Fact: Every little sister looks up to her big brother. I am no exception.
There was a three year age gap between my brother and myself and I spent most of my childhood trying to do everything Roger did. Because of this, we fought like cats and dogs which typically ended in either me getting hurt or us breaking something valuable. Which brings me to fact #2: I was a super annoying little sister. And I got into trouble. A lot. (But seriously, I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!)Growing up a military brat, and from a divorced home, Roger was one of the few constants in my childhood. I knew that no matter what, he would be there and know what to do in almost any situation. We spent countless hours entertaining ourselves on summer road trips, playing out at our grandparent’s farm in Minnesota, and hanging out with all of our cousins.
Looking back, I realize Roger taught me so much about life during my childhood. He taught how to fight for yourself, to stand up for what you believe in, and that you have to get up and dust your butt off after something (or somebody) knocks you on it. I also learned from him how important it is to chase your dreams.
In his death, he taught me what it means to be selfless. That there are causes bigger than ourselves which require incredible sacrifices. Would I love for my brother to still be alive? Obviously. Would I ask him to do anything differently? Absolutely not. Looking back on the war in Iraq, some might believe that Roger’s death was in vain but I don’t believe that. I know that he died a purpose-filled death protecting his fellow soldiers, his country, and his beliefs.
When you ask someone to picture their hero, certain images immediately come to mind; everything from an athlete, movie star or famous singer to a firefighter, soldier or teacher. When I think of a hero, I instantly see bright blue eyes and a mischievous grin. I picture my brother.