As the years went on, I began to take great pride in the names on the patches above my chest. The patch on my right read “Sargent”-my last name. That patch showed the world who I was and it was on my chest as I transformed from a boy to man. That patch represented me and my life, but it was the name on the patch on my left that added purpose to the one on my right. It is a name that has been around for hundreds of years and one that thousands have worn. It is a name that I would eventually defend and fight for, alongside the very men who were keeping me captive. It is a patch that hundreds of men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice in support of. It is a name that I would begin to take great pride in wearing.
While the three-armed men paced behind me, the sunlight through the window continued to rise over my shoulder until I could eventually read the name that would be over my heart for the years to come. It read “U.S. Navy”. This was my defining decision, August 15, 2003, U.S. Navy boot camp.
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