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Author: Mary Edwards Wertsch

MILITARY BRATS: Legacies of Childhood inside the Fortress

MilitaryBrats portrait

A startling, groundbreaking exploration, Military Brats is the first book to analyze what it means to grow up in the military.  Based on five years of research, including in-depth interviews with eighty military brats from all the armed services as well as physicians, teachers, psychologists, social workers, and others, this book probes the consequences—both positive and negative—of being raised in a family characterized by rigid discipline, nomadic rootlessness, dedication to military mission, and the threat of war and personal loss.

With its clear-eyed, sometimes shocking depictions of alcoholism and domestic violence, and its empathy for military parents caught up in an extremely demanding  way of life, Military Brats provides catharsis, insight, and a path toward healing.  Mary Wertsch not only defines America’s most invisible minority for the very first time, she also passionately exhorts the children of warriors to come to terms with their native Fortress legacies so that they might take full advantage of the positive endowment that is also their birthright.

Civilians will find this book eye-opening.  Military parents will find it at once challenging and sympathetic.  And military  brats will know in their hearts that this is the book they’ve been waiting for.

“I thought I was singular in all this, one of a kind.  With this book, Mary Wertsch astonished me and introduced me to a secret family I did not know I had….This book is both a love letter and a troubled meditation on the way children are raised in military families.”

–Pat Conroy , Marine brat, author of The Great Santini, Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, My Losing Season


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