Highway of Heroes

~The Trews (featuring Kid Rock)

My daughter played her guitar and sang this song, at a talent show. She dedicated it to her uncle, my brother. She performed it beautifully.

My brother called me, one summer day, 15 years ago. He announced that he had just signed papers to join the Navy. I wasn’t the most supportive sister, at first. He hadn’t said a word about considering joining the military. 9/11 felt like it had just happened. We were in such a scary time. We were so young! I pelted him with questions and comments. Still, I wrote him everyday, while he was in boot camp. I’ve waited and watched, as he’s arrived home from deployments. I prayed for him. We hung a yellow ribbon around a tree, out front, all 7 times he went on “tour”. I held my breath, every time an unfamiliar car pulled into my driveway, scared it was someone coming to tell me something terrible had happened, while he was deployed. Most of them were spent in dangerous places. He’s seen things I can’t imagine. He’s risen the ranks. His last couple deployments were as a Navy Seal. He shares the funny stories. Antidotes from his time at various training camps. Various outings in far away countries. I have no idea what he really even does, though. I know he isn’t the same person. I have serious respect for him, and for anyone who wears that uniform. I also know, it’s not for me. I don’t think my brain could handle the things he’s seen and done. I don’t want to be “hard”. I don’t want to look at the world through cynical glasses. I know he loves his family fiercely, but I also notice how difficult it is for him to just enjoy anything. There’s always this air of paranoia around him. He’s on guard. I see him constantly watching, waiting, for something bad to happen. Having said all that, I couldn’t possibly be more proud to have my brother, for a brother. There’s another song, “Soldier’s Eyes”, that makes me think of him, every time I hear it.

Enjoying this day, full of sunshine and children’s laughter, makes me appreciate what I have, even more. I don’t want to pretend like I know everything, when it comes to international conflict. I do know, I don’t want war. I don’t want to send more people to fight. I don’t want anyone to have to see the world through a “soldier’s eyes”. I am still able to find so much beauty, peace, and pure happiness. I just don’t want to take that from anyone else.

I was thinking about all of this, so I decided to write it down.

6 thoughts on “Highway of Heroes

  1. Our soldiers are very deserving of gratitude and respect. I have known several men who were either killed or wounded in Vietnam. You’re right . We don’t want war.
    My dad served in Korea twice and Vietnam twice. My mom later told us he had nightmares most of the rest of his life but he would never speak about his experience.
    All that just to voice my respect and gratitude for our soldiers who risk their lives so we can have our own way of life
    Thank you so much for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your brother sounds like extraordinary person. It is no small feat to be a Navy Seal or to cope with multiple deployments. The burdens are heavy for those that serve and it sounds like your brother wears those burdens on strong shoulders. Men and women in service deserve every support, gesture of respect and honour society can give them. Many many thanks for his service.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Eve, your brother is a true American hero, having served in the Naval Reserves, I meet many good man and women with the same commitment as your brother, be proud of him always. Sir 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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