Larry's parents lived in the same house for about 20 years before buying their current residence. Their best friends lived next door and they had a son,Brian, who is 7 years younger than Larry. I met Brian when he was 13. He was thin and wirey, a bit awkward, but sweet. Every time the families get together, they recount the story of how his mother had to chase him around the yard holding beans and rice trying to get him to eat. I've heard this story so many times, I feel as though I was there.
Four years ago, Brian moved up to Orlando to attend school. We would see him when he was home on breaks. It's crazy watching someone grow up while missing months in between. He would leave for a few months, and return 3 inches taller. The wireyness turned into tall and lean. The curly hair was kept short now and dare I say, a six pack had developed that Brian loved to show off. The politeness of his childhood remained though, and he is a dear friend to us, and especially Larry's younger brother.
As Brian neared graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force. He's opting to go through boot camp even though he's not required as he has a degree. He learned that fellow soldiers respect you more for doing so. This is the man he has become.
Brian leaves today for Texas for basic training. He called Larry Sunday night to talk for a few minutes and ask him to watch over Marc (Larry's brother). That's when it really hit home for Larry. We're so very proud of Brian, and for me it's one more reason this nonsensical war should end sooner than later.
If four years of college matured him to this point, I can only imagine what a tour of duty will do for him. I pray without ceasing that he will not be sent away, but if he is, for his safe return. Having two boys, I can't even imagine what his mother is going through now. We love you, Brian.