Older Brother of a National Guard Recruit

Cam and IThis morning my younger brother got picked up by his recruitment officer, to officially enlist in the National Guard. He will only be gone for one overnight stay a couple of hours away, but it’s strange to think the time has finally come.

He turned 18 back in November, so technically he can make his own decisions now. Personally I have no problem with his choice, but it is a long-term commitment. Originally he was thinking of signing up for ROTC, but several factors including my parents’ advice, and time changed his decision.

I love my brother, and I respect his decision. The last thing I want to see is him get hurt. I won’t assume the worst because it’s very unlikely that he would even get deployed overseas. However, no one can predict the future. One thought that usually sticks out in my mind is the fear of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Again, I don’t believe that my brother would ever suffer from this because I don’t expect him to ever face any action.

He aspires to work on helicopters for the military. Mechanical engineering has always been of great interest to him. He truly enjoys design, and the ability to get hands on with his work. I hope he finds happiness and success in his future job endeavors.

Overall, I am not disappointed or opposed to his decision. I absolutely believe he can do anything he sets his mind to. Recently he’s been exercising consistently in preparation for basic training in the near future. My dad and I both agree that military service would be beneficial for him. Academics are unfortunately not at the top of his priority list as of late, and he has demonstrated a significant amount of rebellious behavior toward my mom. It’s comforting to know that nothing will slide in the National Guard. His reporting officers will always keep him in line, hopefully making him a better person.

Although I never expected my brother to choose this path, I can appreciate him going against the grain a bit. He could have chosen they typical path of going to college to learn and party, but instead he wants to add something to his plate of responsibilities while being in school over the next few years. He and I both know some people who are serving or have served, and we can agree on how noble it truly is. I’m just glad to know that he will still be receiving a solid education. All I can do now is wish him the best of luck and say how proud I am of him.

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