Friday, May 15, 2009

My Brother - The Soldier

Several nations of the world hold an annual Armed Forces Day to recognize, venerate, and honor their military forces. It is similar to Veterans Day or the “Remembrance Day” in many other nations. In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May (that’s tomorrow). The day was created in 1949, and was a result of the consolidation of the military services in the Department of Defense.

So, today’s quote pays homage to some special people in my life who have served my country. It is from American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist, Walt Whitman:

“The moon gives you light, And the bugles and the drums give you music, And my
heart, O my soldiers, my veterans, My heart gives you love.” –Walt Whitman

I am a member of a family who has had at least one member serving our country in every generation, dating back to – at the very least – the Civil War.

Specifically, the ones I have been told about are my Great-Grandpa who served in the Armed Forces in WWI, my Grandpa S (US Air Force) and Grandpa F (US Air Force) served during WWII, my father (US Air Force), an uncle (US Army) served at the end of the Viet Nam era. My cousin (US Army), a graduate of West Point, has completed three tours of duty in Iraq and my kid brother has served in the US Air Force for the past 14 years, being sent overseas three times – this time to Kabul.

So… pride in the US Armed Forces runs thick in my veins. Every man and woman who bravely place their life between me and anyone who wants to compromise my freedoms is certainly worthy of honor. Tomorrow is a day set aside for that.

So, while I pause and reflect on all the things I have and the great cost others have paid in order for me to have them, I will think about my brother.

Three months into his service in Kabul, he misses his wife and two daughters who wait for him back home. He calls us all on a webcam program that allows us to see him and talk about our lives. He is always dressed in his dessert BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform). He always looks tired because it is 5:30 a.m., his time, when we are able to talk.

He thoroughly enjoys his work and he is interacting with so many nationalities of people. His assignment is very interesting and, once back home in the ‘States, he will be able to recognize the wonderful things he is doing and how he is truly making a difference globally.

This one, the brother, who I used to punch when my parents weren’t looking. I always kid him about this, but he, once, chewed the head off of my Luke Skywalker action figure…which, no doubt, unleashed a barrage of sibling beatings. How ironic that these days, he is the ultimate “Action Figure” of my life.

I will always be older than him but he will always be braver than me. I want to thank him and his family for allowing him to serve my country.

Here is to my brother, as well as all my other family members…and all of yours….who have served or are currently serving. May you know that you are truly the heroes of our time.
Until next time, I remain...1SweetMama

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