My whole journey as a military sibling started in 2003 when my brother just walked in the door and announced "I joined the Army, I leave in October." There was no discussions no talking about it. He was going to the Army and our opinions didn't matter.
In October 2003 we dropped my brother off at his recruiters and he was gone. Looking back I honestly don't think we talked to him at all except the initial "I'm here and I'm okay phone call." I was 10 years old when he left and I was the first one to not have him around for their birthday, and I'm not going to lie to you it was HORRIBLE. We went and picked him up in December of 2003 and he was completely different, I don't know how to explain it in words but if you've gone through it you understand. We were lucky enough to have him home for 2 weeks for Christmas, then the "real" Army life started.
In January of 2003 he headed to AIT at Fort Sam in Texas, and about 6 weeks later he was off to Germany to join the 1sr infantry Division of "The Big Red One." On Mothers day of 2003 my brother boarded a plane from Germany to go to Baqubah, Iraq. He was there for a little over a year, he was a Combat Medic. This is his least talked about deployment and I've looked up things that happened while he was there and I understand why. I'll talk more about this deployment in later posts but let me say I will never go though a worse year than this one.
We were VERY lucky he came home in 2004. He was stationed in Germany until his unit was being moved to Kansas and he headed to Fort Hood. He went to Iraq a second time to Balad, Iraq working in a hospital. He went there in 2007 I think and came home in 2008 (not sure on the years, it's been a long time). I don't like to call any deployment easy but this one was a breeze compared to the first one.
My family was blessed to not have another deployment until 2012 when he went to Afghanistan. My brother had just joined a Medevac unit in Tennessee and was told he was deploying then found out his wife was pregnant. That was a pretty rough experience. My niece was 9 days old when he left and his wife was dealing with her very first deployment.
My brother returned home 3 days before Christmas in 2013, there was a lot of stress and drama leading up to that homecoming. Army likes to change its mind. At this moment my brother is actually on his way home from his monthly National Guard weekend with his new unit.
This is the short story of my experiences I'll be more detailed in future posts! After almost 11 years I really feel like I've been through a lot with the military. I would love to here from readers, if you have a topic you want to talk about, or if you have questions please share with me! I am happy to answer or write pretty much anything.