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I’m betting, when asked to dwell on High School, a fair number of us could look back and not have much nice to say. I would say very few good things, about High School, or my childhood in general. There was always something I was hoping for to make me happier. But the one wish that never changed through out my childhood was the desire to be a soldier. I always longed for the honor, dignity, and pride that came with wearing an Army uniform. So as I graduated High School and enlisted in the Army I was so anxious to just get going.

The closer I got to the start date of basic training the thought of how I would actually like it kept churning in my head. The concern of how myself, and military lifestyle would mesh gnawed at me. The day came where like it or not I was going, and I’d have to say the first two weeks after I left home were the most physically trying I had ever experienced. Forcing one’s self to stay awake for prolonged periods of time, acquiring the discipline to maintain the push up position god knows how long, and pushing your body to look past the pain in running miles at 0400.

I knew what I was going to have to face but doing it was something entirely different. In the moment I would not have guessed I would have made it through the sensation of choking to death in a gas chamber, the throbbing pain just about everywhere on your body, except to tip of our nose from marching four hours carrying seventy pounds of gear, or the mental break down that makes anyone ask what just we’re really made of.

I can remember finally lying down at the end of the day in my less than comfortable bunk and gripping my ID tags in my hand and just smiling as I drifted to sleep, because no matter how painful of day I had just had I was living what I’d always dreamed of. Accomplishing each passing day filled me an even stronger drive. My ambitions kept growing and still continue to grow. In a conversation my friend and I had she said she wished she could forget about having gone through basic and never wanted to think of it again.

I replied, “really, I’d do it again if I had to, I do it for free too. ” She looked at me as if I were insane. I told her I loved it. I love wearing a uniform everyday, and I love fighting for what I love. I’m full to the brim with the utmost determination to help people. It is my most fervent wish to become a Chaplain. I’ve seen a lot of people, including myself, in pain, while difficult to watch, it changed my life for the better.

It shone a light in the direction I need to go. I’m interested in attending VMI because I will be able to stay close to the military lifestyle, which I love, and continue to reach for my goals in an orderly and disciplined environment. I have more ambition than is perhaps healthy, I want so much from my life in the military and I want to get it the right. I believe VMI can help me get there.

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