one of my original commitments to myself regarding this blog was that politics wouldn't be something i openly discussed or argued. today, and for the last week, i have felt differently. sometimes things happen in our lives that become motives for change.
my brother, who is active-duty army infantry, called me on my cell phone at 4:15am last week just wanting to talk. i hadn't heard from him in over two weeks so i was happy to talk to him at any hour of the day. it was fairly uneventful. we just caught up on things going on with me and things going on with him (which are infinitely more difficult to discuss casually). i hung up and was in a better mood for having spoken to him.
the next morning i had the chance to sleep in because it was my day off. i was rudely informed at about 10am that my brother had called my parents at 4am that morning with some terrible news. his best friend had been killed in action the afternoon after he talked to me. i was devastated for him. they had spent most of the last stateside redeployment (in N.Y.) together and had become really close.
this whole ordeal brings many things to mind. for the most part, the grief of losing someone you only vaguely know is not necessarily all that overwhelming. granted, Nathan Barnes was only 23 years old and had what many would call a bright future. even more disturbing, however, is that the fragility of my own brother's life became so patently clear. if his best friend can be K.I.A. in what seemed to be the randomness of war, then it stands to reason that my brother is in the same situation. it's been very painful to face the thought of losing him.
you may wonder why that thought is new to me after enduring 75% of the second OIF (operation Iraqi freedom) deployment my brother has been a part of. very simply put, it has been something that i have very efficiently ignored and refused to deal with. i am not a worrier, nor do i find it healthy to sit around and worry about something i have no power to change. this has been the staple of my rationale. now it seems that it will no longer protect me. i've been worried since the day i found out.
if you want to know more about Nathan's life or how he came to pass, here is a news link: http://kutv.com/local/local_story_200085930.html The video within the page has an interview with Nathan's father that was at least comforting to me.