Thursday, June 26, 2008

Email to Jeremy

I thought I would share an email that I sent to my brother. Some will not make sense, and I am not going to explain it because it is personal and between us. There are areas filled with ................ that means I took something out that is no one's business but ours. Once again, thank you for the support, and for the support from the strangers who we only know names. We appreciate all that is done for us. Like Jeremy said, the little toys (thank you from some mom; the playdough went over well) really help with the days. Mom, I am still waiting on that helicopter!! Squirt guns and stuff like that are really nice. We are asking for some bowls. Plastic tupperware or whatever. We have a lot of people that eat oatmeal (speaking of which, I am dying for some GOOD oatmeal, organic or all natural or whatever I can get) and instant noodle and mac and cheese and we never have any bowls or silverware. If I have a real spoon, I would be the happiest person in the world right now.

Well, here is the email:

I am not sure to say to you other than, welcome to a life that you never wanted and always wanted! When I was 19 and met Christina I was excited that I had found someone I thought I could make happy and be happy with. I thought that way all the way up until I left her and we were divorced. Life is a roller coaster that we cannot control and there is no need in trying too. We can see the error of our ways, pull the brake and tell everyone with us to hold on only to derail around the first curve and take others with us and leave some behind. I have thought about all of this a lot. You have to remember I start work at 1am with two or three people in the office with me for the first 8 hours of work and up to 30 the last four hours. That in itself is a roller coaster (looks like I am writing my next blog for the most part). You find something that brings joy to your life and happiness and after a while it gets boring and you long for something greater and challenges you have never faced. One challenge I have thought for years is a two week vacation. The first day someone takes me somewhere and drops me off, with me not knowing where I am, and I find a way to get home. I thought of the tiniest detail down the to the amount of money in my pocket. A challenge like or unlike this would give you a story to tell the next time you are talking over a beer or to your grand kids down the road. What I am trying to get at is that the longer you allow boredom to control you, the greater risks you are willing to take. Just like when you learned to do wheelies on the motorcycle, you would not stop, then it got boring and you tried other stuff to get that rush. I think we both approached the army looking for that rush, that danger and all the challenges in it. We both found something that we are very good at and the Army is it. You have not realized it about yourself as much I have of myself. I know that you want to do more, but you are making a difference even if you have nothing to do. I read the reports all the time of people doing great things out there and I want to be there too. But I have to remember that I putting a medal on someone’s chest that has deserved it. Napoleon started this way back when he gave troops small pieces of colored cloth to reward them because that was all he had to give them. The tradition has carried on and I helping give someone that boost of morale to help them continue what they are doing or to make a family proud when the soldier receives a Medal Of Honor posthumously. This is not about you, it is about us. We are two brothers that walked away from a life we know and love into something we did not know. I knew the day I signed the papers in October where I was headed, but did not know until I got here what I was going to be doing. You signed papers thinking you would do one thing, and you need to thank God you are as safe as you are. You have experienced more in a few months than most will experience in a lifetime. You and I both have faced more danger in a few months than we have our entire lives. We might not have those stories that get us free drinks all night, but we were here, we came, we saw, and we conquered the hardest task life has given us. We walked away from all that is known and expected every day to strange difficult life. You are dealing............... I am trying to start and maintain........... Every day the thoughts go through my head about ways to get home. I can go to the hospital and complain about my hip and maybe get a plane ticket, but I be damned if my little brother is going to stay gone longer than me. I am here, I am proud and I will continue to pray on my hands and knees every morning at 1200am to God while I wait for SSG Cundiff and PFC McCollough that I continue to have the strength to carry on with a mission that HE has put me on. I did not choose it, it was chosen for me. We have some of the most supportive parents in the world. Hell, they will not take money that I demand, insist and have to cuss about to get them to take it whether they need it or want it. They would rather short themselves and support us here than they would take our money and help themselves when we all know they need it. We are no better than the guy sitting next to us, but we sure as hell try to be. We are both stressed, just like the thousands of other brothers and sister we have here. No one is immune, no one is better than the next. From the top to the bottom, we all stress and have hard days. That is why you stay so busy when you are gone. Too much time and you think too much just like you did. Now, what can you do to stop the irritating, depressing thoughts? Start writing down and budgeting for challenges and goals when you get home. I have a small list in my head, and I will not fail at one of them. Failure with this is not an option. Just like I have to work so hard to get into shape and loose weight. I am going to pass a PT test before Oct if it kills me. I will also loose twenty more pounds before I get on that plane. I will know if I am ready for another....... I will make more changes and reach more goals before I get home in Oct and succeed at even more by June 2009. You are a great soldier, a caring person, someone that EVERYONE loves, and the best brother anyone can ask for. You tried your heart out to come to Afghanistan, and I am glad you did not make it and I sad you did not make it. Afghanistan is now more deadly for troops that Iraq. Per person here, the death percentage is a lot higher than there. That was great news to me. That meant there was a less chance of you getting hurt there. I am now in more danger than you and I could not be happier (I am NOT suicidal so don't think it). We have both been successful in our own little ways. It has always seemed to me that life is easier for you, but you hide the downs better and you seem to try harder than I do. I just complain, and you do something about it. I envy you for this and try to be more like you in that way, and not to mention people know you and love you everywhere you go. We are brothers, brought up under the same house under the same rules and the same expectations. I am lazier than you and cannot stand manual labor. You know more about some things and are better at some and the same with me. We are the very different people who are the same. I do not know anyone here who has a brother that is willing to put his life on the line and fight so hard to go to war with his brother. You get kudos all the time for being there and fighting to get there. Mom and dad get even more for being so strong with having their only two sons in war zones. You have a goal to look like a big stud when you get home. Keep it up, although I can still kick your ass, and see what happens. You have a goal and cannot let yourself fail or you will beat yourself up over it for a long time. Just like me not listening to you and Gann trying.......... If only I would have listened......... Life is not easy. The road was not paved for us, and it never will be. We are bumping along hoping we make it to where it gets smooth. We will get there, we just have to pave it ourselves and not wait for it to be done for us. As far as friends go.......

I miss you brother and I know how you feel and it is not easy. Get on your knees and pray until you cannot think anything else to be thankful for. Get up. Then get back down and pray for guidance and wisdom with the current situations at hand. It will get easier. I promise.

1 comment:

MOM said...

wow ........ the things that I can send. I thought that JR needed the silverware and now .... I guess I know to send everything to both boys .......
Let me see what I can do to get the stuff on the table in a box and on its way to another world where it will be more appreciated by someones important ....love ya both