Family prepares for return of Marine from war

It’s been a long seven months, but by the end of April, my brother Gideon will finally be back in America.

Brenna Peters, managing editor, news

According to the messages we’ve been receiving from the family readiness officer, my brother is due to arrive at Camp Pendleton in California sometime at the end of the month. Sadly, my family won’t be able to meet him when he officially arrives in the States.

We have to wait two more weeks until he is back in Erie. He’ll be back during finals week, making that time hectic for more reasons than just the cramming and paper writing.

It’s still weird to think that my brother is actually in Afghanistan. He’s been there for some time now, but it’s surreal to know he’s part of the war. Thankfully, he says he’s bored every time he calls, but that doesn’t keep me from worrying every day.

Gideon hasn’t seen combat, but he knows Marines who have been injured or killed. I would not consider myself a religious person, but every day I pray that Gideon and the rest of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment will come home safely. They’re in the home stretch now, but you never know what could happen.

My best friend’s brother will ship out for Afghanistan soon. It’s strange to think that my brother will come back as her brother leaves. I can’t think of anything to tell her besides it will be hard. But that’s to be expected when you have a family member in a war zone.

Sometimes videos of soldiers returning home will show up on my Facebook news feed. I can’t even watch them because I turn into a blubbering mess. I can’t imagine what it will be like when my family will be able to meet Gideon at the airport. I expect lots of crying.

I’ve recently been wondering what he will look like. I didn’t even recognize Gideon when he came back from California. He was tan, which is something my brother has never been. He also took up smoking when he was out there, which my mom slapped him for. Should I be expecting him to look like the Situation, all tan and muscular? He’s been spending months under the Middle Eastern sun, which gave even me some color after two weeks.

We’ve got nearly a month with Gideon and then my youngest brother will leave for Parris Island soon after graduating from McDowell High School in June. By the end of the summer, both of my brothers will be Marines. Then the process of training and shipping out will start all over again for my family. It’s a difficult thing to go through, but we’ve done it once already. 

BRENNA PETERS

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