If you don’t know me, you don’t know that almost my entire family has some sort of military background. My dad was in the army for 20 years, my uncle was in the army for over 10 years, my other uncle graduated from West Point and is an active general in the army, my aunt was in the 2nd class of women at West Point and spent 5 years in the army, and my cousin graduated from West Point in ’05. Oh, and that’s just on my mom’s side.
My cousin, Michael, graduated from WP in 2005 and decided he wanted to be an aviator. He went to flight school in Enterprise, AL (where?!?) and was then stationed to Ft. Bragg, N.C. He deployed to Afghanistan this past May and we all miss him terribly. But, thank god for hand-written notes and of course, technology.
My Uncle, (Michael’s dad), already spent over a year in Iraq, and we just found out yesterday that he’s being deployed again. In two weeks.
I’m not gonna lie — I got a little upset when I first heard. Having one family member over there is tough enough, but two members of the same family…eesh.
However, my family are beasts. Not lying.
Michael learned how to fly a helicopter, so there is his number one reason for holding the title of beast. I mean, seriously, who flies helicopters? It’s so awesome.
My uncle, who turns 50 this month by the way, currently holds the title of Commondant at West Point. Basically that means he’s in charge of all 4,000 cadets. Not academically, but as far as their behavior and training, he’s the man. But, get this: The training that they have to go through all the time? The running in full gear with their weapons, uphill, in the rain or heat? My uncle does that…for fun. The challenging obstacle course that everyone avoids until the last possible second? He does that for fun as well…twice. Honestly, he’s a living, walking beast of a man, and dammit, it’s pretty rad.
One cool thing about this whole scenario is that they are going to be stationed about 300 miles from each other! I’m really hoping that they’ll be able to connect at some point over the coming weeks/months which, considering the circumstances, would be pretty cool.