My Brother, My Hero This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 7, 2009
By , Manchester, MO
In February I have to endure the toughest goodbye yet. I said goodbye to my brother David. In February, the person I admire the most on Earth moves to his Army station in Fairbanks, Alaska. Some girls will wonder why I chose to write about this person or why I even admire him the most in the first place, but in my heart, everything about who I am is linked to being the only little sister of David G.

David is my oldest brother and is six years older than me. He has buzzed dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, and towers over me at an impressive six feet one inch. You could say by means of appearances, he is my complete opposite. Despite the differences, though, David is my role model and best friend. Even as a baby girl, I would go to him for all my problems. If I was scared, lonely, or sick of being a punching bag I always knew I could go to my big brother and he would take care of the problem. Now that my problems revolve more around boys, maturing as a lady, and girls who can’t get over themselves, I don’t really go to David with my problems anymore. This doesn’t change anything though. I ask him for advice now more than ever as I enter the scary world of college applications, the ACT, and going out in the world by myself. David always knows what to say and has been my mentor through my first adult adventure. Maybe that’s why after a year of looking and thinking, I decided my best college fit would be none other than David’s alma mater, Truman State.

I remember going through elementary school and wishing I could be just like David. He was in high school and played the bassoon and marched the biggest bass drum on the drumline. Naturally I just had to play the bassoon and being in Marching Band just like him. When he would have birthdays I would dutifully sit next to him as he opened his presents and as everyone else would break for cake, I would put all of his new clothes on over mine. Everything about his life interested me and as a result of my craving curiosity, he became annoyed with me. He stopped being protective and helping me with my problems. He would yell at me for being around him and called me a skank when I would wear clothes similar to high school girls. I remember hoping it was just a phase. I still wanted to be just like him even if he was mean to me. I started liking the Chicago Cubs because he did, I wanted to play wiffle ball with him and his friends just to be with him. I thought I was just trying to being a loving little sister, but he thought I was nosy. He didn’t want me anywhere near him or his business at this point he would have asked to not have a little sister at all.

Despite the four year rough patch, David and I finally resolved our differences. I went with my parents to move him into college. It was a tough day. David just wanted to move in, go to his dorm meeting and be free of his family for a little while. As I helped my brother roll out his astro turf carpet and make his lofted dorm room bed, I realized this was the first of many goodbyes. I would miss him. I cried and hugged my brother bye one last time, and for the first time in a while he hugged me back and told me he would miss me too. He visited frequently, but it was never the same. David wasn’t my ten year old brother who would help me hide during “ghosts in the graveyard,” he was eighteen and had begun his own life.

Now, David is in the Army and I admire him more than ever. He went through ROTC and decided to apply for Intelligence. His dream was to interrogate Osama Bin Laden and terrorists; he secretly wanted to be a hero. Little did he know, he was my hero and always had been. David soon found that his dream job might not be ideal. He wanted to save lives not take them, so however painstakingly, he decided to switch his branch of choice to explosions Ordinance Disposal, or the bomb squad. He would add two years to his projected amount of active duty and spend a year training and learning how to diffuse bombs safely. Everything about his career scares me and there is never a moment where I am not hoping and praying that he’s okay. I admire everything about how David has dealt with this life. He was worked very hard in order to maintain a spot in this prestigious branch. After many leadership training camps, David was finally accepted into the EOD training program. This would be the most difficult part of the journey. After failing tests and enduring a spider bite from hell, David has persevered and pushed through the hard times. Now he is back and stronger than ever as he looks ahead to his graduation and first assignment in Fairbanks, Alaska. He visits on a occasion, but only to take care of last minute details for his wedding to his high school sweetheart Katie Cleaveland. He weds November 28, 2009 and then continues training until February, when he reports for duty.

David has influenced me in so many ways, even if some of the ways were not always the kindest. I admire him for all his bravery to defend my freedom, and respect him more than ever for his perseverance and dedication. David is my hero, my mentor, and my role model, but most of all he is my big brother and best friend.

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