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Army Brat

04 Apr

    

 After my father’s retirement from the United States Army, my parents bought a home and settled in Austin, Texas, on the Williamson County line. I entered the 10th grade in the fall of 1976 at Round Rock High School. (Yes, I know – that’s ancient history.) I was often asked by other students, “Where are you from?” And I frequently found it difficult to give an answer. I was really from nowhere. My father was born and raised in Utah – but I had never lived there myself – so that wasn’t really home for me. My mother was born in Germany – and even though that had in fact been home for an extended period of time – sadly that wasn’t really home any more either.

My sister and I suffered a double whammy of culture shock: (1) Europe to Round Rock, Texas; and (2) military life to civilian life. It was a very difficult transition for me to make.

When I said “you guys,” and asked which “housing area” people lived in – the Texans looked at me as if I had grown a horn out of the middle of my head. (Okay, it was Round Rock – 1976 – what can I say…..?)  Imagine the look on my face the first time I heard someone being called a “red-neck” or a “goat roper.” Imagine the looks that little white Judy “Montoya” got in the class room. I didn’t know that people actually still wore cowboy boots.I didn’t know what a TV game show was.  I missed my Bavarian bread!  Where’s the PX?!  And where are all those Texas tumbleweeds I had heard about?!

Due to the many moves an Army Brat typically makes – my sister and I were constantly making new friends to replace the ones that we had lost. We learned quickly to adapt to whatever new or different situation presented itself. As highly mobile children we were much more likely to reach out to a new student because we knew what it was like to be the new kid on the block. There are so many names and faces that I would love to reconnect with. I have a very special heart friend – Linda – and we were thick as thieves in Germany. To this day we correspond with each other and we still enjoy talking about “the good old days.”

Although we moved a lot – we did not grow accustomed to it – and the moves actually became increasingly difficult the older we got. Looking back on things now – I would not have traded my experiences for anything. This became abundantly clear when I landed in Round Rock, Texas in 1976!  Military culture is unique in so many ways – I have had the opportunity to live and travel throughout Europe – and have had a wealth of experiences unmatched by most Americans.

And now 36 years have passed since my transition to my new life in America.  I’m happy to say that I’ve been Texan-ized, and like they say:

I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as soon as I could!



 

 

 

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6 Comments

Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Montoya, Odds and Ends, Times and Places

 

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6 responses to “Army Brat

  1. Jennifer

    April 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I grew up in one place – I graduated with kids I went to Kindergarten with – so I don’t know how it feels to always be the new kid. I’ve married into the military though and I often wonder how my kids will look back on their lives as Army brats. My oldest is only 11 and already she’s lived in San Antonio, Ft. Hood, Monterey, CA, North Pole, AK, Savannah, GA and we’ll be moving to El Paso in a month. I admit that it is getting harder as they get older…

     
  2. Judy Curbow

    April 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Dear Jennifer – thanks for commenting. At the end of the day when it’s all said and done – I would not have traded it. Having the opportunity to travel, learn other cultures, and and live the military life – wouldn’t trade it. But now that I’m settled…I’m glad. And I was obsessed about my son – didn’t even want him to change to a new school every now and then! I guess it did affect me more than I understood back. Live works out the way it’s supposed to. And welcome to Texas….! El Paso is not my very favorite area…but I think you will enjoy the people of Texas. Judy

     
  3. Heather Roelker

    April 10, 2011 at 11:42 am

    We are also a military family. My first son was born in Landstuhl and my second in Little Rock, Arkansas. Right now they are too young to have all the moves really affect them, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My oldest has already seen more of the world than most Americans. It seems that Americans tend to keep to themselves and do not break out of their “home” shells if you will. Our children are already learning that there is more out there than just America…or just Arkansas! It won’t always be this easy, but like you, I wouldn’t trade it.

     
  4. Margie

    October 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Your dad would be so proud of you. I love you.

     

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