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May 07 2012 In Tea Journal By

(Nothing) Much Ado About Tea

No really, this blog post doesn't have much to do about tea specifically. But in a round about kind of way, it has everything to do with it in my life. Follow me here...

When I was only 16, my big brother was graduating high school at 18. And much to my family's surprise, he signed up to join the Army, going off to boot camp right after graduation. I lovingly and jokingly called him the 'rebel conservative' of our very liberal family unit. My brother a soldier? Really??

Well, twenty five years later, he is a very accomplished retired Major, and I am more than proud of what he's done with his journey in the military. I can't imagine the sites he's seen or the trials he's had to endure along the way. I consider us close at heart; however, he's protected me from all of those details by not sharing too much of it with me. I get the feeling he doesn't want me to know just how horrific the world can be at times. He's always been protective of me as his little sister. Maybe that's one of the things that called to him to be a soldier. A protector he is.

He once mentioned to me in conversation years ago that sometimes he felt like he took the easy way by going into the military, not having to deal with 'real life' or struggle with having to find a job. I laughed! I told him I couldn't imagine a more difficult job than being a soldier! The physical, mental and emotional demands seem beyond what I would be capable of myself. Having to leave home and family to go to a foreign country at the drop of a hat. Having no choice to cop out, but forced to face fears head on. Seeing battle and the consequences of it. Nope, I don't know how they do it.

All I know is that I am blessed that they do what they do. And I have no doubt that it is because they do, that I am able to have the life that I do...peacefully playing with tea. And I am grateful beyond words.

My father was in the military, so was my husband. My brother, sister-in-law, cousins, co-workers and their families. I know what it's like to hold my breath for a year waiting for my brother's tour to be over and he was home from Iraq. And then to have to do it again. And watch my family do the same, huddling close together in prayer. So many people around my circle face the challenges of having loved ones in the military.

Directly and indirectly, we are all effected. We have the luxury of going home after a hard day's work. Kissing our spouse on the cheek any time we want. Hugging our friends at church. Expressing our creativity and our joys. Earning a living and giving back to the community. All these daily actions and more are fought for and protected by our military. Thank you for your service.

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