"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
My youngest brother, DJ, is graduating from boot camp today as a member of Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment “RIVER RAIDERS”! He got all of his personal belongings back the other day and called me up; it was the first time we’ve been able to chat since June and I loved every minute of it.
Today he marches on to the graduation field with hundreds of his comrades-in-arms. I wish I could be there to see him – standing tall in dress greens, boots spit-shined and polished, rifle gleaming. To see how the past 9 weeks have transformed him.
He was the boy who couldn’t be roused from bed with the blare of an alarm clock (easily sleeping in until the afternoon!), who was perpetually running late, and usually forgot something he needed for the day. He tells me now that rising with the sun is as easy as breathing, that he’s become more disciplined in his habits, more particular in his grooming.
And yet, he hasn’t changed where it matters most. His voice is still that of a confident and strong man. His words ring with the convictions he holds close to his heart. His reasoning, his wisdom, and his intelligence are unfaltering.
And today, as he’s joined by our parents and his best friend, it’s a celebration of all he’s accomplished over the past two months. He’s overcome the South Carolina heat, a feat in itself, especially for a guy coming from spring snows of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. He’s slogged through the long and arduous pack runs, the grilling of drill instructors, the multitude of sleepless nights, and the pressure to succeed in so many tests and assessments. He’s learned what it truly means to, “Hurry up and wait.” A phrase that he asked me to never again say to him…
Soon, he’s off to continue his training, entering the esoteric domain of Army intelligence, linguistics, and encryption. He told me the other day that while he doesn’t see himself making a career out of his time with the Army, he looks forward to serving his term honorably; doing his best in service to his country, his family, and others around the world. I couldn’t be more proud of him.