Comrades’ willingness to sacrifice provides motivation for major
It is difficult to pinpoint one prevailing reason why I serve in the military. When I joined the Army my reasoning was to ensure I would have the financial support to complete my college education without incurring significant debt. Little did I know how irrelevant that reasoning would become. As the years quickly passed, not only did my reasoning and purpose for serving change but I found my approach to life changed. I began to understand that serving in the military could provide much more than financial support for school or other short-term benefits. I discovered that serving shaped my character in ways I never considered. It was more than jumping out of airplanes and developing combat skills. I had to look beyond all the war movies I had watched and the ways in which some people tended to dramatize and over-sensationalize the life of a soldier.
I serve because it keeps me grounded and gives me the mental edge in dealing with any challenge. Serving helps me keep things in perspective and reminds me how short life can be. Serving has reinforced in me the value of never taking anything for granted. Even during the most difficult times, I still look in the mirror and remind myself that I am part of an incredibly dedicated team, which constitutes less than one-half percent of the American population, and is determined to secure and protect all the freedoms that make our nation prosperous. What an extraordinary feeling! The teamwork and selfless service I experience every day has driven me to live my life in a way that fosters an attitude of responsibility and gratitude. Realizing that selfless service is one of the cornerstone values in the Army, I believe that serving in the military obligates me to rise above doing things for personal gain and focus more on helping those around me. The leaders and soldiers who have helped me along this journey have enabled me to develop a stronger persistence for overcoming life’s challenges. Serving in the military has helped me realize that if you are surrounded by people with a deep sense of purpose you are less likely to be influenced by pessimism or complacency. Knowing that my fellow soldier is willing to sacrifice many of the comforts in life in order to accomplish a mission motivates me to continue to serve.
My fellow soldiers and my country need me just as much as I need them. Serving in the military reminds me what our nation stands for and how our founding fathers had a vision for a secure, sovereign nation. Helping preserve the freedoms we so dearly cherish as well as helping secure our national interests increases my willingness to continue to serve.
— Giertz is an Intermediate Level Education student at Fort Leavenworth.