Uniforms | Teen Ink


March 16, 2012
By Sarah Jones BRONZE, Arvada, Colorado
Sarah Jones BRONZE, Arvada, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The blazing Texas heat beat down upon those sun-bleached stones bloodied centuries ago. As I read about the selfless and determined will of the soldiers at the Alamo, I was nothing short of utterly inspired. Yet I felt almost guilty as I read the names of those who perished on these bricks, as though my pampered life was not worthy to stand here at their graves. Who would they think of me as, another foolish, selfish person living yet another pointless life? I felt rotten as I walked through the baked courtyard.

“In my defense, maybe I’ll do something great later.
Probably not....
I’m 13, I shouldn’t expect to know what I’m going to do in life. Who does? I shouldn’t worry about it...........

The more I thought about my ever closing future, the more depressed I felt. Still, I decided that, for now, this wasn’t worth my concern. I desperately evaded my underlying fears as we continued into a river way below the bustling streets of San Antonio. It seemed to be a magazine article given life, with its clear, chilled stream surrounded by shops of all breeds. Assorted people sat underneath wide umbrellas, on steady wooden benches or in cool bars, sipping frigid drinks in the overwhelming heat. The sight was unbelievably welcoming and serene, and I was almost able to even absorb some of this magical vibe until I saw a fateful, elegant young womea with her long blond hair in a loose bun. She seemed to be miles away, with her sweet smile, her proud, distant gaze, and her strong, steady hands.If I had ever imagined who I wanted to be later in life, she surpassed every last fantasy. Her palpable confidence almost drew me in, always unwavering but not arrogant, certain yet never cruel. I stopped in awe of her, but she was quickly covered by her uniformed companions. Her uniformed companions!

There she stood, an instant idol, clothed in the uniform I never thought I would even consider. She’s a US pilot, with little experience or rank. She is not me. I am a Gifted Student, with stupidly high test scores and even more laughable expectations and perceptions. We simply do not intersect in the slightest detail. I’m going to be a scientist...or an engineer.....or I don’t know, just not that. Anything but that. Resorting to that will force people to believe that I am a bone head who can’t even get a job at McDonalds, that I don’t deserve to be in the academic programs I’m in.
That’s not true!! I’ll never be like her.
So then why am I even considering it?

…....Well, she just looks so confident, I can’t help but be in awe.

My face flushed red and I looked down in shame as returned to my family. They were scouring the canal for a restaurant that we could all agree on when there was such as abundance. I became impatient as the savory scents of the uncountable stores filed the air and, along with the smell of sun-dried concrete, filled the air with a heavenly perfume. My mouth already watered in anticipation.
Hey, if you think it’s so easy, why couldn’t you do it. Why are avoiding her?
No, it would be quite difficult. And I am not avoiding anything, ok? I just don’t want to join them.
So then why are you discrediting them? I’ve heard that schools like West Point are amazingly challenging. If you want to be proud of who you are then..
No!!...it’s just not an option, ok?
I shook my head in dismay. Those blinding uniforms multiplied like rabbits, seeming to almost close me in as we continued forth. It felt like some weird conspiracy from the History Channel, and that everyone were actually GHOSTS!.....yeah... I should stop avoiding the topic.

Cons: I could be killed, I could waste my life, I could be mentally and physically scarred.
Pros: I could finally feel proud of myself. I could have an absolute, unbreakable drive.


Well, would I be willing to lose it all, to be utterly desecrated and ruined just to help my country? Just so I could take pride in what I do? In the heat of battle, could I forget my primordial instincts and continue fighting? Could I take another’s life with a bullet that would haunt me for the rest of my life? Could I kill someone’s father, son or brother?

If I was doing it for my family and or my way of life, I truly think I could. Maybe I could find out, maybe I could work everyday, aiming for this goal to making a difference.
What about the consequences?
I shook my head.
...perhaps...I’ll …
I’ll overcome them. I don’t want my life to be a waste. I don’t want to die that I never actually improved or defended anything....no...I WILL not be a waste
Is this your only option? Your being hasty.
No, but it is starting to look real bright.

I glanced up to that bright sun and smiled. I’d never felt so confident about anything, let alone my future. It seemed to encompass my entire being, leaving my paradigm fiery hot. Every step I took, the more young, hopeful cadets in those white uniforms followed. But this time, I didn't feel so uncomfortable. No, this was completely choice, my future. No matter what anyone else said, I’d join those uniforms, those blinding, shining uniforms in someway or another. I may have to join after I get my degree, but I will never let go of this hope. When life gives you a sign, why not take it? Why not live knowing that I can make a difference?

“Mom, I think I want to join the armed forces.”

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