This is a paper that my youngest son wrote for his English class. I am very proud of both of my sons.
March Eighteenth, Two Thousand and Three
One thing that I think that I will never forget is my brother, Brad Woodson, going to war. It was Tuesday, March Eighteenth, Two Thousand and Three. When I got off of my bus that day, I went inside to see my mom getting ready. "We're going to see Brad before he leaves," she told me, "Go get what your taking together." I replied with a simple OK.
Once we left and started to head down the road she told me that Brad's wife e-mailed her earlier and asked her if we wanted to come early and eat with them. My mom told her "Of course we do." So we went. We got to exit one thirteen and waited for my stepdad. Once he arrived we were on our way.
When we got to O'Charlie's we walked inside to see Brad. It was great eating with him, because I don't get to see him too often. We had a good time and a great, not to mention free, meal there. The manager paid for him, his family, and us because of his upcoming departure.
After wards, we left to go to the National Guard Armory in Flat Rock, North Carolina. When we got there, I saw my dad, his wife, and their family, along with two of my uncles. It felt good to see everybody that night. I got to see my dad, my uncles, and got to hear about how my grandmother was doing. Everybody seemed to be fine, except for that one thing―Brad was leaving.
Around eight o'clock the charter bus that would take them to the air base came. We all walked outside to say out goodbyes before the soldiers left. I will never forget that moment. It was drizzling lightly with a light breeze, though it looked much heavier because of the headlights on the bus shining through the rain. His wife, son, and mom were all in tears, everyone else watched as he kissed his wife goodbye, walked to the bus door, turned, and waved goodbye. The lights shining on the rain, and the dark wet pavement in the black of the night only added to the miserable atmosphere. Once everyone leaving was situated on the bus, all the onlookers, including myself, stepped to the side, and watched as it pulled past the line of saluting police officers, and left the parking lot, with everyone not knowing when they would see their loved one again…
My brother is a great man, a wonderful father, a loyal son, a loving husband, an excellent soldier, and above all, a hero to me. I felt happy that night, but sad at the same time. I guess you could say I had mixed emotions, because it was great to see him, but at the same time I didn't want to see him go. I won't forget what he said to us that night, his words were "If I had the choice of going or not having to, I would still go, I couldn't let everyone else go without me, I feel it is my duty to my family, friends, and country."