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Family activities are always things that tend to bring us closer to the ones that we already love. In this story we hear of a little brother talk about his experiences fishing with his father and his older brother as if they were the greatest memories that he ever had in his life. Starting from the age of three all the way through his teenage years he reminisces about the lessons that he learned while he was on his great grandfather's boat sitting next to his brother and father on the lake fishing. It is in these moments, these private sacred moments that so many family stories are shared and bonds are crafted. It is on one of these trips that his older brother Jason tells him that after high school he's decided to join the military. And while he is scared for his brother, he is also very proud and supportive, because that is the type of family they are. He cries as Jason leaves for boot camp and counts down the days until his big brother comes home. Unfortunately, when Jason returns, he is different, changed, affected by the experience of going through training that could potentially send him to a war zone where he may have to defend his country by taking someone's life. Many attribute PTSD only to soldiers who have experienced war, but for some the training to get to that war is traumatizing enough. The family comes together as best they can to support Jason through the next chapter of his life. But one thing is clear, when he takes his big brother back out on the boat to experience the calm of the water, the beauty of the sunrise, and all of the joys that they had shared their entire life, he knows that his big brother is going to be okay.

Fishing with Friends

  • One of my favorite things to do is to go fishing. Now I know if you've never been fishing before you are probably turning up your nose right now at the thought of it but let me just walk you through a day in the life of a teenage fisherman. There was always a schedule about it, very military if you know what I mean. We would go to bed the night before, my brother and I, like the next day was going to be Christmas morning. We absolutely loved it. Around 4:30 in the morning we would hear the alarm in our parents room go off. Jason, my big brother and I would already be fully dressed sitting on the edge of our beds waiting for dad to throw our bedroom door open and yell, “It’s fishing time boys!” Jason and I were nearly knocking each other over to run downstairs to grab the sacked lunches that mom had for us as dad followed behind us with the big cooler. We would jump in the back of our dad's pickup truck as he put the cooler in the bed of the truck and then he would always run back to give our mom one last kiss before we left. We would always laugh at them; your parents kissing is always awkward and weird when you're a teenage boy. Dad would jump in the truck and for the next two hours we were singing, playing games, reading license plates, and dad was always asking us how his favorite boys are doing in life. I wouldn't say that I took those times for granted because they were some of the best memories of my life but I definitely felt like they would last forever. But nothing ever does, nothing truly lasts forever.

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