Holiday’s. By the cliche definition, it is time for spending with family, opening gifts, and plenty of good food. How does it work if the family isn’t there?
There are thousands of families who don’t have everyone home for the holidays. An affect of the war, leaving a hole in the home and taking a loved one away.
“It’s like missing apart of your life,” sophomore David Leza said. ” The people closest to you are the ones farther apart and more seperated.”
For students it’s very hard to communicate with those over seas, and they are very limited on the modes of communication. A telephone call is quite rare, so they rely more on emails.
“I mostly use facebook,” freshman Kayla Martinez said. ” Sometimes [my step-brother] will message me, thats how we talk.”
Sophomore, Amber Ochoa, who has a step-brother in the Marines and an uncle in the Army, waits sometimes for months to see the two of them open their gifts.
“It’s fun to see their expression when they get back and see all the gifts,” Ochoa said. “Their gift to us though, is coming home safely.”
Leza who has a brother in the Marines, a sister in the Navy, and a cousin in the Army fears everyday for the safety of his family.
“I always see reports on the news of other military guys who get killed,” Leza said. “I have to go to the computer and check the names again and where they were from.”
Ochoa’s step-brother was a strong tower to her. Helping her with anything needed. Now that he’s gone it’s different for her.
“He used to give me advice and help me through my problems,” Ochoa said. “We can through messaging, but it’s not the same as if he were here.”
The sacrifice that the men and women make affects everyone in their families. From their children, to their siblings, and the parents.
“My mom of course thinks about it and cries, but since my dad’s a guy he can’t shed a tear,” Leza said. “But both deep down are sad because they’re not spending christmas with us.”
Martinez came closer to her religion, and to God because of her brother who was deployed. And was even influenced by her step-brothers actions.
“My first time ever really praying aloud, like down on my knees speaking out loud, was for my brother, after he went back,” Martinez said. “I want to follow in his footsteps. I’m inspired by him to join the army or marines, because of him.”