Let me tell you a bit about my BIL, "Ronnie." He is a year older than me (which makes him almost 35) and a little over a year ago realized his "dream" of joining the Army. Incidentally, the reason the military never accepted him before is that he is overweight, has bilateral knee replacement, a history of asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, "borderline" diabetes, shingles, high cholesterol, tattoos all over his arms, and a criminal record. The only reason they accepted him last year was because of (hello!!) drooping enlistment rates due to the Iraq war. Anyway he joined the reserves, went through bootcamp, and now all he does is tell Army stories as if he is freaking General Patton. He wears his uniform everywhere (I mean boots, dogtags, and all...it is so embarrassing!) and badgers every store and restaurant he enters about military discounts to repay him for his "service." I come from a family with a very strong military heritage of ACTUAL service to this country and it bugs me to no end that this poser goes around begging for recoginition he does not deserve. Then after bootcamp, he decided to go back to college and join ROTC. Well, even though he is married with a wife and daughter and tons of debt to support from his out of control spending, he quit his job saying he couldn't possibly handle ROTC and work at the same time (not even part time!) Instead, he has racked up more student loans than I thought humanly possible; he pays his mortgage, car payments, and ever mounting credit card bills with them! I warned him a while back that some of what he was doing didn't sound quite legal...and sure enough, he actually had to give back some of the federal aid that he had uh, "mistakenly" applied for. Meanwhile his wife, also a full time student, juggles caring for their 4 year old daughter and working at a job she hates in a grocery store while Ronnie spends his time sitting at home playing on the computer and calling my husband, "Dan," (his brother) constantly!
Dan, our son and I go out to brunch every Sunday with this clown and listen to him bellow without ceasing about what an awesome soldier he is, how he is an outstanding "academic," and just about his general brilliance. After brunch, Ronnie inevitably tries to brush me out of the picture so he can get Dan alone and play cars or video games or whatever. His own wife wants nothing to do with him by her own admission (as you might imagine.) She works literally every day and hour that she's not in school, I think simply to avoid him.
My husband puts great importance on family relationships and togetherness...but I don't think I can take anymore Sunday brunches. And believe me, there are a million other stories to tell about this joker, going back to when my husband and I first met. But I'll have to share those another time...I'm worn out!