So almost a year ago I enlisted in the Army, signed my soul over to them for four years, at first I was going to head off to Infantry training, then off to Ranger School. However through much miscommunication (Damn recruiters) I changed my MOS to 68W Healthcare Specialist aka Combat Medic just so I could go onto pursue a medical career and become a cardiologist. And come March 26th I ship off to Ft. Benning Georgia in chase of my dreams telling myself that; "The ends justify the means, and it's only four years of the suck."
As the clock ticks down, I look back at what has lead me to this, and what March 26th means for me.
In March of 2011 I was a soon to be graduating Senior looking at attending college. In doing so I approached my father of the possibility of going to either Brown University, or Northeastern University, and how those were the two places that truly felt like home me. He flat out told me he didn't have the money for either and that he planned on going to Utah in June, which happened to be the very month I graduated. He told me that I would either have to A. Go to a state University (U of U of course...) and then one day transfer when I have the money or B. Join the military and figure things out for myself.
Now no offense to anyone who attends a State University but I absolutely detest State University's. I hate huge sprawling campuses, professors who don't even know a quarter of their students names, ginormous lecture halls, and despairing empty buildings (Looking at you U Mass). Plus I don't want to stay in Utah, I know that place, I know what that road leads too, and I want the unknown, I want to chase my own dreams, not the one that's the most convenient. So naturally I joined the Army 3 weeks later as an active duty 11x for four and a half years.
This decision to join the military isn't one that's surprising at all, quite the contrary actually, it's been tradition in my fathers family for every male to join the military when they come of age, and as of late it's become a thing the females in our family have begun to do too. My father is a Colonel in the Army, all but one of my fathers brothers has been in some type of service, Joe: Former Navy Seal, Larry: Former Army Ranger, my Father: Former Delta Force, the one that didn't was only because he had diabetes and he even tried to lie and join (MEPS figured it out). My aunts husband is a former Airforce PJ, my grandfather is a former Airforce Pilot, and his brother is a former Army Ranger who served in Vietnam. My great grandfather and his brothers all lied about their age so they could fight in WWI, and my great grandfather fought in Italy in WWII. My 4 male cousins follow in as 2 Marines who were the first wave into Iraq (both of which suffer severe PTSD now), 1 is a former Navy sailor who was discharged for false medication charges that were trumped up by his mother (Yes she is that batshit crazy) that were later retracted after he was discharged, and he is seeking another enlistment. The fourth son is too young but is looking at the Marine Corps Reserve for college. My brother is a Combat Medic for the Army going on his 3rd year, and now it's my turn. Hell even my mother was an Army MP.
Many people would see this as one generation as brainwashing the next to fight but that couldn't be any farther from the truth, my family had no idea when my brother joined till the day he was leaving for BCT, and my father didn't know till I called him after I signed my contract. My mother even went into panic because of it, and has spent the past year trying to convince me to not board the plane and have my brother go AWOL. My father was so furious that he went to my Recruiter and threatened to reprimand him for "enlisting a senior officers son without informing the him" of which he never followed through and such rules don't even exist, even still he eventually went to apologize for it and say he knew the man was only doing his job, my recruiter understood and even told my father he would of reacted the same and tried to convince me to tell my father before I signed (He did indeed try to convince me to talk to my family beforehand).
Whenever anyone says or thinks: I support the cause but let someones kid do it rather than me or my kids. That just happens to my family
I thought about all these things before I signed, but I signed nonetheless, telling myself that the ends justify the means that that it's only four years of the suck. I am scared of these next four years, but I'm chasing my dream, and I intend of achieving it.
My job choice to become an 11x with Option 40 (Ranger contract) at first was one purely motivated by that male need to be alpha dog and the fact that all of the men in my family have done some badass job in the military at one point or another. Of course down the line I realized that I didn't want to hurt anyone, in fact I preferred to help people over hurting them. Don't misunderstand me though, I have been in a lot of fights in my life (16 in fact on my school records) and obviously being an alpha male runs in my family so stubbornness and confidence are plentiful me. But I don't want a job that involves purposefully going out to kill or maim people who just simply have different views than mine. I comprehend the idea of "It was him or me" but at the same time I also understand that those people simply have not ever had the same opportunities and we have, and not experienced the freedoms as us. And their vision of what is right and what is wrong have been blurred through years of religious zealots preaching to them, and the entire Western world using them for its own benefit. So on November 12th, three days before my ship date, my eyesight results came through showing I was ineligible for Option 40. I took advantage of this opportunity and changed my MOS to Combat Medic, seeing as Medics help not only their comrades, but also innocent civilians and even at times enemy combatants. Along with opportunities to go to Nursing school, Ranger School, Airborne School, etc, etc. They even carry weapons just in case things become extremely hairy.
Another oddity that many people seem to not understand is that almost everyone in my family are Democrats, the only one who differs is my mother, the rest of us are Democrats. With the only exception of beliefs being; Gun control (We all love the 2nd Amendment), and taxing the middle class and upper class more than the lower class. But to be brutally honest my family has actually quite enjoyed Obama with a few exceptions on his treatment of US troops, we do in fact believe that his administration needs to take better care of injured soldiers that way massacres like the one that happened a few weeks ago do not happen again, and that he as our Commander and Chief needs to take the blunt of responsibility for it.
Anyways...... Recently I even broke up with my gf who I've been with for 8 months. I quit my job so I can prepare this weekend for shipping, and have contacted all those I know to say I'll be off the grid for a certain amount of time. In case anyone is wondering: yeah I'm scared shitless, despite everyone in my family having done it, but nonetheless, I signed my name and plan on fulfilling my promise.
Sorry for any grammatical errors, have not had enough coffee as of late.