Why did I join the US Army?

I'd say my reasons were more feelings than organized thoughts, but I've never been one to question my gut too much. I needed something to start on. I wasn't meant for the go to college, graduate, work life. Things have never been average with my life. It was always extremes.

At the time, I needed basis. I knew I would fuck up schooling, because I have a tendency for indulgence. Sitting in class, study, work, party, it all gets very boring. Although I was always enrolled in AP (Advanced Placement) or GT (Gifted and Talented) classes, but was more content smoking weed and running the streets during High School. I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, a breeding ground for crime and poverty. I went to Central High School, a large inner-city school located in the heart of poverty stricken East Little Rock. I'd commonly go to school to pick friends up in the morning. I think I went to one class a day, if I remember right. I was locked up in juvenile and shipped to Utah for a survivalist program halfway through my senior year.

After I got out, shortly after my 18th birthday, I went back to Little Rock. The Little Rock School District was demanding I take an entire year of classes, although I only needed one physics credit. So I got my GED. I got a job working at UPS and moved out into an apartment with my brother. After he left for the University of Arkansas, I got my own place in East Little Rock, on University Ave. After a couple of runins with the police and numerous fights and incidents, I ran out of options. I was fighting viciously with my family, and fucking off my classes at UALR. My uncle, a 6'6" 280lb. man who owns a detail shop, ran in my apartment ready to fight. If I remember correct, he demanded I come work for him. I had already quit UPS. I really had no choice, I didn't want to disown my family, and struggle to make a living as a GED holder, 19 years old in the heart of Little Rock. After a few months I talked to an Army Recruiter, shortly after the War in Iraq erupted. They knew I was smoking weed, doing cocaine, ecstasy, and hanging with drug dealers and gang bangers. The Army was offering me money, benefits, and security, and all I had to do was be the mean motherfucker I already was. I signed the papers after about a month of thinking about it. At this point I had already moved to a nicer neighborhood and severed most of my ties, and my family was attempting to help me get straight, and keep myself out of prison.

My mother and I were still fighting at that point. I went over one night at about 11. She was real mad because I woke her up, and I was mad because she wouldn't listen. Finally, she screamed, "What, what the fuck is so important!", and started walking back to her room.

"Why don't you stop and freaking listen!?",

"WHAT!?", she screamed.

"I joined the Army."

The realization didn't really register on her face. She came into the kitchen and sat down, I remember now how worn and tired she looked, I'd put her through hell most of my life.

"That's fucking great Adam, go get yourself killed." This was her panicked maternal love boiling out, even as she attempted to remain strong.

"What if you get captured and they find out you're Jewish? They'll cut your head off!"

The arguement escalated, I started walking towards the door.

"Don't fucking worry about it then, I'll just leave and you'll have nothing to worry about." I got in my car, and starting heading back to my apartment. I didn't get out of the neighborhood before my cell phone rang.

"Adam, come back."

"Why?" I asked her.

"Just come back." she demanded, and hung up.

I drove back, and sat in my car a second before I went in.

Her and Randy, my stepfather, were sitting in the kitchen. They asked me the normal questions: Why I did it, what were my plans, what would I do about college.

After that, I stopped school, and quit my job, and started getting all my things in order, so I could leave. The Army hooked me up with a diploma mill and I got my high school diploma in like, 2 weeks. After that, I just helped my mom with her business, driving her around and things like that, helping at the office. I left early one foggy morning, headed for Basic Training.

And now my unit, in Korea, is starting to drain into Iraq. But I'm already awaiting promotion and acceptance into Special Forces Selection. Why do I do it? I can't stand the thought of my best friends dying without me. More than that, the spit-polish and disciplined mentallity of the military is not my own. I want to be given a mission and complete it with maximum efficiency and minimum bullshit. If it's an enemy, I will eliminate him. It's nothing complicated. It's basic, primal. I love it, I'm good at it. I'm not a man of politics, but I do believe in thinking good and hard about your decisions. I have decided I support America more than I slander it. If it's foreign internal defense than I will perform. If it's a smash-and-grab extraction, than I will minimize collateral damage and remove the target from his environment. It's nothing complicated, it is as old as civilization. I respect pacifism, but see no place for it but in noble rhetoric. How can you not fight for what you believe in?