My Brother Courageous

December 3, 2008
By Oelania Pena, Brooklyn, NY

Never in my life would I have never imagined that I would be a freshman college student writing a courage essay about my brother, the twenty-four year old war veteran. Courage means not always doing what we want to but what we know is right. Or at least what we think or were thought that is right. Anbnel P. was born in Dominican Republic as I was and came to N.Y. at the tender age of fourteen. The middle child of three children and the self proclaimed class clown. He was always late to pick me up from elementary school due to his basketball-handball obsession. A leader at heart, who today has the same exact best friends he did then. He attended SUNY Oswego and put his child psychology degree on hold junior year due to his girlfriend’s unexpected pregnancy. He joined the army in the summer of 2005; about three months after his training was done he was assigned to Bagdad, Iraq for a seventeen month tour. His daughter was then nine months old. He missed her first birthday.

With our eldest brother in Dubai, in the Navy, our family was very solemn. My brother left for Iraq May 5,206. Everybody flew out to Georgia to say goodbye. But I didn’t, for I lacked courage. I settled for a phone goodbye and off to war my brother went. Kousez and Posner say: “extraordinary achievements never bloom in barren and unappreciative settings.” While my mother cried her eyes out every time she spoke to him on the phone, he never broke down in front of her. He continuously reminded us how much he loved his job. His courage was stronger than the distance that separated us. The same person that picked me up from third grade was now at war and I feared, every time the phone rang, that he would be harmed.

My brother returned from Iraq about four months ago. Four thousand two hundred and one soldiers have died in Iraq. And my brother only broke down once as he told me how many times he saw a bomb blow up and someone lost their leg. One hundred thousand soldiers have been wounded. The numbers alone astound me. Anbnel P. lived them. He walked by many people that are dead today. When my brother came home he was diagnosed with post-war depression. Yet he is still working hard to provide for his family every day. He still calls to ask for a blessing and refuses to discuss the events of Iraq. Courage is pulling it together because others depend on you. Courage is admitting that you have a problem and seeking help. Courage is showing the upcoming generation to stay strong in the face of danger. Leading a group of soldiers into the battle field and praying that all will return is true courage. To then come home to your two year old daughter and watch some cartoons is true courage. Being a leader is having a legacy. His legacy is one of a kind. He is my hero. He is my twenty four year old Iraq war veteran older brother.

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This article has 1 comment.

jondoe2011 said...
on Apr. 15 2011 at 12:50 pm
May god be with Anbnel and may he find peace with his family.


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