UNSOLICITED ADVICE: SACRIFICE
Never say Never! When my son was six years old that was his motto. I remember making a decal for his room when we lived in Baltimore, MD. We moved around a lot and I always wanted to make his room a special place. I wanted him to enter his sanctuary and be motivated by the colors, posters, books, etc. A few years before I re-enlisted into the U.S. Army and although it's what I had to do to provide for my child, I never thought that I would wear the uniform again. When I got out in 2004, I was pregnant and determined to get a creative job working for a magazine or television show. Unfortunately, my experience as a combat photographer wasn't enough. Instead, I gave birth, cared for my son and went back to school in Cupertino, California. I never thought I would live with my Mom again. After months of walking around my old neighborhood, I had to make a change. So, I walked into a recruiters office and signed the dotted line again. For my third military occupational specialty I became an operating room specialist. I never thought I would be helping to bring life into the world by assisting with emergency c-sections or closing up battle wounds but it's what I needed to do after a deployment to Iraq during my first enlistment. Long hours on my feet and away from my son took a toll on me. My schedule varied, 4 days on, 4 days off, 17 hour shifts and a full time student. My son spent more time with a nanny than he did with me. So, I gladly accepted an opportunity to seek promotion in another occupation. I left Fort Knox, Kentucky, trained in Fort Gordon, Georgia then got stationed in Camp Carroll, Korea. A year and a half away from my child. I never thought I was going to be away from him that long. Following Korea, I selected Aberdeen Proving Ground, 30 minutes north of Baltimore, MD. I worked at the Help Desk as an Information Technology Specialist. I never thought I would be on the Army's geek squad. Bottom line, Upfront, I experienced things that I never thought I would and what I learned is that those experiences made me exactly who I am today. So, when I carefully placed the decal on my son's wall of our first home, that I never thought I would own. I realize those words were for me. They might have been catchy to him but they resonated within my soul. I knew at that moment that diligence is what it takes to pursue your dreams. So, Never say Never! Unless... it's to say Never give up!