Today marks the official end to my military service. I’m currently sitting on a plane thirty thousand feet in the air writing this. What’s funny to me is that I started my military service by taking a plane ride and here I am four years later on one marking the end. As I sit on this plane I can hear the silence pulsing through the air and that only means one thing; I am free at last.
I’m a bit disappointed in the way my unit handled my decision to leave but I feel like I am finally on the long road to inner peace. My service has changed my perspective on the world in so many ways. The boy who naively landed in Fort Jackson is no more. I have been tested both mentally and physically by my experiences. I look around the plane and I feel like my contribution to the country no matter how minuscule was worth it.
I have many things to learn about the civilian world as I transition into an every day life. Although I hated the hardships that I’ve endured I am forever grateful to the individuals who helped me cope with them.
I can now see the Rocky Mountains in the horizon and I know that I am ready for what the future has waiting for me.
I remember one of my Drill Sergeants saying, ” You may not know it, but someone back home is looking up to you right now, so if you’re thinking about quitting think of them and keep going, because there is three things you never give up on, your family, your country, and yourself.”
I will never be able to forget those words as I move forward with my life.
I leave y’all with this quote that I found inscribed in a castle in Norwich, England.
My road calls me.
Lvres me West, East, South, and North.
Most roads lead men homewards.
My road leads me forth.