It’s one of those things that doesn’t really hit me until days later. It was like this last time when she left. I worry about her and all but at the same time I understand why she feels like she needs to do this. I didn’t understand it a few years ago. I didn’t get why people felt the need to go back. I know that it’s their duty and that most are proud of the work that they do but I did not understand the NEED to do it. It was something that my ex boyfriend told me that made me realize it goes beyond duty. Something he said that finally clicked. He said that it was more about the brothers and sisters he left behind still doing what he was doing. He said that how could he be ok with leaving without the people he cared about most. He once told me that when he came home he felt useless, like he didn’t have a purpose. Which was why he wanted to go back. He said that being back there made him feel like he had a purpose in life. Not just that but now he could help defend and protect his brothers and sisters. It was not just a duty he had for his country but also a duty he had to himself.
I understand it now. I can’t say that I know exactly what he meant. Let’s face it, unless you have gone through what they go through or are part of the military, you cannot possibly truly know what it’s like. You can understand their meaning, comprehend why they feel this way, but you cannot pretend to know what it actually feels like. And I don’t pretend to know that I do. I just understand her now and it makes me that much more proud of her. Being a Marine takes a special kind of person and I cannot express enough how proud I am of my cousin for choosing a path that not many choose to take.
~the real journey begins