SO. I enlisted.
In doing so, I’m facing the hardest personal challenge I can imagine. But I’ve decided when I’m done on this planet, I want to know that I could and I pushed myself until “could” became “did.” I’ve chosen this path because I know that there is much more beyond myself, more I can give, more I can do. Working on yourself is fine. Taking that work and applying it to this bigger project of humanity? That I can do.
And that I owe to my country.
That’s why I joined the United States Army. It’s a family legacy that I never thought it would fall to me to continue, but one I bear with pride. It is a terrifying proposition. It is the hardest decision I’ve ever made. And it’s a decision I made in the face of a spectrum of responses from: “You enlist, I will kill you myself,” to, “You’re running away,” to, “That doesn’t surprise me in the least.” And finally, the response of my grandfather, whose tradition and record of service I will be carrying in my heart: “This decision is yours to make alone. Don’t listen to anyone else. And I think you’ll make an excellent soldier.”
And so, I decided.
I know precisely what I’m getting myself into. Two wars. The proposition this will be the last job I take. Resistance (ten years in a town full of “I’m Already Against the Next War” bumper stickers and no Fourth of July parade made this pretty clear.) But I know in my heart I was blessed enough to be born in the best country on the planet, with the most opportunities, and that is a debt of gratitude I will gladly repay with my body, my heart, my soul.
So, I’m in.
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