Brynne Adams Grows Up Moving as a Military Brat – Part 1 of 3

Brynne Adams at Horsetooth Rock summit.
The Color Purple 2023

Brynne Adams was born to parents in the military and moved around the United States as she grew up. Adams was born in Kentucky and lived in Clarksville, Tenn., U.S.A. until she was two years old. She lived between Tennessee, Kansas and Virginia until she was 13. After her father retired from the military and before her eighth-grade school year, the family moved to his home state of Minnesota.

Prior to her move to Minnesota, Adams hadn’t lived anywhere longer than four years. Many emotions would go through Adams with each move, and she says the feelings became more recognizable the older she got. Like many Military Brats, Adams would feel sad, angry and anxious as she would move from one state to another.

I got used to it but it wasn’t pleasant. I was really shy so I always had a lonely few months at first when I was adjusting socially.

– Brynne Adams

Moving Around the U.S.

With each move comes new cities, schools, and people. Adams attended a variety of schools both on and off base. She went to private, public and Catholic schools during her K-12 education. Adams felt discomfort when she would join a new school and yet again be the “new kid.”

Living on base made her adjustment as a new member easier. This was because many others were coming and going so she could relate to all the “new kids” joining. When she went to schools off base, she felt more anxious and uncomfortable because there weren’t other Military Brats like her. Since she attended multiple schools, each one had different environments and experiences.

Clarksville, Tenn., U.S.A.

Adams first attended a private preschool when she lived in Tennessee for the second time. She did a lot of at home learning and was able to excel in school for the following years to come. Being so young meant she did not fully understand she was a part of a military family. 

Fort Leavenworth, Kan., U.S.A.

Then Adams and her family moved back to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., U.S.A. where they lived on base. The school there was really well funded and had new music and lab rooms. Other military friends, families, and peers surrounded Adams when she lived on base. Adams made friends with other Military Brats in Kansas. She went to the school on base until midway through her third grade year. 

Vienna, Va., U.S.A.

Military BRAT, Brynne Adams smiling on her first day of sixth grade. She has her backpack over one shoulder and is holding a purple and blue lunch box. Adams is wearing a white collar shirt and a dark pleated skirt.
Adams first day of sixth grade in Vienna, Virginia

After Kansas she moved to Vienna, Va., U.S.A. and went to a private Catholic school off base. A midyear move was difficult for Adams. She joined the school after spring break and the year ended too quickly for Adams to make friends that school year.

Aside from the late move, this school was a big adjustment from her last. She says it was not as nice as her previous school in Kansas. At her Catholic school in Virginia, students had to go to mass and wear uniforms. The students were much more rebellious and there were no other military families. She did not meet or become friends with Military Brats at this school. Adams said this was a small school where everyone knew each other. That made it easier for her to adjust and make friends after fourth grade started.

By seventh grade, Adams said she found a good friend group and it made it difficult for her to leave them behind. She was able to maintain some of the friendships for a while by sending letters.

Minnetonka, Minn., U.S.A.

The final move was when Adams was 13 and her dad found a job in Minnesota to be near his side of the family. She completed her final year of middle school and graduated high school from Minnetonka public schools. Adams noticed in her middle school, everyone had their own groups formed and many were not looking for new friends. By the end of eighth grade she made friends and many stayed in her life through the end of high school.

Brynne Adams smiling at camera with her hands on her hips. She is wearing a white shirt, black leggings and brown hiking boots. There is a sage green sweatshirt tied around her waist and a backpack on her back.
Brynne Adams at age 20 hiking Horsetooth Rock

At her high school, Adams met lots of new people and was able to make even more friends. Adams even decided to room with one of her high school friends in college! She says Minnesota was her favorite place she has lived because she stayed there the longest and loves the Twin Cities and lake activities.

Adams had a long journey moving around the U.S. and had to face a lot of difficult times but connections would form in each place she lived.

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