Realities Of The Military Life
It is Tuesday afternoon that I’ve met Nathaniel Peek, a charming twenty-two-year-old that wanted nothing more but to walk calmly in the deserted mall. It is easy to spot a military guy by his physical appearance, the way he talks (acronyms, absurd politeness) and the most obvious of all, the short haircut, “the buzz cut. ” Little does he know that he will be soon explaining to me what it’s like to be part of the military and all of its perks.
I've decided to interrupt his peaceful walk for a series of questions that would, later on, benefit both of us. It's clear that at this moment Nathaniel was intrigued, and wanted to continue on with this conversation, so he decided to move onward with it. He has told me that he was not from here and that he deployed to El Paso not too long ago. ”Military life is destroying a boy and converting him into a new man, " he said. Before joining the military he used to work on a regular part-time job at a local store, he explained to me that a civilian job is not too different from being a soldier.
“You will still have a boss, be told what you should do, and sometimes you are going to be doing things you don’t want to do, ” he explains. To him, it’s been a life changing experience that has provided him friends that have become his family. Something that sets Nathaniel apart from the rest of the soldiers is his reason for joining. “Most of the ones being recruited is because they want money, education, they had made big mistakes before, or because they want to get away. ” But his reason to join, he said it in a funny manner was “because my mom said so. ” It is rare when he has free time, but when he does, he likes to play video games, catch up with old friends and check out spots in El Paso, he says there's not much to do in here but he enjoys the peacefulness. At the beginning of this journey he was excited because he wanted to shoot bad people and blow up stuff, but according to him, it ended up being more important than that. It is about developing a brotherhood, he learned that being in the military was a privilege, not a right. Also is about growing as a leader, and is being someone that is willing to die for their country.
Shortly, we ended this conversation and he left, but quickly came back and told me, “being in the military is kind of like the girlfriend that treats you like crap but you still go back to it but because you love it. "