Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Not-So-Little Bro

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This blog entry is dedicated to my younger brother, Lee, and all the other hard-charging Special Forces guys out there on the tip of the spear doing the tough jobs. Lee had the movers pack up his stuff the other day in Fayetteville, North Carolina for yet another military move. He's on his way to San Antonio, Texas to begin the next phase of his Army career. Because of his strong record, Lee recently got picked up for a highly competitive special program where upon completion of his training, he will become a Physician's Assistant. He will also be commissioned as an officer in the US Army. You go Lee!

This will be quite the change from jumping out of airplanes, going on dangerous patrols and dodging bullets. After multiple deployments to Afghanistan, God was undoubtedly watching over my bro.


Lee is in the middle of this picture. He was the Medical Sergeant on his Special Forces team. A big part of Lee's job was distributing medication and treating the local Afghan folks with their medical problems. Somehow, those type of stories don't make it in the newspapers.


Notice Lee's valiant attempt to grow a moustache and beard in order to blend in with his desert environment. I am also cursed with that Fu Manchu style of facial hair growth.


Living in the desert and still smiling!


Here is Lee with all of his "flair" on. He recently got selected for E-8. It'll be a quick stint as E-8 since he'll be getting commissioned as an officer soon. That's another big transition for Lee - enlisted to officer. The change from eating MREs (meals ready to eat) to tea and crumpets might be a little taxing on his digestive system.

A rare treat - Lee home for the holidays! Mom and Lee are standing in front of my sister Darby's Christmas tree. Side note - Here's how Darby buys her Christmas tree every year. She tells the guy, get me the biggest tree you have on the lot. If you're gonna be a bear, be a grizzly!

I'm thinking one of the best things with Lee getting picked up for this program is getting some well-deserved normalcy in his life, at least for a little while. As many of you know, the military life is challenging with all of the moves, deployments and family separation. Lee, I hope you're able to squeeze in a lot of normalcy in San Antonio - like more football and more fishing.




Speaking of football, this is from Lee and Beanie's visit to Miami where we saw the Cowboys play the Dolphins. Although for me, watching the Dolphins get pounded was like getting a pine cone shoved up my butt backwards, it was still an awesome time because my Cowboy fan brothers enjoyed it so much. The video clip is the post-game celebration/mourning, depending on which team you rooted for. Keep in mind that this game was in Miami. Click on the video to get the full effect.

Lee and I are both freshwater fishing fanatics. Some of my best memories in Miami are me and Lee catching fish in the lake in my backyard. Here's Lee catching his first Peacock Bass. I'm thinking one of Lee's biggest challenges in San Antonio might be to put the fishing pole down and hit the books instead.

Another side note. Ladies out there, what do you think about this idea from Lee? Instead of the crude, neanderthal-style bachelor party, Lee is thinking of doing a bass fishing gala with the boys in lieu of the whole stripper pole, clear high heels and lapdance thing. It'll be a Basstravaganza. I can't wait! This could be the start of a national trend.

Lee, the family couldn't be prouder of you. We know you'll do great with your studies and the next phase in your career. We wish only the best for you and Cathy. I know you'll miss your days as an SF soldier. Having flown what was probably my last tactical Navy flight, I might have an inkling of what you're going through. We're all grateful you made it back in one piece. Many can't say the same. I don't know what our country would do without men like you. Proud to be your bro - Chris

5 comments:

Bernabe Cruz

Chris,

That was an awesome entry. I've never failed to tell Lee how proud I am of him and what he's done for his country. As a matter of fact, when my Patriotism chromosome kicks in after a few beers with the fellas I never fail to wax eloquently on the Cruz Men. From Grandpa to Dad to ALL of the Cruz boys, we have all served in one form or another this great country of ours. I even talked with Josh back at the Beach house and he said the Military was a possibility. I did not discourage him. I think it takes someone special to serve their country through the military. Not everybody can do it. Not everybody wants to do it. My two younger brothers are still doing it, and doing it well. I'm proud of my brothers and also of dad, who first introduced us to military life. Boot camp? Hah, what a joke, we grew up in the Cruz household. It was in our blood and upbringing to serve something greater than ourselves.

Well done post Chris

Alan

Chris,

Bravo Zulu on your post dedicated to Lee! I think you and Beanie's comments spoke for all of us and I am thankful God has looked out after all of us in the perils we all face in our work God has given us here on earth. Lee we know you will give it your all down there in Texas and enjoy the visits with Darby too. All of our hearts well up proudly and with pride in your accomplishments. I for one am looking forward to the Basstravaganza Chris spoke of, it will be a wonderful prelude to the wedding extravaganza coming. Chris thanks again for taking the time to post in honor of Lee. Each time I look at all those old photos of us as kids and look to where we all are now, it just amazes me wonderfully at God's goodness, blessing and protection on our family through the years. Great Job!

Alan

Chris,

Just lettin' you know that watchin' that video of you'll going into the stadium with Beanie and Lee chantin' the Cowboys praises and then the camera panning over at your reaction. . . . I totally lost it in laughter! Too funny! Thanks

alan

Dave Lusk

I was fortunate enough to have him for an instructor during two occassions in the Q Course. Down to earth and highly knowledgeable. Great to hear he made MSG and got accepted to IPAP.

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