Before I joined the Army I guess I was lazy, but then I wanted a challenge in my life, so I joined the Army. Before I joined the Army, I was cooking at a restaurant.
I was in college I was going for my civil engineering degree, I was finishing up my Basic. Well I graduated from college; I really didn't feel I was doing everything I could do.
There I was, 20 years old, I was not very happy with my job and I just decided that I needed a change. I saw what the Army had done for my brother. My brother was enlisted and became an Officer, and I wanted that. So I went and I saw my Army Recruiter.
I had heard horror stories coming into the Army about Basic Training. In Basic Training you really learn who you are. The first day you pulled up in the bus, that thought that crosses everybody's mind is, "Oh my gosh what did I do?" It crossed through my mind.
I know I'm unusual, but I'm one of those people who was really excited to go to Basic Training. Basic Training was a totally different experience from being back in the civilian world. We did so many things that challenged our bodies and our minds. After a while it just became second nature, it was, it became easy, it became normal, and I bonded with the people I was in Basic with. So it was great. I made a lot of friends from it. I never thought I'd be able to do the things that I did in Basic Training.
In the U.S. Army you can do anything it's all up to how far you want to push yourself, and in Basic Training you'll learn how far to push yourself because they'll help you do it. I learned that as long as someone does stick their mind to something they can do it. Army Strong means so many things. Confidence, discipline and respect. Being able to overcome all the obstacles that life faces you. Commitment, physical training, personal strength, leadership.
And knowing that I'm part of something bigger than me. I love what I do everyday and I love serving my country. The Army has definitely exceeded my expectations. When I look at myself in the mirror I'm proud of who I've become. I had a lot of choices at 18 years old, and luckily I picked the right one. My life didn't really begin until I joined the Army.