Being in the military, you might live life a little differently. Things might be a little bit different than how they were before you enlisted. You might hold yourself a certain way, say certain things, or do things a little differently than you used to. But let me take a moment to explain why the military doesn't automatically mean you're some emotionless warrior.
1. Being Away From Home
The hardest realization that Ihad to make was that while I was away, life was still going on without me back home. I had to realize that people weren't going to be the same when I came home. My brothers were a foot taller and had facial hair, and my friends...the dynamic was totally different. You miss a lot when you're away and you pray that things will be the same even though a part of you knows that it won't be. And those who miss the "old" you... they don't realize how hard you've worked to be who you are. It might not be someone you like but the chances are, you don't want to let that side of you go. There's a part of you that will always be military.
2. Break Ups
If you think there's no dram in the military, you're wrong. There are guys competing for that one hot female on base and it almost never works out well. Then there's those who have a relationship back home. The distance puts stress on the relationship, the lack of communication because you're either tired as shit, working, or training. If you know what I'm talking about, you'd be lying if you haven't had at least one person come up to you and either cry about their broken relationship or tell you that their girl was with Jody. Yup...still drama. The uniform doesn't change that.
The military is one of the more stressful jobs you can have. Actually "Enlisted Military Personnel" is ranked number 1 on BusinessNews Daily.
Forget about when you thought 0600 was early. You're waking up at 0400 every day. You're working hours that would be considered insane - and honestly not getting paid that much for it. If you're 18, your body will feel like it's 40. Don't lie, you've had the insane knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain, and everything in between. If you're a Light Duty comando, you're probably on more medication than you care for. Stress from your job and stress from social life and from back home - it piles up real quick. But...you're still expected to deal with it. "Go to McDonald's, get a straw, and suck it the fuck up."
Showing weakness in the military can be like being a sheep in a pack of wolves. It's an alpha dog society. So, the majority of the time you have this complex that really makes you look to be a heartless, ruthless, killer. And no matter how badly you want to be that badass, it can be really difficult to keep that complex. You're in a sharktank here...and you will be eaten alive. It's either you become the prey, or you're one of the sharks. There really is no inbetween. Being a shark, yes, it's not always the best thing in the world. Those who don't understand might see it as a negative thing. But here...it's called "salt."
5. Hitting that Breaking Point
Most won't admit to it. Most will just move on from it and forget about it. But we've all hit that point at least once. The one where you begin to question yourself and what you're actually fighting for. Why am I doing this for people who don't care? Why am I putting myself through this? Life will be so much better when I get out. Almost all of us had had these thoughts right? But to many...being in the military means that you don't have that breaking point. To a lot of people, you're too prideful to break. But that's not true. Yeah, the pride might hold you up a little longer than without it... but the breaking point can put you right now in the pit. And when you don't have people to help you get out... you're stuck down there.
Life is never easy reguardless of what choices you make. You're choices are your choices and you can either live with them and learn from them, or let them control you. If you're in the armed services, doesn't matter which branch - don't ever think that you don't have a family here. We really are all on the same team, and losing you means that we lose a brother or sister. Be proud of what you've done, how far you've come, and the person you have become. You took that step - one that many other wouldn't dream of.