To The Daily Sun,
On July 5 of this year, I said goodbye to my family and loved ones as I hopped aboard a plane to Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT) in hopes of becoming a United States airman. The desire to serve my country in a way that best complements my natural talents has been inherent in the men and women who came before me.
My father served a term in the Army, my grandfather served in the Navy in the 1960s as a non-commissioned officer, and I have a great-grandfather who stormed the beaches of Normandy as a young Marine. As was my joy to be raised under the tutelage of wise men and an encouraging mother, something "clicked" in my head a while ago. It felt as if I had finally caught up with destiny, for even as a young boy I knew in my heart that I would one day serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. I'm so glad I took the step.
Never have I felt more proud to be alive and to represent a heritage, then when I marched into a packed stadium, full of proud family and friends, watching the evolution that took place in us. It was 8 1/2 weeks of non-stop training, with a focus on "attention to detail" and "never leaving a wingman behind." Our military training instructors instilled discipline, respect, and self-confidence in each trainee as we navigated the subjects of first-aid, counterterrorism tactics, and accounting for the "little things" (i.e. making a bed that mother would be proud of). There I was, saluting the American flag, as the next generation of defenders took their place alongside their forefathers.
I would encourage all young men and women to consider serving in any branch of the military. Here, you are instilled with excellent core values, you are taught the importance of life and the honor of preserving it, and you are given every avenue to financially prosper and to begin a retirement plan (forward thinking). The whole time, mind you, you are earning college credit.
All this to say, it is my honor to stand before this great nation, with both "U.S. Air Force" and "Higgins" sown on my airman battle uniform, fit to fight, both mentally and physically, ready to obey the orders of the president and the officers appointed over me. It is my duty to defend my people from enemies foreign and domestic, and it is my heritage to service the good people of the United States and our allies, striving for a safer, prosperous future.
So help me God!
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