7 Things I Never Thought I’d Do
Funny thing, the number in the title of this article has fluctuated between three and seven items. So as I begin, it’s at seven, but by the end who knows. That means, you’ll be just as surprised by when this ends as I will. Before I start, there will be quite a few Army references. Let’s get the show on the road.
Climb on an Abrams Tank
Up until last year, the closest I’d ever gotten to a tank was the 15 feet between the television and me. Now I’ve actually climbed up on one. Next time, I’ll get in… I swear! But wow, being so close to so much power is awesome. I’d like to ride in one sometime too. In truth, it’s just fun to call home and say, “I climbed on a tank today.” Also to be mentioned with this is actually playing in the Abrams simulator. I went a little off course, but hey, sometimes it’s fun to go rogue.
Edit an Army professional bulletin
Looking back over the path that I’ve taken, I never expected to end up where I am right now. Editing Armor Magazine and working for the U.S. Army Armor School has so far been the most rewarding experience I’ve had. From having the opportunity for training and professional improvement, to just getting better at my editorial skills, the experience has been great. It’s a combination of the people and being in an environment where there’s something new to learn every day. Six years ago, back home in Minnesota, I would have never pictured myself here. Now, Armor is home.
See Army life from the inside
As a civilian working on an Army post, I am a static figure in a very fluid world. It’s so different from what you hear or see on television. It hasn’t been without its ups and downs. The pride you feel watching a division review or a change-of-command ceremony. And, the pain you feel watching dear friends go through deployments, or watching them leave on deployment. Working for MWR gave me the opportunity to work for and with Soldiers and Families to make life better for them. Every place I go, I make new friends. Then every winter and/or spring the “moving”/PCS season comes around and it’s, “till we meet again.” Yet in this world, I have found another “family” and made some lifelong friends, and more places to visit.
Go to an Army school
This summer I graduated from the Army Public Affairs Qualification Course. Wow, what an experience! Army courses are tough, thorough and intensive. Anyone who attends a course, Military or Civilian, deserves kudos. If I ever get to go again, maybe I’ll even do PT*.
*PT = Physical training (for my civilian friends). = the exercise we should all be doing anyway.
Go to a Military ball
So here’s my “girly” moment. I’d seen so many pictures of formals and balls during my time with the Army. It’s hard not to wonder what it would be like to attend one. So, it’s always been something on my Army “bucket list”. I never thought I’d have the opportunity. Even if I did go alone, I still went to the Armor ball last year. For the record, I plan on attending again.
Move away from home alone
This was perhaps the most surprising thing I’ve ever done. College doesn’t really prepare you for living on your own (especially if you live in a dorm for four years). It gives you a bite really. So, most people start small when they move out of their parents’ house. You know, an apartment, maybe with some friends, within driving distance of “home.” Not me. I jumped right in to the unknown alone. I haven’t regretted it for one minute.
P.S. I have the most wonderful and supportive family. I couldn’t have done it without them.