Monday, December 15, 2008

Hero Writing assignment

The following is the paper I started in Portland, and finally finished for class.


The Hero’s Journey

Adrianne Snyder

There are several people that I admire, yet I wouldn’t say that anyone of them is my hero. Not because they haven’t done anything heroic, all of us have at different times whether we knew it at the time or not. Each of the people that I admire has done things that might be considered heroic, yet they were things that they did because it needed doing.

The ones that I consider heroes are the young men and women that have volunteered for the armed forces. Each of them has volunteered for their own selfish reasons. Some joining for education, for a job, to get away from home, to challenge themselves, and as many reasons as there are people. They know that there is something out there for them to do, so they join the military to start their journey through life. This is the first life changing decision for them to make, and quite possibly the hardest. These young men and women are joining at a time where there is great conflict, and they don’t know if they will end up in the middle of the conflict or not. No matter what job they end up doing, or where they end up serving, the main part of their job is to protect the rest of us.

No matter which branch of the military they choose to go to, there are tests for them to meet. Some are physical tests, some are mental tests. They all must take and pass these tests. Once these tests are passed, the hard part begins. Basic training is where they will be pushed farther and harder past any limits that they thought they had. Once through basic training, they have become stronger, more disciplined and ready to start the next phase of training.

When they get to the next phase of their training for the job that they will do for the time that they signed up for, those in charge are looking to help them become good at their job and more rounded as an individual. These young men and women are getting the training necessary to face a challenge that is bigger than they ever thought was possible. Those that are training them are making sure that they are ready to face that challenge.

The challenges that they face at first are those of a very personal nature. They are facing their own weaknesses, having to learn how to obey without question, and how to work with others as a team. Later the challenges they face will come from others, either through the job they have chosen or because of where they are deployed. When they are deployed to a country that is in the middle of civil unrest, or war, these young people are in harms way. Everyday they have to face new fears, will there be a gun battle, will the natives be thankful for them being there or will there be anger. Yet they get up each day and face the days challenge with determination.

It is because of the training that they receive in an ongoing process that they are able to take theirs fears, misgivings, and weaknesses and overcome them. They have been given tools to gain strength, to face the fears without being scared, and to turn their weaknesses into strengths. In the process these young people go from being teens with a child’s view of the world to adults with a strong vision of what they can do to make the world a better place to live in. They are better trained to handle the obstacles that will come their way as they go through the rest of their lives.

If you were to ask these young people if they thought of themselves as heroes, they would say no. They do not consider themselves to be doing anything extraordinary, they are doing a job. Doing what they have been trained to do, they have a job and they are doing that job to the best of their abilities.

Their home is wherever they are stationed; temporary housing is where they are deployed to. They are stationed far from their families, and deployed even father away from their loved ones. Some will use the time as a stepping off point for the rest of their lives, some will make a career out of it. Either way, these young men and women are making sacrifices as well as preparing for their own futures. These sacrifice help to ensure the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted.

When they are done with their time in the military some will go back to where they began this journey. It is when they return to the home they grew up in, are around friends and family that they realize how much they have changed, how much they have matured. With a supportive family, and friends that care about whom they have become, they will find that home is a good place to begin the next adventure in their lives.

I have been where these young people are. I was in the Air Force, and know what the challenges are that they face. They are my heroes because they have joined in time where conflicts are all over the world and they could very easily be deployed to any one of them. I also find my self know beginning another Hero’s Journey with a new calling. The calling itself may not be new to me, yet I have finally heeded that calling and am now facing the challenge and the demons and fears that have kept me from hearing it. I am looking forward to completing this journey, and am very proud of all the young men and women that have heeded their calling to be part of the military.

I’m especially grateful, and proud of my sons Gregory and Kyle, my son-in-law Josh, my nephew Don, and my almost daughter Christine. They have joined knowing the challenges that they face with a world that is more prone to fight than talk. Right now Gregory and Josh are in Iraq, Kyle goes to Iraq in the spring, I don’t know if or when Don will go, and Christine will be going to basic training in May. They should be commended for taking on the role of protector.