how has the military changed your life? - Page 2




 
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March 20th, 2005  
mandi
 
thank you guys so much for your comments!! you have all helped me out, and the paper is coming along great! thanks again!
March 23rd, 2005  
Duty Honor Country
 
 
The summer after my junior year was like most summer vacations. I was working about 40 hours a week, enjoying my break from school and doing the things I like to do. Right after school ended, I took the coveted SAT test. A few weeks later, I got my whopping score of 980. My test results aided the dilemma I was having. High school, which was supposed to prepare me for college, was having the exact opposite effect.

My academic record in high school was not that glorious. I started out decent, but then I slipped quite a bit. Doing the classes was not the problem. The problem lied in my motivation. A teacher once asked my why I did not turn in my homework. I asked him to beak out his grade book and pointed to my test grades. Most of those grades were close to 100%. I was not motivated to try hard. My performance was not the only factor in this problem.

All during high school, I took these tests to “decide” my life. I answered all these questions and my answers were supposed to dictate the rest of my life. I cannot recall what the results were, but they did little to motivate me to go to college. I saw that high school was more like a factory. We, the students, were the raw material, the machines were the teachers, and the product was a college student. No one really bothered to give me an acceptable answer as to why I should really go to college. Going to college is the thing everyone does, or is it.

One Saturday morning, after working rather late, an Army recruiter called me. I made him repeat his sales pitch since I was too tired to understand him the first time around. I had never been anti military; I decided to hear him out. After meeting with him, I knew what the Army had to offer. I took the ASVAB and scored a 79. I guess the Army thought I was a bit smarter than the SAT creators were. As I saw it, the Army was offering me $40,000 for college and a decent place to bide my time until I could figure out what to do with my life. After selling this idea to my mom, I was set to leave 2 weeks after graduating high school.

My school was the kind where everyone goes to college. I was the first student not to do so in a few years. There were more than a few people who thought I was doing the wrong thing. I amused my self in dealing with these people. As graduation came and went, I was happy to leave home and enlist in the Army.

Basic training is almost like high school. Everyone wants to get through it so they can “get on with their military career.” The real Army starts when you get to your first duty station. In the beginning, I was not a good soldier. My mentality was like most others my age; do just enough to get by but not enough to excel. Unlike other jobs, my leaders definitely noticed I was not giving my all. At some point, after more than my fair share of pain, I decided to change my ways. Doing as little as possible no longer would cut it. My new theory on excelling in the military was rather simple; know my job, shut my mouth and be physically fit. I also decided to exceed (not super exceed) the standards set upon me. As I was changing my ways, I was also exposed to every type of people. I met people who were well educated, not se well educated, people who were content with life and people who were always improving their lives. Seeing how these people were gave me the motivation to go to college. After 4 years of the Army, I was ready for college.

I finally saw college for what it really was. College is one way to better your life. It opens up opportunities that non-college graduates do not have. However, getting a college degree can be as worthless as the piece of paper that comes with graduation. College, like life, is what you make of it.

My first semester of college was quite amusing from my perspective, because I got to observe hundreds of college students fresh out of high school. These freshmen not really were not motivated to be there. For them, college was more about freedom from house rules. Instead of working hard before playing hard, these people were quite ignorant. Partying, sports, boyfriends, girlfriends and social life all were more important than school. No one had figured out that you must try hard in all aspects of life to really succeed. That is something I learned during my rough times in the military. The New me did quite well when grades were released. My GPA was a 3.6 while one of my friends, who had a 1400 SAT score, was only a 2.1. If I had gone into college right after high school, I am quite sure my grades would be in line with that of my friend’s GPA.

Lastly, the Army taught me that I need a job that gives me a sense of satisfaction. Working a job where I do the same thing every day will drive me crazy. Each day in the military is always quite different from the next. Yes, there is a lot of hard work involved. But when the job is done, I get a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Ask anyone who works fast food or retail if their job is satisfying.


This is my long response to how the military has changed me. I could write more, but I will not torture you any longer, that is if you have even read enough to see this line . I just figured writing one or 2 lines for this topic would not do.

SGT Doody
March 23rd, 2005  
Vitaly
 
As a person who is considering which branch to choose to go into right now, I hope to give a different perspective. My interest in the Military started about as soon as I was able to realize that my grandfather was a proud veteran. That was at about age five. Since I was still living in Russia, I had an interesting opportunity to listen to the war stories of a WWII veteran living a few apartments down. Unlike most people who "grow-out" of thier childhood dreams, I never did. Through-out the years there was never a change of heart, the only changes were of a narrowing nature. As in, the service and MOS, and of course the change from the Russian Military to the U.S. Military. Since I have really never known life without the Military being a part of it, I can't really explain how the addition of the Military to my life was changing. But, I can imagine a hypothetical scenario without the Military being a major section of my life. I probably wouldn't value physical fitness as much as I do now, I wouldn't have participated in the multiple sports I play now, going to the shooting range bi-weekly wouldn't happen, I most likely wouldn't have gotten scuba qualified, and I don't know if I would have even close to the same sense of purpose as I do now. Sadly, not all of the effects of the Military have been beneficial. Having a GPA under 3.0 and an SAT score of over 1400 I know I would have had much better grades if I thought that college was were I was going. The other downfall is that I recognize that these last few years of High-School may very well be the last years when I will have a chance to party with classmates. I believe that I most likely wouldn't have been such a party animal, especially for people still in High-School, and probably not as well known in the halls of my High-School. Atleast, the outbreak of war in the Middle East did not change my perception of what I believe is my destiny (Military Service) and that is more than some people can say.

