I alluded to, in my blog post about Taking Chances, that joining the military was a great risk that I took. Joining the military created loads of experiences for me throughout my life and led me on the path that got me here today.
Here are some of my experiences in my life that stand out.
I had a great childhood. My parents worked hard to allow that. As an adult, you really get to appreciate the time, money, and effort that your parents put into raising you. I hit the jackpot with my parents that, in my eyes, perfectly parented my sister and I. As with any parent, if you would ask them, they would say they had many flaws but looking at my life and the experiences I had as a kid, it was perfect. From beach trips, to Disney, to just visiting family, we always had a blast and were very fortunate to have those opportunities.
New Years in Paris
Just the headline of this one is cool to say. When I was stationed in Germany we were able to either take off for Christmas or New Years. As a single guy at the time, I opted for New Years while most of the guys with families chose Christmas. So one New Years me and a few friends went to Berlin, Germany and the following we went to Paris, France. This was a fun one because it was kind of like our last hurrah. Four of us just got back from a deployment while our one buddy was about to head to Iraq, and havn’t seen him in person since. The New Years celebration in Paris was abysmal compared to Berlin but the fact that I was there to begin with was amazing. It was weird celebrating without fireworks on New Years but it was a great time with the guys.
Visiting the Battle of the Bulge Memorial in Belgium
Also while overseas, we went on a trip to Belgium. One place I wanted to see was the memorial of the Battle of the Bulge. This was a campaign that my grandfather fought in in World War II. To be that far from home and know that I was standing where my grandfather once fought was mind blowing. That is an experience I will never forget.
Being a Husband and Father
I take pride in both of those titles. My “why” everyday is because of my wife and son. A lot has changed since both have entered my life but it is all for the better. They make me cherish every single minute of the day and both light up my world like none other. Usually experiences are referred to as single, one-off occurrences. I get to experience being a husband and father the rest of my life, and that is the coolest.
All of these experiences have really opened my mind on different cultures and differences amongst other human beings. I have learned that as you get older you get to start making your own decisions and that there are certain things that you may have always believed, or that were taught, that may not align with the person your are today. And that is ok. I have been able to put myself in other people’s situations and learn from them. I am nowhere near perfect but these experiences have given me a better understanding of people’s culture, where they are coming from, and ultimately has made me a better person.
What has been your best experience in life? Let me know on twitter!