Serve is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
When I was a junior in high school, I decided that I wanted to join the military. My family was more than a little hesitant at first. I had previously wanted to be a veterinarian, and they couldn't understand why I wasn't seeing my potential. I knew deep down that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a part of "the 1%." I had been recruited by the Navy Seals and the Army at this point. I set my sights elsewhere. I decided that I was going to join the Air Force. At the young age of 17, I sat down face to face with a recruiter and signed the dotted line. From that day forward, all of my attention was focused on the day I would ship out to basic training. I prepared myself physically, mentally, and spiritually. I was in the gym working out for no less than 90 minutes a day. I was talking to every service member I could find, learning all the tricks of the trade to have a step up on other recruits. When my ship-out day finally arrived, I knew that I was ready. I flew out from my hometown and arrived in San Antonio, Texas on July 26, 2016. The air was buzzing with anticipation and anxiety from each recruit wondering what was waiting for us. The minute the bus stopped we were rushed off and set to a task. I was assigned to a dormitory with 50 other women. I kept my head low, talked to few people, and simply did what I was there to do. I worked hard, and eight weeks later I graduated from basic training. One week later I was bussed to the base where I would be trained to do my job. I sat in a classroom for eight hours a day for a month before being pulled from my assigned course. This wasn't uncommon in my field, but was still a little worrisome. Most people pulled from their course returned to class within a month. I however was still not in class at my six-month mark. I was assigned to work in the front office with the sergeants of my squadrons dormitory. I handled all accountability for 500+ airman everyday as well as mandatory office work. I enjoyed my job working with the sergeants. I grew closer with them everyday, especially my flight chief. His name was Technical Sergeant Henry. He was a serious man, tough on his airmen, but you could see that he cared for each and every one of them. He became my mentor. We talked often about my struggles, and about my career. I worked with him in the front office for eight months before learning that the commander was planning on discharging me. I fought this discharge for four more months before learning that there was nothing I could do. I separated on July 21, 2017. My world crumbled. I felt like I had lost all purpose and direction. How could this happen to me? Everyone that knew the details of my situation knew what was happening to me was completely unfair, but still I was left helpless. I was angry and bitter at the way my military career had come to an end. Everything I had worked so hard for amounted to nothing. I couldn't imagine waking up and not putting on my uniform as I had done everyday before. I struggled with depression, and began drinking. I couldn't go home and face my parents. I didn't want people that I grew up with prying into my life asking about what had happened. I stayed in Texas for five more months working at a bar. My life continued to become more and more chaotic the more that I drank and surrounded myself with people who were drinking. Then about six months after my discharge I ran into a sergeant that I had worked with in the front office. We sat down and talked for an hour about me and how I was doing. I explained everything to him, and what he had to say hit me. He told me that my life was just beginning. What was the point in staying stuck on the past. It was over and there was nothing I could do now to change it. I had the chance to experience it, but life had something else in store for me. I had so much potential if only I would get over myself. His words although harsh spoke a lot of truth. He made me realize that I couldn't control everything that happened, nor what people thought about me, and pushed me to go on with my life. I let go of all the pain and hurt I had been feeling, and instead focused my energy on my relationships. I moved back with my parents and started working on a new career. Life has its hills and valleys. I changed my focus from preventing problems in life to dealing with them in stride. This was by far the hardest lesson that I had to learn, but now I feel like I can conquer anything.