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. (more…)