The other day, I was thinking about my brother and thinking about how having a sibling is a really strange thing; cool, but strange. I have one brother who is 19 months older than I am. It’s crazy to think that besides my parents, I have known him the longest out of anyone I’ve ever met.
Even though we are less-than two years apart, my brother has always been my guardian. All through grade school, middle school, and high school he was around to keep an eye on me. I always knew that no matter what happened or what situation I found myself in, I could call my brother and he would defend me and stick by my side. And in return, he knows that no matter what happens in life, I will always support him.
Back in 2006 my brother made the big life decision to join the military. This was absolutely without a doubt life-changing not only for him, but for me. It was something he had to go through alone and I had to deal with him being gone for the first time in my life.
It was a total whirlwind between enlisting, getting ready, and then getting shipped off to bootcamp. I waited anxiously to hear from him when one day I received a letter from him with his mailing address. I wrote to him every day. I asked him what the other Marine recruits were like, what life was like on the base, and what kinds of things they had to do at bootcamp. I was so curious about what he was experiencing, since I had absolutely no idea what he was going through.
When I saw him for the first time after bootcamp, I could tell he was different. Good different. He was the same brother I always loved but he was also incredibly organized, strong, and with a beautiful desire to help people. My brother has only grown exponentially since that day he left for boot camp back in 2006. He has been in a war, trained with some of the best soldiers this world has, and truly has a heart of gold. He is my hero and I could not be prouder to call him my brother.
Support our troops. Behind every soldier and military personnel there is a family waiting for them to come home.
// all photography by Olivia //