We as veterans and service members have all been asked: Why did you join the military? I’ve also been asked why at my age I still enjoy it. The military is unlike any other job you could ever have. I joined the military way back in 1988 and was active duty Navy for five years. If not for a disagreement on where I wanted to be stationed versus where the Navy wanted me stationed, I would venture to say I would still be part of the greatest Navy in the world. I decided to get out of the Navy in 1993, but, as an old saying goes, you can take me out the military, but you cannot take the military out of me. That’s the way it was for many years, constantly thinking about the military and how much I missed it. After years of being asked by a National Guard recruiter when I was going to join, I entered the National Guard on February 7, 2005.
Why the National Guard?
I decided to join the National Guard because I had a great civilian job working for a mortgage company, making more money than any country boy could have ever imagined. While at MEPS, I was asked what I wanted to do in the National Guard. I had been EOD in the Navy, so I told them EOD. However, at the time there were very few EOD slots in the Ohio National Guard, so I decided to be infantry. I would quickly find out my life was about to change. I was off to infantry school at Camp Robinson, Arkansas. I fit right in. Infantry school was fun, learning about all the weapons and infantry tactics. One evening while I was there, I was told to report to the 1SG. When I did, I was informed my unit was being deployed to Iraq. I was asked if I wanted to go. They knew they did not have to ask. I graduated infantry school as the honor graduate and went directly to our MOB station in Fort Hood, Texas. In October 2005, I arrived in Iraq. Our mission was not your typical infantry mission; it was convoy operations. We spent the next nine months completing our mission. We returned home in August of 2006. As any National Guard soldier, I returned to my civilian job. However, with changes in the mortgage industry, the company closed in June 2007. I decided to take a position as a training NCO with the National Guard full time. Over the next few months, I watched many units deployed and in April 2008, I was asked to deploy with a unit from Texas doing EOD operations. Since 2008, I have spent more time deployed then I have at home.
What I Like About the Military
What I have liked and enjoy most about the military is serving my country. There has been no greater honor in my life than defending freedom. That is what I like most and not because I have some ego, but like any veteran, I like knowing I am a part of a brotherhood. We veterans are part of history and part of the world’s greatest military. If you want to be in the military, you have to realize it’s not just about sacrifice; it’s about commitment, discipline, and dedication. Even if you’re in the National Guard or reserves, it is still a full-time job. You must be willing to stay ready and keep your family informed and prepared. You can be sitting at home enjoying time with your family and the next minute packing your ruck due to a national disaster or war. You have to willing to put your country, your unit, and your soldiers ahead of yourself. If you join the military, no matter how long you stay, you will always be a veteran and the military will always be a part of you