Bonnie’s Beach 🏖

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

Thank You For Your Service

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

   
    
    
    
   

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Memories For Memorial Day And A Father’s Birthday…

Today is Memorial Day. It is a day to remember those who have given their lives for this country.  Those lives have given me the freedom to write this blog, and I can never thank them enough. Some of you know that I was in the Army.  I do not consider myself a veteran of any sort, as I took an option to get out early (personal circumstances at the time) with an honorable discharge.  I was in less than a year, and I miss it.  The best part was meeting some of the best people I know and have stayed connected with through the years.  We all live so far away from one another, but thanks to FB we have stayed connected.  I appreciate them more than they will ever know.  Thank you for your service.  

Today is also my father’s 60th birthday.  The older I get the more I realize I don’t know him.  It’s no one’s fault really.  We are just two completely different people.  We don’t talk.  We don’t hang out.  We awkwardly ask how the other is doing, both wanting to have a conversation, but those conversations just seem to resemble infomercials where we’re both trying to sell coins to one another, albeit shiny ones.  Most of the time I think it’s because I’m a girl.  Other times I think I’m not logical enough to talk to him about anything resembling logical intelligence.  Other times, I think we’re just both really bad at taking walls down that have no real reason to be up.  

Needless to say, my dad and I are not very close.  Rarely do I see the side of him that lights up with boyhood brightness.  When I do see it, it’s always with someone else.  Writing this is not easy, just so you know.  This post is not meant to show how terrible my dad is or how crappy his daughter is. It may be entirely my fault that he and I aren’t closer.  It’s even harder working in the same office building and hearing how he talks to everyone else with happiness in his voice.  Sometimes I get to hear him say hi to everyone and then he walks by me.  God forbid there be any showing of “favorites” in the workplace.  There isn’t any.  He asked me to lunch once.  Well, a lunch without an agenda attached.  It was awkward beyond belief.  Here I am in my thirties expecting some sort of lecture the entire time.  It never came.  Now that was strange.  What was even more disheartening was that when he asked me to lunch, my boss was just as shocked.  My boss has watched me grow up and has known my dad nearly my entire life.  He knows, unlike anyone else in the office, how close my dad and I are not.  

For my dad’s birthday, I bought him a journal, along with a couple of randoms; the traditional sudoku book (he loves sudoku puzzles), and a steam engine die sheet metal model he can put together (something I thought was pretty cool).  My dad is sooooooooooo not easy to buy for.  What do you get a person who has everything they need and buys whatever they want, and they only tell you they want socks?  So the only truly meaningful gift I got him was the journal.  He may never use it, and that is perfectly fine.  I would actually hope he’d at least use it in some random way like to start a fire in some strange act of survivalism. At least then I would know it had served a purpose other than to collect dust.  I wrote him a note in this one.  A tradition I enjoy doing when gifting books or journals.  I believe they always add more meaning to the gift.  I’m weird.  I know this, but it makes it more personal when you write down a tiny bit of your heart on paper.  The journal is for one thing, his memories.  I told him to write down anything he wanted to.  Memories of his childhood, my childhood, whatever he wanted.  As long as they were memories.  They could be happy or sad or whatever.  I figure since we don’t sit down and have heartfelt conversations, maybe I could get to know him this way.  It’s a thought, right?  So now we will just have to see if he does anything with it.  He’s a busy man, and his free time is usually filled with something, so adding something to a voluntary to-do list may be out of the question.  I don’t know.  

What I do know is time passes faster than we realize.  Faster than I realize.  I wish there were more times than the random holidays when family would get together and talk story.  We have moved so far beyond the days of sitting around fires and sharing stories and passing on tall tales and valiant battles. Although let me just put this out there, I am a horrible story teller!!!  Absolutely terrible!  I can write a story, but saying it out loud it becomes some garbled mess of words with no point.  What I think I am really trying to say through this post, is that I do not want to speak at the funeral of a man I do not know.  Time is only going to increase in speed, and there is only so much time to get to know anyone.  If I don’t get to know the man who helped bring me into this world (albeit accidentally), then I have no one to blame but myself. He has been a dutiful dad, and I miss the days when we would play a new Nintendo game or build a new Lego set.  Those days are gone.  Now I don’t know him at all.  No more train rides.  More more high railing.  No more jumping through inner tubes in the pool.  No more running through waves at the beach.  All those memories I have from so long ago.  All the memories that aren’t made due to not knowing how to make them anymore.  Time is fleeting, and memories fade…

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Birthday Dad

-Bonnie

   
 

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