In the early years of high school, I was adrift. So much was happening all at once, and way too quickly! I grew up in a single-parent home; but never found myself to be lacking in love or support from a mother who always believed I could be anything I wanted to be.
I had just been promoted to E-2 – oh the hair? We’ll ignore that. Blame it on youth & the late 80’s!
Stress was causing me to fall short of my goals. To be honest, I felt like I wasn’t measuring up to my potential.
Though my test scores were through the roof, I lacked “purpose” and wasn’t sure what I was meant to do.
When I met a recruiter at a school event, I really had no intentions of pursuing anything. But the more I learned about the United State Army, the more I was intrigued. I enlisted, with major apprehensions from my mother. Although I had completed high school, I was only 17 and needed her signature for permission to join. Looking back, years later, I can confidently say the military renewed my hope for the future, and gave me a structure in which to pursue my career plans.
I’ve traveled the world, lived in several cities across the country and abroad. I have never taken any of it for granted.
Even though I was only in for six years, I still feel like a military man, and ideals like fortitude, tenacity, and honor have been hardwired into my consciousness.
Today is November 11th, 2015, Veterans Day. I think about the men & women I served with. Unlike me, some continued their service. Some lost their lives in defense of our country.
“TANK HILL” Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Echo Company, 10th Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Platoon – PVT. Nick Smith (5th Row, 4th from Left)
God bless America. And God bless the men and women swearing in and taking the oath to defend the United States of America.