There are many things that I have accomplished in my time here in this realm. One thing that I am proud to have had a chance to do is actually something that I had not even thought that I would be able to do. This was being able to become a firefighter, or fireman to those who aren’t down with PC speech.

I don’t exactly call this an accomplishment for a few reasons. One reason is that being a firefighter was a childhood dream of mine. Since I was little I wanted to be a fireman ever since I had won a contest to spend a day with the local fire department. It was one of the best days of my life.

After that, near graduation age I took a test called the ASVAB. The ASVAB stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. It is basically like an IQ test. I took it mostly because I would get to leave school early and go play. I never thought much of the test, and forgot about it. A week or so later I received postcards from all military branches. Since I had had family members who had served in the United States Navy, I decided to respond only to the USN. However, on the postcard there were several career fields in which to check your interests. I chose to check the OTHER box and write ‘firefighter’ in the available space, all the while thinking that they would leave me alone and that would be that.

A few weeks after I sent the postcard, and forgot about it, I received a phone call from a recruiter. He said that they were impressed with my scores and wanted to talk to me about my future. I just figured that they said this to everyone, but agreed to talk to them anyway, as it would afford me another day off from school. I went there and, long story short, they asked me to take one more test just to ensure that my previous score was not a fluke. I took another test and actually did better than the first test.

The recruiters then proceeded to try and talk me into several other jobs such as radar technician, several communication fields, and encryption. I proceeded to tell the recruiters that I wanted firefighting or nothing. At this time I was going to high school in the morning and college in the evenings. I was only 16 so, needless to say, I was too young to sign the enlistment papers by myself. In the United States you must be 18 years of age to be able to sign paperwork without a parent or a guardian. After some time convincing my mother that this was what I wanted to do, they signed the paperwork required for me.

All of my time as a firefighter in the United States Navy was spent on a variety of ships, where I not only trained thousands of members in the art of firefighting, but also led the teams on several hazardous missions, with stories that will be saved for future essays. Anyway, I continued as a firefighter as long as I was able to.

Wrapping up this story quickly, I was diagnosed with a physical problem that requires constant care from a physician. I have no regrets save one: my body would not allow me to continue until I retired like I wanted to do.



down (adj.) - used to say that one understands or approves of something
PC speech (phr.) Politically Correct speech; newer words used to not offend others
long story short (idiom) - introducing a short version of, or simply the conclusion of, a story.
fluke (n) - a one-time event that probably can’t be done again; pure luck.