Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Army Story

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As beautiful as the United States Virgin Islands may be, the economy is in fact struggling. The day after my high school graduation, I got on a plane. I flew to Tampa, Florida and after a failed attempt at a post-secondary education, decided to join the work force. I became a customer service representative for UPS. Although I made $11 an hour, it wasn’t enough money to support myself. I had to make a life decision and FAST! Around the time that all of this was happening I had two of my very close friends return home from BCT. They had both failed to graduate. I walked into the recruiting station in hopes of maybe joining the Army Reserves, but nothing persuades a nineteen year old to join the United States Army like a $40,000 enlistment bonus.

Being the product of two noncommissioned officers, coupled with the experiences of my friends who had recently returned from BCT I felt very equipped to handle BCT. It was still challenging, nonetheless. I made life long friends with whom I still communicate. After graduating AIT, I PCS to Germany and months later was selected to complete a non-combat deployment to Israel. Seeing the landmarks of that country was eye opening. To be able to lay my hands on the exact stone where Jesus’ body had been sent shivers through my body. Seeing the tomb of King David, visiting the Eiffel tower, touring around Barcelona, Spain and being able to float in the Dead Sea were things I wouldn’t have been able to do in this lifetime, had I not enlisted in the Army.

After four years of living overseas I PCS yet again, this time to Fort Hood, Texas. After living abroad for so long, I had come to appreciate the comforts that only America can provide. With in months of being back home in the states, I was able to purchase my first home, thanks to the Army’s housing allowance program. Being a twenty-five year old homeowner was one of the most rewarding accomplishments in my life to date. Again, all made possible because I decided to take a chance and join the United States Army.

I want people to know that the Army isn’t all about someone yelling in your face and ordering you around constantly. You learn patience, discipline and to trust one another. You learn the type of person you want to become and the type of person you do not want to be. I want people to know that even though it is highly unlikely, there is still always that chance that you don’t deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan. Overall, I want people to know that enlisting in the Army was the best decision of my life.