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Why am I here?

by Hannah Johnson about a year ago in army

My Army BCT realization

The day I left for basic training

Everyone has different reasons for why they take certain paths in life. I’ve learned that a lot during my first couple weeks in Army basic training. And it’s got me thinking about why I’m even here in the first place. Some of the girls are here for independence and to get away from their families. Definitely not my reason. Some are here to try something new or to get physically fit. Kinda of my reasons, but more secondary. Other people joined for financial stability and college funding. That’s a lot closer to my reasons, but still doesn’t quite hit the nail exactly on the head. I just feel like there’s something more that pushed me to be here...

I want to go to vet school. I’ve always wanted to go to vet school, and it’s still my end goal. The Army will help me pay for it. They’ll actually help pay for a significant amount of it. Not the whole thing, of course, but with how expensive vet school is, I’ll take any break I can. But more than money, the Army is going to give me real world experience. It’s going to give me discipline and experience working in a fast paced environment. Sure it won’t be experience in my field, but it will be life experience that I can apply to anything in the future. If I put the work in and stand out, it will also give me leadership experience. The Army is going to make me stand out from my peers, especially the ones who have only ever worked in vet clinics. What I lack in grades will be made up for in life experience, and it will show that I can withstand and preserve through extremely stressful and strenuous working conditions. The Army is just a stepping stone to get me to where I truly want to be in life, but what I gain from my experience in the Army will still be useable once I get to vet school. And the financial help is definitely a huge perk.

But what I’m really looking forward to gaining is the military lifestyle. Yes, some aspects of it are unstable and stressful. There’s a chance I’ll leave on deployments, and the hours are going to be long. I am going to have to be 110% committed to my job. But despite that, I’m excited for the life I get to build with Ben and our little family. Finn and Envy will have a yard to run in. We can get Finnegan a friend who will run and play with him. Avocado will have her own cat room, and a safe space away from the dogs when she gets overwhelmed. Ben and I will be able to save money and become financially stable. We may be able to actually go on a honeymoon, not to mention have a really nice wedding. Ben can get a new car, and I can pay off my car quicker. We’ll be able to afford vacations and nice dates. Not to mention the social aspect. My family has so many friends that we gained during my dad’s time in the military. Through all the years, they’ve remained close, and many of them are even invited to my wedding. My parents social lives were the most busy when my dad was in the military, and my sisters and I always had friends to play with. Speaking of, in terms of children, I grew up in the military lifestyle, and I had an amazing childhood. I definitely wouldn’t mind raising a child in this lifestyle, if a child ever comes up in the future. Overall, Ben and I would be able to start our forever on a positive note. That’s the biggest thing pushing my through this, despite all the setbacks and frustrations I’ve been going through. It’s the best way to secure not only my future, but my family’s future.

So, yeah. Everyone does things for different reasons. Joining the military is not an exception. Whether it’s for freedom from their family, discipline (physical or mental), or money, it’s not a bad choice if it’s the best step for you personally. I know college money is a huge part of it, and I know I’m looking forward to the lifestyle, but admittedly, I’m still a little cloudy on the exact reasons I decided to enlist in the Army. But when I look at the benefits, and the future the Army can offer me, it’s a good choice for me. It’s a good choice for my fiancé. And most importantly, it’s a good choice to set us up for success in the future.


Hannah Johnson

On 06/14/2016, my cousin committed suicide, and there were a lot of unanswered questions. After that, I decided that I didn't want to leave anything unanswered, so this page is a place for me to write anything and everything on my mind.

Read next: Why Joining the Military May Not Be Worth It Anymore

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