How Darlene Ambrosine’s Perspective Changed While Growing Up As A Military B.R.A.T.

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Darlene Ambrosine, breathing in newly found breaths of air, lived amongst the hospital staff in the arms of her mother for the initial few days of her life, just as any baby would.

Soon after, Ambrosine was on her way home. However, this home wasn’t going to house her for too long, due to her father being in the U.S. Army when she was born.


The story of her early life will include many chapters displaying new settings throughout differing environments. In this tale, some chapters will read longer than others, and on the opposing end, various chapters far shorter; each written and placed in differing surroundings that depend on where her father’s military life will lead them.

Moving boxes (Photo by Michal Balog on Unsplash)

In the beginning, a young Ambrosine would get uprooted from her life consistently. Her father, moving from base to base regularly, made for a future that inevitably wound up starting over and over and over again.

Over time, Ambrosine would find herself yet again packing bags, readying things and preparing to follow her family to a new area that she’d call home.

Ambrosine is a Military B.R.A.T., a term that refers to an individual whose parents are a part of the armed forces full-time.

I didn’t know anything different. For all I knew, everyone was moving around every now and again. It was emotionally taxing. Subconsciously, I created this idea that I had to cling to things while I could, because I didn’t know how long they were going to be around. I was quick to make close friends.


This wasn’t a situation Ambrosine developed or one that came to be, rather a spot that she was placed into from birth. Not knowing any different, she was under the impression that every family was like this.

While it may have been difficult and exhausting, continually charting a new course into something fresh, at least there was some solace in the idea that this was everyone’s place.


Ambrosine spent a significant amount of her life in Germany, 14 years to be exact, and developed a tongue for the language, as she did for several. Routinely moving around made for confusion about the ways which shaped the lives of many of her peers.

It wasn’t until sixth or seventh grade that she became aware of the fact that many of those near her weren’t advocating a similar life.

In high school, I developed more romantic relationships. Boys and stuff. Other women my age were able to stay put, where I was constantly on the move. For the duration of my high school career, I went to four separate schools. A part of me felt that was unfair, and I think I could say that there was a component of jealousy in that. I nurtured an understanding that there’s things that are more rooted versus what I had.

Gerald and Darlene Ambrosine
Gerald Ambrosine and Darlene Ambrosine (Photo courtesy Darlene Ambrosine).


Ambrosine’s high school days and teen years passed, and she found herself with a perspective on things that drew from a pool of exposure to a spectrum of cultures. In life, she came to meet her first husband. A man who had never left the same town that he was born in, that stability and structure intrigued her.

In a span of time, Ambrosine came to realize that that was not the sort of bubble in which she could properly function. His bubble, stacked with pillars that were identical in each passing year, and Darlene’s changing in between each, built atop the next. They failed to relate.

Being raised by parents involved in the military, I became accustomed to continuous diversity. I tend to find myself unopposed to change. I have a strong urge to travel, it’s not completely necessary though. The void can be filled by simply moving around office furniture.

Consequently, Ambrosine looked for someone who had an understanding of what it was like to be globally mobile and a nomad. Her quest for a point of view that entwined with her own led her to her now husband, Gerald Ambrosine.

I’m a [Third Culture Kid], Military B.R.A.T. and Air Force wife. A TCK learns to adapt to whatever environment consumes them. You become pliable. One is taught to get in, where you fit in. You appreciate your roots that much more.


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