by Rachel Newstead
At the age of eight, I truly learned what it meant to be an Army brat.
Within a couple of years of my mother’s marriage to my stepfather, an Army officer, I found myself on a post near a small village in southern Germany. A country that, a few months before, I didn’t know existed.
People spoke a language I’d never before heard–and it was everywhere, even on the television, so TV I could actually understand would be out of the question. For three years.
In this instant-communication, Internet age, it’s hard for anyone under thirty to truly understand how isolated American kids like me felt. Calling relatives cost a small fortune, and you often had to yell to be heard, so I had to learn how to craft a good letter fast. Entertainment from the states came in dribs and drabs; we might, once and a while, catch films of a two-month-old football game and some King Leonardo cartoons. We might as well have been on the far side of the moon.
Fortunately for my youthful sanity, there was Armed Forces Radio.