What a fine time to be in the Army.

A friend of mine (formerly a good friend) up and enlisted one day. He never seemed the type - and neither did I. When I joined, friends and family alike were shocked and proud and in disbelief. I was pretty amazed, myself. After all, from when this whole thing started to when this whole thing really started was only a few weeks.

This friend - we'll call him Tom cause, well, that's his name - and I were chatting online late one night as I was prone to doing. He mentioned his interest in the Army and I felt...relieved. See, I had thought about it now and then as a possibility, and always dismissed it as "not for me". Well now that someone else had broken the ice, I could let myself think about it as an actual solution to a problem I had been noticing in my lack of a life. I was in a rut. A big rut. A big, enjoyable, comfortable, unhealthy rut. My choices were to drive on in my rut, stop everything, get out of the rut, and drive down that same road - the one with the ruts on both sides and smack in the middle of it with no way of me avoiding those ruts again - or find a new road. The Army was a new road. A very scary and uncharted new road. A challenge.

A challenge, you say? I've never been one to back off of those.

Two days later and I'm staring a recruiter dead in the eye (or was he a used car salesman selling me a lemon of a car?) and listening to why the Army wants me. I've also never been one to deny anyone of me. I was so excited to be changing my life so suddenly, I almost didn't care what the change was.

Seven days later and I'm telling my parents that I'm going to join the Army and leave school and go far away and by the way I'm signing the papers tomorrow. Mom is a mess. Dad is proud but worried. And me? Well I had no idea what to expect.

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