One to thank all of my family & friends who have served our country. Thank you for your service, thank you for your duty, thank you for our freedom. This goes to my brother, my stepfather, my nephew, my uncles, my cousins, my friends near & far.
I can remember being a small girl, getting ready for the parades. My grandmother always had a red poppy for me. Nowadays I can't seem to find them anywhere, but they hold a special memory for me.
The second part of my post is to remember my brother David Alan. I remember being a kid and looking up to him in many ways. He was a tall kid, a gentle soul and very kind hearted. He was often mistaken for a fighter because of his size. And I believe he was naive and often misguided by others.
While I don't remember the day he told my mom he joined the Army, I do remember sending him off to boot camp and than his return home from boot camp. What a change had taken place. I remember being even more proud of my brother. And than watching him march in the Veteran's Day parade, the proud look on his face.
1986 was a year for our family. Dave was in an accident that crushed his forearm. It required multiple surgeries, drains and alot of pain. I started high school. My sister was married in September, Dave committed suicide in November and by December we had sold two houses, packed up our belongs and moved across the country from Pennsylvania to New Mexico.
My brother was 19 years old when he took his life. I guess he felt that he could not endure anymore pain in this life. For the short 14 years that I knew him, he left a lasting impression on me. We had to work harder than others at our relationship as we did not grow up in the same house. Dave made sure I did not want for the typical brother/sister taunting & teasing, but he also made sure I knew that I was loved and had a special place in his life.
So while most remember the Veterans on Veterans Day, for me it is a double memory day. I think about the Veterans and thank them for the service but I also think about my brother and thank him for taking up a space in my life that I still hold close to my heart.