This I Believe

Austin - Radford, Virginia
Entered on December 1, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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American Soldier: “Prepared to Fight and Ready to Die”

I believe fighting for your country is an honor. The hard work that you put in up in boot camp all add up to the soldier you’re to become. Not only do you represent yourself but you also represent the strongest country in the world. You get the respect from the people as well as the respect for yourself. When you put on that uniform you know why you’re doing it. It’s not a job you can call in sick on. When your country needs you, you will go to help.

Back in the days of Horace W. Porter Middle School, in the small town of Columbia, Connecticut, my best friend Adam and I would sit around and watch movies such as Rambo and Saving Private Ryan. We never talked about going to war but often discussed being a patriot. A few years down the road, we both left to high school. Adam and I attended two different schools, but were still the best of friends. We would still sit down and watch the same great movies starring Sylvester Stallone and Tom Hanks. It wasn’t until a few months towards the end of our senior year that he became serious about enlisting. He signed up for the United States Marine Corps and was leaving for boot camp on September 11, 2006. What a date in our history, what a life decision.

For me, it is hard to acquiesce to the request of a recruiter. They are very manipulating and you never know if you can trust them. Few people are ready to become a soldier and risk their lives for their country. I never enlisted, because I was very intimidated. I felt I was needed in other places. But at the same time, I feel that when I am older and have graduated college, I will continue my drive to become a soldier.

Fighting for ones’ country has been called a crazy and ludicrous idea. Some may call it going up a creek without a paddle. I call it an act of honor, an act of patriotism. Despite what people say about becoming a soldier and fighting in the war, it’s really not anyone’s decision but your own. It’s all in your heart, your heart is your guide, and if you trust it you will survive and come out a better and stronger person.

At high school graduation when everybody’s graduation cap read, “Thank you Mom and Dad!” and “We finally did it!” Adams cap read something that left others and me in awe; his cap read: “USMC: Prepared to fight and ready to die.” This quote left me feeling extremely proud for him.

I believe fighting for your country is an honor. Adam has made the choice to defend freedom; I believe that everyone must give a little time back to the country that gave to him or her. After all, you only live once.