Twenty-five years ago today, June 3, 1987, the man completed his final swear in at the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) in San Antonio, Texas. By mid-morning, he was on a plane bound for Fort Jackson, South Carolina as a new Recruit.
About six months prior in December, 1986, we had had an argument. On this particular weekend, I was upset that he was wanting to spend time partying with his buddies instead of going out on dates with me. I saw this as being immature and told him that he “should join the Army because they will make a man out of [him] quick!”
Fast forward to March, 1987, I had been on vacation up in Detroit to visit my cousin. I was blessed to be present for the christening of her daughter, my goddaughter, Victoria. On March 23, I happened to call the man, to see how he was doing–really hoping that he was missing me terribly as I was him. 🙂
During our phone conversation, he tells me that he had enlisted into the Army that afternoon. I was shocked! I was scared! I was sad! I told him that I couldn’t believe that he had done that! He reminded me that I had told him a few months earlier that he should do it.
“But I just told you that because I was mad!” I shrieked!
I mean, here I had known this man for over 9 years already. I knew he liked playing war with his plastic Green Army men when he was a kid. I knew that even at a young age, he enjoyed watching war movies. I guess I just never really thought that he’d join the Army. That he would willingly sign up and take a chance of having to go to war. That he would willingly sign up for something that would take him away from his hometown, his family…away from ME!! I had no idea that this was something that he had been thinking about for several years.
Little did I know that this would turn out to be the BEST decision that he had ever made! He truly was meant to be a soldier! He thrives on the demanding routine and regimen and being a soldier has continuously pushed him to strive for his potential–whatever that may be! The motto at that time was, “Be All That You Can Be” and he truly took that to heart!
He pushed himself as a private to do his job and to do it well. Once he became an NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) he thrived on being able to lead other solders and to show them by example how to push themselves everyday and to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
I believe the pinnacle of his career (so far) was when he himself became a Drill Sergeant at Fort Jackson. He now had the privilege of forming new Recruits and teaching them from Day One what it means to be a Soldier! He had the opportunity to teach them how to literally LIVE the Army Values–Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.
In continuing to better himself, he pushed himself while being a full-time soldier to complete his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Sociology. However, this was not enough for him. In the two years that followed, again he pushed himself and dived back into his books in order to complete the requirements and earn his Master’s of Social Science Degree in Human Resource Management.
I can say that being a Soldier has certainly helped to shape him into the man and husband that he is now. These past 25 years have certainly been an adventure! They have afforded him to see many places about which otherwise he would only have dreamed.
Since being a part of the Army family we have lived in many different locations and have met some extremely terrific people! Places like Virginia, Colorado, Houston, California, Sicily, South Korea and Texas. In living in these locations, we have had the opportunity to do a lot of traveling and visiting many different areas in between.
I can truly say that the Army has given us opportunities that would never have been presented to us in our lives. I am thankful that we are still an all-volunteer Army and I am extremely grateful that my guy made that choice 25 years ago!
HOOAH and Hallelujah!!