“You can’t go home again.”
That quote is largely figurative to those in the civilian world, but for military brats it can be quite literal. Many civilian kids leave their hometowns to make their ways in the world, but they can always return to visit their old houses, schools and neighborhoods and see how things have changed. They can also get together with family and friends that still live in the area and reminisce.
For many military brats though, that’s just not the case. Sure, some can go back a year or two after they leave and do many of the things described above, (if they still have an I.D. card or sponsor and can actually get on the base). But let years go by and the inhabitants of that base will have, in all likelihood, changed entirely. You would now be a complete stranger in a place you used to call home.
And worse still, many of those bases, like those pictured in this post, may no longer exist. These were our homes, our schools, our communities, our friends and neighbors… completely gone. This is something that can generate a profound sense of loss or hollowness in those who have lived it, above and beyond already having to reconcile the difficult experience of being repeatedly uprooted and relocated growing up. It can be something people struggle with for the rest of their lives… some never really finding closure.