Once this article posts, I will be knee deep in Fort Leonardwood, Missouri. I will have already boarded that plane with my eyes filled with tears. I will already have hugged my friends and my family one last time. I will already have said goodbye to my coworkers and cried, many times. I will already have hugged my two best friends as they drive off into the distance. I will have already gotten my forehead kiss from my mother. I will have already cried on my brothers shoulder. And hugged my sister in law. I will have already picked up my dog and gotten that last slobbery kiss.
As I start this new chapter in my life, I want to say thank you. Thank you to my friends. For always supporting me in the crazy rash decisions I have made. Thank you for supporting me, for being there as cried. For giving me another hug cause I was scared.
To Haley, thank you. I seriously mean that. Without you the past 18 years I probably wouldn't have made it. You are one of the best friends a girl could ever ask for. Words cant explain how much you mean to me.
To Hailey, girl, you are an amazing person, inside and out. Thank you for being there the past almost year. For supporting me in college. Taking those Wendys, Taco Bell and Dunkin' runs. For telling me I'm stupid for some of the decisions I have made.
To my brother and sister in law, I love you both. Dea, thank you for everything. For being my best friend growing up. For supporting me when I wanted to be a soldier. Kait, thank you for being an amazing sister. Thank you for loving my brother unconditionally. Thank you.
To my coworkers, I will miss everyone of you. I hope you all do amazing this summer. Thank you for laughing with me and at me everyday. Thank you for supporting me as I follow my dreams of being a soldier. Thank you for the short season I have had. See Y'ALL in October.
To my friends, I cant thank you guys enough for always being there when I needed a shoulder. Thank you for being there when I was scared as can be. Thank you.
To my grandfather, thank you Gary. You have given me much advice. Thank you for always fixing my car. For supporting me. Most importantly being patient with me.
To Edward, you have been one of the best dads I have ever asked for. Thank you for supporting me. For loving me as your own. Thank you.
To my recruiter, thank you for paving a path to my new adventure. For being patient. For helping me with every step. I can't wait to come back and see you. I will be a soldier.
To my daddy, with out you dad this dream would have never happened. You paved the way for me to becoming a soldier. You are the reason I boarded that plane. You are the reason I am putting on that uniform, I love you daddy.
Now to the one and only. My mother. Seriously, mom, you have been my biggest supporter. The number one in my life. You have helped me endlessly. I know you are crying right now. You are my best friend and I love you so much. I am going to be back. 10 weeks mom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting my dreams first sometimes. Thank you for being the biggest supporter a future soldier could ask for. I love you so much mama. IT IS ONLY 10 WEEKS.
When I come home I will be a different person. I can't thank everyone enough. For helping me with this decision I have made. I will see everyone in October. Keep supporting me with my dreams. I will make every one of you proud.
With much love,
Harley Ann Kearney.