This sounds awful, but I never really understood the hype about military families.
I never “got” the yellow ribbons, the “bring our troops home” bumper stickers, and all the fundraisers and drives to support soldier’s families.
I was not against recruiting in high schools, I was not against invading countries and I was anti drone.
And then my baby brother joined the army.
It started out when he met a recruiter in the high school gym and then faster than a sniper’s bullet he was enlisted and taking the ASVAP.
Army Rangers, that’s what they want him to be, he told me.
The news your flesh and blood will be in the military puts you into chaos.
You are proud, extremely proud, that they want to live for a cause larger than themselves, and you are angry that they would be so reckless as to disregard their safety like that.
Mostly though, you are scared.
I am not a hippy, I do not believe in world peace and I have no false hopes about the intentions of mankind, but the day my brother left for bootcamp I understood why people desperately hold onto the idea of a positive world.
I am terrified of getting a call in the middle of the night.
I am horrified that people somewhere want to kill my brother without even knowing him.
I am disgusted that he will be forced to take lives.
I am afraid that he will be scared, or unsure and no one will be there to help him.
I am paralyzed by the idea that the military will change him and I cannot stop it.
All I can do now is wait.
I have no idea how people live with two or three generations of their family in the armed forces, the stress is unbelievable.
I now know why they say “a country goes to war”, not just “the military is at war”; because when a soldier goes into combat so does his whole family.