I’m not sure why, but God seems to think that I can handle all of the men in my life joining the military.

My husband is in the Army. My brother Zach joined the Navy a couple of years ago. And now, my little brother Jacob is off to join the Marines. The Marines. Ick. Of all of the branches of the military for a family member to join, this is the one I appreciate the least. Because it’s likely the most dangerous. But God has a plan for him, and so stressing out over it will do no good for either of us.

So I’ll just share with you about my quirky little brother.

Jacob was born on January 13, 1991. One half of a set of twins, he was “born backward {breech} and has stayed that way.” {often quoted by my dad} Jacob had the sweetest disposition as a child. He was always. smiling. In fact, the coach of his little league baseball team nicknamed him “Smilin’ Jake” because no matter the outcome of any play, he could be seen donning his signature huge grin. He was just precious, with this adorable little raspy voice that could just make you melt. He is definitely the most like my mom of any of us – particular about funny things, and neat and tidy to his core. Jacob used to dust off the pitcher’s mound when he was pitching {you read that correctly} and couldn’t sit down comfortably for story time unless all of the toys were picked up off of the floor first.

His little quirks manifested over the years into some entertaining things – he developed funny languages and now, as an adult, will moon you unexpectedly, fart randomly, or call you names that seem offensive, but he’s really just showing his love for you in an odd way.

He’s a doll.

His sweetness is still present – often when Luke is working night shift or is away for a weekend on something Army related, Jake always offers to stay at my house so I won’t be alone. He’s a great uncle – talking to or playing with Marcus, always making a fuss over him. And he’s a great boyfriend to Rachel {the girl we’re quite certain he’ll marry, and couldn’t be more thrilled about} making sure to send her flowers on her birthday and Valentine’s Day among other gestures.

He actually wasn’t supposed to leave for boot camp until the end of this month – but in typical “the government can’t get anything right” fashion {you really don’t want them in charge of your healthcare – trust me.}, something screwy happened with the whole process for him, and now he’s leaving today. For 7 months. We’ll get to see him for a 10 day break after about 13 weeks or so, but he will be so, so missed.

We’ll miss the mooning, and the loud music in the basement when he’s working out. And the big hugs he gives and his funny little catch phrases. And his random football tackle attacks regardless of the fact that you have something in your hands or somewhere to go. His unexpected moments of insight. His generosity. His muscles. His big heart. His laugh.

And his smile.


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