Time in the miliary will give you a whole new perspective … on everything.
Let me be clear. What follows is not an endorsement for military service. Joining the military is a serious deal, not something to be done on a whim or taken lightly. There are definite benefits to it, but make no mistake that you will pay for them with blood, sweat, and tears (and if you aren’t careful, bad knees and a broken back). You will be the property of the US military 24/7, and you will conform to their rules and regulations, or you will face the consequences. It will affect every aspect of your life until the day you are released from duty. Even then, echoes of your military experience are likely to remain long after you have left.
My reasons for joining centered squarely on desperation due to a severe lack of financial resources. I’d spent my 20s hiding in school, getting an education I couldn’t afford and would never be able to use in any serious career capacity. By the time I stopped turning a blind eye to this fact, it was too late. I came home from a two-year overseas graduate program with debt levels heading dangerously close to six figures. While I could talk for hours about the rampant corruption in the student loan industry, the fact of the matter is that I knew I was responsible for my choices. I needed to find a way to pay off that debt – and fast.
So I made a rash decision: I enlisted in the US Army at the age of 27 to be a broadcast journalist. At the time, the Army offered a student loan repayment program up to $65,000, and I qualified for that benefit. Looking back on it now (a bit older and debatably wiser), I know there were certainly less traumatic routes I could have taken to pay down my debt. But maybe those routes wouldn’t have taught me what I needed to know to challenge a much bigger issue: the fact that I had no confidence or belief in myself that I could succeed.
This podcast will focus on what I learned from my time in the military. From developing self confidence, to improving finances, to living overseas, to being deployed, to facing big decisions, to changing relationships, and everything in between – my military experience indelibly shaped my life and sense of self in a way nothing else ever did or could. I had no choice but to learn and adapt, or I never would have survived. It was a long and at times immensely challenging road. Everything changed when I signed on that dotted line – least of which, my student loan debt.
Since I don’t want to bore anyone, I will keep this super casual and short – 10 to 12 minutes each. I record mostly in my car, so I may occasionally swear at bad drivers. You have been warned. Eventually, I would love to bring in new voices, others with life experiences and insights to share related to their military experience. I hope to make this entertaining, informative, helpful, and insightful even if you’ve never been in the military or had any interest in joining. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on these topics, so feel free to chime in.