My freshman year of HS. I realized that the only way college was gonna happen was that first I had to do well on my exams. So I started buying used prep exam books and copying exams from the library. The school librarian is a close friend to this day. (Thanks Mrs. Conley)
I was lucky enough to have a job that let me practice my tests in between flipping burgers. (Thank you Steve and Souzy’s) I used that money to pay for extracurriculars that would look good on a college resume. Even went to Greece on exchange.
I saw my best friends die & for months I patrolled among Iraqis I knew there were insurgents in the towns & the crowds. I felt their eyes when I patrolled through the markets. I was filled with rage when they took my best friend. Did I want to exact my revenge on all of them?
I did. What stopped me? Several things did. Once I felt death was getting closer to me I realized that if death came I wanted to leave this world with a clean conscious. I would not become the monsters that were trying to kill me and other innocent Iraqis.
I realized too that if I survived the war that I would have to live with what I did. I had to come back home with my honor and humanity. Serve honorably, don’t cower when the bullets fly and bring as many of my friends home.