The History of National Military Brats Day

A look at how it began

by Marc Curtis, President of Military Brats, Inc.

In 2014 a group attempted to change our name from Military Brats to CHAMPS.  This didn’t go over well with thousands of Military Brats who had gathered in various Facebook groups and launched an effort to stop this bad idea.  Military Brat has been embraced for nearly 100 years by millions of people who grew up in military households.  Misty Corrales was instrumental in leading the charge and organizing the plan to preserve our name.  She formed the BRATS: Honoring Our Heritage Facebook group and handed out marching orders (well, at least strong suggestions).  Eventually, Operation Champs folded their operation on December 10, 2014 because of the intense pressure they received.  It was the first time Military Brats banded together with a common purpose!

Nearly at the end of the Brats, not Champs issue, I received a message from long-time friend and Navy Brat, Susan Bailey.  Following is the account of a conversation that lead to the establishment of the National Military Brats Day Initiative by Military Brats, Inc.

12/09/2014 11:01AM

{Susan} Hey there. So all this Brat activity put something in this ol’ marketer’s head. Brats need a National Military Brat day. Heck 12/9 is National Pastry Day (no lie) so we certainly should have one. And if we already have one, then it needs a LOT more publicity because if Brats don’t know, the general public certainly won’t. Assuming there isn’t one, though, I’m not sure how we’d choose it. Maybe a little research, figure out when the first DOD school opened, or when the DOD was established, or whatever. But once we get one, then we create a nice launch message and invite anyone who considers themselves a Brat to make the stars and stripes (any version they like) their FB profile picture, with a message as to why. Whuddahyah think?

12/09/2014 6:15PM

{Marc} Verrrry interesting idea! We do have the Month of the Military Child every April, but this is better. Give me about 2 weeks and I’ll toss the idea out there along with another announcement I’m going to make. This will take a big letter to our congressmen effort…but the way everyone is fired up now, I think that’s a piece o’ cake.

{Susan} Great. We need more things like this to give us an excuse to run PR which in turn will help reinforce us as an entity, an identity and make the interlopers stop sticking their noses all up in our bid-ness presuming to fix what ain’t broke — like our name. I can see the formal date gaining traction. Giving the media a reason to run articles about today’s Brats and what they go through. Why they’re special and deserving of respect. I think this thing could have legs.

{Marc} No doubt! Do you want to write a PR type message? I’ll post it at the appropriate time, along with a petition at change.org (which I think is probably useless other than a rallying point)

{Susan} Sure, I would do that. Are you thinking we’d need a Congressional motion? Is that what we’re asking for? Or do we just determine the day and then declare it for ourselves?

{Marc} We can try for Congress…if they don’t respond, F-em and we’ll proclaim it

{Susan} I’m sure the national pastry board didn’t go to Congress 😉

{Marc} Right! Still, I want to run it up the flagpole and see…etc

{Susan} Do you know who the most sympathetic congress members tend to be when it comes to things military … besides McCain.

{Marc} Shouldn’t be hard to Google it

{Susan} Good point. It’s 5:30am here, brain’s a bit fogged in. OK, give me a couple days, I’ll see what I can come up with.)

{Marc} or….I have a thought…and I can do this now. ask Brats if they know congressmen/senators who are sympathetic. build a list, then start the attack! 😉

{Susan} That sounds promising. Would you do it as a blind request, or are you going to tip your hand on our reason for asking?

{Marc} nope…go blind for now

{Susan} Good. You go, man! Off to let the dog out. Back attcha in a day or two.

12/09/2014 9:16PM

{Marc} Awesome…I posted in various groups and am getting a lonnnng list of Senators and Congresspersons.  I’m building a database that includes the websites. When we’re ready to fly on this, there will be a massive campaign!

12/09/2014 10:29PM

{Susan}Once again … Brats see an opportunity, and get it done.

{Marc} yuppers. They’re gonna love the idea once presented. all they know for now is that I need a list!

{Susan} I’m getting pumped. Can’t you just see this growing … bases and posts all over the place having Field days and fun fests for their kids on National Military Brat Day to thank THEM for their service! So we should aim for a day with generally decent weather.

{Marc} Ummm, speaking of googling … did you see this? https://www.change.org/p/united-states-senate-make-october-1st-national-military-brats-day

United States Senate: Make, October 1st, National Military Brat’s Day.
American fighting men and women are not in it for the money. They are putting the lives on the line for the loved ones they leave at home for month sometimes years at a time. These children grow up in a world of freedom thanks to the sacrifice of their parents. But, what an honor it is to be a youth…
change.org

{Susan} wow..no, I didn’t see that! We can support it (but first I want to read it).

{Marc} Only 7 signers and the petition is closed. heheh…we’ll do better

{Susan} Yeah. But here I was thinking we were so original. On the other hand, glad others care.

{Marc} Yeah..but apparently this guy wasn’t connected with the Registry OR FB..or he might have made this happen

{Susan} OK, I’ll get you a draft this weekend.

12/12/2014 10:21AM

{Marc} Couldn’t be better timing. The Champs non-profit is being shut down, which calms the storm a bit…and now we can present the Brat Day Initiative!

{Susan}… aaaand the cosmic collective is working as it should.

{Marc} yup!

12/16/2014 10:29AM

{Marc} heheh…get writing girl!! People are saying we need to do something and we need to involve politicians etc. Let’s get rolling with this thing! 😉

{Susan} I haven’t forgotten. I thought I could do it this weekend, but seasonal stuff got in the way. Glad there’s a buzz. I’ll try, try, try to get it to you soon.

