Every person has at least one other person they care about. That person could be their mother, father, brother, sister, significant other, or best friend. Let's face it, we want to spend time with the people we care about and when we can't... it sucks.
Being born and raised in the South, it's not uncommon to see several people enter the military after high school graduation. Each time I went to graduation (to watch or participate) my high school principal always recognized those brave students for their dedication to their country. Up until my senior year, I felt sad for the loved ones of these students but didn't recognize the real emotions until I was the one experiencing them.
Several people in my graduating class joined the military and left for basic training around the time of graduation, including some of my best friends. My friends and I felt an absence when we hung out. We missed the ones that were gone. We looked for them in crowded parties, reminisced on past memories and awaited their return.
Most people would think that having a best friend in the military thing is the worst thing in the world. But like anything else in the world, there are pros and cons to having a best friend in the military.
Of course there are several things that make being friends with a military man/woman difficult. The distance and time difference is one of the hardest parts. For example, a very close friend of mine is currently overseas in Australia and the time difference between us is 13 hours. It is extremely difficult to ever hold a conversation because one of us is generally asleep when the other is awake.
Another difficulty is the lack of physical contact. When you have a friend in the military, it's highly likely that you will go long periods of time without seeing each other. Yes, that sucks. But thanks to technology available today, it is a lot easier to talk to our friends via FaceTime, social media and emailing.
While the time apart is hard on each friend, spending time together becomes much more cherished than it was in the past. The first time seeing each other after a long period apart is amazing. The first hug and hello becomes a memory engrained in your head forever.
You can't help but be proud of your best friend for everything they do for our country. So enjoy their company while you can and hold off on the goodbyes for as long as possible. Goodbyes are easily the worst part.
To all of the military men and women reading this, thank you so much for your time and dedication to serving our great country. We are the home of the free because of the brave.
And to my best friend, thank you. Stay safe and I can't wait to see you.