As the new year comes around, I realize how close it is to March. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, and if I have it’s been a while anyways, but I am eligible to reenlist in the Army in March. For the past month, I thought I had made my decision and decided that the Army was not for me. But, as the date gets closer and closer I find myself thinking about it more and more. If I could just get a few health things worked out (*ahemloseweightahem*) and maybe a temp living situation in Amarillo, I could easily do it.
But, I have reservations about it, of course. It seems like anything I decide I have reservations about. Including which socks I should wear. No lie people. I think I’m really scared that something will happen like last time and I won’t have a place to go again. I don’t want to end up stuck in Amarillo. Especially not Canyon. And… well, that’s basically all my reservations right there. I’m scared.
I have looked into college while I’ve been in Dallas. At one point, I was actually going to go except for the whole meningitis-shot-being-a-whole-lot-of-money-I-don’t-have-because-I’m-not-married-to-Miles-Austin-yet thing. And I decided that I didn’t want to.
Oh, I just thought of something. We’re moving into apartments where not all of the adults can be full-time students. Both of my parents are full-time students. Crap.
But, ignoring the facts that basically just made my decision for me, I really enjoyed being around the other future soldiers and my sergeants (some were just good to look at). I loved learning all the lingo and traditions and how to march and turn and all the commands. I loved hearing about boot camp and stations and forts. I loved the history. I loved just walking into the station and hearing a loud chorus of, “Heyyyy… It’s Private LOW-ry. Hu-up!!!” We could insult each other and still respect each other. My sergeant could look me in the eye and say, “You’re wrong. You screwed up. I’m right.” And I would love that they could do that so confidently and be willing to explain why. Only once was I ever yelled at, and I didn’t even mind because I knew I deserved it. We covered each other; we partied together; we helped each other; we shot each other with nerf guns; we played ulitmate frisbee together; we ran together, went to a rodeo together, got called persistent-assholes together for our recruiting efforts…. I have never felt so … … … at home. Peaceable.
Sure, I know boot camp is hard. Grueling. They get in your face. And I wanted it. Yeah, it’s not all fun and games. Your purpose is to protect America. People die. But, honestly, I wouldn’t mind dying around those people. I wouldn’t mind dying with those people as my family. Surrounded by the people who made the same commitment as me. Even the people I couldn’t stand, I could respect. And it went both ways.
I’m starting to think the timing was all wrong. I just wasn’t mature enough to handle it in high school/right after I graduated. I’m ready now to do what it takes though. And I know I can. A part of me has to, whether I enlist or not. A part of me itches to go outside and run, time my pushups, learn the history. I need to know I can do it. I need to know that I can walk into that station in March and look my Captain in the eye and say, “I was wrong. I screwed up. But now I’ve fixed it, and I’m ready to go.” To feel that companionship and pride and stability and adventure of being a part of the United States Army.