{Susan} OK, here’s a draft. See what you think.

MILITARY BRATS National day.docx

{Marc}Reading it…

two things….

  1. instead of naming a date, just say we are requesting congress to name blah blah
  2. last paragraph…these precious children. stick with the current and former children…not just the current

{Susan} Round 2

MILITARY BRATS National day_draft 2.docx

{Marc} Bingo! Now the only issue is, Congress is in recess for the holidays. actually, I think the smart thing is to wait until the new session begins, with a whole new crop of Reps.

{Susan} I’m down with that

12/16/2014 4:18PM

{Marc} I’m thinking about putting this up for download, tell everyone they can write a very brief introduction letter to their Congressman (to personalize the contact) and say, mail it on Jan 2.

12/17/2014 10:00AM

{Marc} Get ready… the info will be posted at 7pm Friday on Military Brats, Inc Facebook page…and then I’ll share it to all the groups.

{Susan}Won’t this be fun.

{Marc} I hope so 😉

12/20/2014 12:03PM

{Marc} Most of the responses are very encouraging. But there have been a few who hate the idea…and one who let loose with a barrage of expletives. She has now been blocked

12/20/2014 7:22PM

{Susan} Wow. Would never have expected that. I thought it was a pretty benign concept. just goes to show you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

{Marc} yeah, I pretty much ignore the negative ones.  But, the one with the language was actually cussing out the Finks book…not us

{Susan} Finks … heh, heh … I never noticed their name before. fitting, dontcha think

{Marc} Funny, yes. fitting, not so much. They meant well. Their efforts just weren’t welcome. There’s a little bit of meant well but the overpowering theme was get donations to their non-profit, have it buy their shitty little book full price from their for-profit and as outsiders, try to change our identity. Stupid!

{Susan} As we’ve discussed … these birds REALLY didn’t know who they were dealing with.

{Marc} yup! Time to take advantage of the great awakening of Brats…and get this brat day thing happening. Less than 12 hours and the BratsDay group has 310 members…reminds me of the first day of the Military Brats Registry!

{Susan} Yeah I was thinking that yesterday. If there’s a silver lining to the Finks is that Brats are up, awake and sabers are rattling.

{Marc} Exactly, though, they need a sheep dog. they’re all over the map with ideas that we’ve either done or talked about for years

{Susan} Hi, me again. Just noticed, your site says Brat Day but the proposal is for a National Military BratS Day. I do stand by the plural. We are a group, a LARGE group that has been pretty short-changed over the years. So I don’t think this day is about celebrating the individual, I think it is to applaud this society of millions. Would you mind adding the s to the site?

{Marc} sure…I can try,

Meanwhile, discussions continued on the National Military Brats Day Facebook page, BRATS: Honoring Our Heritage Facebook group, and similar groups. It was suggested that another group be formed as the “Unofficial National Military Brats Day” for the purpose of naming the day internally while we raised the funds to get added to the National Day Calendar, thus making it official and permanent.

Additional history provided by Debbie Godwin Adams:

03/08/2015: Debbie Godwin Adams brings up the question in the group that has been renamed today Brats: Brat Pride of picking our own day and celebrate it anyway. A lot of interest in the idea is generated and the discussion is moved over to BRATS: Honoring our Heritage
03/10/2015: – Misty Corrales picks up on the idea and posts the first poll to the BHOH group about the date to be chosen saying that Someone mentioned picking a day ourselves to celebrate National Brat Day.

Misty Corrales created a poll in BRATS: Honoring our Heritage.
March 11, 2015 ·
Someone mentioned picking a day ourselves to celebrate National Brat Day. I have a couple of suggestions…. please feel free to add more.

1. April 19 — this day represents age 19, when those of us who do not go to college turn in our ID.
2. April 22 – this day represents age 22, when those of us who went to college turn in our ID.
3. April 30 – the end of the month, transitioning to May. The last day of the month represents our separation as an Active Duty BRAT
April 30 was chosen by a total of 57 votes. While the number of votes was very small, the reason for the choice made sense. April 30 was selected as Military Brats Day because it is at the end of the month and signifies that the military child grows up, and thus represents our separation from service connection. We’ll always be Brats, but we will not always be children.

The private messages between Marc Curtis and Susan Bailey continued..

04/26/2015 3:19AM

{Susan} So what do you think about BRATs deciding that 4/30 is NMBD. I could be OK with it. You know, if we embrace it, we should connect with USAA to see about getting them involved on a year-0ver-year basis. Heaven knows Brats are their bread and butter.

04/26/2015 8:42AM

{Marc} I like the idea, but. frankly, USAA has given us such a snub during the Champs issue that I’d lean towards Geico who is not afraid of the word Brat.

10/09/2015 10:04AM

{Marc} So, I’m going all-out on the Brat Day April 30 thing. Even set up a fund for donations through the non-profit.
The reason behind the date makes sense

NATIONAL MILITARY BRATS DAY became official on the National Day Calendar on April 30, 2016 due to a large effort by Military Brats, Inc,; Military Brats Registry; BRATS: Honoring Our Heritage and dozens of Military Brats who donated the needed funds to permanently secure the date. We will continue our effort for Congressional recognition as we now have become more visible. During the first official NMBD, the Military Brats Registry Facebook page reached more than 135,000 people due to the information posted. Comments received were 100% positive, as thousands of Military Brats celebrated National Military Brats Day.

More information about National Military Brats Day…

 

image of National Military Brats Day with motto