ENC 1102 (Online)
25 January 2019
The 20th Century Female Warrior
Were behind on the bills and I dont know how were going to send her to college, I heard my mother say to my step dad. I knew I had to do something, I couldnt just sit around and watch them struggle to put me through college. Although I am only 17 years old, there must be a way, I thought to myself. I knew I would find a way to make this work.
I went to bed that night thinking about how I was just a few weeks shy of 18 and that I had to figure something out.
The following morning as I was fully dressed I began to formulate a plan, I decided to ask her teachers about scholarships and ways that I could afford college on my own. As soon as I reached school I decided to go to the scholarship center before classes started.
I looked at the qualifications for the scholarships available and I knew I didnt qualify for most of them. I applied to the ones that I could and went to class. As I walked to class I started to hear the music they played for the bells, these bells warned you when youre going to be late for class. Once I made it to class, I walked in to find two United States Army Recruiters. They wanted to talk to us about the Army and it benefits. The African American sergeant first class spoke first, Hello ladies and gentlemen, my name is Sergeant Harris, and this is my battle Sergeant Smith. We have come to you today to talk to you about the benefits of joining the Army. The entire class Period they talked to us about the benefits of joining, the pride, the strength and about boot camp.
Later that day, when I went to lunch I sat with my two friends, saw the same two recruiters in the court yard. The recruiters walked over to where I was sitting and sat down. Sergeant Harris, an African American female began to speak with us. She asked our names we told her our names were Trulan, Stacy, and Ana once we finished the introductions she asked, What are your plans for once school ends in a few months?
I plan on going to community college, I responded to her.
How do you plan on paying for this education? she asked me.
I shrugged my shoulders and said, financial aid and student loans, I guess.
She asked me What about signing up for the Army? Theyll pay for your education.
I laughed and screamed, My mother would NEVER allow that. Im only 17, I dont turn 18 for a few weeks.
She looked at me and said, If I beat you at a game of tic tac toe you have to at least take the ASVAB.
I agreed with her and she won the game. Two weeks later I went to the schools testing auditorium to take the ASVAB, it was at the school I didnt need my mothers permission. A few weeks after I turned eighteen, I got the news that I passed the test with an 88 out of 99. After I passed the test, I began to go to the recruiting center every day after school to work out with the rest of the recruits. We ran while singing cadences, we did pushups, ran up and down hills, and did sit ups.
In June, I got my ship date, the first day of July I was TO report to the Military processing center. The entire month of June I looked for ways to tell my mother I was leaving. I avoided questions about college and even lied to her about signing up for schools. I decided I was just going to leave her a note telling her where I was going to basic training at and text her once I arrived at my basic training camp because I knew she wasnt going to be happy about my decision.
My first day at Boot camp, as soon as we got off the foul-smelling bus with all our bags, the Drill sergeants greeted us screaming at us telling. All we heard were the Sergeants yelling, Lets gooooo. Everyone should be running double timing NOW! We began to run with our bags and although some people fell out of most of us struggled but made it to the company without stopping. Once everyone made it to the front of the company we heard the Drill Sergeants yell, Drop Your bags, and assume the position of attention. They yelled in unison as if they had practiced. We dropped our bags and assumed the position of attention like we were told. The Drill Sergeants then yelled, half left face, Front leaning rest position move! everyone got down into the push up position and the drill sergeants yelled, in cadence 1,2,3.
After the first day time flew fast. We went to gun ranges, we learned how to shoot rifles, we learned how to throw bombs, how to launch missiles. We went on company runs, did muscle failure until we literally went into muscle failure. As a group, we struggled, we cried, we song cadences, we made up songs and told each other stories. Being one of the only two females, I struggled to keep up with the males at first but in the end, I not only was the only female to finish the training, but I excelled in areas that even the males struggled in. Every day I proved myself over and over because females were over looked and treated as inferior in the Army.
In September on family day, the day before basic training graduation, my Drill sergeants came to me and expressed their gratitude for my courage and my strength for all I had fought through. I was the only female to graduate and one of the top graduates in my company over the males who treated me as if I was less. I received the biggest surprise that day, although my mother was mad at me for going and we hadnt talked in months after she refused my letters, she came to my graduation. She hugged me tight and told me how happy she was to see me. My mother spent all day listening to people tell her about my accomplishments, she smiled and hugged and kissed me all day. I had never seen her so happy.