I suppose today is a good day to reflect on my service in the military so far.
I, like so many others, found myself sitting across from a Marine Corps recruiter one fateful day in April. I stared down at these little tags that they make you put in order of importance to you and I felt...peace. I felt as if I was in the right place for the first time in my life.
I sat there thinking about myself and what he was telling me that I would have to be able to do. He explained what boot camp would be like and how hard it would be, but I wasn't even thinking about that. My heart was swelling with an overwhelming confidence that if I set my mind to it, I would be able to do it.
I went home and I told my big sister that I was going to be a Marine. That my life had just been changed forever. It wasn't about what my recruiter had said, it was about how I felt and what I knew about myself. It was what I was supposed to do. I just knew it. All of my life I was waiting for this feeling. I was hoping that some day, I would finally feel like I was somewhere that I belonged. There I found it.
I joined the Marines the day after I graduated high school. It was an amazingly exciting day. Throughout all my time in the Delayed Entry Program, I made some of the most amazing friends. In fact, I consider most of them to be my best friends. I created more of a connection with these people in a few short months that I have with any other people in my life.
Lucky for me, about a year later, things changed. I found myself sitting across from a recruiter again but this time in an Army recruiting office. I had a stack of medical documents and high hopes that this would work out, that I would finally be able to be a part of the Military like I knew I was supposed to.
It didn't take long. I spent a couple of days with the recruiters filling out paper work, went to MEPS and that was it. I cried like a baby when the doctors on the med deck told me I was qualified. I raised my right hand (again) and I said the oath of enlistment and I was on my way. I was an Army Reservist.
All of my training was...incredible. I tell everyone how easy it was and that it wasn't a big deal, but it was. I made life long friends and I just...fit there. I felt like I was finally good at something. For once in my life I didn't feel like a square peg in a round hole. I found a square hole that I fit in perfectly.
I'm finally a place that I belong. Even when it really sucks.
Today I know a few combat veterans and TONS of service members. If I mentioned them all in a Facebook post, It would be over 100 of them. Most of which aren't from basic training or AIT. They're more veterans and servicemen around you than you may even realize.
So happy veterans day.