He was a knucklehead in his early teens, especially during his freshman year of high school. I was a grade above him and I always felt it was important to at least graduate high school to improve our family.
By the end of his freshman year, my brother had five credits. I was so disappointed. My grades weren’t good, but I still had more than five credits and was still on track to graduate.
I don’t know if it was my badgering, but my brother began to change. He tried out for the football team with me. He started doing better in school. My brother had to do summer programs, seventh periods and lots of night school, but he managed to graduate in four years.
He dug himself into a huge hole and managed to climb out. I was impressed and proud of him. I’ve always told myself, “If my brother can do that, then anything is possible.”
My brother always overcame any obstacle thrown his way. He turned his life around at a time when he could have gone down the wrong path. He managed to hold down a decent job for a consistent amount of time, and then joined the Army.
Today, he’s comfortable enough in his life. And he has a son. I always think about how my brother went from the bad kid who had five credits one year into high school, then turned into a soldier and father, all on his own terms. He’s deployed in Kuwait for the second time.
That is true resiliency.