'i've been to stans you ain't even heard of...'

just back from fort leonard wood, missouri... my little brother just graduated from basic training... and i couldn't be more proud of anyone if i tried. not only did he complete basic training, but he was awarded for his exemplary dedication to his duty. it's just so incredible to see anyone, much less someone you care about, transform so completely in a matter of months... in january, he was angry and confused... frustrated with his 'lack of direction'... seemingly spinning his wheels and getting nowhere. now. now he stands with pride... he exudes self-confidence as well as a sense of humility. when i saw him in his uniform, i almost cried [mind you, i'm not much for ceremonies or crying in public... but sometimes this is simply unavoidable]... i know that my eyes welled up a bit at least. i've just never been so proud in my whole life.

it's not even so much that he's a soldier or that he's doing something that takes tremendous courage, strength and honor... it's just that he's happy. and proud. it's been so long since i've seen matt smile - i mean truly smile, and he really smiled this time. it was just a bit overwhelming... in a really good way.


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