This editorial doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of the Megaphone or its staff.
Attending Southwestern was not my favorite life experience, but it was definitely a life changing one. I struggled academically through my college years, but was able to finally attain my degree in 2008. Looking back, I realize that my struggle could have been due to the fact that Southwestern was simply not the right university for me in terms of academics, since I enjoyed my courses at Texas State University and the University of Texas at Austin a lot more. But Southwestern did provide me with positive experiences. I was active on campus, participating in cross country and swimming, but most of my positive experiences came from my participation in the unofficial organization Tau Nu Alpha, the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and most importantly, meeting my fiancé.
I have always wanted to help people. It may sound corny, but that was the reason for attaining my Bachelor of Science in biology. It was precisely this desire to help people that led to my decision to join the Army. I recognized the sacrifice that our troops and their families were doing by staying in hostile territories and trying to protect our lives and freedom. I realized I could not only be a bystander; I had to actually become involved to help them out. Adding to my desire to help was my desire for excitement, so I decided to become an Airborne Medic, meaning I get to jump off of planes as part of my service.
Many people ask why I did not simply join as an officer, since I completed my college education before enlisting. The truth is I feel I can only understand our troops thoroughly if I move up along the ranks just as many of them do. For me to be able to help out our troops as best as I can, I have to put myself in their shoes. I plan to begin my officer training when I come back from Afghanistan, which brings me to what I am currently doing.
I am stationed in Vicenza, Italy, serving in the third platoon of the MOD Company. We are part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. We have orders to be in Afghanistan by the end of this year. I spend my days preparing for what my job will be like in Afghanistan, mainly doing patrols, route clearances and practicing aid to local villages.
As I mentioned earlier, attending Southwestern was challenging, but it did help me prepare for my current job. I routinely conduct research for patients in the aid station and am able to conduct tests on a daily basis as well. My work is routinely checked by P.A.s and doctors to make sure that my work is accurate, since in Afghanistan I will not always have their help to run these tests. I have no doubt that Southwestern’s challenging curriculum in terms of research helped me prepare for my current job, and in a job that oftentimes means life or death for many of our brave soldiers, that is a lot to be grateful for.