Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Proud to be an American

My guest blogger of last week has asked to make another appearance. I mean entry. This time the sarcasm is gone as she skillfully works out what she wants to do with her future. She wrote this on the way home from Hawaii... on Wednesday. Yes, she came home a few days ahead of us and that gave her some time to think, reflect... and just enjoy being parentless for a few days.

I know that my second “guest blog” comes to yall a little late, but I felt compelled to write it anyway. You see, I have reached a major milestone in my life. Well, major to me anyway, as I have made the final decision to enlist in the United States Military after high school.

Of the particulars I remain unsure. For example, I have yet to decide which branch of our military would suit me best. I am highly attracted to the flight of the Air Force, but I may very well choose the Army, which is associated with such celebrated strength and honor.

Many factors influenced my life-altering decision. Selfishly, I am drawn to the idea of college being paid for in full. In addition, I am a Kahle, and I proudly carry this name. My Opa (my paternal grandfather) served in Holland’s military, flying for the Dutch Royal Air Force. Opa was also taken prisoner of war during this time. My maternal grandfather, as well, was a military man. My Papa served during World War II as an Army medic. Closest to my heart, however, is Daddy. This honorable and courageous Christian man proudly served our country during the Vietnam War. Daddy enlisted in the U.S. Air Force long before he had met and married Mommy and therefore long before I was born. I have always been proud of Daddy and I have always stood at his side, tearful at any Star Spangled Banner being sung as well as any military tribute being paid.

The most important factor in my decision, though, is quite simply: God. I am entering a critical time in my life: young adulthood. My life has yet to be lived; and while I have always trusted God to lead me down the path in life that is His will, I cannot blindly enter adulthood with no plans and no ambitions. As Jeremiah 29:11 states so beautifully, God knows the plans He has for me, plans to give me hope and a future.

I am one to recognize a calling, and I do so now without a doubt in my mind. Not only is God’s will an almost tangible force in my life, but it seems as though I see military almost everywhere I turn anymore. Daddy proudly wears his Vietnam Veteran cap everyday. My cousin Dustin Wilkinson, featured in Mommy’s Independence Day blog, showed up at my 17th birthday party, which fell during his leave. Moreover, a great deal of my Hawaiian vacation was focused on our military. During one part of our trip, Daddy was stopped by an active duty Marine soldier, among others, and thanked for his service. During another, our hotel was situated right next door to a military hotel, a military recreation center, and an army museum. Not to mention Hawaii’s infamous Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona memorial, and the USS Missouri museum ship.

I suppose that all of that explanation could be summarized by my saying that I have decided to enlist in the United States Military because of my failure to be anything but brought to my knees by a serviceman’s courage, and strength, and honor.

God bless our troops.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

It's always good when you can discover your calling in life before you finish high school. It shows a lot of constant communication with God, which, in turn, reveals a great deal of maturity, wisdom, and (above all) faith... which is especially rare among 17-year-olds. I've been praying about what I'll become one day and I still don't know for sure... but recently, the field of therapy came up somehow. *chuckles* Can you imagine me earning my money by asking people "how they feel about that?" I can't see it happening... which means that it's probably a more likely career than teaching. And I wouldn't have guessed that you would join the military (though I'll admit that it makes sense).

All this goes to say... props to you for figuring out a small piece of God's plan for you, Elizabeth.

Sometimes, I feel like I can't hold up my end of a conversation consisting entirely of the word "sup," and other times, I feel like I can go on forever. :)