Road to Paris Island - My Family Travels
Marine Graduation 2012 060

My adventure began the day my older brother James decided to join the Marines. Around October of 2011 he went into boot camp and about 13 weeks later he was going to graduate. We lived in Florida and the graduation was going to be in Paris Island South Carolina so my Mom, his girlfriend Brianna, my friend Yulia, and I took a road trip up there.

We headed up there in the morning and got there around the afternoon. It was supposed to be about an 8-hour drive but with my brothers anxious girlfriend driving 90 mph on average we cut an hour short. When we got there we checked into a Howard Johnson hotel and stayed there for 3 days.

The next day we met up with my Dad and went to the marine orientation for “Family Day”. We got to spend time with our soon to be Marine before his graduation for a day. James took us around the island and told us stories about what he had to go through the past few weeks. After the tour of the island we got something to eat.

My Mom and I stayed back to reserve some tables while everybody else got the food. At this point I was filled with joy just being with my family and I didn’t think that would change until I decided to go inside to talk to James. When I found them Brianna was glued to James and my Dad was talking to him about stuff. I couldn’t even get a word in the conversation no matter how much I tried. When I was finally acknowledged one of my brother’s friends interrupted to congratulate him. After being congratulated James introduced Brianna to his friend and they went on about their conversation.

Right then and there I felt invisible and unimportant. A feeling no brother should make a little sister feel. From then on I had a very distant attitude towards him. I understand that its hard balancing his attention to everyone that was there to support him but family should always come first no matter what. The next day he graduated and finally became a United States Marine. We headed back to Florida for his 2 weeks leave he got before he was to fly to California for his marine school.

Things between my brother and I just weren’t the same anymore. I vented my feelings out to my eldest brother Nicholas and told him everything that happened. He advised me to talk to James about it but I refused. A few days passed and James out of nowhere asked if I wanted to spend some quality time with him. I couldn’t pass up on an offer like that since I had such little time with him left so we went for a drive. We stopped at taco bell for some food and a conversation got started. Some wrong words were spoken and I ended up bolting out of the place in tears. The bottle I filled up of repressed feelings finally broke and I let everything out, and in the end so did he.

The trip to Paris Island ended up being a huge thing for me. If the events that happened didn’t occur the way it did I wouldn’t have the relationship I have now with James. To me it was more than just a trip to see him graduate; it was a road trip I dreaded because it meant saying goodbye to the last child in the house besides me. Now he’s beginning his own adventures, and I’m still continuing mine.

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