As you may have heard many times, I am an ex-soldier. I dedicated years of my life in the military service. Now that I am an owner of an outpost shop, I still recall what it was like to be a soldier.
The life of a soldier is difficult. It was when I was 21 years old that I decided to join the army. My father is a military veteran too. He is my idol. I look up to him. He is my hero and the hero of the American nation. I wanted to be like him and being a soldier is the closest thing to him. When I joined the army, there is one thing on my mind and that is to make my dad proud. I’m sure he is.
The first three years of my life in the service is not that difficult. It probably is because I am doing the thing I love the most. When I get married and have kids of my own, things were a bit different. Just like every parent, I want to spend time with my kids, especially with my wife. Since I am in the army, I don’t have much time with my family. Things became even more difficult when I was deployed in Iraq. It was thousand miles away from home. I don’t get to see my wife and my kids that often. Days were hard and even more at night. I miss their birthdays, anniversary, graduation, and other important events in my family’s life. It is not the life that I wish to give my family, but I feel like being a soldier is my calling. Going to the battle with no guarantee that I will be able to see my family again is the most difficult.
After 25 years in the service, I decided to retire and to finally spend the rest of my life with my family. My kids are all grown up now. In fact, some of them have a family of their own. I even have five grandchildren. My wife was there patiently waiting for me. I can say that I am lucky enough to have an understanding wife. Now is the time to make up to her.
Of course, I still had to be the man of the family and earn for a living. But instead of going for a corporate job, which is difficult for someone who has been in the battlefield for so long, my wife and I did whatever we could to put up the business we have now and make it prosper.
It was not easy at all to start this business, let alone make it grow. I remember that it was so stressful at first, that even the most trivial things like a plumbing problem, were so difficult to handle. Thankfully I also have a friend from the military who decided to work as an emergency plumber in Anniston. People do not realize how deep the connection remains for us who have retired from service. We always keep ourselves in contact because we know that there will be times that trauma would hit us at the most unexpected times, and no one would be better to help us snap out of those moments than people who know our pain.