I couldn’t help but burst with pride as I watched my brother graduate from bootcamp the other day. At the same time, I couldn’t help but feel fear as the drill sergeants and company leaders spoke about how courageous these men were to enlist at a time of war. I worry for my brother and for his son, my nephew Christian, who seems to want to follow in his footsteps. As much as I admire and honor their choices, they are not the ones I would make for them. They wear war paint, tattoos heralding a battle cry. I wear a peace symbol on my ankle. I argued against my brother enlisting, up until the very moment he signed up and then I proudly attended his graduation, tapping the Colonel sitting next to me on the shoulder and declaring “That’s my brother” as he came out of the smoke caused by the pyrotechnic show, moving across the field gun in hand. I am thankful for our soldiers, for people who serve their country. My heart swelled with pride when I first saw Paul in his uniform, but I would have preferred he never put himself in harm’s way. We cannot choose how another lives. We can offer our opinions, our advice, but in the end it is our support and love that is most welcome. Each of us needs a safe haven as we soldier through life and I choose to be a part of theirs.