This weekend, my not-so-little-anymore cousin Gary left to join the United States Navy.
At 18, Gary’s accomplished a lot already- playing soccer in high school, graduating high school, and joining the Navy. I knew he had a bright future regardless of how he decided to spend his life, but I’m super proud of him for choosing the Navy.
I also feel slightly old since I remember when he was born and when he was growing up :). It’s hard to imagine that the little boy who climbed trees, played video games, and had secret visits from the Easter Bunny (sshh… don’t tell that I helped shop for those!) growing up is off to serve our country.
The Navy’s motto is “A Global Force for Good”, and reading the Navy’s website, I see why Gary choose this path. The Navy is the “first to fight, first to help” and “working together for a better world”. I’ve always known Gary to embody these qualities- helping my grandma when he visited and she needed help and working together on all the sports teams he played on. He was always there to help with a smile and good attitude.
Military service is truly a calling, not just a career. For most of us, if we get tired of our jobs, we can find another job. We can quit or jobs and work in fast food or at the mall, or just find something else. For most of us, it’s not a smart choice, but we have that choice. The members of our military don’t have that choice- they put their lives on the line for our freedoms every day. Some of them will inevitably give their lives for those freedoms.
Today, I’m proud to say Gary Roache is my cousin and my sailor. Best wishes to him as he embarks on this journey!