By: Austin Alexander - October 3, 2011
-Let Freedom Ring-
It only happens every two or three years that I chime in on a personal matter. In this case, it may be a situation that many families are dealing with on some level.
My only sibling is a little brother, he has a name, it is Myles. He will always be my little brother, even though he is 5-11/192 and chiseled like a Greek God. He used to terrorize me and I would boss him around too. But 99 percent of the time, we were playmates around the house and very successful teammates in the backyard!
Myles eventually became a solid player in his own right. As an outfielder at the College of Charleston he earned the nickname "Bull" for his tendency to run face first into walls and fences in pursuit of fly balls!
He now resides in Beaufort and has covered a number of games for DP over the years too.
This week my 'little' brother turned 34 and will report to Afghanistan as an officer in the Air Force, with his baseball glove packed in hopes of using it at some point.
He has turned into the man that every parent raises their child to be. He would also look better in a baseball uniform than anybody that will wear one this year!
My family was able to spend this past weekend in Charleston with he and his wife, Liz. On Saturday, he and I took my oldest son to the College Charleston intra-squad practice. Both of us had once played with head coach Monte Lee and Coach Lee kindly shared the dugout with us, it was a great day!
But on this Friday, Myles and others will begin a mission in a foreign country to defend our nation. We are so fortunate to have brave people to leave their ego's in the United States then board a plane and dive directly into enemy territory. It takes a special person to consider doing that... it takes a true warrior to actually enlist and carry through with their patriotism.
Myles and I watched several baseball games together this weekend and it was surreal when he made it clear that none of these games made a difference in the grand scheme of things. Myles was correct, there is a much bigger game being played outside the white lines and beyond our borders.
It was a very emotional moment for me when I had to depart from Myles on Sunday morning. He assured me that he would be okay because, in his words, "You forced me to be tough, I will be fine."
This weekend was a good break away from my sense of normal to get a feel for reality. If you are reading this final line, then you probably agree: Tonight, say a prayer for our country, our soldiers and their safe return home, Amen.