Veteran’s Day

11 Nov

Service for our country has been strong in my family.  My father was in the Air Force and developed his love for photography, as he was in charge of the film on the recon planes.  Both of my brothers were in the Marines.  Not to mention the fact that the majority of my cousins were or are in all branches except for the Army.

Today though?  I want to honor my little brother specifically.  This is most likely going to get long….

He is three years younger than me, and growing up, we fought.  Constantly.  Yelling, screaming, hitting, kicking, biting.  You name it, we did it.

I broke his leg when he was about 1 year old.  Mom told me to fold a blanket and he insisted on crawling onto it and would. not. move.  Even then he was stubborn.  So I tossed the blanket over his head and jumped on him.

Karma came back to me when I got attacked by the neighbors dog and had scratches all down my face.  There is a picture floating around somewhere of the two of us passed out asleep on the bed, me with my face all messed up and him with his little cast.  We look like victims of a car wreck or something.

In high school, I was always active in Dance Team and theater.  Even though I was what could be considered an awkward geek, my brother was much worse.  He was like many teenage boys and rarely showered, barely washed his hair when he did shower and was most often seen reading or behind a computer.

He is smart.  Like, really smart.  He was taking college courses his junior year in high school.  Japanese, in fact.  Along with being super smart, he was also lazy like me.  He wouldn’t want to show his work and homework was stupid and a waste of time.  So he’d get A’s on his tests and almost fail the class because he refused to do homework.  The low grades meant he didn’t qualify for most colleges, even with his SAT and ASVAB scores off the charts.  So instead?  He decided to join the Marines.

My overweight, stinky, lazy brother joined the Marines.

It was probably the hardest thing he’s ever done.  But he finished.  He succeeded in growing into a man.  My baby brother was no longer a child.

After some time in the states, my brother was sent to Okinawa, Japan.  He was there during my wedding and they wouldn’t let him come home because he was going on deployment.  He knew he wouldn’t be able to come to the wedding before then and so bought our wedding rings for us.  It was so special and I always think of him when I look at it.

We were able to see him a couple months later under horrible circumstances.  Instead of being deployed to Iraq, he was deployed halfway down the island while their boats were in dry-dock.  When my grandmother died, he was able to catch a flight home for the funeral.

We then spent a weekend down in Southern Oregon with family.  As horrible as the event was, it was so great to see him again.

He then went back to Okinawa and finally went on deployment, kind of.  He was sent with his group to the Philippines.  A year later, he was able to come visit for Christmas.

As he was getting onto the plane to head back to Okinawa, he passed out.  He had had some issues (involving falling down stairs in fact) with his heart but the doctors said it was just heartburn.

It’s been more than 2 years, and the doctors are still stumped.  He’s been retired from the Marines for almost a year, at full disability because of these heart issues.  Coughing hurts.  He has a cane for walking around on campus because he gets tired.  Retired and old at 24.

Don’t tell anyone, but I love my baby brother.

My Favorite Veteran

Happy Veteran’s Day.


It’s also Maddie’s Birthday.  A little girl who touched the whole world.  She would have been two today.

Are you a Friend of Maddie?


12 Responses to “Veteran’s Day”

  1. Jade @ Tasting Grace November 11, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    Big hearts to you and your family.

    • mrssoup November 11, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

      ❤ Thank you.

  2. Trinity November 11, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    I’m nearly in tears. I promise not to tell anyone that you love your baby brother, but I’m sure he knows it. I didn’t know that he bought your rings…that is incredibly touching. We have an amazing family and I’m proud of each one who served and is still serving. Josh spent eight years in the army and got out just before my wedding. It was very special to have him as a groomsman. I can’t imagine what it would feel like not to have him there. I’m sorry Matt had to miss yours.
    I’m proud to be part of a family full of such honorable men and women.

    • mrssoup November 12, 2009 at 9:03 am #

      We are really blessed to have such an amazing family.

  3. keli_h November 11, 2009 at 8:43 pm #

    Such a beautiful post in honor of your baby brother. I hope they find out what’s wrong with him, though … that’s got to be pretty scary.


    • mrssoup November 12, 2009 at 8:59 am #

      Yeah, not knowing what’s wrong with him makes it difficult, no impossible, to treat. And that’s hard. So we take it day by day and make sure he doesn’t overwork himself as much as we can.

  4. kbreints November 12, 2009 at 7:31 am #

    I am so sorry that he misised your wedding! But what a special thing for him to buy your rings… that is just AWESOME.

    • mrssoup November 12, 2009 at 8:58 am #

      Yeah, he’s a pretty special guy. I think I’ll keep him. 😉

  5. Aunt Becky November 12, 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    Beautiful post. Beautiful.

    • mrssoup November 12, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

      Thank you, love.

  6. Cathy November 13, 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    I pray he figures out his health issues. How terribly difficult.


    • mrssoup November 16, 2009 at 9:56 am #

      Thank you very much. It is hard…but he has a great attitude.

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