People often ask me, “Why I joined the military?” I had very rough teen years and I wanted to do something after high school that allowed me to get away and pursue my independence. College was not in the plan and I desperately wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I had a disagreement with my mom one day-and called the recruiter to make an appointment. What better way to prove my independence than to go join the military? I signed on the dotted line the next day. I wish I had a more noble reason for joining. Basically, here’s how my teenage-self made the decision. My parents were Army, so that was not an option. The Navy had too many uniforms, I didn’t like ironing and I hated the idea of being at sea. The Marine Corps basic training was too long for my taste. So, off I went into the “wild blue yonder…”
I was a SERE instructor in the Air Force. People are often very surprised when I say that. I remember the day they called my name at roll call. The tiny voice of an 18-year old girl made the entire room turn around. I suspect that they thought I was a boy because of my first name.
After all the grandiose plans of independence, the toughest things for me was not being able to choose. I didn’t choose where I got stationed. I didn’t choose my superiors. I didn’t choose how long I would be gone or when I could see my family next. The second is the tragedy of war. I don’t speak much on it, but I am so glad for a Savior who redeems, who heals and who comforts. This world is ugly and there are things that will go with me to the grave of what I’ve seen on this side of Heaven.
If I could give one piece of advice for someone joining the military it would be this; “Don’t forget what you signed up for, you are a part of one of the greatest goods. Always remember every life has value. Courage is grace under pressure. Times will get tough, but remember anything in life that’s worth having, is worth working for!”
Christian is a wife, mom, mentor, musician and friend. She currently works for the DOD and she and her “once a Marine always a Marine” husband are homeschooling their kids for the first time this year. That SERE training is coming in handy!