Army Brats

by Michael G. Cerepanya

"In the decade following World War II, the time of the Baby Boomers, life was much different than today for the children growing up. There was almost unlimited freedom for kids. They could go out and play without parental supervision. “Be home for lunch!” or “Be home by ten!” was often the only restrictions they had during the summer or weekends during the school year."

Army Brats is a story of a young boy growing up as a military dependent during that time.


It was now a little after 9 o’clock. The boys were getting bored. Lucas figured they still had at least an hour at the earliest before anyone would be heading back to the barracks. They talked about all kinds of things in their low voices, catching themselves when they would get a little loud. Guy, as usual, was the most impatient.

“Maybe one of us should go on the other side of the fence and keep an eye out for them?” he suggested.

“I don’t think so,” Jason answered. “They might see you trying to get back to us.”

“Jason’s right,” Luke chimed in. “It would be a pisser if after all of this waiting and preparing they spotted us.”

“Even if they did,” argued Guy, “they still wouldn’t know about the holes.”

“But they would be on alert that something was up,” added Mickey, “and be looking for something.”

Guy finally gave up on the idea. The conversation died down after awhile as they all were deep into their own thoughts. Lucas could hear Bobby snoring slightly. He smiled to himself as he fought off the urge to drift off to sleep as well. He could feel his head nodding as time drifted on, then suddenly he perked up. He could hear voices and laughter and quickly became alert. Lucas tapped Bobby next to him. The rest of the boys were alert, too.

“Shit!” exclaimed Guy in a low voice. “We didn’t split up.”

“Too late now. Doesn’t matter anyhow, they are coming to this hole in front of us,” Lucas stated. “Let’s spread out a little.” As he finished his sentence he began to crawl several yards to his right. Lucas would be the closest to where they should pass if they were heading from the hole straight to their barracks. Bobby, who was next to him, followed him, stopping a couple of yards short of Luke.

“58 bottles of beer on the wall … 58 bottles of beer … take one down, pass it around … 57 bottles of beer on the wall.” The boys could hear the two drunken GIs singing as they stumbled towards the hole in the fence. Lucas’ heart was racing, his head pounding as they neared the fence.

“Hey Shithead! Here’s the fence,” one of the GIs shouted at the other. “And would you look at that … we found the fuckin’ hole right off.”

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About the Author: Michael G. Cerepanya

Michael G. Cerepanya was born in western Pennsylvania. He spent most of his early childhood as a military dependent, living on various U.S. Army bases in Germany and the United States. After his father retired from the Army the family moved back to Pennsylvania for a short period before relocating in Tucson, Arizona.

A desert rat from the first time he stepped foot in Arizona, Michael has had a passion for hiking and climbing the mountains of Arizona., as well as a passion for almost all outdoor sports.

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