Around 7th grade, I grew a love for the military.
I just didn’t know which branch was right for me.
My best friend, Mike, was in the Army.
I looked up to him.
I wanted to be like him.
So I started my search to see where I’d fit. After a long talk with Army recruiters, it just felt like I belonged to that family.
That made my decision easier than I thought it would be.
“I think I know what I want to be in about a year”, I said to the recruiter.
“Let’s get this going”.
Not many people can do that.
Before I even shipped, I knew the military offered me experiences and a life style I never “actually knew” until I went through basic training and now AIT.
Like communication limited to letters. Dealing with lots of unwanted mental stress. Being more physically and mentally exhausted than you ever have been.
It’s a new world.
When all that happens at once, you learn to rely on the people around you. Even if they come from a different culture of life.
You learn that people around you are the ones who get you through tough times when family isn’t an option.
Most importantly, I have learned to appreciate the gifts we receive in life so much more.
Especially after having them stripped from me for long periods of time.
The price I pay for being a serviceman.
But a price I’ll pay.
Wearing my uniform puts a whole new image to me.
It’s like a mask to what’s really underneath.
People don’t treat you the same.
They look up to you as their hero. They are appreciative of that sacrifice you have made or will be making down the road.
The Army has already changed me.