Where I’m From – A Navy Brat

A few years ago my granddaughter had an assignment to compose a story, poem, or collage that was descriptive of where she was from and how it impacted her.  She was invited to get family members to also participate, so her classmates could see the impact of heritage.  Here was my Brat input:

Where I’m From – A Navy Brat

I am from many lands and unusual places;

My life is formed by many hands and lots of faces.

I am from the East and from the West, and also from the in-between.

I’ve gotten to learn from the many things that I have seen.

I am definitely from the Stars and Stripes, but also the Rising Sun, and Europe, too.

They each played a part in what I learned and how I grew.

Valley Forge, Bull Run, the Badlands, Great Salt Lake, Golden Gate, Hawaiian ports;

Roman ruins, medieval castles, knightly tales, thatched roofs, knee socks and shorts;

Pagodas, Samurai legends, Mt. Fuji, the village candy maker, a Shinto shrine;

Lederhosen, strudel, soaring Alps, the Berlin Wall, cruising on the Rhine.

Their stories and their people have touched my soul

And left a lot of ideas and several goals.

Each time I moved was a new adventure; time to learn and time to grow;

New people to meet; maybe a language to learn; new places to go!

I lived in three different places while in just the first grade;

What I remember the most was all the new friends that I made.

I am from the Bowlin family who love to explore.

We enjoy the landscape, architecture, language, food, art, and more.

This legacy of travel I bequeath to you,

May the joy of learning flow through you.

Jim Bowl-in

“SHOUT: Sharing Our Truth: An Anthology of Writings by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services”

MAMF Special Projects Writer Caroline LeBlanc is seeking stories for:

SHOUT: Sharing Our Truth: An Anthology of Writings by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services”

This anthology seeks first-hand experiences—good, bad, and in between—as an LGBT veteran or family member, during and/or after military service. Our goal is to create a book that will allow you to tell parts of your story that will also be helpful for others to read—others who live or want to understand the LGBT veteran experience. The last chapter of the book will list resources available to LGBT veterans.

Do not submit any materials previously published in print or online. Identifying information should be included in the body of the email only.

What Genres to Submit:

Fiction: up to 1200 words.

Non-Fiction (memoir, essays, and other non-fiction): up to 1200 words

Poetry: up to 40 lines.

Reviews: up to 1200 words about a movie, book, music, etc. that you think are important for others to know about.

Resources: submit information on resources you have found particularly helpful. (Name, webpage, telephone number, and services)

 You may submit up to 2 pieces in each genre. Each piece must be attached in a separate file. All pieces in a given category must be submitted in the same email. Pieces in separate categories must be submitted in separate emails.

Submissions are accepted between March 20 and June 20, 2016. For more information or for guidelines on how to submit, please visit:

our projects website




I Cry

By Barb Tremmel

I cried as you ran away from me on your first day of school.

-not because I was afraid you were going to be hurt.


I cried when you walked across the stages for your awards and diplomas.

-not because I thought you would trip.


I cried when you drove away with your car packed, baby in her seat,

waving your arm out the window as I was left standing on the curb.

-not because I thought you’d have an accident.


I cried as you walked down the aisle to your new life and new name.

-not because I thought you were making a mistake.


So, why does everyone question why I’m crying now, as you get sworn into

The United States Army?

-As always, I shed tears of pride for my daughter, my heart.