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Life up to this point was exciting and full of joy due to my participation in school, sports, and hanging with my friends enjoying every day life as an adolescent. I thought I was growing up and becoming an adult when little did I know what was in store for me and my family. The military was about to change my life forever and have a huge impact on what I want to become.
Going into the military I thought I knew more about life than what I really did. In basic training I definitely learned the true meaning of becoming an adult or maturing for that matter. Right off the bat I learned extreme discipline, loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. The keys to maturing in life and not taking things for grantedfrag. We trained and became skilled in weapons, tactics, and learned all the basics of being a good soldier. Then right after basic I was ordered to be stationed at Ft. Lewis Army Base in Washington State.
This is when the real life changer began. Soon after reporting to Lewis, I was notified that we were on orders to be in Afghanistan in 3 months for a 15 month deployment. Life started to hit me real hard at this point. We started training intensely and got all our ducks in a row to go to war. I knew it was going to be different over there but I had no clue of how or what it was really like to be over at war.
War is what changed me and for this I am glad butat the same time I am upset about how much it drained me mentally and physically. I saw and did things over there that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. All the explosions, weekly firefights, and rocket attacks on the FOB were just mentally draining. The gear that we humped around every single day was both physically and mentally tiring. This was war though. I was just doing my job and learning to be a good soldier.
In all this chaos over there let me tell you that to say the least I became a man real fast. It changed my whole personality but I can’t say that it was a bad thing. I’m not the happy go lucky, or star of the room anymore,CS I’m just another soldier who has been to another country that changed my life.
In war I learned the value of life and the true meaning of loss. Notice that you stop telling the story here, and start telling us (the readers) what to do. Instead, talk about what you learned. Stay with I and omit you.Life is nothing to take for granted because one day you’re here and then next might be your last, so please make the best outta each and every day you’re blessed with. Take in the good moments and cherish your family, friends, and loved ones. Be thankful to have running water, a toilet, and your cable television. Don’t complain about your day going bad because you worked to late or you missed your favorite TV show or dinner with loved ones. Be thankful and grateful that you are blessed with what you have. Life! It’s the most precious thing you could ever have, and one great thing I learned from my squad leader in the army, Staff Sergeant Alverez, was that “time is precious”. Be grateful every day you wake up.
I understand that I am different now and I am blessed to still be alive after doing 27 months in Afghanistan and spending 6 years in the military. I learned life lessons that can’t be taught at a school or passed down from your mother and father. I saw them happen first hand. Yes, they changed me, but for a good reason. I don’t take life for granted anymore and I look forward to becoming a productive citizen, raising a family, and owning a house. These are things my friends are taking for granted each and every day here in the states. I am blessed and thankful I wake up to freedom and have
nothing to worry about other than doing my duties that life has granted me with. This is precious and I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything in the world. You’re telling us what to do again in these last two sentences. Conclude about yourself, not about what you want the reader to do.Please give thanks to the men and women of our military for they put their lives on the line each and every day so that you have the right to live free and live happy in whatever you choose to do in life. Please don’t take this for granted and remember always that “time is precious!” God bless our troops!