The day that my little brother gets sworn into the U.S. Army.
I've known this day was on its way for years on end. Ever since we were little tykes he has always made it clear that his one desire was to go into the military. That is besides the one where he wants to move to England to become a professional soccer player, but that's besides the point. He was always fascinated by all of the History Channel documentaries on tanks and machine guns. He always made me play against him in his battle game complete with mini castle and loaded cannons. He always looked up to my cousin who already took the same path he's choosing now. He always sat in awe through ever war movie while I continued to cringe and cry anytime a horse died (forget the actual people being blown to bits, I only ever cared about the animals going down). But now I sit here with tears in my eyes over something other than horses fake dying in fake scenes of movies.
I cry because I'm scared. Scared for him and all of the unknown that lies ahead. Scared thinking about him being in situations completely out of his control. Scared knowing that he might one day be shipped off to an unsafe country on deployment. Scared for my parents who will have their youngest baby off fighting wars. Scared for my brother's sweet girlfriend who will be forced to learn how to live without seeing or speaking to him for days at a time after she's had him all to herself for years. Scared for him because there are so many that will judge his decision to join the military. Oh and they already have.
I cry because I'm angry. There are those on Facebook who leave comments of bewilderment saying things like "Oh my God really, why?!" There are also those that don't mean to come off as rude by saying things like "He doesn't need to resort to that." but boy do they make themselves look like that anyway. And that's why my blood really starts boiling. Whenever anyone looks at someone choosing to become a soldier as a "resort" or a "last option" I'd like to choose to punch them straight into tomorrow. Sure maybe there are kids who don't have the grades to go to college so they "fall back" on the military. Sure maybe there are those that have no real direction in life and "end up" going into the armed forces. But never ever ever does someone simply "resort" to choosing to fight for our country so that the rest of us remain free to do whatever we damn please. You don't simply resort to becoming a hero now do you?
I cry because I'm proud. Never in my life could I ever imagine having big enough balls to enlist in the Army. Never in my life could I gather up all of my fear and shove it in my back pocket so that I could go fight in a war. Never in my life would I have the strength, the willpower, the guts, or the bravery to become A U.S. Soldier. But my lil broski of a brother has all of that and I couldn't be more honored to call him my hero. I'm so proud of him for joining the ranks of all the men and women who selflessly fight every day to make our country the greatest one on Earth.
I love you Christopher, now go kick some ass!