Here is the story of a person who tells us about how his life changes from a sentence.
The day I turned 17, my father sat me down, and we had a heart-to-heart talk about my future. He said in a year I’d legally be an adult and I should start figuring out what I’d want to do with my life. It took me a split second to say the Army. My father looked at me like I just said something dirty.
“Why would you want to go through the hell and possibly go to war (I should mention it was 1973 when we had this talk and the Vietnam War was still going on, and had been since 1955)?”
I reminded him that he was in the Army during World War 2 and had become a Meteorologist to train weather forecasters in the Air Force. After his service was up, he took his GI Bill benefits (G.I. Bill – Wikipedia) and went to medical school to later become a dentist. So why wouldn’t I go, get tested for my aptitude to find what I was best suited for and help serve my country at the same time?
My father began a rant of the dangers and the real possibilities of death or coming home with missing limbs. The hardships of military life in Vietnam if I were shipped out, the intense cold, the searing heat, the countless hours of drilling and the sadistic Drill Sergeants who’ll make my life a living hell on earth.
I fired back of the friendships he made and relished knowing them.
The opportunities were only available to members of the military and the good I’d do to make my country better just by serving. Then go to college when I came back, and he could retire sooner with the college money he had set aside for me because the GI Bill would pay for my education after serving. We went back and forth until we were both practically yelling at each other of the pros and cons. Finally, my father only held up his hand to me, and I instantly stopped talking in mid-sentence.
“…All right, you can enlist.”
I stared at him dumbfounded.
Then i said, “Why did you argue for 20 minutes with me about joining and just give up like this?”
“I didn’t give up,” My father said,“I wanted to make sure you were serious.”
I never loved my father more than at that moment.
But six months later I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and was no longer eligible for military service.