“Life is short, so live each day as if it was your last!” is a quote I live by. I feel at my young age I have experienced a lot. My child hood memories, training for the army and being deployed are some situations that have led me to live by this quote.
When my mom and I decided to move back to our home town, my sister decided to stay with her boyfriend. That was a horrible mistake. Many times my sister came to stay with us after being abused. She felt it was best to move in with us after having a baby. We thought things would get better but her boyfriend continued to bother us. One day my mom called me and said my sister was in the hospital. She had tried to kill herself. I rushed to see her.
After receiving help from professionals, love and affection from her family, and a second chance to raise her son, my sister realized the mistake she could have made. “You have to take in all the good and leave the bad behind” I said.
I joined the army right out of high school and was presented the opportunity to go overseas. This opportunity would give me a chance to meet new people, see another country, and learn so much in the process. So I started at a training post where I learned all the tactics our soldiers were using in Iraq. Our trainers gave us real life situations to react to. We used blanks for training purposes. One day our mission was to drive through the villages and clear them for safe passage. I was gunner that day. While driving through a village, a TCN (third country national) jumped out of a door way and shot at me. My gut instinct was to duck my head, and then I reached back up and returned fire. If it would have been a real situation overseas, my 50 caliber machine gun would have killed anyone in the house. On the other hand the first shots could have killed me.
I spent the next year after that in Iraq. Every night that I left for a mission I prayed that our convoy would make it safely to the next post. Many of our convoys got hit with bombs and a few of our soldiers were injured, but at the end of the year we all made it home.
These two situations have made me thank god for every day. I hope I am never in my sister’s situation where I would think dying today would be better then enjoying the rest of my life with my family and friends. I may be called to go back overseas someday. If I do, I could face the same situations I did before but may not be as lucky this time. Staring death in the eyes has made living each day like it’s my last a key in life.