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Our conversation got me thinking about my relationship with my brother. When HF was in the academy, he called us often and gave us lots of support, love, and advice. I was able to ask questions, vent, and HF had someone he could trust and talk to that was on the "inside".
When HF graduated, he came to the graduation and the festivities. He was able to present HF his "diploma" as tradition allowed family members who are LEOs to do so. Once again, he was full of support, love, and advice.
When something big happens to HF at work and I have no one to talk to, I call my brother to tell him about it. He calms my worries, offers his support, love, advice, and sometimes calls HF to check on him and commiserate.
As the years are starting to creep by in LEO world, there's been a shift. When something happens to my brother at work, good or bad, he calls me. Sometimes in the middle of his story, littered with 10-codes and the like, he'll pause and ask, "Do you know what I'm saying?" and I can assuredly say, "yes, I know what you are talking about" with a smile on my face as he continues his story.
There's an unwritten code that exists not only among family members, but among the LEO family. It may not click the first few months or years while you are getting your feet wet, but when it clicks, you will know. Your friendships are deeper, your words are more meaningful, and the fear of the unknown is but a distant memory, always in the back of your mind somewhere, recalled on certain days and times as necessary, but you've found your niche. Life goes on as normal as it can be. The difference is your family has expanded, your knowledge has deepened, your purpose is refocused.