People probably wonder why now, why embark on such a physically/mentally demanding …let alone dangerous journey? Well this is me. This is what drives me and what brings fulfillment to my life. I love my family and my children and love spending every minute with them. Once I returned from Iraq, I vowed that I would never leave them because I saw the impact my absence had on them. While my son knows I am in the Army now, he still mentions how he does not want me to go back to war.
I know they will always need me and want me around, but that level of need/want diminishes as they grow older. So I do at times feel unneeded and unwanted sometimes. Where before, any spare time the family had before, we would spend it together, hands down. Well now, when spare time arises, time is shared between the family and their friends…at times, their friends winning all their spare time. I soon realized that this time as a family will only continue to deteriorate as they grow older and become adults and soon have their own families. Where does that leave me?
It is obvious that I am unhappy with my current situation, regarding work and my direction. I sit in a cube and do nothing. Work challenges me technically, on occasion, but I lack any type of social interaction with anyone at work. My job with the airlines, which was once entertaining, is now merely a means to an end. That end being able to travel for free. But the airline job severely consumes any training time I have to prepare for the pipeline, so it has now become a nuisance versus a benefit. I am afraid as I get older, my lack of passion with things in life will only affect my happiness more so, more so meaning probably longer spells of depression.
I enjoy the active lifestyle and I thoroughly enjoy the military lifestyle. I feel comfortable in that setting and it continually challenges me. While my job as a drill sergeant was exciting in its earlier periods, right after school, I soon found out that it lacks the zest I need. Drill weekends are boring, some of my peers are an embarrassment to the campaign hat and all it stands for. This is one of the reasons I have chosen to fulfill a dream I have longed for since I was a young private in the Army. Plus, I believe this is my time. I previously mentioned my panel interview session during my testing process. I explained to them that the reason why I have waited this long to finally go for this job is because I firmly believed that opportunity never met up with timing. When I was younger, the opportunity may have been there, but the timing wasn’t right. I was young, did not enjoy my initial experience in the military and just wanted to get out. My second stint in the military was geared towards chasing that elite job, but I eventually was deployed and was told I had to hold my rank for a certain amount of time. Well after my deployment I wanted to do nothing but wash my hands of the military.
Opportunity and timing, once again did not meet up.
Over the years I have tried to convince myself that I was too old and that my physical and mental strength has deteriorated over the years and that I would not be able to do it. After drill sergeant school I found that my physical abilities were still there. I just had to be more conscious of what I was able to do. The mental strength started to build again over the next couple of months as I started to hear of more stories of guys my age still going strong in the game. In addition to me not completely being fulfilled and/or passionate about anything in the past 3-years, since returning from Iraq, I knew that I could no longer settle for the status quo. Everything that I believed in and felt was right started to surface. Once the kids are grown and out of school and embarked on their own careers and lives, where would I be. Truly too old to seriously be a contender in the elite units, my time was now.
Opportunity and timing finally crossed paths.
My time is now. There is no turning back. Everything that I have done for the past 36-years has prepared me for this moment in time. For me, there is nothing else and by the way it looks from my perspective there will be nothing else down the road.
I just finished reading the book “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Lattrell and he talks about his time at SEAL training. The instructor’s came into the room and addressed the fact that the instructors were there to weed out people and drive them to either success or failure. They said that the only person here who knows whether or not you will fail is, YOU!
So simple and rudimentary in its concept, but this is true. At the end of the day, YOU, are the determining factor in what you do or do not do in your life, nobody else. While I could’ve or might have been told this at an earlier age, not until now has it really hit a chord.