Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just Wanted to Belong

When I was growing up I was definitely not a girly-girl.  I loved sports.  I loved getting dirty.  I loved playing war.

As I got older, I did become a little bit more feminine but not much.  Yes, I wore make-up, fixed my hair and was in beauty pageants but I still always found the thought of playing war interesting.  I remember being about a sophomore in college and the recruiters coming in to school for the ASVAB test.  I made a statement that I thought it would be fun to be in the Army and was quickly told by everyone that I did not want to be in the Army because I was going to go to college.  I didn't really push the issue and I did end up going to college and graduating,

but . . .

the thought of being in the Army never really left me.  After college and teaching for a couple of years, I ended up leaving my job and joining the Army National Guard.  After basic training and advanced individual training, I ended up working full-time for the Army.  I then went on to Officer Candidate School, Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course and finally ended up teaching the ASAS (military intelligence system) at the Command and General Staff College.

My life sure changed a lot from being wild and care-free in college to living a pretty rigid, mapped out life at Ft. Leavenworth.  The funny thing is, though, that I loved that life more than that care-free college life.  I loved the structure, the history, the comraderie, the passion, the drive, the committment, the physicality.  I loved everything about it.

When I think about Veteran's Day, though, I don't ever really consider myself to be a Veteran.  I never fought in a war.  I never served overseas.  I never did anything heroic.  I know so many people who have gone to Afghanistan and Iraq, most of them multiple times.  I know people who served in Vietnam, Korea, WWII.  I did none of those things.  I just fulfilled a dream of saying that I belonged.

I still love the Army.  Have you ever heard the sound of a company or battalion of training soldiers singing cadence at 4:30 in the morning?  There is nothing like it.  It will give you goosebumps.  Wish I could hear it now.

(The dates on the pics below are wrong): 




OCS Christmas Party with my best buddy, Jennings.  Sometime in December 2001.

 At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Army 10 Mile Run in D.C.  sometime in October 1999

Happy Veteran's Day.  Hooah!