Military Siblings: Blessing or a Curse?

Private+First+Class+Will+Ethridge+%28Courtesy+Photo%29
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Military Siblings: Blessing or a Curse?

Private First Class Will Ethridge (Courtesy Photo)

Private First Class Will Ethridge (Courtesy Photo)

Private First Class Will Ethridge (Courtesy Photo)

Private First Class Will Ethridge (Courtesy Photo)

Whitney Ethridge, Staff Reporter

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A little over a year ago my brother/best friend, Will, went to San Diego, California to start his career with the United States Marine Corps. He’s now stationed in Okinawa, Japan until possibly 2019. The next time I will get to see him is the summer of 2018.

I couldn’t be more proud of him and what he’s accomplished, but I think that having a military sibling has a lot of negative and positive aspects.
The toughest part for me with my brother being so far away is the fact that I can’t talk to him on a daily basis. Will and I grew extremely close once I hit my teenage years, meaning he quickly became my personal counselor/adviser. I could talk to him about anything at any time, but now there is a fourteen hour time difference between us so maintaining an ongoing conversation is hard via text. However, I am grateful that we are able to text and that we don’t have to write letters because that was the worst when he was in boot camp.         

Another hard part of Will being in the military is not being able to celebrate holidays or birthdays with him. When he went to boot camp he missed Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. When he went to combat training he left the day before my birthday, and when he was in Military Occupation School we weren’t able to celebrate his birthday with him. For the next two years, it’ll be the same circumstance, and the only way we can celebrate with him will be by sending packages in the mail.

The largest positive with my brother being gone all the time is when he comes home our time together is so valuable and every minute is special. Even instances so small as running errands, or watching a movie suddenly become a massive moment that our family has together. Our family uses all the time we can before he has to go so when he does leave we feel like we did everything we needed/wanted to do.

I know the circumstances wouldn’t be as extreme if Will was stationed closer, and my family is very fortunate with where my brother is stationed because it could’ve been way worse.

I’m very grateful for my brother and all that serve, but there are definitely hardships having family in the military.

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