I can’t believe I almost forgot the importance of today’s date. Just like everything else, it took a Facebook status to remind me how special it is. Thank you Chief! Many years ago, I made the decision to change my life forever and join the United States Air Force. Believe me, it was shocking for a lot of people. I had never once expressed interest in joining the military. Never!
Yes, my dad served in the Army, but I never once took that into consideration. In fact, it took personal issues, lack of money for college, and the idea of traveling the world to sign up. So, at 19-years-old, I packed a bag and headed off to San Antonio, Texas for Basic Military Training. It’s literally a day I will never forget.
From the moment I stepped onto the plane, I was filled with fear, anxiety, and anything else you can imagine. Of course they tried to prepare us before we left, so we knew what to expect. But, what we got was nothing compared to what they showed us. As we were bussed from the airport to the base, we were warned to get some sleep. Because, once we arrived, it was going to be a while before we were going to get any rest.
I held on tightly to the metal bar of my seat, in a daze. And in what seems like a bad dream—all of a sudden we were being ordered (yelled at) to exit the bus. The next 24 hours is a whole different post. Regardless, this is the day that changed my life. This is where it all began.
Six weeks of doubting if I made the right decision.
Six weeks of pushing myself above and beyond what I never thought I could do–physically and mentally.
Six weeks of breaking this little girl down and rebuilding her to be the woman she is today.
Sometimes, people ask me if I ever regret joining the Air Force. I tell them no! Not at all! It was and still is one of the best decisions of my life. No, it wasn’t perfect. But, what is? Not only did I get to serve my country, but I met some of the most amazing people in my life. People who I hold near and dear to my heart. I was able to travel and see parts of this world, that I never thought I’d ever see. And today, I am proud to be a veteran.
I learned that it doesn’t matter who you are before you take the leap. All that matters is that you leapt. You pushed yourself to do something you never thought you could do. And you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished, it’s made you a better person, and there’s no way in the world you’d ever take it back.