and the men and women who fight for her!
Some of you may know that my brother is in the Arkansas National Guard. In 2003-04 he was called to active duty and was stationed in Iraq. He was just outside of Bagdad and saw much combat. It was not easy on him, his wife, his children, or his family. By family I mean my parents, my brother, me, my grandparents, his aunts and uncles...etc.
I am lucky (although some would say unlucky) that my extended family is very close. Cousins, aunts, uncles, greats: we all call each other and keep up with each other. As children we grew up having HUGE family get togethers. Think BIG typical southern family gatherings with much food, games, water sports, etc.
So...we all worried about my brother a lot and prayed for him and missed him. I was pregnant with my first daughter during the time he was gone. He missed my whole pregnancy. I had a dog tag with a soldier's prayer on it, I wore it everyday til he came home. I even have it on in the pictures of me in the hospital with my baby. Knowing where he was and what he was going through gave me strength to face the challenges here at home. I knew if he could handle the death and destruction and fear surrounding him every day, that there wasn't anything I couldn't deal with here at home. His bravery gave me bravery.
I am so proud to call him my brother. Sure he will always be "doofus", my younger brother, but he is also one of my biggest heroes.
There is someone else that I am proud to call my friend. He and I were very close in high school and continued our friendship into college. We haven't stayed in touch as much as we should since we have gotten older. But we still occasionally talk on the phone and he has been to visit my parents a few times.
The year after our sophmore year of college he and I both sat out a semester. He decided to join the Air Force. I had gone to the recruiter with him, had taken my entrance test and was getting ready to take the physical when I found out I had been accepted into nursing school. I opted out of joining up with him, but he went ahead and joined.
Just recently he won the Military's Visual Information Award for his creative work in the field. He won Videographer of the Year. It is a huge honor and I believe it is important to make known the work that he does.
So...here is my shout out to my friend Technical Sergeant Gary Burdett. Please take some time to go and read the article and watch the video. These men are amazing and their work is so important. They show us a side of the military that most people don't get to see.
"I'm Proud to be a Jamerican"