Joy, that is exactly what I felt when I talked to my mother last night and she told me she received a letter from my youngest brother. My brother left the island in November, to attend the English Language School in Texas. Of course it was a bittersweet time for the family, he was living with my mom, and now my mom finds herself all alone in such a big house. Sweet, because it was time, well, past due to be honest, for my youngest brother to leave the nest and start living on his own. The idea is to master the English language, then complete basic training and advanced training and become a soldier in the United States Army.
I adore my brother, and to know that he is following my grandfather, my father and my steps it’s a sense of provide that goes beyond words. With the times we are facing it does trouble me that he can see some action, as to when I was active…it was peace times…for the most part…up until the infamous 9/11. I have to trust God’s plan, I know that everything that happens in life is part of our destiny.
Now, to the sweet note…my mom read the letter my brother wrote. When I heard the words written by my brother, I couldn’t help but smile, I was transported to basic training all over again. I had a great experience in the US ARMY. I remember, not knowing the language, the fear and excitement every second of every day. The stress of not getting in trouble over not knowing what the heck my drill sergeants were saying. The fear of holding a gun for the first time in my life, the long marches, the bland food, all the exercises…getting up at 4AM to work out in the Oklahoma winter weather…the nose bleeds, the skin cracked, the snot all over the face after a long ass run, lol…all good memories in my book.
Listening to my brother’s letter was great, I felt like he was walking on my shoes the way he described his experience so far, as a Puerto Rican beginning the process of becoming a soldier are the same experiences I lived in 1999…16 years after. I know he will succeed, he seems to be having fun, he is still hold up at reception…so he has no idea what is coming his way!!!! The physical part, I know he is going to kill that part…the mental toughness, well, that one worries me some. The “alone” feeling when you are in a different country with people with different cultures, different languages, is a scary thing. So, to all of you reading this post, say a little prayer for my brother Javier Pitre. I love you bro, more than you know, you got this…just keep going forward…one step at a time…Remember: “No pain, no gain”!by