In the Spring of 2002 I had just finished my undergraduate work and to celebrate I took every penny I owned and my little brother for a summer tour of some of our National Parks. This is a photo of Derrek and I at Crater Lake. I was 26 and he was 16.
When he was an infant I took him out late at night to see Halley's Comet (he barfed on my shoulder). I changed his diapers, took him sled riding, bought him beer, and helped him bury his father. He was still pretty young when I left home, so our trip was actually the first time we really had a chance to hang out. I believe I can speak for us both in saying that, even though we had been close, this trip changed our relationship forever.
All I've ever wanted was for him to be happy and safe.
This past May I found out that he had decided to join the Marines. I believe in peace, but I also believe that unless we can address some major global issues, there will always be a need for a military. Every morning when I go for a run I see a car's bumper sticker with a quote from Einstein that says something like, "It is impossible to simultaneously prepare for and prevent war." Actually I think Billy Bragg said it best that "the only way to disarm is to disarm." Admittedly, when I first found out about his decision I was angry and terrified. I was angry because I was afraid for him, and I was terrified because I was afraid for me. No one wants to run the risk of losing someone as close as he is to me.
On Friday Meg and I took a trip to Parris Island for his graduation. It was pretty damn emotional and never I have I been so proud to be his brother.