Several weeks of dread over recent casualties over in the Iraq region were wiped out, at least temporarily, this last weekend as the baby brother Nick, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter pilot for the 101st Airborne, arrived in the States for his two weeks R&R.
This actually marks the first time our complete family has been together in one place in the last three years, and the above picture actually means far more to us than it might seem, as we were given a brief moment in a time free of uncertainty over the safety of family members scattered across the world, a time to reflect, celebrate and even just relax with our family which has been separated for such a long time.
The weekend was filled with the family members, myself included, making numerous connections by plane and car to come together for this last weekend in my brother’s place down in Kentucky. We celebrated an impromptu Christmas, as well as my brother’s birthday, which will pass as his last two have, in the middle of a combat zone.
I was sad to step onto the little jet that would speed me away from the family, just as the others who had to leave at the end of the weekend, but I was still happy for that bubble of time we got to spend together.