Letter to a Young GI

GI Joe — Congratulations as you head into your final week of basic training. HOOAAH!!! It’ll be the longest week of your time at Benning. Then at graduation you’ll look back and go “WTH?” Where did the time go?

You won’t recognize them, but others will — the changes in you. Over time, you’ll also recognize and appreciate them.

The next phase awaits as you head to training in your specialization, whatever it is, something you wanted or something for which the Army had a need. Whatever it is, learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power. Remember, people who know how to do something will always end up working for people who know how and WHY it’s been done and being done that way.

Your MOS isn’t your life’s career. It’s your Army job. I spent four years right out of high school in Air Force logistics. Never used it formally after that. But my knowledge and learning was never lost, and provided me with insights in my subsequent careers. What seemed like a small, insignificant part of  my training and job was learning and using computers for inventory management. I was a digital pioneer with skills which have always been helpful, although I couldn’t recognize, anticipate or appreciate it at the time.

You have a huge advantage right now, and all it’s costing you is some time and a committment. A job with a steady paycheck while you make life decisions. Three squares and a cot. Training. PX, enlisted club, recreational facilities, uniforms and allowance, travel . . . and so on.

It’s your time to grow, mature, explore, cut the umbilical cord and wean yourself into life with a secure support system.

The decisions you make are yours. They come with consequences — good, neutral or bad. Whatever happens, move on. Don’t look back and second guess. Nothing will change. Learn from each decision and go forward.

Thank you for serving. You’re now one of a special fraternity of active duty military and veterans, men and women, living and dead. Welcome.



Published by

Dr. Nick De Bonis

"Life's what happens when you're busy making other plans." John Lennon. Life happenings have been almost overwhelming the past year, not all of them positive. Empty nest, boomerang kids, job changes, a new grandchild, and the usual Roseanne Roseannadanna homeowners' lament, "It's always something." It certainly provides one with anticipation for what each day will hold. As my grandfather used to reply when someone would say, "Good to see you, Claude," it's good to be seen, given the alternative. :-{) DB

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