This I Believe

Evan - Montoursville, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 22, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Being a soldier in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard is one of the best things that has happened to me. As an active member of the Guard, being able to serve my state and country has instilled a sense of well being and a feeling of belonging into my life. Experiencing this feeling is so intriguing and overwhelming that it shows in all aspects of my life and now is just as important to my life as breathing.

Knowing that I could be deployed anywhere across the globe and be taken away from my family for months at a time, I’m not worried, because the Guard in itself is a family. The Guard family is one that I can count on when I am having issues, from the daily troubles that come up to something life-threatening, and I know that I can count on them to raise me from the dark depths of despair.

“To Serve and Protect” has become my new motto in life. Too many people, these may seem like small words, but these two little words mean a lot to me. To serve, whether it is with the Guard or just donating my time to the community I live in, is what I am duty bound to accomplish. A way that I take protection into my daily life is to protect humans or animals against people’s neglect or lack of regard for the God-given gift of life. To serve and see the happiness people experience from someone helping them out really sets me on fire. For example, the time that I volunteered to help out with a military funeral, where the family was grateful for me taking the time out to help

Heess 2

in honoring their son who was killed while serving our country. This, too, is a real reason for pride.

That pride in self is a feeling that the Guard has brought out in me. Having this feeling is a personal utopia that has come from being in the Guard family. The feeling that I am proud to be an American and to be able to serve and protect the country from whomever may want to harm her. So, I can say that, “I am proud to be an American.”

This is just a sampling of what I’ve gotten out of the Guard. I truly am a walking advertisement for the Guard and how it has changed my life. For this reason, I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the Guard and the changes that it could impart into their lives.