Military Transition: Civlian To Soldier Essay

1355 words - 5 pages

In August of the year 2000 I decided to make a change that would affect my life forever; I joined the military. My decision to enlist in the military stemmed from more than family tradition, and the fact that I was twenty-one and going nowhere; I wanted to enlist because I am proud to be an American. I get a lump in my throat every time I hear the National Anthem, or the Star Spangled Banner, or Pledge Allegiance. My inner feelings inspired me to risk my life for our country, so I followed my passion. I knew the transition would be extremely difficult for me, but my destiny unfolded before me. I wanted to stop living pay check at a time; I wanted my family back; I wanted to end my addictions; I wanted to earn the respect of others and be respected at the same time. Because of my military experience and patrimony I can truly say that my current life has changed profoundly.As I sat quietly on my friends couch, high on drugs and alcohol, I thought about the direction in which my life headed. I did not feel like I could talk to anyone about my thoughts, so I filled the voids in my soul with booze and other dangerous chemicals. I could not hold a job longer than a few months, because I lost interest very quick. A long night of partying made it difficult to wake up in the mornings for work, so I would always be late, and sometimes I would just quit my job to avoid an unwanted scolding. I had to learn how to live frugally to support my drug and alcohol addiction and party lifestyle, so growing accustom to living paycheck to paycheck became tradition for me. It became difficult juggling between friends and family, because of my fast paced party life. Inevitably, I chose my friends over my family which threw me into a deep depression. My young immature mind mixed with a little peer pressure is the only thing that kept me from moving forward in life. Not only did I lose the respect of my family; I lost respect for myself and everyone around me. All my friends started progressing into heavier drugs, more alcohol, more violence and then ultimately prison or death. Something needed to change in my life and I am the only one that could make the final decision or die. I knew I needed to leave my home town in order to get away from everything bad I did, but with no money, no job, and no support, I would be on my own. I desperately wanted to become the man I knew I could be, and decided at that moment on my friends couch that I wanted to join the United States Air Force.Twelve weeks later I graduated with honors in a military ceremony at boot camp. Electrical energy flowed through my veins when I walked to the Base Commander, General Dickson, and swore oath to my country, and saluted the United States Flag. I walked to my father, with tears in our eyes, and shook his hand like a real man and gave him a hug like a son. I could feel his pride absorb into my arm as he firmly gripped my hand. I felt proud to finally be an American soldier. Most of all, I was glad to...

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