“I have a military tradition in my family. I wanted to look back with pride the way other members of my family have done, but I also wanted my own war stories. I wanted to challenge myself in extreme circumstances and develop my leadership skills.
“We touched down in Baltimore [after deployment to Afghanistan] to catch connecting flights back to Ft. Drum. No one had any family in the area or was expecting anything. When we came into the terminal, a huge crowd was cheering and waving flags. Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts in uniform were lined up holding signs, and strangers were gathered around clapping as we made our way through the path they had cleared. Most moving of all, there were several Vietnam vets at the end to shake our hands and welcome each of us home.”
“In high school, I enjoyed playing sports and being part of a team, and knew that the Army would provide the strong sense of camaraderie that isn’t as common in the business world. Also, the Army and ROTC fulfilled my desire to be personally and professionally challenged.”
“I always wanted to serve this country that has offered me many opportunities to progress and succeed. At the time I joined, I was aware of the conflicts worldwide, and I wanted to be part of the force defending our country during that time of war. Serving in the military brings great personal satisfaction, and is great way to pay forward all that has been given to me.”
“When I was in middle school, I asked my mother if I could be a soldier as a career, and she told me about the military academies. As I got older, I thought hard about the real reasons I wanted to join. I want to protect the people I care about from any threat, foreign or domestic. I am one of the lucky few born in the greatest country in the world. We enjoy so many freedoms that many nations don’t give their citizens, and those freedoms shouldn’t come free of charge.”
“When I was 11 years old, around the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, my dad and I were talking about the military over dinner when he said that he didn’t think women were allowed into the Marine Corps. I thought he was wrong and looked it up. After browsing many military sites, I was hooked. The military is a family where everyone pushes themselves and channels their energy for the benefit of this country and their team. I could think of no profession I wanted to do
“I saw how happy it made my grandfather that I was going to join the military. He served in the Korean War as an Army medic. As he grows older, I know it is my job to continue pursuing a military path so that, even after he’s gone, some part of him lives on in my military career. He became my motivation. When he found out I was accepted into NUPOC, my grandmother told me he started to cry. That’s when I knew I was on the right path.”