Veteran Series: Raising an Army Brat
SARASOTA - “In the Army you are a big family. If you wear that uniform you are a family," says Abreu.
Behind the soldier is often a real family, making real sacrifices. Meet retired Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Cesar Abreu. He served nearly 25 years, and he’s my Dad.
I am a textbook Army Brat. I went to military school. We called Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Mannheim Germany, Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio Texas and MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Florida home. Being the perpetual new kid was hard.
“No, no regrets. I can reflect and say I should’ve never put them through that but I see it all as a positive experience," says Abreu.
Change was the only constant for my brother Jonathan and I. Along with saying goodbye to my Dad often to do what Army soldiers are trained to do.
"Did I have to go ahead and sacrifice myself by serving and deploying and leaving you guys behind on holidays, the turn of the millennial and being in a war zone and this and the other. Yes, it happens," says Abreu.
Being an Army Brat teaches you tolerance, respect and how to toughen up. Chief Abreu made sure the Army way was not lost in his household.
“My upbringing as a military soldier, being an enlisted then becoming an officer. I kind of reflected that how I treated you guys growing up," says Abreu.
Which meant raising his kids to the same military standard of integrity and discipline he was accustomed to.
A ubiquitous often shouted expression of determination and Army spirit can also mean I love you between a father and daughter.
“HOOAH!" says Abreu.