My brother has had his low points. He's had trouble with drugs...with the law. He stole our mother's jewelry to pawn for meth money. He's stolen checks. He's lied. He's hurt a lot of people. He has not been a very good person.
Today he graduated into the National Guard. There have been times I wanted to wash my hands of him; I was so angry with him and the choices he made.
Today, I am so proud of him, I am almost bursting. I contemplated driving 6 hours to see him and then 6 hours home to make it in time to go to work tomorrow. (Obviously, I didn't do that.)
I am so proud of him and this choice that he made. Lots of the kids that signed up with him went home. They gave up and never made it. He stuck it out...and his goals are so different now. He wants to go to college. He wants to get a good job. He wants to make something of himself.
We've been texting back and forth tonight as he's trying to get home. He told me some guy told him "Thanks for serving," and gave him airline money to buy drinks on the plane. He also said "Too bad I'm not 21 yet." In the weeks before basic training, he was pulled over (underage) for a DUI...now I trust him to make the right decision. He sent me another message telling me he'd been upgraded to first class.
Politically, no matter what personal views on the war are, our service men and women deserve our support and respect. I'm so proud of my brother for making the choice to stand up for our country.