How I became a Soldier and why my support, and admiration runs so deep for our men and women in uniform.
When I was 17 years old I was living as a cowboy in Newcastle, Wyoming. One day while shopping at the local Wal-Mart, I walked past a man in uniform. Something about the way he carried himself intrigued me: he exuded such an air of confidence. So I followed him around for a few minutes. I guess I must not have been very subtle, because he noticed I was staring at him, and he walked directly up to me. He came over and asked, “son, how old are you?” I told him I was seventeen. He then asked me a few questions about myself, where I lived, what sports I was into etc., but when I told him I was into boxing he said, “I myself was a golden gloves champion, and I also fought for the Army.” This point completely intrigued me. After talking with him he handed me his card and said, “I would like you to come box with me, if you are you interested.” To say the least, I most certainly was interested to box with a golden gloves fighter! So I took the card and made an appointment. That was the beginning: six weeks later, in the summer following my senior year of High School, I was headed to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for basic training. However, how I got into the military is not nearly as important as what I got out of the military. Like many young men, when I was growing up I had a hard time with authority. It isn’t that I was a “bad” kid: I was just independent and adventurous, and I sure didn’t pay much attention to rules. Unfortunately for me, this tended to get me in a lot of trouble.
I didn’t join the Army because I thought I needed discipline. I joined because I wanted the challenge, and I was intrigued by that noble air of prestige servicemen seemed to carry. I admired it, and I guess I felt the Army was “cool,” and it was something I wanted to be a part of. What I later learned was that the cool confidence I saw in that serviceman in Wal-Mart, that air of nobility that had originally attracted me, was actually humility born in pride of country. You see, what the army teaches a young, cocky kid like myself, is that service to others is the true mark of manhood. The ability to gain self-discipline, humility and honor is more effectively instilled when it is put forth in the service of others. I didn’t seek to learn pride, but it is one of the great benefits I gained. As a result of my experiences, I have a pride in America that still gives me goose-bumps in the mere sight of our flag, or especially whenever I see our men and women in uniform. My service in the Army was, for me, the experience that crystallized who I am today. It turned the microscope back around upon me, and it forced me to confront my own weaknesses, insecurities and even failures. This forced confrontation with myself was an opportunity to hone my strengths and improve my weaknesses. It created in me that which I saw in the soldier in Wal-Mart: a self-knowledge and confidence that I, in turn, now try to instill in others. I decided, after much deliberation, that I would leave military service and return to the private sector. I enjoyed my time in the Army, and I excelled in that environment. The relationships I made are enduring, and the impressions that were made upon me were truly life-altering. Thankfully, I have been able to take those lessons and live my life in the spirit in which I was taught. It is always my hope that I can influence others, as that soldier influenced me that day all those years ago. I encourage anyone to think twice when they see someone in uniform. Think about the level of selfless discipline that is given to you by that total stranger. Realize that, especially now: in time of great conflict, this man or woman is willing and able to put forth a fight to protect not only our people and our land, but indeed the very spirit of excellence that is the hallmark of America. We are truly a blessed country, and all the more by the quiet bravery exhibited daily by our men and women in uniform.
It is in this spirit that I would like to offer all service men and service women, past and present, a 30% discount on all Training Day products. I know from my time in the service that sometimes a soldier needs an extra boost while in the field, on maneuvers, or taking a PT test. Game Time increases endurance and time to fatigue by 11% which has multiple benefits to a soldiers body. If you are a member, or have been a member of the United States Armed Forces please enter MILITARY in the coupon code at the time of checkout.
God bless our men and women in uniform! Know that we here at Training Day support you and we pray for your safe return home.
CEO Training Day