Thursday, March 01, 2007

Little Brother

If you’ve read the tag line under my blog’s title, you know I have a brother and son in the Marines. My brother (my little brother… my only brother… my only sibling) was in Iraq for 13 months in 2004. That was the longest year of my life. We’d e-mail daily, and as you know, e-mail can be like a conversation. Replies going back and forth, sometimes several in a day.

The first time we were in mid conversation and I didn’t get a reply from him for about 3 days about killed me. When he finally got back, I think he could tell I was shaken and tried to calm my nerves. “Dude, we have work to do. We go out for 3 days then we are back in for 4 days, don’t worry until it has been over 4 or 5 days”, he tells me.

WHAT!! F-ME!! 4 DAYS…. 5 DAYS!!??!! Good God! I thought, if I go that long without hearing from him, I’ll have to be committed someplace. Every time the 3rd day would pass, I’d be forced to think, ‘What if there’s a 4th day, what will I do? Will I ever recover?? I’ll never be the same. I’ll wait for the 5th day then do… something…’. The 3rd day came many times and forced me to deal with and realize the danger that he, at nearly 40, volunteered to be in. Because ‘it should never be here again’ (referring to 9/11), because he could ‘help’, he told us.

I prepared myself for the worst and thank God it never came.

Thursday the 1st, I will attend the funeral of a friend’s younger brother. He was killed Saturday in an auto accident. There has been no preparation, no one is ready. I’m not ready. Chad Burnette at the ripe old age of 23 was just beginning a carrier as a firefighter.

As members of the Patriot Guard we will ride for Chad tomorrow. We honor the man, the family and the heart willing to sacrifice itself to protect our homes and lives. God bless and be with his older brother, my friend, Chris. As you read this, please say a prayer for Chris and his family. He finds himself now in a position that after a year of preparation, I believe I still am not ready for.


Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss, and thankful for the service by your loved ones.

My thoughts are with you today.

Dazd said...

I will be there in spirit today. Prayers are coming.

Ride safe!

Anonymous said...

It's the sudden tragic events that get to you. Even more so when it's your sibling. I feel so sorry for your friend Chris. My prayers and thoughts are with him and you, as you ride.

steph said...

Wow. 23 years old? His family must be in need of some serious prayers right now.

Joe said...

My daughter graduted with the other young man who died -- he was only 20. Tough times, indeed.