My little brother, Paxston, is currently in Great Lakes, IL at Navy bootcamp. He left the Monday before Thanksgiving and will graduate the last weekend in January. It's the first time in his life that he has been away from the family (he lived at home during his first two years of college) and he has had to miss Thanksgiving, his 21st birthday, Christmas and will soon miss New Years.
It has been so incredibly strange not texting him or calling him every day. I know that (as of now) he is safe and this experience will change his life for the better. It will give him discipline, guidance and strength that he desperately needs; however, a part of me wishes he would just stay my baby brother. It's scary to imagine that in a short while after his training is completed, he could be shipped away to a war zone. His life could be put in danger and more than likely we won't even know where he is.
It makes me so grateful to all of our veterans as well as those who currently serve in the armed forces. It is easy to say "I am patriotic and I support our troops." It's entirely different when you have a family member who is serving. The feeling of pride in your country now comes with a feeling of fear for your loved one. It's a strange combination that I am not quite comfortable with.
I know that many of you do not know me, but if you have a moment, please pray for my brother. Please send a silent prayer for all our troops currently away from their family and friends during this holiday time.
To anyone reading this whose family current serves our country: Thank-you for your sacrifice. I now realize that not only do our soldiers sacrifice their time and safety, but their families also offer a great sacrifice during their absence. Know that I pray each day for our troops and their families. I pray God keeps our men and women strong, safe and blessed. I pray that He gives their families peace, strength and patience until their return.
I posted this link in an earlier blog, but I feel it is appropriate again. Please take a moment and visit the following link: http://www.letssaythanks.com/. You can take a quick minute and fill out a "Thank-You" card which Xerox will send to troops in active duty on your behalf. It's a great way to put your gratitude to action.