Mandatory Military Service

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Elijah Perry Section 102-08 Dr. Whitfill 12/12/12 Mandatory Military Service: Not a Loss of Freedom; a Gain of Liberty In my youth, admittedly, I had my fair share of issues with authority and trouble abiding by all the rules for which I saw no need or reason. I neglected my studies to have fun and a “social life” thinking I had no use for history, composition writing, and trigonometry. I was always asked what I wanted to be and each time I had a different answer because I didn’t know. I had ideas of what I wanted to do but no clue of how to get there and those dreams seemed so unattainable and far away. I had jobs that I didn’t like and therefore no incentive to put forth my best effort. Nothing ever worked out the way I wanted and I always felt that it was because of something or someone preventing me from succeeding. There was a sense of hopelessness and a general thought of “Why should I work so hard and miss out on having fun and doing what I want if I’m not going to get anywhere?” Well one thing I did know for sure was that I loved my country and what it stood for. I was raised with the understanding that those who put their lives on the line defending America deserved great respect. So, at age 19, I made the choice to join the military and try my hand at being a hero. In December of 2000, I stepped off the bus and onto Parris Island to become a Marine. I served for 8 years during which I saw parts of the U.S. I had never seen (including Hawaii), I spent 3 months in Spain, and yes I was sent to Iraq twice (in 2003 and 2007) for a total of little more than a year spent in the desert. Upon my separation from the military life and my reintegration into the civilian sector, I realized two things: (1) I knew what I wanted to do, how to go about doing it, and what I did and did not need in my life to be successful, and (2) I could easily see that so
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