Saturday, August 11, 2012

Military Decision

Throughout my life the military has been good to my family. My dad had faithfully served for 17 years and when leaving the Army was given a 50% disability, giving him all of the necessary care that he could need. In '08 he needed a surgery to catch a blood clot in his knee, a surprisingly expensive surgery, however, with all due thanks to the military the surgery didn't cost him a dime. The military treats the men and women who serve or served very well. When I was a small child, I lived on a few Army bases, one in Texas, in Germany, and in Washington, state. Fort Louis is the base I recall the most memories and in the memories that I've retained comes a great sense of security. Local military shops, such as the PX and the Shopette, played a part in my daily life and my gratitude towards these small establishments is great. On my way to kindergarten, my sister and I would visit the Shopette in order to get breakfast, and maybe if we had enough change, a drink (usually chocolate milk). Across from my small, two story, yellow home was a thicket of trees. Not quite a forest, just a small cluster of pine trees. My brothers and I spent many days there, we had called this thicket "the fort" and it was always there to climb or pretend of whatever took my fancy that afternoon. Behind my home was a tiny play ground; this play ground included a swing set, a jungle gym, and a sandbox. My best friend and also neighbor of the time, Eric, and I would always play there. We'd play there, have small arguments of things that never happened and enjoy one another's company.

Naturally though, I grew older, my dad left the Army, my parents got a divorce, and we all moved reluctantly to my native land of Oklahoma. It seemed like a good idea at the time since all of my family lived down south in Oklahoma and Louisiana, but to me they were all strangers. Misbehaved, imaginative, and perhaps cruel are the best words to characterize my cousins. On the surface they pretended to be loving and kind, however, the minute you'd turn your back they'd speak falsely of you. In the end, I was never close to any of them, I selfishly used them as playmates and nothing more. I never wanted a relationship with them, or with anybody but my immediately family. Despite that desire, events transpired a bit differently...
My mother moved to Texas with her husband to Lipscomb county, by this time I already moved in with my dad. This was particularly an odd event in my life mainly because I'd never been so far from my family. For most, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but to me, I didn't much mind. They were gone, and that was it. It's not as though I'd never see them again, every other weekend or so I'd visit. But it was in that time that they grew apart from me and I from them.

So far, this may not seem relevant to the title of this publication, so I'll elaborate. These are the events, the most major happenings, in my life that molded me into the way I am. I myself cannot say if how I've become is for the best, because even I don't know myself all too well. But it's these events that showed me how easy being apart from family was. It's these events that made me perhaps even a bit cynical. I learned from these events that nothing is really about me, no matter the subject. Everything mingles together into one confusing mess. The separation of my family certainly wasn't about me, it was about everyone. Visitation wasn't about what I wanted, but what my mother wanted. Spending time with the family wasn't about my personal desire to grow closer but to serve my family's wish to become tighter. Whether or not I wanted to be apart of any of that wasn't necessarily my choice. Yes, I could have said no to all of it and done whatever it was I wanted to do, but there is a line of selfishness that people shouldn't cross. One should always give what they can: life, liberty, time, desires, etc. For me, it was the events that occurred between then and now that inspired my dream to become an Army man.

The reason I chose the Army over the other branches is pretty simple. With the Navy, it's understood that you're going to be spending time on boats and for me, nothing more would be so tragic. Spending an extended period of time on a boat causes me to grow uneasy and I wouldn't be able to serve properly or to my capacity. As for the Marines, I don't have that mindset. I don't have the jockish mindset common to the Marines nor do I feel a desire to flaunt my militant status. With the Marines, your choices are narrowed down to one thing as well: I want to be a Marine. That's the last decision you make. The Air Force is primarily technical jobs that I don't see myself excelling at and even if I wanted to be a pilot, my eyesight is too poor. For a time I was considering para-rescue but ultimately decided that the Air Force just wasn't for me. Then came along the Army and it was apparent to me that it was the most modest branch of the military. When it comes to the Army, soldiers are simply soldiers, nothing more. Even special forces soldiers are treated as just soldiers, regardless of  SF status. With the Army, you have the choice to take the training you desire (though it's not promised you'll be accepted for that class) and you can even make requests as to where you're posted.

I don't wish to be better than anyone else, I don't desire a grandeur career with massive honors telling my tales. I only want to protect the people I love, and protect the soldiers around me to the extent of my ability, pushing myself to be better until I become the best that I can be. I simply wish to protect those that I can to the extent that I can. When I join, it isn't to be a gun, shooting at the enemy, it's to serve my country. Enemy is an ever evolving term, and it is in no way absolute. No two countries will be forever pitted against one another and no two countries will forever be allies. I can't put my trust in that so I will put my trust in one thing that I can be sure of and that is to protect my country and what I represent in order to allow my people to live the way they wish.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Well, this is my first post...I never imagined I'd be blogging for any reason. For starters, the title "Purely Opinion" is the basis in which this strand of blog runs. Nothing I write is to be interpreted to be impressed upon anyone forcefully, and if I by some odd chance I offend someone, I sincerely apologize now because no further apologies will be given.

I'd like to start by thanking Lizzi Davis; the gal who took interest in my views in the first place. I won't presume my POV to be interesting or revolutionary. I don't believe myself to be more intelligent, clever, or cunning than any other person, so what I write is for the selfish, but reasonable, desire to be heard.

The greatest ways in which one may formulate a coherent thought is to write it. To speak a thought gives way to mistake by those who do not retain the rhetoric to create the desired point in which they wish to make. This is often the reason for the most misunderstandings between two or more people and why Henry David Thoreau and other essayists were so effective.  Well, for now, that'll be all. Thanks to those who read, and thanks to Lizzi for encouraging me, she rocks the casbah!