Most recently published stories in Serve.
As a young Marine, I was both excited & nervous to go to another country. Of course, as a member of the armed forces, there is a potential for being put in a dangerous environment which heightens the anxiety. Okinawa, Japan, was ordered to be my home for the next three years of my life. While going to a tropical island seems like a paradise, this was not a vacation but a workplace. We were allowed time to enjoy the island on our off time while still adhering to specific guidelines. "You are an ambassador!" was drilled into our heads from before leaving to go overseas. During this allotted free time, there seemed to be some tensions between the Okinawans & U.S military in some places. Others knew that the American army had money which made them all the friendlier. Until now, I did not fully understand these tensions. After reading multiple historical accounts, literature and speaking with some of the locals, I understood the impact of some of the past atrocities. This is why I chose to write about my time in Okinawa versus my other travels. My time spent overseas was the most intense cultural change I've experienced yet. With that, I also found it necessary to raise a bit of awareness regarding cross-cultural experiences.
Resting in Hope
Back in January 2021, I decided to take a short break from work. At the time, I had been a nurse in a primary care clinic for a little over two years and had been suffering from severe Covid19 pandemic-related burnout. Since then, I have had not only the chance to rest but also the opportunity to reflect – more intensely than ever before – on the purpose of my life. Initially, I struggled with disquietude and a sense of aimless drifting. That was until a good friend mentioned to me that someone working for a humanitarian organization had been looking for extra help with visiting the growing homeless camps in the city of Tacoma, Washington. I took up the offer and joined a group of very compassionate and selfless individuals, who stopped by the camps to check on the residents almost every other weekend, if not every weekend.
Five Minutes in Afghanistan
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! A few AK rounds snap past my ears, leaving the distinct smell of gunpowder in the air. I dive down and hit the ground hard with a thud.
The Army is special. They have their own set of rules and regulations and time old traditions. In many ways these are great and help keep everyone safe and in order, but in some ways they are irritating and old fashioned. Joining the military family you have to learn a new language of acronyms and new way of behaving.
Thank You for Your Service
Each year I attend a Memorial Day parade to celebrate our freedom and show my respect for those who gave their lives to protect our liberties. Last year was no different except for an encounter I had with a true American Hero, a man among men.
Teamwork, Mission Report, & One By One
We aren't alone in what we do. Every big job will take a crew. Our team does grow, kept in view. When together we get more done. Things which are hard do become fun! With teamwork we shine like the sun! Heavy duties do become light. With a great team we boss each fight! United as one, have great might. Together our foes we'll confound. Pure in purpose we'll be profound. We'll watch our team grow in renown. With strong teamwork all is possible! With each success we're credible. We will become unstoppable! Flowing together like great waves. We'll penetrate strongholds like haze. As pure souls we're a shifting maze. We're born to adapt. We'll change forms. Constant change will become our norm. With each new change we are reborn!
The Job and the Yuletide joy
Being a police officer usually means that you and doctors are the only people that get introduced at parties by their occupation. "Hi, this is Mark, he's a doctor..." “Hi, this is Simon, he’s a cop… Better behave!”
Bought With A Price
Bought With A Price… As families gather around the grill this summer, I wonder if we will learn from the sacrifices of those who have given their lives for the cause of Freedom. Will the spilled blood on battlefields all over this world change us? Make us better? More caring, less hateful? Will our nation somehow be different because of everything they went through? Will their wounds, their deaths mean anything to us?
USS Indianapolis Heroes
I've always had a fascination about the saga of the USS Indianapolis, an American heavy cruiser that was torpedoed in the waning days of WWII. This story has captivated me since the first time I heard about the sailors that survived five agonizing days afloat in the vast Pacific Ocean, hundreds succumbing to dehydration, sharks, and wounds.
Pretty in Projects
Im sure we are all familiar with the hit T.V shows from the 90’s that showcased the sumptuous homes of our favorite celebrities. millions of viewers would sit around watching and gaping at the fabulous furnishings and amenities that our influencers spent millions of dollars and wish they could live like that, even if only momentarily. I was one of those viewers.
Elite Command Ops, Absolute Victory, & Superstructure
Marines do command great power! As Elite force we’ll devour, Sol’s enemies hour, by hour. Ranking among men we’re supreme. Things we achieve may seem extreme. Our rock hard bods are the stuff of dreams. We reach foreign & domestic. Things we do you might not expect. We’ll do anything to protect! Each challenge we do overcome. We don’t quit, until we have won. To withstand us, us you become. Strategic we love to practice. We’re experts of brute force tactics. These boys are as soft as cactus. We’re trained to expertly kill. To directives, surrender will. For our great cause blood we do spill.
In Beauty All is Made
In Beauty all is Made In Beauty all is Restored ~ Navajo Prayer Newmiller, W. (2005). The Navajo Code Talkers and Their Photographer. War, Literature & the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities, 17(1/2), 6–21.