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I Owe It to the Army

That's me - the one with a rucksack on - at one of the Raider meets from this season!

What brings joy to my life? It’s a question I might not be asked much but have contemplated many a time. What in my life causes me to smile? Well, I’ll tell ya what - my friends bring joy to my life. There are memories from each of my nine houses and five duty stations that I want to return to. My activities of Raiders, swimming, piano, Bloom - they all bring light to my life. After really turning these over in my mind, I've realized something: without the military leading my life, I wouldn’t be able to thank God for these joys. 

My friends. My community. Where did I find these random people that make me laugh, people that make me feel complete? I found them in Kansas, Texas, many of the nine schools I’ve attended, the houses next door, the things I do. Though perhaps inadvertently, the Army sent me to these people. 

My mind is filled with good times - hiking the lovely mountains we lived beside in El Paso, running rampant on the shores of Georgia, playing on the muddy hill behind our house in Kansas, orienteering through and exploring the forests of Fort Leavenworth, biking across the expansive Fort Bliss. If the Army hadn’t sent us to the high Texan desert, I’d never have learned I love the mountains. If we hadn’t returned to Kansas for our third time, I wouldn’t have unlocked the beauties of this little town. Sure, the Army could’ve sent us someplace else, and I’d have other memories, but I love these ones. 

And my activities… all the little pieces that stake claim on my time - I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the strength, determination, and team that Raiders gives me, a sport that I wouldn’t have if the Army didn’t place me here, in Kansas, but also in JROTC, a program from the Army itself. My various swim teams - two of three which practice on base - have all contributed to my success today. My piano teacher, the teacher I met in Texas and who now lives over a thousand miles away, has undoubtedly grown me both in my ability and in who I am. Plus, without the Army moving us at an awkward time, I wouldn’t have tried piano in the first place. And finally: Bloom - an opportunity I’m oh so blessed to have and an opportunity influenced by my military roots. The Army has helped get me to where I am. 

The Army’s been with me since day one. I can’t say how different my life would be without it, but I know that it has surely helped me to where I am. I can thank the Army’s influence for my friends, memories, and activities. I ultimately owe them to the Army.


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