A lifetime of sacrificial service

Phil Rizkalla shares the manner in which his brother’s legacy of sacrificial service has impacted his life.

Aubrey Martin, Writer

Martin: “Tell me about your relationship with your brother.”

Phil Rizkalla: “Some of my most vivid memories are causing a ruckus as a youngster. I was like Dennis the Menace mixed with Bart Simpson. I would always get in trouble, and, you know, trouble always comes with a spanking. And my brother used to jump in the way to take the spanking rather than me, like ‘No, no, no, leave my little brother [alone]!’ It was the cutest thing [he] could do and this happened until we were like ten. I was still getting spanked and he was still trying to jump in the way. My brother would legitimately get the spanking in my place — it was very much sacrificial. He is very much always looking out for me no matter what. He is always checking in on how I’m doing in school, you know, how I’m doing spiritually, how I’m doing with the ladies … he’s always looking out for me. It never ends.”

“When it comes to sacrifice, he does it in his first nature, you know, not even in his second nature. It shows in his life now — he got married with the desire to sacrifice his life to his wife. He joined the military with the desire to serve his country with his life.”

A.M: “Tell me about how your brother’s fight against ISIS has affected your relationship with him.”

P.R.: “Probably one of the greatest hindrances to knowing grace and love is to have hate in your heart, and you know, with what the military is doing now in relation to ISIS, that’s not something he can control … like, when you know what these people are doing behind all the curtains of the media and behind, you know, all the censorship that we receive, you can’t do much but hate these people. It’s really hard. It’s really, really hard. So we continue to talk about that and how, as much as you can, you need to learn how to love your enemies.”

“I’m the only person that my brother talks to about his spirituality and about his relationship with God. The more my brother has to pursue these militants, you know, the more he’s a part of this, this whole extermination of them, I feel like hate in his heart continues to grow. So, when hate is in my brother’s heart, you know, it affects me because I want him to be filled with love and positive things. My brother is my most valuable treasure here on this earth. There’s still this bond between us that is unshakable, I guess, in many ways, but it’s also been tainted over distance. Never hindered, but just tainted I guess.”


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