Bonnie’s Beach 🏖

My Life. My Experiences. My Love. My Words.

Thank You For Your Service

on November 11, 2015

Those of you who are close to me know I was in the Army at one point in time.  You also probably know I wasn’t in for very long. Due to some poor personal decisions (none I regret) at the time, I was given the option to get out or stay in.  I was pregnant and wasn’t allowed to finish my advanced training until I was no longer pregnant. I wasn’t allowed to march.  I wasn’t allowed to run.  I wasn’t allowed to carry anything. Rules I believe everyone can agree are dated and stupid.  Due to not being able to do those things, I was not allowed to partake in the final field training exercise in order to graduate from AIT.  Rather than hanging out for the next 7 months in San Angelo, TX, and wait until I could complete my FTX, I took the option to get out.  

I left with an honorable discharge, a ring on my finger and disatisfaction with myself.  This still makes me a veteran.  I don’t qualify for any veteran anything since I was in less than the minimum two years that help you with college funding and all that jazz, but I’m still a veteran.  To me, I don’t feel like one.  I don’t like it when my old Army buddies thank me for my service.  I don’t stand up at sporting events or any events touting my veteran status.   I don’t feel I did anything to deserve any respect, and the word makes me uncomfortable.  

One of my closest friends sent me a text today thanking me for my service.  I told him I didn’t do shit, and it was he who should be thanked for his service.  He reminded me that we both signed our lives away for our country, which is a hell of a lot more than most people.  He has a point.  There was a clause in there stating I was pretty much handing my life over to my country.  I agreed to it, and I signed my name with pride.  I wanted to join the military right out of high school, but that was not an option I was given.  Being 17 when I graduated, a parental figure would not sign for me to join.  Instead, I went to a college I was ill prepared for, and I failed miserably.  It’s not that I wasn’t smart enough. I could have graduated from there if I had applied myself, but it wasn’t something I was ready to do.  The other option I had hoped for was to take a year off before going to college, but that wasn’t allowed either. So…

After failing most of my classes and suffering from severe test anxiety (I had never failed anything in my life until college), I dropped out.  By this time I was old enough to join without anyone else’s permission.  So I did!  I cut my hair short (something I will never do again) thinking it would be easier to manage(wrong!), and I tried to get in shape a little before I left.  It was a strange experience for sure.  I had really wanted to get into the medical field, but there were no open jobs for that line of work.  I chose intelligence instead.  It seemed exciting and full of mystery, and I’m sure at one point in time, it probably was.  Let me tell you, not exciting!  Unless your idea of excitement is sitting in a windowless building and shredding things properly, it was quite boring.  

Basic training was so much fun though!  That was my favorite part!  Although I wasn’t really a fan of the running part, I could max out on push ups and sit ups all day.  I met some very cool people there, and there were a lot of assholes there too, but it was good times all the way!!!  Off to AIT after that, and I met some more amazing people.  A few I have stayed in contact with, even if it is through Facebook.  They are good people to have in my life.  We may not see eachother or talk very often, but we will be there for one another when we are needed.  I love my battle buddies!  Always will!!!

So with that, a little back history about my brief time in the service.  I know I signed my life away, even if it was temporary, but I still won’t claim it as my friends think I should.  It is they I thank for their service.  I thank those in my family who have served this country.  I thank every veteran I will never meet for their service, and I thank those who have yet to serve, because we all have that one thing in common.  We are and were willing to give our lives for the freedoms we have today.  Those freedoms may be dwindling a bit, but they’re still here, and we will still fight for them.  So alright, I guess for one day out of the year I’ll get over it and accept my position.   You’re welcome.  It was my pleasure to sign my life away for you, and I would do it again if necessary.  

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Thank you and good night! 🙂

-Bonnie

Just some good pics to check out below

   
    
    
    
   


2 responses to “Thank You For Your Service

  1. Alex Scavello says:

    Bonnie, while I totally understand your method of thinking on this one, you should NEVER not consider yourself worthy of appreciation or praise. Remember, you CHOSE to serve, nobody forced you. Neither one of us finished our first four years, but that doesn’t take anything away from us. We may not have gone career, but we were still soldiers.

    But I totally get how and why you feel that way. I just think of friends I served with (you never met…from Ft. Bragg) that came home injured, or those who never came back home alive.

    Or when I would go to the VA hospital back in the day in Houston…I would be sitting next to guys 18, 20 years old missing arms and legs from being in Iraq or Afghanistan…and I was there because I had a cold or something? I felt like the lowest of the low piece of shit. These kids sacrificed so much, and I’m using up valuable VA resources because my head hurt? I was ashamed of myself.

    But then yet other veteran friends would remind me that I elected to potentially lose my life for something I believed in, and even though at times I felt like I didn’t do anything to deserve it, even though I felt like when I got discharged and my unit was deploying I had let them all down…that it in no way made me less of a man or a soldier.

    It may be a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but think of it this way. You MADE a difference, you played your part, and you should be as proud of that as I am of you and having served with you and so many others. You may not think so, but to a lot of people I’m sure you are a hero. And had you never done that, Madi would not be here, and I would not be reading this or gumming up your comments section 🙂

    I understand completely because I feel the exact same way sometimes, but you should NEVER feel like you didn’t earn that right. You wore the same uniform I and countless other did, and you were one of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and serving with. And I know plenty of others who feel the exact same way.

    Chin up solider! Battle buddies 4 life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • oceangrrrl says:

      You are the reason for this post actually. You had been the one who reminded me that I signed the paperwork stating I freely gave my life to the U.S. You reminded me that I made the same choice to join a family willing to give their lives for what they loved and believed in.

      And here you are reminding me again.

      Thank you!

      Like

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