Believe it or not, I have always known that one day I would join the military.
I grew up watching my dad get in his uniform every day and leave for his exciting job flying airplanes. I loved when he would take me to the base with him and let me see where he worked. I will admit it made me very proud seeing the enlisted members salute my officer father as a sign of respect.
I was at a low point in my life and I knew that I needed something to give me that push and get me off of my butt. Two of my friends who are currently enlisted talked to me about joining up. I was hesitant at first because I knew that I was pretty lazy and had trouble taking “orders” from people. Thankfully, these two pestered me about it enough that I went and started to look into my different options. Two weeks later I was on a bus heading to Columbia, SC, to go through MEPS and enlist in the United States Air Force.
Leaving for Basic Military training was pretty scary to be honest. I was so used to knowing what was going on and having my own little “control” over everything. Yes I was a control freak. I needed to be the one in charge. Even coming to Basic Training I had the mindset that I would be in charge of my life, I would be the one who controlled everything. Man was I wrong! Thankfully, the Military Training Leaders (MTIs) drilled that thought right out of my head. Through daily humiliation and cursing and degrading I was seriously brought to the lowest point of my life.
The only joy I found at Basic Training was when they would allow us to go to chapel on Sundays. The Sunday chapel was the only thing that put a smile on my face and the motivation in my heart to finish out well. I knew that the 2 months of Training were going to be a nightmare, but this life had been my dream and I was determined to finish strong no matter what.
The day I graduated from Basic Training was filled with hugs and tears and a huge sigh of relief. I remember when my Dad walked up to me in his United States Navy uniform and I gave him my very first salute. I had been waiting for weeks to show him how I had changed; how I had improved. Hearing him say how proud he was of me made me the happiest person ever!
But something still was missing. Something about my life just wasn’t where it needed to be. Sure, I was a lot stronger physically and mentally from these terrible weeks of training and had done something for which I could be proud. But God makes it really clear that no matter what we do in this world, it doesn’t matter when we someday get to go be with Him.
This was a tough realization for me. It still is.
I loved knowing that my dad was proud of me. But I am not done. I have too much to work towards now to make him prouder, and all of it will do with having my Chief Commander Jesus Christ take over all of me. I am an Airman in the United States Air Force and I am proud to wear this uniform. But my first uniform should be the one that God gave me the day I accepted Him into my life; the uniform that is the Armor of God. I am not where I need to be but I am working towards it.
And so now, as I sit at my desk with my USAF uniform on, here at Barksdale Air Force Base, I look forward to seeing where my life will take me now. But this I know: No matter where I go, what I do, or whom I meet, I will be a part of the two greatest Armies ever. The United States Air Force, and God’s Army.
A1C Margaret H. Scheibner USAF