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Camp Pendleton, that day marked the first day of my boot camp.

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Camp Pendleton, that day marked the first day of my boot camp.

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It was a sunny Monday in the middle of June, the kind of day that made you want to sit on a boat drinking beer reminiscing about past memories. In fact, I would much rather have been there on that boat then. I had just driven into Camp Pendleton, that day marked the first day of my boot camp; the first day of the rest of my life, really. The day prior I had shaved my head, received my military fatigues, and was given my combat boots. Getting ready that morning, I laced up my boots and for the first time in my adult life had a conversation with an inanimate object. Those combat boots, laced tightly will fight in the trenches with me, parachute out of planes with me, and eventually brought me home safely. I was told that these boots will be my closest friend during boot camp, and how accurate a statement that was. Fast forward a few years, I am currently driving back into Camp Pendleton for my Sergeant pinning ceremony. I never would have thought I was going to make it this far in the military, but I am so thankful I have. While putting on my fatigues this morning I laced up my combat boots, the same boots that have been with me from the beginning. These boots fought with me in some of mankind’s darkest moments, and are still with me today reaping the benefits of our actions. Like a best friend, they have been strapped to me, supporting my every decision. My current position does not require me to strap on the military boots and fight the way we used to. Through all of the promotions and changing of positions I keep them in the corner of the room as a humbling reminder. A lot of the military’s finest men and women upon their retirement pass on medals and diplomas to their children and their children’s children, but those mean nothing to me. What I want my children to have and to cherish are my combat boots. Every scuff, every spec of dirt, every broken lace tells a story