After traveling 26 hours via military transit, my brother touched down in Afghanistan yesterday. I have been thinking of him constantly. I wonder if he has slept, how much he has eaten. I wonder if he is surprised at the landscape that now surrounds him. Is it what he expected? Will his training keep him safe in harms way? I pray.
Today we sent our first care package. The girls and I stopped at our local Rite Aid and they were each allowed to pick two items. We sent him the ESPN College Football magazine, today’s NY Post newspaper, Mike and Ike candy, Chex Mix, mints, hand wipes, sunflower seeds and of course three letters.
My brother is a hero. Not because he is defending the rights and freedoms of our country, but because he is looked up to by four adoring children. Over the years, these they have thought their uncle has the strength to lift airplanes. They thought, and still think, he is the smartest person in the entire world. He is certainly the coolest. The four of them glow just a bit brighter in his presence.
This picture was taken on the front steps of my sister’s home in May of 2008. My brother had just joined the Marines, barely making the age cutoff of thirty. He dreamt of joining the USMC but did not make that dream a reality until he was an adult. My parents threw him a party. A big party. At the time we were sad that he would be away for the summer at The Basic School in Quantico. We wrote letters, we emailed, we visited when we could. This moment was a break from the worry and anticipation. This is just an uncle with his kids, having fun.
Godspeed brother. Semper Fi.