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My Brother


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On September 10th, 2012, my mom came to school to pick my brother & I up. I didn’t really know why until I saw her eyes full of tears & she said, “they called Joel this morning. They asked him if he wanted to leave today, he said yes. He’s leaving today at 4”. I sat next to her at the office waiting for my other brother Roel. I stared at the ground wondering if this was real. It didn’t feel real to me. I tried not to cry, because Joel had told us he didn’t want to see us cry when he left. As we got closer to the house, my eyes would get more & more watery. I saw a lot of cars parked outside my house, those were all his friends saying their goodbyes. I didn’t want to see him because I knew I would start crying if I did. As soon as walked in, I ran to the bathroom & locked myself in there. I couldn’t help it, I started crying like I never have before. I got out of the bathroom & my mom saw me crying. Joel came & gave me a big hug. We all got in the truck & took him to the a Military Recruiting office. My brother has always been a huge part of my life & he’s someone that I will always look up to.

Joel is a tall, buff, dark skinned, !9 year old U.S. Marine with a high & tight haircut. He’s also my oldest brother & family favorite. While he was in high school, he joined boxing. He left to boot camp about a year ago. When we were younger, Joel would always defend me when my other brother Roel, who is 17 years old, would hit me & call me names. He took care of us when my parents weren’t home, which was often. He always brightened up the room when he was around. He would do anything to keep my sister & I entertained. Nothing really ever bothered him, he has always been a happy person. He taught me not to care about what other people think & just do what I want & if everyone else doesn’t like it, who cares. He taught me how to always be happy & not let anything bring me down. The way he was, made me the way I am today.


Joel always had the mind of a kid. He liked to play around a lot & he was really loud. When he left to boot camp, everything at home was quiet. Things did change a lot. He would send us letters every week telling us how things were & what he did that week. A lot of the things he did are things not many can do on a regular day like walk around 30 miles over night with only two hours of sleep & a little bit of food with around 20 pounds on your back. When the three months were over, he came home in time for Christmas. He told me about how he was glad he made it through those three months because not everyone did. His state of mind was way different than it was before. He would always want my mom to go to the stores with him just because he wanted her there, but when he came back he was more independant. Everything he did was different. He wasn’t as playful as he was before, but he still tried to play with us because he knew he wouldn’t be able to see us for years.


From the beginning of his journey, he’s been close with one of his roommates named Josh. When he found out that his friend wasn’t gonna be deployed to the same base, it was really hard for him because it was someone who had always been with him. Even tho he was more independent when he came back home, he didn’t really learn how to live without his family. A lot of things in his life have changed, & have also changed ours.


My 19 year old brother amazes me because he became a U.S. Marine at a young age & that’s what he’s always wanted to do. He’s seen a lot of things not many people see on a daily basis like seeing the person next to you fall straight to the ground & brake his face & not being able to do anything about it but pick up the gun he had in his hand. It’s something that he has to live with forever. He followed his dreams knowing he was going to have to give up a lot of things.



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