My Brother is Leaving..

This Thursday, my younger brother Evan leaves for Afghanistan. He is in the Air Force and this will be his first tour in a conflict area. He has been in other areas during his time in the military. He's been to various places. Such as Korea, Spain, Germany and Rhode Island.

My first memory of my brother was shortly after he was born (he's 3 and a half years younger than I am). We were at home and he was crying in his bassinet. I remember my mother saying that he was crying because he was hungry, so I returned from the fridge and put a hot dog wiener next to him in his bed.

After our parents divorce a couple years later,
we pretty much only had each other. We changed schools each year, so the friends we had in school or in the apartment complex were gone when the twelve month lease ran out. Sibling rivalry existed. I was the oldest, but he was the husky bigger brother. I'm not proud to say that I've drawn more blood and cause more broken bones for him than he's done for me.

During our teenage years, I was the good kid and he was the problem child. I got good grades. Evan. Not so much. Shortly after he graduated high school, I think that’s when he realized that he needed to get his crap together. He developed a skill and stuck with it. He got a job with the civil service and worked at an air force base here i
n town working on the planes and he stuck with it. Right before 9/11 he joined the reserves. Since then, he's been activated pretty much the entire time. The past five years we've taken a couple different paths. I've settled down and have had lots of kids. He's not ready for that right now. But he has things squared away better than anyone else I know.

His nephews and nieces LOVE the stink out their
Uncle Evan. Or is it his air hockey table that that love?!?

I know his going away is going to be torture on our mother. With her living in New York, the time apart will probably be no different than usual. But just the fact that one of her sons are potentially in harms way must scare her on a daily basis. I'm sure I share concern for his safety as much as our other brothers and sisters, and I have faith that he will be protected and cared for while over there. My family will pray for him daily. We will look forward to any correspondence from him and anxiously await his return.

This just hit me while typing this. He is not going to be here when his newest niece or nephew are going to be born later this year and it saddens me
. But I'll be sure to tell them that Uncle Evan can't be here because he is making it safe for them to live over here.

I love you very much little brother. I'll pray for you daily and I couldn't be more proud of you. Take care of yourself and come home safely.

And you know what is ironic? All through high school and college, I was the one that was pushing for the military. I was in JROTC in high school and the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M. He was the one that would tell me that he would punch anyone who got up in his face telling him his shoes weren't shined right.

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