My Brother

May 6, 2008
By Brittney Potthast, La Vista, NE

I haven't been mean to my brother since December 2007. I haven't called him a name, made fun of the way he drives, or even thrown a phoneat him. In fact, I haven't seen my brother since December 2007.

My brother Daniel has been deployed in Iraq for a few months now, fighting in the war. He enlisted in the National Guard when I was a freshman; he was a junior. He wasn't that great of a student. He was just an average student, there wasn't too special about him. He was an awkward, goofy boy. Nothing screamed out that he was a hero or destined to be somebody. Daniel knew that he had to do something with his life, so he joined the military, respectfully.

We don't have the greatest relationship. We fight all the time and have nothing positive to say to each other. When he walked to the car the day he was leaving for the other side of the world, I hugged him for the first time in my life willingly. I didn't know what to say or how to act. It was a simple, "have a good trip" hug. There was nothing to that hug, but it was special. It could be the first and last hug I ever give my brother.

I have managed to stay positive through all of the emotions my family has been experiencing. My mom has been moody since he left and my dad is a little odd. My younger brother has no one to hang out with, which means he has been in a funk. I have tried to stay myself and be optimistic, but every time I turn on the television another death in Iraq has occured. Each time I listen to the news, I pray that it's not my brother. After thinking about that for a while, I have realized that I pray someone else dies. I have never felt so vile in my life. Why should someone else die because I'm selfish and I don't know how to deal with my problems? Life doesn't seem to make any sense any more.

I can't even fathom what life would be like without my brother. Even though he annoyed me with his responsibility lectures, I would really miss him if he was gone forever. He used to walk to school with me, until he got too cool to do that. He has been a pretty good brother to me. Losing him would be like losing a piece of my childhood. I have realized that I am not that strong of a person and losing him would break me. I know that I can't handle that much in my life.

Whenever my brother comes home from Iraq, I will welcome him with open arms. I will give him a meaningful hug, although I might be tempted to throw a phone at him. All I know is that I need to stay positive and pray for him to come home. When that day comes, maybe I will finally tell him that I love him.

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