Pieces of Home

Kristen - New City, New York
Entered on November 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, hope, war
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I believe that my brother will come home soon. For many military families, this hope has slipped past them. I still hold onto my hope. Every phone call makes it just a little bit better. Since RJ is on the front line, the phone is not readily available for him to use anytime he misses us. A phone call is precious. A phone call lets you know that for the ten minutes you are talking to him, he is still okay. I look forward to those phone calls every day.

When I wake up in the morning and I feel like just taking a day off and staying home, one thought crosses my mind. What if he, and all the other men and women fighting, decided they just did not want to get out of bed this morning? What would happen if they all just decided to sleep-in? I think of what he is going to do today to protect our futures. What is he going to do today to sacrifice his life for everyone in America?

Day by day, I try to move on with my life and keep telling myself, he will be home soon. He is a 19-year-old Marine who is deployed to Al-Anbar Province, Iraq. He is my big brother. He left on September 11th, 2006. I miss him terribly and I try not to lose the hope I have. I pray every day that he will come home soon. I also pray for that precious phone call, that he got the last care package, and that today will be the day we get a letter.

I try to remember all the special things we did together before he deployed. I try to picture all the fun things we will do when he comes home. The concerts we will go to, how many times we will get to go wakeboarding, or going to Six Flags. We loved doing those things together before he left, and I believe he will be home soon and, we will do those things again.

The next time he calls, and for those few minutes I know he is alive, I will remind him of these things. He likes to hear memories from when he was home. He says those pieces of home help him to get by.

For us also, some days do not pass as easily as others. When the main headline of the five o’clock news is: “Twelve Marines Killed in Iraq,” a chill goes through my body. I comfort my mom and say, he will be home soon. I have to be strong for her but on the inside, I am thinking, what if a Marine came knocking on our door today instead of those other twelve families’? However, in order to truly live my life, I have to believe my brother will be home soon.