My Nephew the Guardsman

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A couple weeks ago my nephew Luke was sworn in as a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard.  Many of your have watched Luke grow up through the social media posts from me and my husband.  Some of you know him as one of the “Two Yoots”.

I have known this was a possibility for some time.  But seeing the photos of him being officially sworn in and having the date he heads out for basic training were still a little surreal.  Like many of you, in my mind Luke is still a little kid.  I remember holding him at his Baptism and worrying about dropping him. I remember watching him start walking good for the first time at a family gathering.  Him being 19 years old is a lot to digest.

My first feeling was pride.  Luke spent a lot of time asking questions and talking to people he knows in the military before signing up.  I know he did not make this decision lightly and I know that he has the determination to succeed.  I know he’s kind of struggling with figuring out what he wants to do with his life – as many of us do.  So I am proud of him for making this very adult decision.

After the pride the worry set in.  I know several people who, during their service in the National Guards, got called up and sent overseas.  One of them who spent time in the Middle East saw quite a bit of action.  He was seriously injured and a few of his buddies were killed.  The idea of Luke getting his head blown off in Israel or Ukraine or God knows where scares the ever loving shit out of me.  He is the closest thing I have to a son and I love him with every fiber of my being.  The idea of him taking a bullet for his country is almost too much to contemplate.

But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what I think. This is Luke’s life and Luke’s decision.  He told me some time ago that a few people he shared his potential plans with immediately tried to talk him out of it.  I did not.  I support his decision and I hope he finds what he’s looking for.  And I REALLY hope he finds whatever that is in Minnesota.




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