Essay: Finding Oneself in the United States Armed Forces

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Military

Finding oneself in the United States Armed Forces

'Proud to serve:' Why the military has made me who I am today

It has been a long journey for me. At one point in my life, I swore I would have nothing to do with the military, despite having grown up a military 'brat.' But I have come to see that serving in the military and being around those who have served this great country has made me what I am today -- and fostered within me the qualities I like best about myself. It is too easy to ignore the great blessings we live with in America -- freedom, prosperity, and safety. People must force themselves to seek challenges; challenges do not always present themselves automatically in modern life. In the military, every day is a challenge, a positive test of a soldier's skills and drive. That is why I believe that the ability to enlist in the United States Armed Forces is an integral component of any individual's optimal and complete sense of fulfillment. Serving in the army is not just a job: it is entering an extended family that offers unequivocal love. It offers the opportunity to demonstrate honor, commitment, and devotion to this entire nation and provides a foundation of security, freedom, and equality for the nation.

The army is a diverse family that exposes an individual to many different peoples and cultures. Growing up a typical 'military brat,' I experienced this firsthand. As a tiny child, I did not always like this -- all too often, I had to leave friends behind, and fight to make new ones. This made me a stronger person and also gave me greater understanding of the diversity of world -- I could not pretend that my own way of seeing things was the only way. My family also gave me a core sense of values that lived within me, no matter where we were. I came to see that so long as I stayed true to myself, I was home: "every where could be home to some extent" although it was "not home to some degree" (Iyer 259).

The military does not simply 'take' from those who serve: it also gives back a great deal to the men and women who wear its uniform. My father was the first member of his family ever to attend college. The military made it financially possible to do so, and not only did he get his BA (an undreamed-of accomplishment when he was a child); he went on to get his MA and PhD. My mother did not serve, never graduated high school, but she was determined that I would follow my father's example, as was he -- my father was one of the reasons that I decided to enter the armed forces, and I plan on following in his footsteps and get my MA and PhD as well. This ability to broaden one's mind through travel and education is yet another of the gifts of military service. "I realized that by going halfway through the open door, he [father] had allowed me to walk out of it on the other side" (Iyer 259).

My resolve has not always been 100% in terms of my commitment to a military lifestyle -- I admit that at times it has been wearying, going from place to place. But even after I left the military I found myself drawn back -- I married a military man. Our life has often been wandering and transient but I suppose "it all depends on what you mean by home" in terms of our lack of apparent place as a family (Frost 114). Ever base we have gone the institutions of the military have accepted us. Groups such as Family Readiness and Wives Clubs make… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Finding Oneself in the United States Armed Forces.  (2009, July 12).  Retrieved November 16, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/finding-oneself-united-states-armed/7844721

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"Finding Oneself in the United States Armed Forces."  12 July 2009.  Web.  16 November 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/finding-oneself-united-states-armed/7844721>.

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"Finding Oneself in the United States Armed Forces."  Essaytown.com.  July 12, 2009.  Accessed November 16, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/finding-oneself-united-states-armed/7844721.