My older brother was deployed to Iraq for 365 days. Each one of those days, my family made it a priority to fly our flag outside our home. This isn't to say we don't fly our flag, but it meant something different during this time. Every time I came home, the flag was a reminder that although Bryan was not with us physically, he was still in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. When I was home, I loved to place it outside too. It was almost a way I could pay tribute to our soldiers without actually serving.
I admire those who choose to fight for our freedom. They leave their family to go to a place where they do not know anyone and take orders from sergeants every single day. They get mail, but they do not have much time to write back. This is most likely the same day they are allowed to make phone calls. Home sickness is almost not really an option. After basic training, they go through AIT at either the same base or another that allows them to get training in the area where they will be specifically serving during their time in the service. They do have more freedom now, but still... After all of this, which is about six months, they just have to wait for their orders. It all depends on what area they went into. Bryan was an Army Reserve so he came home for a bit before he was sent anywhere. Right now, it is HOT outside. I can't even imagine doing physical training or just spending all day outside. I honestly just can't imagine...
Today, on Memorial Day, we honor those who have served our country. Not only the men and women in uniform, but also the families and friends of these soldiers. Today, my family said goodbye to another family member, my little brother, as he left to go to Ft. Jackson to begin his time in the Army.
Our flag is flying high today, and I promise you we will continue flying it until he returns. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with him as he begins his journey. However, this time it won't be just six months, but for at least the 3 years he enlisted. Today, I am reminded of how blessed and proud I am to have 2 brothers serving in our armed forces. I am reminded of how much our armed forces have sacrificed to give us freedom. I am reminded of how much it hurts. And, I am reminded of how hard it is to put others' feelings above your own.
Thank you, Timmy, for serving our country. Thank you for being brave. We love you and can't wait to see you soon :)