Justin has been one of my closest friends for as long as I can remember. We started off playing soldiers when we were younger, and we both ended up being soldiers after college. No matter what group of friends I found myself hanging out with over the years, Justin has always been around. Whether it was building tree houses, trying to learn the guitar, or drinking profusely, Justin always fit in. In many ways, we are a lot alike. That said, he also has many qualities I lack, like a conscience. This makes him a perfect fit for my Best Man. No matter where this winding road called life goes, I know Justin will be right there with me, riding shotgun.
My little brother is several years younger than me, which means not only did he have to put up with my shit as we were growing up, he was helpless to do anything about it. Needless to say, I had a lot of fun at his expense. From playing against me in a very one-sided game of dodgeball, to hanging by his underwear on a doorknob, Zach was always a good sport. Though I've been away from home a lot in the last several years, I've gotten to see hints of the man Zach will become, and I am proud to call him my brother.
When I first joined ROTC, I looked around and was dismayed to see that most of the potential officers around me were, in fact, dweebs. I was very fortunate to meet Kirk, a non-dweeb and a kindred spirit when it comes to partaking in shenanigans. While most of the cadets around us were getting a chubby over the intricacies of standing in formation, Kirk and I were always finding a way to make each other laugh. To this day, no story I have tops the 'Streaking Incident of 2008', in which Kirk and I were detained by police for being publicly intoxicated, as well as publicly naked.
The first time I met Scott, I was planning his funeral. We were in 6th grade, and he had the audacity to date my ex-girlfriend. Luckily, the heartbreak of middle school doesn't last long. In 9th grade, during a weightlifting class Scott and I had together, we ended up becoming good friends. Over the course of the years, from high school through college, we have shared many drunken nights, discussing the complexities of women, money, and life. Scott always has a wise thought for a listening ear. To this day, I consider him one of my best buds. And though he probably doesn't believe it, he was officially removed from the 'Hit List' long ago.
Nick became a huge part of my life when he started working at Apple Market with me, back when I was in high school. That job was one of those rare ones that because of the guys I worked with, I actually looked forward to going in. We did a lot of dumb shit, and we had a blast doing it. Nick is one of those genuine guys that truly cares about people, and he was there for me when I was at my lowest. He's one of the goofiest dudes I know, but that's one of the things I love about him. To this day, I can't think of a nicer guy. Plus, he's also engaged to my best girl-bro, Maggie.
Zack is my 'brother from another mother'. When we were in high school, we were inseparable. People actually began to think we were related. We'd walk around with our chests puffed out in shirts that were probably a bit too tight. We would shamelessly hit on girls in the hallways between classes. When Zack lived with my family during high school, we would go home and think of the dumbest thing we could possibly do, and then do it. We were always trying to push each other to the limit. We have both calmed down a bit in the last several years, but I don't think a man can call himself a man unless he's had that friend like Zack.