know exactly what you're getting yourself into when you join the military. Because there is a very high chance that you'll be coming home resting with a flag laying over you. 

 

God bless those who fight, and Lord guide those who have lost their battles.

 

~~Kay.

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