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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Good Luck Sam!

From the left: My brother, Matt, me, and my youngest brother, Sam. Yes, my parents are fond of one syllable names: Jess, Matt, Sam (well, all of our full names are longer, but we never go by those). Photo was taken at my brother Matt's 27th b-day party in December '06.

Today, my youngest brother, Sam, leaves for the Army. And even though I'm not there to officially send him off, I figured I could do a little something here.

He's been talking about joining the Army for years, but has been serious about it for at least a year. For the past two years, while he's been finishing up his last two years of high school, he's also been enrolled in college courses at the University of Minnesota, so when he graduated from high school in May, he also had finished 2 full years of college. We were all hopeful that he would return to college this fall to complete his degree, but I guess he's ready for a little less book time and a little more action.

Last week, he spoke with a recruiter and took the Army's physical and intelligence tests. He scored so high on the intelligence test that the recruiter promised him any job he wanted; he wanted a position as an intelligence analyst, so they gave it to him. Thus, he departs from my parents' home in MN today for 9 weeks of basic training in Missouri; after that, he goes to Arizona for 21 weeks of intelligence training.

His position and the length of his training relieves me (somewhat) about his decision to join the military at this juncture, but I would be lying if I said I weren't anxious for his safety. I think it's a brave decision to join the military in a time of war, and I also know that his military service, the college experience he already has, and his future college experience (he does want to return after his 4 year committment -- or so he says now) will all enable him to be a valuable member of the future workforce; however, he's my baby brother and there's a war. I can't help but be scared for him.

But this is what he wants, and I support his decision and wish him the best of luck. He's so smart and so capable, so I know he'll excell in his training and in his field; he'll be invaluable to the Army, I'm sure of it. They're lucky to have him.

17 comments:

scott keeps running said...

best of luck to him! it's a tough decision, but if he made it for the right reasons it will be one he'll never regret.

he picked a good time (season) to go to basic. i went to ft. leonard wood during the winter and it SUCKED.

do you know what his MOS is? i have an uncle and an old army buddy who are now instructors for the 96B school at ft. huachuca, az. so if he's a 96B there's a very good chance he'd get one of these two as instructors.

CollegeGirl said...

I wish him the best of luck!

Nikki said...

Good luck to your brother...although it sounds like he's got it in the bag ;)

Erin said...

Nice send off Jess. I am sure he will be thinking of you and appreciates the farewell even if you are not there in person.

David said...

Sounds like a really smart young man, and his head appears to be buttoned on correctly. He won't get himself into anything he can't come home from, I'm certain.

Congrats to him, and please pass along my thanks for his service!

Neese said...

aw Sam sounds like a fantastic guy! and what a nice post of support to him! :o)

brunettechicagogal said...

I would be worried, too. But it looks like he'll be able to pretty much avoid the "trenches," so to speak.

Taryn said...

Jess - Wow! If he's squared away enough to take two years of college courses during high school... he's going to be awesome in the Army!

My husband was faced with some negative reactions when he decided to join the USMC after college. He's since experienced so many different things than our college peers, not just with job skills, but with travel and further education too. He's been to war and made it home safely... the whole military experience has given him so much depth and self-confidence.

Your brother has embarked on an amazing & tough adventure. He's lucky to have a supportive big sis like yourself - he will definitely need your love and support over the next few years!

Nicole said...

I hope he stays safe.

teacherwoman said...

Congrats to your brother! Good for him! They are definitely lucky to have him, that is for sure.

L*I*S*A said...

Best of luck to your brother. He will be a great asset to the military and later in the civilian realm.

Wes said...

Make sure you tell L'il brother we love'em. It doesn't get any better than that...

J~mom said...

I will look after him if you want! :>) I can even take him cookies.

Firefly's Running said...

My bro went to Ft. Leonardwood too from MN. I hope your brother has a safe time in Basic Training. Sounds like he has a clear advantage for his intelligence.

ws said...

best of luck to your bro and I hope he stays safe. thank him for making this sacrifice.

when I quit my job 2 years ago I seriously considered joining the military. being female and entering as an officer would offer me some protection, but I still haven't made the leap so I'm not as brave as your brother.

Laurel said...

My brother is over in Iraq right now so I totally understand what you are feeling. You want to be happy for him, but strangle him at the same time for doing something so dangerous.

The good news is that my brother has been in the military now for 17 years and it has been VERY good to him. He will retire in three years and is set. Your brother seems pretty smart and I'm sure he will take advantage of the situtation as well.

Good luck to him!

Mendy said...

I, too understand his decision, and your concerns all at once. I joined the military at a young age, with no college, and I did okay. He's got college and a nice career in intel ahead of him. He'll do wonderful!! Best of luck to him at basic and school!