WRBL News Channel 3 - Columbus, GA
"Documentary on Brats Screened in Columbus"
May 20, 2007
Imagine moving ten times before you reached high school age or spending most of your life
in a foreign country.
For a certain group of people, called military brats, this is a reality.
Friday night, filmakers came here to Columbus to screen a film about military brats.
Why Columbus? Well there are more brats here than anywhere else in the state of Georgia.
Filmaker Donna Musil graduated from Columbus High, a brat herself, this was the perfect
place to bring their stories home.
It's a film about transients, a film about rules, a film about kids who are sometimes
known for being rebellious.
Donna Musil calls herself, well, a proud brat, she's come to Columbus to share a film
about an upbringing she calls unlike any other. She reflects, “You move a lot, your father
or your mother is gone a lot, they're putting their life on the line.”
Donna grew up around the world like most brats, landing in Columbus for her senior year of
high school. She says she always felt different, that is until she began uniting with fellow
brats, and she's spent the past seven years documenting their stories.
And those stories hit close to home to viewers. Betty Hasemier watched the screening,
“I wanted to laugh when they were talking about the end of the month, having no money, turning
over a cushion to see if their was a nickel or a dime.” Her friend and fellow military widow
says, “We had four kids, they all enjoyed the travel.”
Musil says aside from moving around a lot, brats often seem to share a cultural sensitivity.
Famous brat general Norman Schwarzkoph says in the film that race was not an issue on post.
Afterall, bases have been integrated since 1948, years before the civil rights movement.
In the film Schwarzkoph says, “I never looked at someone as a black officer, I looked at
them as an officer, I didn't look at them as a black soldier, I looked at them as a soldier.”
Musil hopes that her message and her film will bring a group of people who never really had
a home back to their roots.
Says Debbie Kneller who watched the film, “Everything they said in there was just how it was.”
Donna Musil says its often hard for military brats to reconnect. For more information on
reconnecting with fellow brats or to order a copy of the film, you can check out the website.