Family Values - My Family Travels
Steve_coming_home_from_Afghanistan_July_09
Steve_coming_home_from_Afghanistan_July_09

One piece of advice that had been re-iterated to me throughout the last few years, is that I should travel any chance that I get. That’s why this summer that’s exactly what I did. I started off the summer by going to Georgia to help my sister in-law with my nephew, while my brother was deployed to Afghanistan. This trip was by far one of the most memorable times of my life. I was able to spend quality time with my family, which has become so precious to me. This trip benefited me in many different ways. It taught not to take little things, like eating dinner with my family, for granted. I also was able to do a lot of soul searching. All throughout my life I will always try to be finding myself, considering that my life will always be changing. However, this summer I was able to finally understand myself as of right now.

The defining moment of this entire 6 week long trip was the moment that I was able to see my brother. Out of his five times of being deployed I have never been able to see him the moment he got back to the U.S. He always has had to return to his base before using his two weeks of leave to come home. The smile on his face and the tears in his eyes is a picture in my head that I don’t think I will ever be able to forget. He was in shock to see his wife had lost all and more of her pregnancy weight, his son, who was only two months old when he left and now 8 months when he returned, and he also had no idea that I would be at the airport waiting for him. This was the family memory that beats them all.
After my trip to Georgia I then proceeded to go to California for the first time. I have another brother that is also in the military and was stationed there. Luckily, when I went out there he was just about to finish his four years in the military and separate for good. He had the option to ship his car home or drive it home, and we decided that we would do the drive home as a brother sister bonding trip. I stayed with him in Fairfield for about five days. In these five days I was able to see many different things. One of the most interesting was probably the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield. I was also able to go sightseeing in San Francisco, which was a lot of fun and I would love to go back there the next chance that I get.
Then it was time to start the long drive back to Buffalo, New York- the home of the highest gas prices. I thought that the trip was going to be full of fun and laughs, I was sadly mistaken. My brother has a very bad temper and is very sarcastic, which led to a lot of miscommunication and hurt feelings. However, we definitely did have some fun. The funniest part of the trip was probably me confusing the shadows of clouds with UFO’s. Even though this trip caused many fights with my brother and I, it was also one of the best ways we were able to get to know each other after these four long years.
I am happy to say that this was by far the best summer of my life. I would encourage anyone to travel if they ever have the opportunity.

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