APRIL – 2020 Month of the Military Child


Author’s Video featured in “Museum of the American Military Family’s, SPRING 2020, MAIL CALL publication.

MONTH OF THE MILITARY CHILD 2020

INTRODUCTION 

POEM                         (SEE POEM ON PAGE 13 BOOK II)

 1. EARLY LIFE AS A MILITARY KID

 BOOK I DESCRIPTION

When I was a child, we were always moving from one place to another. Making friends was something I looked forward to with an uneasy anticipation. My dad was in the military. We moved, like clockwork, every three years. The things I saw, and the places we lived, are now a part of history. They form the canvass for “A Look Back in Time: Memoir of a Military Kid in the Fifties, Vol. I.” 

In between military assignments we visited my grandparents…

My grandparents, the Mitchell’s, were a resourceful, well-respected, and proud Negro family, who lived in Big Island, VA. Their home sat across from the mighty James River; yes, the one that runs through the mountains all the way down to Jamestown, where the original settlers lived.  

  1. GRANDPA MITCHELL 

My Grand Pa Mitchell owned a farm and, by most people’s standards, “did all right for himself.” He raised hogs (big fat pigs), and chickens, planted corn and potatoes, and hired himself out as a handyman when he could. Bitty was his nickname and people said his word was as good as gold. He was a proud black man, who had a reputation for fairness but packed a gun when necessary. 

During the prohibition period, my grandpa cooked moonshine. It was so good, that the sheriff spread the word to the townspeople; don’t anybody ever go anywhere near that property. 

I loved my grandpa, and all the stories my mom told me about him. I was only five years old when he died.  

  1. GRANDMA MITCHELL

Grand Ma Mitchell was an early riser. She started the fire that warmed all of us in the morning. She was a wonderful cook, who made buttermilk biscuits that we floated on homemade molasses and steered with fatback (bacon) oars all over our plates. Grand Ma Mitchell was a tireless worker. She was up before the rooster crowed and didn’t go to bed until after the moon turned over to fall sleep. If you are lucky enough to have a grandmother like her, then you know how wonderful she makes everyone feel. 

4. TRAVELING THE WORLD

 Our family traveled the world with our military dad. I lived in Virginia, Maryland, Kansas, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Ansbach, Germany. 

  • In Virginia, I learned to feed the chickens, slop the hogs, and use an outdoor toilet. 
  • In Maryland , I learned to ride a bicycle, with no hands, my feet flailing in the air. 
  • In Kansas, I learned to ride a train, using chairs, an engineer’s hat, and imagination. 
  • In Georgia, I learned to play marbles, scavenger hunt in sand pits, & write poetry. 
  • In Texas, I learned to catch horned toads and race around the block on skates. 
  • In Oklahoma, I learned how to shoot a BB gun, rock quail, chase Jack Rabbits, and catch bats. I also learned how to swim. Three years later we traveled to Germany… 

BOOK II DESCRIPTION

A Look Back in Time – Vol. II… finds our military kid living in Deutschland, while attending an American middle school and high school. His adventures, with the German and American young adults, are rich in history, suspense, and surprises. You will enjoy following this well-traveled, military kid as he navigates his early teen years in Germany during the late 1950s. 

  • In Germany, I learned how to ice skate, set bowling pens, and play the guitar. I also learned how to “sprecken sie Deutsch” (speak German)!

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WHAT I LEARNED AS A MILITARY KID 

  1. Military Kids are ……………………………………………………. RESILIENT 

We bounce back from hardships and challenges in record near time. 

  1. Military Kids are ……………………………….……….. GLOBAL CITIZENS 

We travel the USA and go abroad to most continents on this planet. 

  1. Military Kids are ………………………………….……….. TRUE PATRIOTS 

We protect your right to criticize the government but reserve our opinions for ourselves. 

  1. Military Kids are ……………………………………………….………….. LOYAL 

We are one, with other military brats, and will fight fiercely to protect each other’s back.

  1. Military Kids are ……………………………………………….…………….. FAIR 

We step in to right a wrong and believe in always playing by the rules. 

  1. Military Kids are …………………………………………………….……….. FUN 

We enjoy each other’s company and know how to party with the best of them. 

  1. Military Kids are …………………………………………….………….. FAMILY 

We are a special breed. We cherish diversity. It is our strength. We come from all branches of the armed services. We love our military brats and our TCKs, (Third Culture Kids). We are family!

************************************************************************Bernard N. Lee, Jr., Author

“A Look Back in Time: Memoir of a Military Kid in the 50s – Vol. I & II”

Website Address: http://www.bernardleejr.com

E-Mail Address: bernie@bernardleejr.com

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Tel: (678) 607-5165