Self Expression

Being raised as an Army Brat

“Heroes aren’t the ones wearing capes and mask. They’re the ones wearing dog tags.”

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Starting off my journey from mother’s womb till the time I exposed to World is a journey of experiences, interactions, communication and knowing the world from a little different perspective,  made it possible for me to assess the criteria from ‘human being’ to ‘being human’.

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It was 22nd of September 1993 when CMH(combined military hospital) Abbottabad was echoed by the cries of a baby who was later named as M. Umer Mukhtar. As a child I was an average same child like all other children, but as time passed and I grew up in a military culture where we don’t see our fathers on daily routine. From start, when a child is in need of his father, who can warm him, comfort him, and fulfill the fairy dreams; my father was at borders of this nation to protect the families of this country so they can sleep comfortably at nights, so they can fulfill the dreams of their children, and to be there for their children and family.

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I am glad and proud of the fact that my father was one of those who courageously fought in Kargil War to protect his nation and earned the Medal of Honor (Tamghai-e- Imtiaz Military). And spent most of his time while serving this holy motherland.

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Now, as I reflect back and recall all the memories while being an Army Brat, I learned a lot from military culture; Discipline, Punctuality, Respect to elders, are the main basic root of any Army Brat. Posted(shifted) through out the country in almost every city after every two years broaden up my horizon in every context, meeting new people after every two years in different schools, and different cantonments, gave me the opportunity to learn about different human psyche and to groom myself in a manner which is little different from being a civilian.

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My hometown is nowhere, my friends are everywhere. I grew up with the knowledge that home is where the heart is and the family…with no dependence on the dwelling. Mobility is my way of life. Some would wonder about roots, yet they are as deep and strong as the mighty oak. I sink them quickly, absorbing all an area offers, and hopefully, give enrichment in return. Travel has taught me to be open. Shaking hands with the universe, I find brotherhood in all men. Farewells are never easy. Yet, even in sorrow comes strength and ability to face tomorrow with anticipation. And if when I leave one place, I feel that half of my world is left behind, I also know that the other half if waiting to be met. Friendships are formed in hours and kept for decades. I did not grow up with anyone but matured with many. Be it inevitable that paths part, there is constant hope that we will meet again. Love of country, respect and pride fill my being when Old Glory passes in review. When I stand to honor that flag, so also do I stand in honor of all soldiers, and, most especially, to the parents whose life created mine. Because of this, I have shared in the rich heritage of Army life.

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As a military brat you experience a heart break at a very young age with every goodbye. You learn quickly to let go, to protect your heart and to keep moving forward. It teaches you to live life to the fullest and appreciate what you have while it is present.

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