The above paper was written by my younger brother, Jack. He wrote it his senior year of high school. Since Jack was killed while serving in the Special Forces as a Green Beret back in 2009, my family has treasured all the mementos we have of him, as families who lose a loved one tend to do. I am forever grateful to his English teacher for the book of papers written by Jack that we have to read through now that he is gone. See, teachers, you really do make a big difference! :)
The paper above is especially meaningful because of how Jack went on to live out his wish of proving to people that he was far from average.
In truth, Jack was never ordinary or just an average guy. He was always so smart, with such a cunning sense of humor; a man who listened more than he spoke, gave the best hugs, and was always looking out for and helping the underdog. He gave really great advice and was always wise beyond his years.
I miss Jack every single day, but there are certain days of each year when I think about him more and the ache is a bit stronger. Obviously, Veterans Day is one of those days. However, with as much pain as there is in thinking about losing my brother, I am also so fiercely proud of him and the difference he made in this world during his twenty-six years here on earth.
While looking through photos on Jack’s memorial page on Facebook, I was again reminded of one of the ways he changed the world. Jack and his Special Forces team were helping oversee the building of this school in the Philippines when Jack and his teammate Chris were killed. Now, the school bears their names.And I just realized how this post came full circle, as it started with a paper written by Jack as a school assignment, and ends with the legacy he left for kids in another part of the world: to grow and learn and go on to change the world in their own ways.I’m so thankful I live in a day and time when we, as Americans, honor and appreciate our veterans. Much can be argued or debated when it comes to war and such, but I think we all agree that those who have sacrificed so much of their personal lives deserve to be recognized. Thank you seems inadequate.