Online New York Times review
All Movie Guide
"Brats: Our Journey Home"
Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
Average Reader Rating: 5/5
Novelist Pat Conroy, whose father was a career officer in the Marine Corps, once wrote
"Military brats, my lost tribe, spent their entire youth in service to this country,
and no one even knew we were there." Children raised by parents who were longtime members of
America's armed services, "military brats," often led a life very different from that of most
kids their age -- they moved frequently, sometimes lived and were schooled on military bases,
grew up in the distant shadow of war or history-making events, were subjected to an authoritarian
discipline that was the antithesis of a carefree childhood, and often felt as if they were raised
in a single-parent family while either father or mother was away on assignment. The emotional
trials of growing up as a military brat and the little-explored bonds of those who shared this
upbringing are examined in the documentary Brats: Our Journey Home, written and directed by
Donna Musil, herself an Army brat whose father was a military judge. Brats includes interviews
with General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Mary Edwards Wertsch, Dr. George H. Junne, Michelle Green,
and Marc Curtis; the film is narrated by and features songs from Kris Kristofferson, who like
the aforementioned interview subjects was the child of a parent in the service.
Outstanding! Reveals hidden subculture
I am a former military brat and I would give this documentary six stars if they were available.
This film reveals a huge and hidden American subculture, one that almost borders on being a
distinct ethnicity-- the career and often multi-generational military family.
The military brat experience is an all-encompassing and in some ways radically different
subculture that comprises more than 10 million current and former American military children.
Most of these children grew up moving constantly, lived overseas during formative years, have
complex multi-national identities and a majority speak more than one language. Deeply and
intimately afftected by war, paradoxically raised in the most patriotic of American institutions
and yet international, mobile, 'outsiders' to the civilian American world by nature, children of
career military familes have lived challenging and yet enriching lives. This film gives the
first deep and close non-fiction look at an enormous but largely heretofore invisible American
I am talking about all this in this third person, but I am a former military brat and at last
this is a film about how I grew up. I am so glad I watched this film. Invisible no more!
-- Phil Murray, sean7phil