Hello, friends! Thanks for stopping in. I’m taking a minute to wish someone very special a happy Veterans’ Day. He is by coincidence visiting his California home for a few days right now, in the middle of a long deployment. I hope he can feel this little written hug across the miles.
My first little brother is Joey. Joseph, really, to the known adult world. I was about six when he was born and for much of our lives people have mistaken us for twins. He has always been a wonderful little brother. I love him so much.
Joey grew up smart and strong and married the most amazing woman, Halee. I happened to be hanging out with him the day after their first date, and I will never forget how he could not stop talking about her.They fell madly in love and she fit right into the family, effortlessly. In the years since Halee has become much more than a sister-in-law to me; she is one of my closest friends. She and I have had countless conversations about being married to strong, career-minded men. It’s a gift for which I am grateful, and I know her husband appreciates her support. I think the two of them are a great portrait of teamwork in marriage. They display the beauty of complementing strengths and of having a united front, skills they have needed through one deployment or job change or relocation after another.
Together they gave us all an amazing little nephew to love. Greg is a cutie who as a toddler ate his first bite of watermelon here at the farm. Then a couple of years later we were walking in the back field and he suddenly jumped into our pond, with zero warning! No problem, it was like three inches deep there. He was fine and we all laughed and laughed.
Since college Joey and Halee have been building an incredible life together, mostly revolving around the United States Navy. They have made one difficult decision after another, weighing options and opportunities, trying to see into the future and know ahead of time what is best for each other and their little family. For all of us, really, because no matter the distance, whether stationed in Japan or Africa or Florida or San Diego, no matter the weight of responsibility, they have always stayed closely knitted to family here in Oklahoma. They have been determined to not only meet their obligations but exceed them. And now Joe (that is really hard for me to do, not call him Joey) is now an accomplished Navy officer. A Lieutenant Commander to be exact, working as an engineer and a Diving Officer, currently stationed in Japan.
I won’t pretend to know everything this life path has cost you, Joey, but I hope it has brought you at least as much reward. And I hope you feel loved and appreciated for everything you do, day to day, year after year. You are pretty quiet and humble about your military career, as it should be I suppose. But do you still know how proud we all are of you? How thankful we are for the example you are setting for the next generation, and for the work you do for this one? When you and I do get the chance to sit and talk, I treasure every minute. I see you as the blonde headed little boy in grade school, constantly playing Legos, and I see my infant brother who once stayed overnight in the hospital with an IV in his scalp. I see the teenaged boy amazed to see his tiny niece for the first time and the college student who still found time to come home for birthday and Halloween parties.
Happy Veterans’ Day to you, Joe, to your colleagues, and to Halee and Greg who are the closest members of your team. You are loved. You are admired. You are appreciated for your sacrifice and devotion. Stay safe and happy!
With so much love,
Your fake twin sister
Thanks again for stopping in and reading, friends! If you or someone you love is a military vet, consider yourselves hugged and thanked by the Lazy W. xoxo