Today, I took an oath of service, known as swearing in, to the National Guard. I am now a Staff Sergeant (SSG) in the Texas Army National Guard. This is a big day for me, as it was a goal of mine since around this time last year. I wanted to once again be able to serve my country, and to complete my 20 years of military service. I will be a 29E which is an Electronic Warfare Specialist, and I will be assigned to a local unit that is located just 7 miles from my home: 1st Battalion, 133rd Field Artillery Regiment.
When I realized that I had lost enough weight and was getting very close to the military standards for height/weight and fitness, I hoped that I would one day be physically fit enough to join the Guard, but I didn’t hold out much hope for it. I was optimistic, but since I’d tried so many times in the past to lose weight and get fit and failed, I didn’t hold out much hope. Yet here I am.
Today, met the Army’s height and weight standards, my body fat percentage was far below the standard, and I can pass the Army’s physical fitness test with a 1st class. I was a SSgt in the Marines, and they have allowed me to keep my rank/grade. I have passed every extra test and jumped through every hoop presented to me. I am looking forward to serving my community, my state, and my country again. It’s a great feeling to be giving back to a country that has given me so much.
I’m especially proud to be in a position to do this. As a 49 year-old man, it’s not common for someone my age to go back in. It’s almost unheard of, from what the people in the recruiting office told me. I will be able to complete my 20 years of service and receive my retirement at age 60.
So, there you go. Nothing is beyond your grasp if you want it bad enough. You just have to do the work.