I joined the Army in September 1998. I remember how I was before I joined and as I look at myself today, I cannot see that boy I used to be. I was always uncertain about myself, always second-guessing myself. I did not always think before I reacted and I was very irresponsible. For example, I used to party a lot, and people didn't like me very much. The Army made me the man I am today.
When I arrived at Fort Benning, Georgia, I was tired and wanted to sleep, but that is when I met my drill sergeants. I can say I was scared, for I had a grown man in my face yelling at me and I remember thinking what should I do? The other recruits and I grabbed our bags and ran to a large two-story building the drill sergeants called the "barracks". Then we were told to strip off all our clothes and toe the line.
The line was two feet away from our bed. Therefore, the recruits were naked in the room and standing side-by-side. The drill sergeants went to each person and looked them over for tattoos, piercing, and drugs. Then they let us take showers and go to bed.
The next day we were woke up to start physical training. First, we did our push-ups, then sit-ups, and finally we ran three miles. I thought I was going to die! Then after physical training, we were told that we had to get dressed and be downstairs in ten minutes for chow. I was one of the first people down there. The drill sergeant saw that and appointed me second squad leader. My second day there and I was already a squad leader. I was in charge of the eight soldiers in the...