On November 26, 1990, a precious little person came into my life. I was only 5 years old at the time, and to be quite honest, I do not remember much about that day. I do remember riding in the backseat of my grandparents’ car, looking out the window as we drove down South Kanawha Street in Beckley. We were heading to Raleigh General Hospital so I could meet my new brother. And, boy oh boy, did my life change that day – in SO many ways.
I wasn’t the center of attention anymore. It wasn’t all about ME. There were two of us now – Brittani and Daniel. And since that day, I have assumed the role of “Mom #2.” Sure, there have been times that I argued and fussed with Daniel like all siblings do. No doubt - I drove him as crazy as he did me at times. But I still felt – and STILL FEEL - like his protector, kind of like a mom would. I also feel proud of him when he does good things.
Friday, January 21, 2011, was one of my proudest days – EVER. On this day, I stood with my parents and watched my baby brother be sworn into the U.S. Army National Guard.
“I, DANIEL LEE STUMP, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of WEST VIRGINIA against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of WEST VIRGINIA and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God.”
I don’t know what God has in store for my brother throughout the rest of his life, but I do know one thing for sure. He did a good – actually a GREAT – thing Friday, and I will always be proud of him and his desire to serve his country. Please keep him in your prayers, as he will be headed to Fort Leonard Wood, MO on April 4 for boot camp, then Military Police training.