One soldier's journey through life, one photo at a time.
Not too long ago I was sitting at a restaurant with a group of new acquaintances and I was sifting through Facebook photos on my phone, checking to see which friends we have in common (it’s fascinating when you have random friends in common with other random friends!) While scrolling, I came across an old photo of me from when I was 17.
"Do you recognize this guy?” I asked, holding out my phone.
Two girls sitting across from me looked quizzically at the screen, then shook their heads. “I’ve never seen him before,” one said.
"WHAT?!?!?"…everyone was surprised to say the least, and you would be too. I was a fat, lethargic nerd with unkempt hair and severe acne in high school. It wasn’t until I joined the army that I finally got my life together…and even that was a slow process. Staying in shape was always a struggle for me.
On Monday our company took the Army Physical Fitness Test (or APFT) which consisted of push-ups, sit-ups and a 2-mile run. For the first time in my life, I got a perfect score. In fact, I was one of only five soldiers in my company of 130 to ace the APFT! That was a tremendous personal triumph!
In the above photo, some soldiers from my battalion are installing a model of the red castle that’s the symbol of the Army Corps of Engineers. The engineer motto is “essayons”, which is French for “let us try.” That’s something I apply to my personal and professional life as much as I can.