It was about eight o’clock on a Sunday night. I was watching TV with my family after our dinner. Sunday was family night so we always had a big dinner and everyone had to stay in that night and spend time with each other. We we’re watching the travel channel because that was my dad’s favorite. Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman took a commercial break and that’s when it happened. I saw the commercial that has affected my way of think for the past six years. The commercial is called The Climb. It’s an old Marines commercial which is intended to get people like me to enlist.Order now
I know everything there is to know about this commercial. It’s exactly one minute three seconds. It was released on February 23, 2002 as an honor of the Marines who raised the flag at Iwo Jima on that date fifty seven years before. I don’t know why this commercial reached out to me. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the man climbing the mountain, about the challenges he overcame. I couldn’t stop thinking about the Blue uniform, the sword, and the emblem. I got onto the Marines website and started learning as much as I could. Before I knew it I was on there every day after school.
It didn’t stop there though. Every time we used computers at school I would go to that website or look up pictures of Marines. That’s all I could think about. I would daydream about being a Marine all the time. During class, in the car, at home, it didn’t matter where I was I just always had my head in the clouds. At the beginning of my junior year I told my parents about my obsession. They didn’t say much about it. The only thing my dad said was “I like the uniforms. They have the nicest uniforms”. My mom said “That’s a lot of responsibility.
They will straighten you up”. That was the full discussion. I don’t think they took me seriously. My senior year came and everyone was choosing were they wanted to go to college. While everyone was going on visits to campuses, I was going on visits to the recruiting office. While my best friends took the ACT, I took the ASVAB. I scored an 89 which is way above average and would let me do anything I wanted. My friends would brag to me about their scores. I tried to show off my ASVAB scores, but everyone just asked why I was going to the military.
None of my friends wanted me to go, because they thought they would never see me again and they didn’t want me to die. I would explain to them why I wanted to go so desperately. I told them that I wanted something different. School was never for me, I always did well, but I never liked sitting in the same place for hours every day. I couldn’t stay focus. I also said that I wanted the challenge; too prove something of myself and a place that I could fit in better than I do in school.
would explain to them about the adventures and adrenaline rushes that I would have. I am admittedly an adrenaline junky) The most important part speech was when I told them about the bad things about being a Marine. I always thought that’s the most important part because it shows people that I knew what I was getting myself into and I wasn’t blindly jumping into a lifetime decision. I reminded them about the chance of death, the hard work, being away from them for a long time, and all of the non-glorious parts on a Marines life. Even after our countless amounts of discussions my friends still didn’t respect my decision, and keep fighting to make me stay.
Every Wednesday at five o’clock I had Marines PT. It was supposed to keep me in shape and get me ready for basic training. I went to every practice for about two months, but I had to stop because volleyball season started up. My recruiter and I had become pretty good friends so he understood that I had a sport to play and he even came to some of my games. I never got too close to him though because I knew he was just doing his job, and I wasn’t sure if he even really cared. My parents met him at one of my games and set up a meeting to talk to him more.
I wasn’t there for the meeting because I had an away game, but both my parents and my recruiter said it went well and it was extremely helpful for my parents. Volleyball season was almost half way over, and my recruiter didn’t want to waste any more time, and neither did I. He wanted to set up a date for me to go and sign up and swear in. I told my parents with excitement, but they didn’t look as happy as me. They told me that they’ve been talking and didn’t want me to go. Needless to say I was very upset.
They played along for the longest time and at the very end they turned on me. We got into a huge argument that lasted for a month. Every day my dad and I would fight about it and my mom would be crying in her room. I felt like they screwed me over, because they could have told me how they really felt at the beginning and I would have thought of more options for my life, but they didn’t so I was too late to apply to any schools except for Columbus State. I told my dad that “I’m 18 I don’t need your permission, I can just go and sign up now if I wanted to”.
The he would tell me “then you can leave my house because I don’t have to take care of you anymore”. It was vicious fighting that lasted too long. I didn’t want to go without their permission because I didn’t want to betray them like that. My dad didn’t want to kick me out of the house because I’m his youngest child, I’m his baby, I’m the last one he will ever have. After a while I got tired of the fighting, tired of hearing my mom cry, and tired of everyone telling me that I was throwing my life away. So I applied to Columbus State and got accepted like everyone else who applies there.
I told my recruiter what happened and he was upset that I wasn’t joining anymore, but respected me for not wanting to turn my back on my parents. It turned out that he was the only person that went along with any of my decisions. After I talked to him for the last time I found out that he was a true friend, because can disagree with your decisions but they will respect them. So now its five months later, and I am enrolled as a full time student at Columbus State Community College. I’m in school all over again. The place where I never thought I belonged, and the place I never thought I fitted in.
I have three classes a day and I hate every one of them. It’s not because of the teachers or because of the course itself. It’s just because it’s not where I belong. I think about how different my life would be if I went down the path I wanted to, and I think about other chances I will get to go down that path. I regret basing my decision off of what everyone else wanted, and if I could do it again, I would do it differently. Now I sit in my classes with my arms crossed, eyes staring at the ground, and my mind in the place where it’s been for the past six years.