This is good question! Looking back on to it I think military service was exactly the way I would’ve thought. Now if you go and talk the 17-year-old me, you may get a different answer. I was always interested as teen and studied military history as much as I could and often spoke to veterans about their experiences.
I’m not sure I can answer this without making somewhat complicated. I joined the Marine Corps Reserves, so in some way’s life was sort of the same. I did this to chase further education. I always thought I could go active duty if I needed incase my plans didn’t pan out. Then my unit got activated. It was our turn for an “all expenses paid, South Western Asian Vacation.” We deployed to Al-Anbar Province Iraq and attached to an infantry battalion. So, for me, the best way I can answer it is this: Somewhat of a “normal” life, then welcome to a combat zone. OK, the US Gov’t says they are done. We then get sent back to CONUS to de-mobilize and are released back into the “normal” life. I think this was a huge mishandling by our government. There was not much decompression time.
I don’t talk much about the bad things that went with being deployed. It’s hard to talk about the loss of fellow Marines sometimes, especially after seeing how the exits of both wars was mishandled.
I have found the biggest thing is to just stay busy. Get a hobby. Or hobbies. Just do something, keep pushing forward.
Well, I’ve always had 4-wheelers. Loved them. Still got a 2006 Suzuki, use it mainly as a yard dog now. I got it after my Iraq deployment. As it got wore out and older I was looking for a replacement. I went and looked at many different SxS flavors. It was stressful! I sat in the 2018 XP1000 & I was sold. Had to have it. Still got it! Doubt I’ll every part with it. I keep them and I keep them running. I like working on them. I love riding them. I’d stay gone all day, every day if I could.
I always ride on old logging and strip roads in Southern WV. There is no shortage of them. We have gone on Hatfield & McCoy as well and it was also a good time.
Favorite part: Just being out in the mountains and not worrying about the typical things that stress me out. Its nice to just enjoy the ride. Pain in ass: A flat tire and NOT have anything to fix it when you really though you had the stuff in the glove box! I want to get into somewhat of overlanding type riding one of these days!
I have some of their products, door bags, and LED light side mirrors. They both work very well and for the price they cannot be beat.
I joined the Marines in 2004 as an infantryman. Went to 3/5 on Camp Pendleton Ca. Stayed with them for 6 years and deployed three times.
In 2010 went to Parris Island SC to become a drill instructor. I got out in 2013 to become a cop.I missed the brotherhood and healthcare (lol).I joined the air guard in 2015 as a security forces member. I recently stopped being a cop and went full time with my guard unit. Given the current political situation regarding police, it’s been a great transition back into the military. Serving my country has given me a great sense of pride and the determination to do anything I put my mind to.
First I want to thank everyone that served. At 56yrs old, I reflect and think I screwed up for not serving and creating that brotherly bond with my fellow service men. I think about not only what they sacrifice on a daily basis serving our country but add in deployments, war, etc. these men and women deserve more than we provide.
The stories I have read about the service men and women returning from Vietnam is appalling. My Wife's uncle served in the 8th Artillery and went on an honor flight (awesome program). I made a 2' x 3' sign with a picture of him and when he got off of the honor flight, family was holding it up. Not only did it bring tears to his eyes but several other men and women were crying to when they saw it. Don't enter me in the drawing but wanted to share my little story.
I had no real idea of how military life was going to be. The living situation was strange. I had no idea what barracks life was like but it was interesting. No privacy what so ever. Your room could be inspected at any time. As far as perceptions I think it changed and made me more adaptable to different situations.I have always been in to anything that goes fast. I met some new friends that were into camping so we went along. One of my buddies has a rzr xp turbo and took me for a ride in the sand dunes. I loved it.
The first thing I bought was a yamaha Raptor to get on the trails, from there we upgraded to a 2017 RZR XP 1000. It's been a constant upgrade since then. We now have a toy hauler and a 19' XP4 1000. The kids also have a RZR 170 for the kids.