Conflict in Iraq finally hits home

E HAVE ALL read the most recent headlines. We have all seen the news reports about the dead and dying soldiers in Iraq. But most of us think that the war is over there — it cannot affect us in the United States.
Why worry about it, unless we have to?

Well, sure the war is over there, but it is closer than most of us think. I personally have not really thought about the war as being my problem.

Sure, I know people who have enlisted. And I know people who have done their time in Iraq and people who might soon be going there.

But up to now, it has not been my problem.

My little brother turned 18 on Monday. I can’t believe how fast time goes by.

But no matter how fast time moves, it does not change the fact that when boys are in their senior year of high school they start to get phone calls.

The war has hit home. My brother started getting phone calls from the military last week. A recruiter from the Navy called just the other day. And with him turning 18, I know the calls will keep coming.

It is not that I am against the military. I am not against serving one’s country. I just don’t want my little brother to go. If someone chooses to join, that is his or her choice, but the idea of my brother going scares the you know what out of me.

My brother wants to go to college. He wants to take psychology and German, as well as other classes.

He is thinking about becoming a teacher and has been talking about teaching non-stop.

He is such a great kid but I just can’t see him in a uniform. I can’t see him in boot camp, and I definitely don’t believe that he could kill anyone.

It is funny how life works — being a big sister has never felt so strange. I never thought I would be worried about something like this.

I suppose if there was no war in Iraq, then it would not be as tough, but having to think of him going to war makes me feel so much older than I actually am.

I am very protective of my brother. If anyone messed with him at school, he always told me about it. I am not a violent person, but if anyone ever hurt him, I think I would be the first one to strike back.

I want my brother to grow up safe and sound.

I want him to go to college, meet a nice girl and settle down.

I want to have nieces and nephews.

And I want him to grow old, doing what he loves. I can almost picture him reading a book on a porch somewhere with a balding head and a gray beard.

My brother does not want to go into the military. And I hope he does not change his mind.

But if something comes up and he decides to go, I will be supportive and will keep my fingers crossed the whole time he is gone.

I just don’t want to have to think about it until I absolutely have to.

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Comics and Puzzle Solutions 3-22-07