Brothers In Arms, Brothers For Life

Some of the closest friends I ever made were during my time in the Army and some of the worst times of my life were in the Army. Sometimes, the two happened simultaneously.

One of those friendships started twelve or thirteen years ago. I met my best friend when he was assigned to my Motor Pool and I was his supervisor. Over the course of the next couple of years, we traveled together, trained together, deployed to Iraq together, roomed together, and sometimes we even prayed together. 

While deployed to Iraq we became really close. It was a really difficult time for a lot of folks, including me. Not just because of the near constant close calls in a combat zone, but because my family life fell apart back at home. I ended up leaning on my best friend. A lot. 

There were many evenings after the work was done for the day, where we would sit on the bench outside our hooch with a couple bottles of St Pauly's NA, smoke cigarettes, and talk late into the night. We chatted about politics, why we thought we were there in Iraq, our families, faith, and our futures. A lot of conversations were light-hearted and we joked around a lot, but there were times when things got pretty serious too. (I said 'serious' not romantic, ya perv)

By the end of that deployment, we were like brothers. Hell, we were more than brothers. There wasn't a secret between us and felt comfortable talking to each other about damn near anything. We could always tell what the other was thinking. We knew immediately if something was wrong. And sometimes this happened when we were thousands of miles from each other.

Over the next 10 years or so, we saw each other only a couple of times and talked infrequently. Even though we rarely spoke, I don't know how many times I was down in the dumps and he would call out of the blue and vice-versa. Sometimes more than a year had passed since the last time we spoke, but the timing was always perfect and it had always seemed like no time had passed at all.

Just recently he came to visit family (that lives 20 minutes from me) and he brought his youngest 3 kids that I hadn't met yet. It was awesome. I took time off of work and we hung out all day. In the afternoons, I'd go home to get 4 of my 5 kids, wait for the wife to get off work, and we'd all head back over to hang out.

The first time all of our kids met was crazy. I had been telling them about my "brother" and his family for years so they were just as excited as I was to be hanging out with their uncle and cousins. Well as soon as they got out of the car they met each other in the front yard and immediately hit it off. Every one of them. Within minutes, they were running around playing, talking, and acting like they had known each other for years. I can't even begin to describe how big the smile on my face was as I sat back and watched all night.

Over the next few days of hanging out we talked about moving our families closer together so we could all be around each other more. My buddy told me about this great job he had in Texas and that I could probably come work with him if I wanted to. It sounded interesting to say the least. The seed was planted.

A couple months later I was asked if I wanted to come down and check out the job and see if it would be something I would be interested in. Not wanting to miss an opportunity, I agreed to take a few days away from the family and take a look.

Well long story short, after talking with the owner I was offered a job. A great job. A great, well paying, and right next to my best friend kind of job. A job my family was excited about. A job that was just too good to pass up.

Looks like I'm heading to Texas! 

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