Blood Brothers

Two brothers who lead different lives and experience war and what it means to be true heros.

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5. Brotherhood of the Traveling Book

I walked in the door and set my duffle bags down as our big German Shepard, Blitz, came running at me. I knelt down and he ran into my arms and started licking my face. I laughed and scratched behind his ears making him kick his back leg. I remembered the day David and I picked him out from all the dogs in the pound. There was a natural connection between us three: we were fighters. Blitz had even once been a police dog but something happened and he wound up there.

"Where is everyone boy?" I asked and he stepped back and cocked his head questioningly. "Where's momma and daddy?"

He realized the names. He turned around and sprinted out the back door. That was strange dad always flipped out when it was left open. I walked out the door and found all my family and friends. They all yelled surprise and I noticed mom starting to cry. It was obviously because of the uniform and that David and I looked so alike, especially all clean cut. I laughed at my return party and trotted down the steps to my parents. I hugged them both, then my grandparents, and then everyone else.

We had a large BBQ and all had fun. A few people had gotten me some gift cards and money. I don't know why. I wasn't about to ruin anyone's fun.

After a few hours people began to thin out and leave for Sunday night church. I decided to go there that night, so I did.

I walked in and was thinking I'd only go to see old friends. I talked to some before the service and sat down with them. About halfway through the service they had an alter call for anyone who needed to pray. I went up and knelt down and began to talk.

I mumbled: "Lord... if you're real and you're up there... you know I'm not big on this praying mumbo jumbo... heck... this Christianity stuff seems really confusing most the time... but... if you're up there and you're listening... please watch over me and my family when I'm gone... this will be hard for all of us... but I think it's for the best."

Suddenly I felt a little hand on my shoulder, then a larger one, then another. I kept talking for a few minutes more then got up. I turned around and found half the church had been praying with me. I looked down and saw a little kid who smiled up at me.

"Whatever it is mister... it'll be okay, because you talked to god." He smiled even bigger now.

For some reason this kid's words comforted me. It gave me a sense of reassurance in what I was doing. We all went and sat down as the preacher came up to the pulpit. He opened his bible and asked us all to turn to John 15:13. So we did.

"For greater love hath no man, than to lay down his life for a friend." He said before going on to elaborate, but I was distracted. I couldn't hear a word.

My mind zoned out and went back to Ghost Squad telling us how he gave his life for theirs, for ours, and for the rest of the country. I thought of all those who had died in war and imagined what lied ahead of me.

When the service was over I stood up and walked towards the door past every group of talking people. I was still kind of zoned out when the preacher caught my shoulder and my attention as I snapped back to reality.

"I want you to have this son." He said handing me an old faded bible. "I don't have any kids in the military and god put it on my heart to give it to you."

"Thank you sir." I replied hushly.

"That there bible has been through both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and I carried it through Desert Storm. Carry it with pride. It can save your life in more than one way."

I looked at the faded brown color and smiled. For some reason I got this feeling of security and safety.

"Thank you sir. It's an honor."

"Will I see you around again?" He asked shaking my empty hand.

"Until I deploy sir."

That wasn't a lie. For the next three months I attended church every Sunday morning and night as Wednesday nights. That is, until I deployed for the first time.

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