In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked our CIS students what they are grateful for, here is one student’s response:

He is a soldier, a son, and a brother.

In 2007 my big brother, PVT Moreno, joined the US Army.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t on board with him joining the army in the beginning. All I could think about was, He could die. I love my big brother and I don’t want to lose him. I later accepted the fact that this is something that he wanted to do. I had to respect his choice.

I never understood why my brother wanted to join the army. After looking into some family history, it turns out it runs in the family. When my mother was young, she wanted to join the army. Unfortunately, she wasn’t allowed to join the army, since Costa Rica doesn’t really have an official army. I asked my mother why she wanted to join. She said, “I don’t know. I’ve just always been drawn to anything that was military related. I guess it has to do with your grandfather fighting in the Costa Rican Civil War in 1948.” I guess someone in the family was bound to become a US Army soldier.

Since he was the oldest, he was the one in charge. He was the one that took care of us. He always looked out for me, like a big brother should. He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met. Whenever I needed help with something, he was always there for me. I always looked up to him. I grew up depending on him. I never noticed how much of an impact he made in my life.

I remember when I was a kid and my parents had to work all day, it was up to my big brother to provide for food. One day I was hungry and wanted to eat scrambled eggs. Of course, I was young and didn’t know how to work the stove. I asked my big brother for help, but it turned out that he didn’t know how to cook eggs either. So, we decided to put our heads together and try to cook it together. As a result, we were both really bad at cooking something as simple as eggs. We didn’t know how long we were supposed to cook the eggs, so one side ended up burned.

He’s miles away from home, risking his life every day. The world will see him as a soldier, a hero. To me, he will always be my goofy big brother.

I’m very proud of my big brother!

I miss my brother every day. The last time he came to visit was in 2012; I haven’t seen him since.

So, what am I grateful? I am grateful that my big brother is FINALLY COMING HOME this year!

-A CIS of Houston Student