Each and everyone of us has a story to tell and share to others, life stories that may serve as an inspiration to other people. Every individual may have a life experience or a moment in his or her life that somehow greatly affects his or her whole life. We often share our own triumphs and travails, our victories and defeats, our happiness and despair that bring alterations to the present life situations. My story began as an ordinary boy in the state of Ferndale, Michigan. I am the youngest of five siblings, a son of Sazelia and Marvin Johnson.
My mother was a university woman who tries to acquire a bachelor’s degree in Business at the University of Michigan. My father was a Mechanical Engineer who is deeply fascinated with cars. My parents are intellectual and social creatures who passed down the essential values of hard work, education and religion to their children. They make sure that we are not deprived of the essential things that we need in our education. They also impart important attitudes and ethical standards needed in conforming well to our social environment. My siblings and I grew up in happy and complete family that upholds education as the main key to success.
However, I was different from my siblings for they all went to college, specifically to University of Michigan, after graduating in high school. All of them went to the university, except for our oldest brother, the gifted one on all of us, who went straight to Naval Academy. The life changing moment in my life, happen when I decided that I want to join the military. I really want to be a part of the military reserves so I join the U. S. Navy, wherein I scored high on the entrance examination and I was offered to undergo the U. S. Navy Nuclear Engineering Program.
The crucial eight months followed after I joined the program. I learned as much as I can about Chemistry, Math, Electronics, Physics, Reactor Science and other related field in nuclear engineering. I can compare this experience with the experience told in Stephen Crane’s, An Episode of War. Just like the lieutenant who is wounded in war, my own training in the program and in the camp gave me confidence and dignity. It revealed the essence of my existence and all of my mundane desires. It explicates the purpose of my being and my involvement and role in preserving the sovereignty of my own country (Crane 8).
Luckily, I was not involved in any war conflicts or that will make my story more exciting. However, I was in preparation aspect of our defense system. However, I sympathize to those who are sent to foreign places to battle with brothers that were considered foes and rogues by the government. I know how hard it can be. Many of us hope that it finally ends. Just like on the poem of Czeslaw Milosz, hoping that the traumas, war and other forms of conflict and misunderstanding will finally meet its conclusion. Our history is characterized and embedded with tragic events and disputes that took many lives (Milosz 256).
Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, vividly depicted the events in a war. How fertile lands became battlegrounds of two powerful forces. How innocent lives are drastically involved in the conflict. How children were separated to their parents and how the once happy and fruitful nation transformed into a futile land. After completing the learning prescribed by the program, I was assigned to a nuclear submarine, USS Kentucky SSBN 737. The submarine is an enormous structure that is similar to an underwater city. My training acquired from the program seems like an incomplete preparation to the task that I was assigned to.
I was a nuclear plant operator that had a tremendous amount of responsibility. I have to make sure that the nuclear reactor was always safe and in good condition and running smoothly. My task is very crucial for it affects the safety of my comrades. Through the years that I have worked for the U. S. Navy, I got US$50,000 or so worth of proper science training and education in nuclear science and technology. It is more than anyone can ask for. It is such a blessing to anyone to be able to study free. Also, I have acquired credentials to work in most nuclear power plants in the nation.
It is one of the prestigious works in the country to be able to work in a high-end facility like a nuclear power plant, wherein knowledgeable individuals are only capable of handling the specific task of maintaining the safety of the nuclear reactor. The education, training and working experience is a something big for me, an ordinary boy who only dream of being a G. I. Joe, inspired by my toy soldiers and toy guns. My experiences during my service to the military were really fruitful and fulfilling. I enjoyed most of my time under the submarine doing my task. It greatly alters and influences my present personality.
I have traveled in many places and met many people all over the United States that contribute on my life’s journey. I significantly learned how to start and finish something. My service in the Navy ends, but I am more than ready to start a new journey in this life of mine. I try to acquire a bachelor’s degree in Architecture, one of the things that I wanted to accomplish. From Southwestern College, I transferred to USC this fall to complete my degree. The chapter of my life in the Navy, I will be able to look back and be proud to say that I was part of something special and noble.
Courtney from Study Moose
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