What I Am Grateful For and How It Works For Me - As a Military Brat

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties DC AB15253

Army BratI am an Army brat, born to a career Army officer and West Point graduate, and the grand daughter of a career Army officer.  My uncle went to West Point; my aunt married a career Air Force officer. My cousin served in the Air Force and fought in Viet Nam. My husband was an enlisted Marine, and my son served in Iraq as a Marine infantry lieutenant,  My parents, my grand parents, my cousin, my aunt and uncle, and even my husband's daughter in law's father are all buried at Arlington.  I am a military child. 

When I was growing up I hated being an Army brat. I was in seven or eight schools before I hit middle school.  I lived in Panama next to the jungle and ran screaming from large iguanas in my back yard.  I lived in Japan on the northernmost island, where my mother swears it snowed 6 feet in 6 hours one day.  I was born at Benning while my dad was in jump school.  I went to nursery school at Bragg.  I am a military child.  aRMY BRATE\

I learned that you never stay any place for long. You meet people and become friends and then you never see them again.  I learned to get to know people quickly because you didn't have much time together.  I am a military child.  

Ilearned how to find out a commonality with strangers within five minutes of meeting them. It is amazing how many people share two or three degrees of separation with you - forget seven! I have found clients who played in frisbee leagues on the same field that I went to second grade on in Gainesville Florida.  I found out that the owner of the Delicious Pie Company, Sherman McCoy, in Bowie Md is from the same town that I went to kindergarten in.  I love to play the game with myself of "How long will it take you to find that commonality with this total stranger?"  Since I am the only one who knows I am playing... I always win!  I am a military child.

Eventually my parents settled in Washington, DC and I stopped being a military child - or so I thought. I didn't realize that once you are a military child, you are always a military child.  So.... now I am grateful to my dad and my grandfather, my uncle and my cousin, for making me a military child.ARMY BRAT

When I work with clients relocating to the Washington area, I immediately understand how they feel about having to pick up their lives, uproot their children, move their memories to a new place and time. There is so much to be done besides finding a house.  There is the whole effort of a soft landing for the one causing the move to occur, the spouse who finds a life style turned upside down, and the children who have no say in the matter.  

I understand that there is more to be done after the house is located. There are doctors and orthodentists to be identified, summer camps to be explored, scout memberships to be started, schools to be selected, and library cards to be gotten.

I am a military child, and I am grateful for that now.  It used to embarass me that I had moved so much, but now I am grateful.  I understand the angst that my clients go through when they are relocating to Washington. I love showing them around my "hometown" and sharing all the wonderful resources that are available in Washington.   Because I am a military child, I am a much more empathetic Realtor. 

Thanks Dad for the start you gave me - and since November 30 is your birthday, I am glad to dedicate this blog to you! I miss you Dad! 


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Alan Gross
PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company, Equal Housing Lender - Bethesda, MD
Loan Consultant

Now that's what I call a military family. There is a lot of thanks for your service to give. Sounds like you learned a lot and finally found the benefit of all those moves and living in all those places.

Nov 30, 2014 09:06 PM #1
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

You learned some very good life lessons at a very early age.....not such a bad thing, you were fortunate to have lived so many cool places too.  Great post!

Nov 30, 2014 10:21 PM #2
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Lise, Like you, I am too a military brat! It was difficult to form long lasting relationships while growing up because of the transitory lifestyle but am proud to be a part of so many honorable people! This world needs more of them. Great post!

Nov 30, 2014 10:44 PM #3
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

Lise, living  as a military brat must have had it's challenges but look how far you have come and what you have learned, it's now paying off. Have a terrific week.

Dec 01, 2014 12:09 AM #4
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Good morning Lise. 

First of all I must say a huge THANK YOU to all in your family that served this great country.  I am a tumble weed kid but being a kid of a military family must have really had even more challenges. 

Thanks for sharing.

Dec 01, 2014 12:31 AM #5
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

How beautiful!  I love this post, and would like to see it Featured.  We owe your family quite a lot....thanks to your family for their sacrifice and service! You should be very proud!

Dec 01, 2014 06:12 AM #6
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX


 You have lived in some very cool places, I too do not like iguanas at all! We all usually have something in common!

Dec 01, 2014 07:12 AM #7
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Life lessons are where you find them...and if you are fortunate...as you illlustrate...learn from them.

Dec 01, 2014 08:45 PM #8
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Hi Lisa, All your travels have made you more well rounded and equipped to help others on the move. Our military firends in Clarksville are so fascinating to talk to and I love hearing their stories. Their friend base is huge too.

Dec 01, 2014 10:06 PM #9
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I have known a few "brats" in my time, none seem to have gained the appreciation that you have Lisa. 

Dec 03, 2014 07:44 AM #10
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Tom Arstingstall, I can't tell you how much I appreciated your comments! I am thankful for experiences I had as an Army brat - thank you!  

Dec 03, 2014 10:42 AM #11
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire


I too am a brat though Air Force for 26 years and about another 15 with my mom working in the Pentagon. 21 addresses till my parents bought on 16th Street in Arlington when I was 17. Georgetown used to be my haunt for many years with me working at the Crazy Horse during school breaks. Small world sometimes, would be fun to get to know you better, cheers cvc

Dec 04, 2014 03:39 AM #12
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Wow, I only lived in two homes until I got married at 18 years old.  First one was downtown Los Angeles. My Great Grandmother owned it and when I was almost four my parents bought a home in the suburbs.  Stayed there until I got married. I can't imagine the school nightmares!

Dec 04, 2014 08:15 AM #13
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Lise Howe

Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,
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