When I was younger, you were my best friend. You were the cool, older cousin who I wanted to follow around day after day, day in and day out. As I grew up, I became more intrigued by the choices people around me made.
When I went into high school, people knew my name because of you. Teachers loved me because we were related.
As I grew up, I idolized you for what you did and do for our country. But with that, there are so many concerns.
I wonder about your safety. Every day. Every morning, evening and night I wonder about you. Are you okay? Are you safe? What are you doing right now? Is it fancy Marine stuff or are you relaxing with your friends and family? How's your daughter, your pride and joy? Your baby girl who I still need to meet. How are you?
I miss you, you know? I know you probably don't think of me every single day but there are days where all I can think of is you. Little things like when I see a copy of "War and Peace" in the school library it makes me thing of your "If you want peace, prepare for war" tattoo on your back. When I see the color orange I think of my dad and Laura's wedding and me dragging you around the backyard to get the right lighting for the picture we took.
I worry. I don't like to admit it but I do. I come from our family. We tend to worry.
Are you healthy? That's a dumb question. I'm sure you are. You're a Marine for goodness sake. You have to be healthy and in shape.
I saw you briefly for Christmas. At that point it had been years since I had seen you. I was elated beyond belief. My mom getting to see you brought back memories of you guys watching "Beetlejuice" together when you were a kid (according to my mom.)
I personally am terrified of "Beetlejuice" (along with "E.T" and anything with the words "Texas" "Chainsaw" and "massacre" in the title but that is another story.)
Before that it had been my dad's wedding in July of 2012. Way too long for my liking.
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I'm so proud of you. I don't know if that means anything to you, but it means so much to me to know of what you do. You're a protector. You protect the people of our country. It's amazing what you do. So amazing! I could never do it. I even have a U.S.M.C Alex and Ani bracelet that reminds me of just how proud of you I am.
Like I said, I don't know if it means anything to you, but I'm so so so proud of you and everything that you have done.
Thank you, Kevin for doing what you do. You make me proud to say "That guy is a Marine and he's part of my family."
In the wise words of 5 Seconds of Summer with their song "Don't Stop" I tell you "Don't stop, stop what you're doin'."