This week, we present Part II of Kunal’s recent life story…
Now that I was home I was unsure what my next future plans would be. I considered returning to school, or finding a new job. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. But since the world was on lockdown I had plenty of time to think over the next steps.
I helped out at my parents’ daycare, Precious Moments (Collegeville) when it reopened in the summer. As I continued to ponder, I started looking into military service. I had always liked the idea of serving but I never made an attempt.
I had studied biology in college, worked in an office developing laboratory standards and guidelines, and then served in the Peace Corps. Becoming a soldier didn’t seem to fit with that trajectory.
There are quite a few sources of motivation that fueled my commitment to serve in the US Army. First, the US military’s Special Forces program has always appealed to me. Highly trained soldiers that operated in the shadows to fight bad guys. The idea of becoming James Bond or Jason Bourne is every little boy’s dream come to life. Now obviously, I know real life isn’t the movies. But I still was drawn to the idea of becoming a Special Forces soldier – specifically, the legendary Green Berets.
I spoke with an Army recruiter about my aspirations and he told me about the steps involved. I enlisted in the Army as a Special Forces recruit. This means is that I have a chance to attend a Special Forces selection course after my boot camp training and be assessed for a spot in the Special Forces training program. This is a highly selective program and very competitive. Only 30% to 40% of applicants are selected and I’m taking quite a big risk with this program. But I believe I have what it takes and I’m determined to make it through. Assuming I am selected, I would begin training as a Special Forces candidate. I hope to specialize as a medic.
Another motivation I have for joining the Army and trying out for Special Forces is while in Guatemala, I saw the effects of what bad people can do to innocent civilians. I was not in a war zone, but I saw the effects of the oppression of less fortunate citizens. I feel compelled to combat those injustices.
Finally, my parents. My mother and father are immigrants from India. They came to the US and worked very hard, sacrificing so much of their own happiness to ensure that my sister and I could have the life that we do have. I feel an obligation to serve the country that gave them the opportunity to come here and be successful. My mother and father are perfect examples of the American Dream. They are immigrants who came to this land and work hard to make a good life for their family. I feel a sense of duty to serve because of them. Without my parents, none of this would be possible.