Fourteen years ago this past August I joined the US Army. When I decided to go in a had nothing but the clothes on my back and the idea that this was an opportunity to make my father proud and to experience something for at least three years. That initial thought spark something in me that has made me who I am today. When I joined I told myself that I had to follow three rules. One, never fail a PT Test, Two, never do anything wrong to provoke adverse actions, and Three, become and NCO within my first three years. I spent 9 years, 1 month, and 5 days and I accomplished all three rules. This has been the making of who I am since and how I live my life everyday.
The most defining moments of my Military career where graduating Basic Training, Being able to live in Germany, Deploying to Iraq to complete the very mission we as soldiers work so hard for and the day I honorably left the military. My military career now defines who I am. People in society see me different when they know that I am a Veteran. Some see me as a hero and others see me in a different light, the same way the Vietnam Veterans experienced when they returned home.
I am proud to be a Veteran and do what I can everyday to give back to my community as I have been for 14 years. At some point I just hope that the community will eventually give back to the Veterans who have helped give them so much.