As some of you that are close to me may know that my brother, Kenny, is someone that is very close to me despite being so far away physically. As I mentioned in my posting from Kenny and Kelly's wedding, Kenny and I have had a rocky past, to say the least. Regardless though, he and I have been there for each other through it all. I can clearly remember back to when we were growing up, some of the times that we had to "be there for each other" or stuck up for each other. As a very small child, I can remember sitting up on Kenny's bed with the sheets pulled over our head talking with flash lights late at night, talking to him about our parents fighting for custody. I can remember growing up in Anderson, when I would mouth off and start a fight with some of the neighborhood kids, Kenny would always be there to stand up for me, knowing that I would get my beating from him later, versus taking the beating from the person that I instigated.

Throughout our youths, we have always had that unique bond, but it wasn't until later in our lives that we realized how much being there for one another really meant to us. As I believe I have said before, and I will say it again, our bond is so strong that not a conversation goes by, no matter how brief, nor what company is present, our conversations never end without a, "Love you, Bub" reference.

I do love my brother and I am so darn proud of everything that he has become in his life. To have turned his troubled teenage years around to becoming a married family man and honorably serving our country is more commendable than words can describe.

The end of 2008 brought plenty of emotion for our family. With the declining health and eventual passing of our grandfather, our family was, and still is, going through a lot of heartache. Kenny and his family were able to make a surprise trip to Indiana in late November for one last chance to see "Pap" before his passing. However, their trip also brought some exciting news. This was a chance for the family to find out that we are expecting another member to our family later this year. Kenny and Kelly announced that they are expecting. It was decided that if the child is a boy, the name that Kenny shared with our grandfather, and our dad, would be used. So we are anxiously awaiting Kenneth David Rittenhouse IV's arrival in July. We also officially welcomed Fiona into the family, as her name change was official. She is now my niece in name as well as in my heart.

Fiona - Photo taken Christmas '08

After Kenny, Kelly, and Fiona made another trip to Indiana for Christmas, the realism had set in. Kenny drove the family back to Houston, spent a few more days with Kelly, Fiona, and "# 4" and then had to fly back up to Fort Lewis in Washington State. Kenny is at Ft. Lewis finishing up training before flying over to Afghanistan to serve. This will be his first tour of duty, and something that he is proud to do, despite the emotions of having to leave his now growing family for. He will have the opportunity to return home for the birth of his son, but will have to return soon after.
From Fort Benning Graduation

His assignment will keep him in a good situation despite it being a bad place to be. He will be on a military base almost the entire time, and will be well protected in order to fulfill his duties. He is going over with a laptop and a digital camera, so I am hoping to be able to supply my blog with some guest photography and documentaries while he is there.

Collage I made after his Nov05 Graduation.

On behalf of the family,
"Kenny, we love you. We are soo proud of you. And we cannot wait until you return home safely. Send us some pictures and I will post them on the blog. Love ya, Bub!"

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