Ode to a Star Wars Ninja

Today is kind of a sad day.

My big brother, Tommy, is leaving us for Washington, which will be followed in one month by his deployment to Kuwait.

Our family has been surrounded by this kind of thing for the last few years, although we didn't grow up in a military family. My father served in the army years before I was born, but that was the limit on my direct exposure to the military.

My father re-married when I was a freshman in college, and my step-brother soon joined the National Guard, and then the Army. He's been deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and helped serve after Hurricane Katrina.

Then I got married. My father-in-law retired from the Air Force, where he served in Korea. In fact, he met my mother-in-law when they were both in active duty, although she was only in the Air Force for a few years. My brother-in-law, however, is smack dab in the middle of his career as a dive training instructor in the Navy. He's served 4 or 5 (?) tours-of-duty and is about to serve another. His son also joined the Army. He just completed his first tour-of-duty.

My sisters's husband- my other brother-in-law- returned from serving in Afghanistan just two weeks ago.

And, now, my brother is leaving, too.

I'm super proud of him. He's been one of my best friends since we were little kids, even though I drove him crazy with my incessant singing and chatter. We're both music nerds who love to read and pretty much get along with everyone, and if I ever I'm upset he listens quietly and offers funny, sincere encouragement. He's the most unconditional, kind, compassionate, friendly person you'll ever meet. His hugs are the greatest. He's also kind of a rockstar.

No comments