Vitaly M.
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March 23rd, 2005  
Duty Honor Country
 
 
I will fill you in on how people disperse after high school.

After graduation, people hug, cry and vow to remain friends "forever." I am sorry to say the forever bit is far from reality. People will scatter to college and the military. Some will stay home, but that does not change much.

Every time I came home, there were less of my former friends wanting to see me. I would send e-mails and leave messages telling people was coming home but it did not matter. After 3 years of post high school life, I could count the number of high school friends I still talked to on one hand. Today I only talk to one friend from high school. I never really thought I would be friends with him, but I am glad to have him as a life long friend.

I am not alone. Talk to anyone who has been out in the real world about high school friends. For most, their cases are just like mine.

on the grades bit, my high school GPA was a 2.6 and I had a 980 SAT score. SGT Doody had that good edumacation. Penn State said I only had a 1% chance of getting a 3.5 or higher. I got a 3.6 so standardized tests can KISS MY Don't ever let anyone or anything bring you down. Only you control your future.
March 23rd, 2005  
Vitaly
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doody
I will fill you in on how people disperse after high school.

After graduation, people hug, cry and vow to remain friends "forever." I am sorry to say the forever bit is far from reality. People will scatter to college and the military. Some will stay home, but that does not change much.

Every time I came home, there were less of my former friends wanting to see me. I would send e-mails and leave messages telling people was coming home but it did not matter. After 3 years of post high school life, I could count the number of high school friends I still talked to on one hand. Today I only talk to one friend from high school. I never really thought I would be friends with him, but I am glad to have him as a life long friend.

I am not alone. Talk to anyone who has been out in the real world about high school friends. For most, their cases are just like mine.

on the grades bit, my high school GPA was a 2.6 and I had a 980 SAT score. SGT Doody had that good edumacation. Penn State said I only had a 1% chance of getting a 3.5 or higher. I got a 3.6 so standardized tests can KISS MY Don't ever let anyone or anything bring you down. Only you control your future.
That is the exact reason why I try to hang-out with as many classmates as possible, I recognize the lack of opportunity to do so later in life. The fact that college is also not a very big possibility I must also work harder to mantain High-School friendships since having new friends in college may never occur.
March 29th, 2005  
cPFC/SAJROTC
 
Well, I may not be able to provide anything on active-duty military, but from a JROTC cadet standpoint, the military has instilled far more discipline in me personally. Not to mentional, virtually all of my close friends are fellow cadets whether we're still together in a unit or not, virtually all of my friends are JROTC cadets.

--c/PO3 Woody
March 30th, 2005  
mandi
 
i didnt know very much about the military until recently. My grandfather was in WWII, but it was an experience that he never talked about until he had Alzheimer's. I was never exposed to the military lifestyle, or anything that had to do with it. I was never against the military though. Last year i dated a boy who joined the marines. Through him, i learned so much, and my eyes were opened to so many new things. After he came back from basic, i could tell that he had changed. He respected people more, he respected himself more. He was more disciplined, and truly was happy with himself, and his life for once. I talked to his recruiters occasionally, but never about joining. i then was offered a job in an Air Force Reserves office, just as a secretary. I had known that recruiter previously, so it seemed like a good opportunity. I finally realized that this was something I had been searching for. I now am planning on going to school to get my nursing degree, then joining the Air Force. I am so excited to do something that I never thought I would do. Already, wanting to join has changed my life- I am applying myself more, I know that I have to do well in college if I want to get in the way I want to. I am respecting myself more, taking more chances, and learning about new things. I no longer am as ignorant about things that I have not yet experienced. I cant wait to serve my country! Thank you to everyone for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me.
March 30th, 2005  
AFSteliga
 
 
Even though I've only been in for the last 8, maybe 9 months now (but if you include Cadets...7 years) , the military has pretty much changed my life. I used to be rather slack and realy didn't care about much. However, when I realized that I wanted to be in the Forces, I started to work harder at school, and my goals in life.

These last 8 months here at CMR have taught me several things about teamwork, initiative, and leadership, and a new meaning of friendship. Some people here have formed friendships in only a few months that are probably stronger then the ones that they had in High School. I rarely talk to my friends back home, with the exception of a couple. Here though, I'm good friends with quite a few people, and I'm sure that we're going to be friends until well after retirement.

Personally, I think that the CF has changed me into a much better person overall.
March 31st, 2005  
MilidarUSMC
 
 
just another point i realized today, i became less sellfish. i care more about the other guy than myself. i worry more about the guy to my left and right then i do myself. sounds cliche` but i find it true more and more since i got through boot camp and continued on my training pipeline.