Close to 150 people from across the country gathered on the long weekend in August to celebrate the one thing they all shared in common: living overseas decades ago as military brats.
Hosted by the Canadian Overseas Brat Reunion Association (COBRA), the reunion was open to all military brats and families who were posted at bases in Germany and France during the 1960s, 70s, or 80s.
Some of the brats once went to school in Hemer, Germany or Metz, France during the 1960s. Most of them, like COBRA member Ron Fillier, however, attended school in Lahr, Germany during the 1970s and 1980s.
Fillier was born in northern Germany when his father was stationed there in the 1960s. After a few years back in Canada, he returned with his family to Lahr, Germany from 1975 until 1980.
“There were some people at the reunion that I’ve kept in touch with over the last few years but then there were others who I hadn’t seen in nearly 40 years,” said Capt. (ret’d) Fillier.
Fillier met with well over a dozen people who once went to high school with him.
Held in Calgary, AB, the reunion weekend began with a meet and greet on Thursday, Aug. 1. Over the next few days, attendees took part in several activities to rekindle old friendships including a golf tournament, a German-themed dinner and dance, and a brat jam, or open mic session.
Reunions such as these are typically held every few years and hold a special meaning for all the Canadian overseas brats that chose to attend.
“Lahr doesn’t exist for us anymore. The school isn’t there anymore, and people came back and went all across Canada pretty much.
“It’s really hard to describe for people that we have this unique connection that you can bump into somebody after 25, 30, or 40 years and you kind of just pick up where you were back then. It really is a unique connection that we have,” said Fillier.
For more information regarding COBRA, please visit their reunion Facebook page here.