Salute us.

Ha ha, no seriously, you’re definitely the first person ever to think of it. You should totally do stand-up. I mean it! How are you not writing for SNL, RIGHT NOW?!

Mock our Exchange clothes.

The Base Exchange is the epitome of contemporary haute couture, boasting up to THREE WHOLE STYLES at any one time, each one fresher than the last. To criticize is to be exposed to fashion’s eviscerating bite. Don’t be left behind…

Speak ill of AAFES “fine” dining.

Growing up on bases abroad, if you wanted pizza, it was Anthony’s Pizza. Fried chicken was Popeye’s. Sandwiches were Robin Hood. All courtesy of your friendly Army and Air Force Exchange Service. As I type this, the nostalgia is overwhelming me and I’m simultaneously craving all three.

Call us anything other than “brats.”

We’re not “military kids,” we’re not “military children” and we definitely aren’t “C.H.A.M.P.S.” (Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel). Despite its less than pc origin, “military brat” has become such a term of endearment that attempts to change it have been met with resistance, outrage and even threats. There’s no denying the overwhelming majority of brats are fiercely proud of our heritage and we don’t have any plans to change the nomenclature.

Say all the services are the same.

That’s like telling a quarterback to score a home run. We all know the Navy is the best.

Don’t show up to a BBQ.

Take service members from every grilling mecca in the USA. Marinate with recipes learned serving abroad. Season with tax-free booze from the Class 6 and enough commissary goodies to feed an incredibly massive group of people… and you have a BBQ that is not to be missed. When my dad was stationed in San Diego, summer cookouts meant some of the best burgers, hot dogs, ribs and steaks ever. PLUS lumpia, yakitori, my uncle’s mom’s teriyaki wings (if we were lucky), and WATCHING THE BLUE ANGELS! Do YOUR BBQs have air shows?

Imply we aren’t flexible.

Readiness is not something the military takes lightly. When mom or dad get new orders, there’s no debating them. New city? OK! New country? Why not? New school? BRING IT ON! In Okinawa, I remember coming to school on more than one occasion to find out that a friend’s family had flown stateside with less than 48 hours’ notice.

Disrespect the colors.

Symbols are important and Old Glory represents something people are willing to live and die for. And those people are our parents. It’s that simple.

Mistreat our veterans

That’s our family right there. Put politics aside and give them the respect they deserve.

h/t: Thanks to the BRATS: Honoring our Heritage Facebook group for their help with this piece. Give them a follow here.

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