How the Military Influenced My Life
To really understand the significance of how the military shaped me into the person I am today, I must first reveal some insight into the person I was before I left for basic training. When I graduated high school in 1985 I was indestructibly ready to take on anything that came my way. I had led a somewhat sheltered life in that my parents provided a warm loving environment for my siblings and myself. Yes we experienced the normal trials and tribulations as any other kid, but we really had no negative or significant emotional events growing up that directly affected our development. Rather it was the lack of these incidents that gave us a naive outlook on life and all the responsibilities it entails. This Cognitive development prior to my experiences in the military left me with a positive outlook on life and its possibilities yet, wholly unprepared for life in its reality.
As I stated earlier, when I graduated from High school, I didn’t have a care in the world. My biggest worry was where I wanted to play baseball, and where I was going out that weekend. I was given a car for graduation as well as a credit card for gas. After graduation I received a baseball scholarship and didn’t have to worry about how to pay for school. This along with other things that I had taken for granted led me to believe that the whole world was peachy with nothing negative that would affect me. The only trauma in my life was if a certain girl didn’t want to go out with me. This to me was a significant emotional event. Not only was I naive, I was somewhat jaded as well. I believe this was a result of the environment that I grew up in as a child. I moved to a different part of the country every two years from the time I started first grade until I started high school. I was exposed to a large variety of people and regional cultures in the country, but I was still ignorant of the harsh reality of life as though I walked through life with blinders on. After the first two years of college, I would receive a rude awakening in what life was all about.
If a person was to have interviewed me in the summer of 1985, the last thing I would have mentioned was the military. My focus was entirely on me and how much money I was going to make playing baseball for a living. The first year I was playing baseball I didn’t have to worry about anything but baseball. The academic side of the equation was easy. Most of the classes I took were scheduled by the baseball coach and weren’t exactly rocket science. The classes were a joke and I really didn’t have to put forth an effort to pass. It was the standard jock classes that you always here about, ”Underwater Basket Weaving” and such. I was just going through the motions in order to get what I wanted with no regard for anyone or anything else. I spent two years trying to assimilate the world into my own perspective without learning the big picture. The second year was a different matter all...