Sunday, July 12, 2009

My brother the soldier


Very early Thursday morning, my sister, my mom and I all traveled to Lawton/Ft. Sill Oklahoma to attend my brother's graduation ceremony from basic training. He graduated with the rest of his class and will continue his training for the field artillery in the US Army National Guard at Ft. Sill for the next 6-8weeks. After that he comes back home and will be a "weekend warrior" in the guard unless/until he is deployed somewhere.

I've always had respect and gratitude for what our armed forces do, but this experience was very moving to me. Seeing the dedication on my brother's face and on those of his classmates and watching him graduate made me so very proud to be his sister, but also so very proud to be an American. I know I'm not capturing in words what I mean to say - it wasn't just knowing that these guys are having to face the real possibility of being deployed and risking their lives - and it wasn't just having known this kid since he was born (he is 19, and was born while I was in high school - so he really is a "little" brother). And it wasn't even that he has struggled to find direction in his life as he's matured to adulthood or that I've never seen him feel so certain that this is what he wants to do, or so positive about doing it, or that I could tell he was feeling like he is making a difference. Those things were part of it, but somehow the whole was greater than the sum of the parts.... I'll just say I'm so proud of him, despite the fact that I feel that statement is incredibly inadequate.

9 comments:

Susan said...

I understand what you are saying, Jenny! My father was and my brother is career Air Force. My husband and his only nephew were in the Navy. I would be thrilled if my DS joined the Navy, too.

Erin said...

And we are so grateful to him. Please tell him thank you for us for all that he and the armed forces to do keep us safe.

Cat said...

I understand what you mean Jenny. It puts everything in such a different perspective to see someone you love dedicate themselves that way.

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

WOW! You are definitely a proud big sister. Thank him for all that he has and will do in our military!

Missy Ann said...

Congrats to your brother & I hope he stays safe.

Jill in CA said...

Congratulations to your brother on his graduation! I do know exactly what you mean with your post. My brother is in the Navy now, in A school (the next step after boot camp for his specialty). He is struggling a lot and I really hope he can get through it. He graduated #1 from boot camp and I was proud of him beyond words!

Many prayers for your brother's safety if/when he ends up overseas!!

Kathy A. said...

You have every right to be proud.
My DH spend 33 1/2 years in the Canadian military so I do understand some of what you are saying.

Wanda said...

I spent 20 years working with the military. I have no children of my own but each and every one of these brave and honorable young people have a place in my heart. I think the comments you received are perfect...each says that they understand what you are saying but it is a difficult thing to put into words...it's a feeling, deep in one's heart. And I can also say...I understand what you are feeling and saying. Freedom isn't free.

Cheryl said...

Congrats to your brother. Please let him know a great many of us are grateful for his service.