(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NOEL KING, HOST:
Today on StoryCorps, Derrick Storms and his brother Raymond grew up in a troubled home in Florida. They coped with it very differently. Derrick tormented Raymond, and then eventually he joined the military. Raymond became an opera singer.
RAYMOND STORMS: How would you describe us as kids?
DERRICK STORMS: Complete opposites.
R STORMS: (Laughter).
D STORMS: Everybody liked you. You know, you would be talking to the elderly neighbor up the street. I was getting in trouble blowing up mailboxes.
R STORMS: I just remember you being so cruel, like, telling me one day that kids really can fly but you have to really trust. So we went on that rickety swing set, and I remember you pushing me, saying, now jump and think of a happy thought. And I screamed out pizza. And I (laughter) I fell into mom's rosebush. And your response to me was, oh, because you're so fat, you should have said two happy thoughts.
D STORMS: I was really at war with the world. I didn't know if I would ever be close to anybody.
R STORMS: I feel like our relationship started to shift when we found out that you were going to be deployed to Iraq. And I remember grandma making me call you. And you were like, what? And she was looking at me with those dark eyes. And I was like, all right, I'm going to say something vulnerable. And I said I was always envious of you as a kid. And you were, like, so quiet. You said I've always been jealous of you. Everyone wants to be your best friend, and I scare people.
D STORMS: I think when you're faced with your mortality, I began to take the meaningful things in my life more seriously. I remember we were just getting ready to go into Nasiriyah (ph), and a reporter had a global cellphone. And I said, do you mind if I make a call on that?
R STORMS: At that time, I was in music school for opera. And you literally were like the Marines here don't believe you're going to be the next Pavarotti. Show them, show them. Sing the national anthem. And they were like [expletive] sing, who-ha (ph), who-ha. And I remember just starting to sing (singing) oh, say can - just starting to sing the national anthem. And they went ballistic. It was like night and day.
D STORMS: Did you ever think we'd be close?
R STORMS: No, you were walking rage. There was so much anger that I had towards you as a child. But I'm grateful for it now because I forged that into this white, hot steel of love.
D STORMS: I guess I just needed help (laughter). You need somebody kind of showing you the way, you know, that lighthouse to help you cross over. I'm thankful for you for that.
R STORMS: Seeing you bloom into this, like, sensitive loving human being, there's no way someone could tell me, like, miracles don't exist.
D STORMS: It feels a lot better on the side, that's for sure.
KING: That was Derrick Storms and his brother Raymond Storms, and their interview will be archived at the Library of Congress.
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