I wasn’t originally going to join the military. To be honest, I never really saw myself in the military. I spent my entire childhood following my parents here and there throughout their military careers, and I thought I had enough. In the back of my mind, I knew that with my current plan, I knew I wouldn’t be able to travel the world the way I wanted to. Throughout my high school years I had several careers in mind, but there was one that stuck with me until the very end. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be someone that influenced our future. I was going to achieve these goals by attending the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. That had been my school of choice for many years.
Everything was going great my senior year. I got my acceptance letter in the mail. I got all my medical paperwork taken care of, and I had all housing necessities complied with. It wasn’t until the last few months that everything changed. My mother informed me that her GI Bill wouldn’t cover everything that it was supposed to due to service requirements. I was crushed. I knew that I didn’t want to be someone that went to school and was buried in debt for a portion of my adult life. That and being in debt meant not being able to travel the way that I wanted to. I had to come up with a plan and I had to do it fast.
The plan that I had to come up with had to include the ability to travel, financial stability, the opportunity to pursue my goals, and a ticket away from my mother. So, I started digging.
The day of my graduation party, an old family friend that I hadn’t seen since I was in diapers showed up. We got to talking, and it turned out she was stationed in San Antonio, and she loved her career in the military. She talked about her travels, the freedoms she had, and achieving her goals. One thing led to another, and I ended up in a recruiters office. Before anything was set in stone, I went to visit her. She took me around and showed me all the details. That was it. That was all I needed.
I was back in the recruiters office soon after. I shipped out for basic that November and that was that. I got a job. It wasn’t my dream job, but I look at it as a stepping stone to something bigger and better. I’ve been deployed, I’ve been TDY, and I’m now living abroad. I have traveled here and there. I’m financially stable, and best of all, my education goals are being met.
My education goals have changed several times since joining the military, but that’s to be expected with someone like me that had to change paths several times until I found the right one. I’m now going to school for nutrition and exercise science. That is after changing from a major in education to nursing to criminal justice. Like I said the path changed a few times. I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I have accomplished so much in the few years that I’ve been in, and if things go right I’ll be in until the end. Like any job, there are ups and downs, but it’s the military. That’s to be expected. There’s room for growth. There’s the ability to mentor, guide, and influence the future. The best thing of all is that I’m happy. Sometimes it takes people forever to find their happy place, and some never do. So, I’m thankful, and I wish it was this simple all others.
Have a good one!