The poem "For Everything There Is a Season" reminds us that life is not static and that the world as we know it could change in a single day. It explains that there's always good and bad in life, however, in order to get to the good, you have to go through the bad. Life takes us through different journeys and sometimes we can't control what will happen next. The only thing that we could do is wait and hope for the best. Like the saying goes, all good things come to those who wait. I learned the hard way what it is to have hope when I heard the news that my brother was being deployed to Iraq. The result of my brother's service in Iraq was that I became more politically active, it taught me that life is precious and unpredictable, and I grew closer to my family.
Political issues were never my concern. I wasn't very aware of or worried about what was going on in the world until the tragic event on September 11th. It was a rude awakening. My initial reaction was utter terror. What will this event lead to? Is this the beginning of World War III? The far reaching impact of 9/11 didn't fully register until my brother was actually deployed to Iraq. Even though Iraq was not found to be responsible for the Twin Towers, the events of that day launched President Bush into an aggressive anti-terrorism course. President Bush probably acted much more rashly and aggressively with Saddam Hussain because he felt he had to retaliate. I was angry at the fact that our country fought a war that was avoidable. Furthermore, I was angry that my brother had to risk his life for reasons that were not fully disclosed to him. At this point, I started paying attention to Bush's foreign policy in Iraq, or as the media deemed it, "Operation Iraqi Freedom." In reality, this war had more to do with proving something to the world than with bringing democracy to the people of Iraq. It took all these events for me to finally start paying attention to world issues.
It is hard to appreciate what one has until it is taken away from you. People find it hard to comprehend that yes, bad things can and do eventually befall on you and your family. This was my feeling when my brother received his call for service. At this point in my life, I was very naÃÂ¯ve and I felt very removed from the things that were going on in Washington and the Middle East. It took something like this for me to realize just how much I care about my brother and how life can be very erratic. My brother's safety immediately became one of my major concerns. So many soldiers died fighting in Iraq, some were even people my brother had known. Days would go by before we would hear from him. It was during these days that my family became very alert to any mention of my brother's camp in the news. The first couple of weeks were the hardest because we had no idea what to expect. Each time I spoke to my brother, I could never be sure if there will be a next time. This taught me to make every moment count. I guess it takes a tragedy for one to realize the life you live could be altered at any moment.
Even though he was risking his life, knowing that my older brother was out there fighting for our country made my family proud. At the same time, we all wanted him to come home to us. It was hard watching my mother cry herself to sleep every night waiting for the day when my brother will return. There wasn't a day that went by that we didn't sit down at the table and pray for his safe return. We began to watch the news together daily and somehow our conversation would always find their way back to my brother. He became the link that held our family together during these trying times.
As I look back at my brother's war experience, I'm glad that that time is finally behind us. Even so, those eight months will never leave my memory. They taught me to no longer take life for granted and to live every moment as if it were my last. Furthermore, this event helped me to go outside of my immediate neighborhood and educate myself about what is going on in the world. I feel that my life is much less sheltered now. Finally, my family has forged a tight and lasting bond as a result of these eight months. Even though I wished it didn't have to happen this way, it took something bad to bring about so much good.