To have a relative in the military is very hard, but to have a sibling in the military is even tougher. Most people think they understand a family’s sacrifice when they hear of a family with a son, brother, sister, father, mother in the military. However, the only people who truly understand is the family.
My brother, Brennan Mckey, is a United States Marine, and he has been for almost four years. People don’t really understand the struggles that we families go through every day, especially since my brother is a mortarman. A mortarman rides with the infantry, but in a firefight, they are behind the front line, providing support to the infantrymen.
Since joining the armed forces, he has served deployments in Okinawa, Japan, and South Korea, with his unit Fox Company, which shares my last name, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines. The Main focus of both his deployments was South Korea, where the Marines and the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (ROKMC) worked together in war games that tested the patience of communist North Korea.
My mother is always worried about him. Although, he may be married to the woman of his dreams, Brennan still needs his mother. Stationed in Hawaii, he only gets to come home to Louisiana for pre-deployment leave, which he has only had twice. I personally have not seen my brother since my 14th birthday. He has never seen me play a football game, seen me without braces, or ridden in a car with me behind the wheel. It hurts me to never get to see him, but the occasional phone call makes up for some of it.
I cannot describe how lucky I am to know that he is being discharged from active duty in December and returning to Louisiana from Hawaii. My mother is extremely grateful that he and his wife will be staying with us from December until May of 2017. To have someone you love and care about in harm’s way every day gives me, my mother, my father, and my sister, among others, tremendous fear, but also tremendous pride that he is serving our country and protecting our freedom.
Semper Fidelis, and God Bless the United States.