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My Experience From Fort Hood, Texas Essay

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As I sit in my car, in the parking lot of a 24-hour Walmart, I reminisce of the many experiences that lead to this moment. Writing this essay with a notepad on my lap and pen in hand, this position is all too familiar, surreal, and thought-provoking. How did this all happen…again? Exactly 4 years and 3 weeks ago today, I was on a plane to Afghanistan. I remember the very long flight from Fort Hood, Texas with a stop in Kyrgyzstan. During our last few days of preparation for our final flight, I took in the very crisp air that emanated from the snow-capped mountains; surrounding the base in the distance. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of adventure despite my destination of war. The vivid moments within the many memories of such small wonders have continued to bless me with a peaceful acceptance; of not only my combat experience, but of my experiences prior to war. In May of 2009, I took a selfie in a public restroom, where I had slept for a few weeks. I was battling my fifth year of chronic homelessness; rotating from the comfy couch of the Macy’s restroom to the bathroom stalls of a bus station. Eventually, I found myself sneaking two-minute naps while pretending to wait for a subway train. I took my act of pretending to the next level, by tending to myself at local gyms that offered free trials. Fitness became my fuel, providing me with a healthy tolerance and perseverance; of the daily exhaustion and struggle of homelessness. Little did I know, it was preparing me for
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