For many kids growing up, a pellet gun is just a simple toy (one that should be played with using caution), but for others it can be the start of something patriotic. Just like other children, I would run around pretending to play Cowboys and Indians with my Red Ryder BB gun, shooting at targets that my parents would set up around the fenced in backyard, but this was just the beginning of what would become a military career for me. This is the story of how a simple toy turned into becoming an Army sergeant.
I was a military kid growing up, and at the age of 12, I decided that I wasn’t going to be a part of the military once I was old enough to make that decision myself. Then, one day, my dad brought home a Red Ryder BB gun and started to teach me how to shoot a pellet gun. At first, it was just a bonding experience between me and my father because he would often be deployed, leaving us little time to spend together. He would come home from deployment and we would religiously take turns shooting the gun in the backyard at targets that he would set up for us. Obviously, he was much better than I was at hitting the targets, but that didn’t take away from me enjoying both shooting the pellet gun, but also getting to spend as much time as possible with my father.
But, as I grew up, I started to actually get really into shooting, and I would often setup my own targets and practice while my father was away. Little by little, I started to get better and better at my accuracy, and as I got better, the more I enjoyed the whole activity both when my dad was home and when he was away. Because of my increased interest, I began looking at other ways I could shoot shoot pellet guns and I found out that there was an academy near where I lived. I asked my mother and father if I could join the academy and luckily they decided that I could. Previously, I had not shown a huge interest in much related to the military and since this was an activity I genuinely found interesting, they decided that it was worth the chance.
While at the academy, I was learning a significant amount about how to shoot the guns and how to read a pellet gun review online to make sure that the gun would be a good fit for me. I found out that I wasn’t using the correct ammo with the gun that I had purchased. From that point on, I would research the air guns and make sure that all of the ammo and accessories worked together so I could be the best that I could at shooting. I became dedicated and strict with myself on my routine with shooting the gun and from that I realized the transformation that had taken place almost by mistake.
Despite my father being gone for months at a time, I learned from him through his dedication and the routine that he would put my family through on a regular basis. Through that routine, and our bonding with the pellet gun, I realized that maybe the military was for me. For the first time, I found something that I enjoyed that was related to the military that linked me and my father. Because of that, when I was 18 years old, I enlisted in the Army to be a part of the infantry unit where I could put my interest in guns to use. Yes the military is more than just shooting, but that joy of shooting is how I ended up realizing that I would follow in my fathers footsteps into the Army.