Battle Buddy and Brother

One of my best buds, my brother, left this morning at 6 AM for basic and additional training for his specialty in the National Guard. We won’t see him again for six and half months. He is dating one of my closest friends (by way of my scheming) who has grown into a sister over the years. I can only imagine what she is enduring, and my thoughts of her help to block out the glumness I’m experiencing.

My best friend and I went to see Justin one last time two days ago in his hometown where he shared his life, childhood, and family home with us.

In both pictures, our soldier is the one on the far left.

He and I started out as coworkers, both in a new and strange place in life. We quickly bonded and referred to each other as “Battle Buddies.” We always have each other’s backs. As I hoped and suspected, he melded perfectly into our group of friends which have undoubtedly become family over time and trials. After two weeks of knowing him, I knew he was the perfect fit, that one person we truly needed, and the best choice for my sister.

Sure enough, they were soon dating. I admire their relationship and couldn’t be more overjoyed for them both. They’ve both waited too long to find someone who won’t cause them malicious pain and rejection.

Justin and Alex

Once, my friend Alex (obviously the one on the right), had really hit the low point about a year ago. She couldn’t stand the seemingly endless rejections, the boyfriends gone bad, and hoped harder than anyone for the right guy. I told her the longer it took to find the right guy, the better he would be. During that time her parents had told her not to worry, that the guy for her is out their tripping over his own feet and tumbling in the floor as we speak. Both things said were true.

He is kind to her, protective and loving towards her younger sister (who of course has long since become ours as well), respectful to her parents, and best of all he happily puts her needs above his own. She is just as selfless, loving, and dedicated as she’s always been.

They don’t know it as of my writing this, but I found a song for them about a month ago. It’s their song, all the way through and back again. This is for you, babes:


This morning I received a text, waking one minute before my phone went off. It read as such:

“We are leaving Warren now, heading to Little Rock so if I don’t get the chance to text you again… Take care, love y’all, remember when things get wild and crazy remember that you’ve got a battle buddy to write to. Love you. Be back as soon as  I can. God bless y’all, and Battle Buddies for life.”

I’m keeping that text forever, bro.

For two months of his training we will only be able to send him letters. Thankfully after that for the next four months we can call, Skype, face-time, and even play online games with him. He’ll still be states away, but the added formats of communication will greatly help.

Still, there’s going to be an obvious missing piece to our group. All we can do now is hope he gets through it, which I predict he will most beautifully. Until then, Battle Buddy, we’re here striving for the best as always and waiting eagerly, if not impatiently, for your return.

One last thing, a little gift from God if you will:

Sunrise of Justin's leaving

The sunrise this morning of Justin’s leave. Even if it’s raining the day you come home, or late at night, the sunrise will be even better then. See you soon.


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