Because of the Common, Ordinary People… – Wise Words Wednesday

Because of the common ordinary

Those who choose to serve our nation are anything but common or ordinary, but in his Veteran’s Day address to his children’s school, First Sergeant Curtis Brandt shared the powerful impacts that have resulted from the efforts of those who were doing what they considered common and ordinary.

During his 18 years of serving in the Missouri National Guard, Curtis has worked to protect and enhance the lives of individuals here on American soil and in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Panama, Germany, Kuwait and Qatar. While on his missions to help those in need and protecting those who could not protect themselves, First Sergeant Brandt has missed many moments with his children, such as first steps and first toothy grins, and faced his son not knowing who he was after a year of deployment. There does not seem to be anything “common” or “ordinary” about giving up the ability to witness defining moments in the life of one’s child.

In his speech Curtis encouraged the students to be aware of how many veterans were sitting with them at that prayer service. His message was engaging and inspired those there to be thankful for and mindful of those who serve and have served in our military. He reminded them that our nation was not always one that enjoyed liberty, or lived with the rights of speech and religion, and was not always able to provide protection from prejudice. The students were challenged to find ways to thank veterans and their own means for keeping our country united. Continue reading “Because of the Common, Ordinary People… – Wise Words Wednesday”

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Respect, Service, Honor, and Questionable Cocktails – After a year of answering the call to serve

Respect Service Honor and Questionable Cocktails

Over the course of this last year, I learned a lot.  It was my first year out of high school and I didn’t know what to expect.  I shipped out to One Station Unit Training in August of 2016, to become a Military Police Officer for the Missouri National Guard.  Those twenty weeks were the longest, and most educational, weeks of my life so far.

The first nine weeks I learned to be a soldier.  I learned how to work as a team, how to properly maintain a weapon system, and how to be as efficient as I can be.  Red Phase, the initial three weeks of training, where you learn how to operate on minimal sleep and to look out for each other.  Red Phase is about tearing down the individual, removing that “it’s all about me” attitude.  Clayton 2I didn’t learn a lot in Red Phase, however, White Phase is where I learned that working together and having others’ backs is the best and most efficient way to get a task done.  While the training portion of White Phase is all about marksmanship, it’s where the whole idea of being a team player set in, for me at least.

When someone screws up, everyone is punished.  We would ask why we would have to do push-ups, or more commonly flutter kicks, when Private Joe was the one who fell asleep.  It was because we didn’t keep him in check, we didn’t wake him up.

Continue reading “Respect, Service, Honor, and Questionable Cocktails – After a year of answering the call to serve”