Many people don’t realize how life lessons affect who they are

Many people don’t realize how life lessons affect who they are. Some lessons are learned through trials and tribulations; some are learned through experience. No matter how people learn their lessons, they will stay with them forever and help them through life. My dad has taught me many lessons, such as, “You have to do what you got to do in order to succeed.” This is one of the many sayings my father always said to me as a kid. All of his sayings share observations based on past experiences, many of which were challenging. My father, to a stranger, may look intimidating. His dark brown eyes always shine with delight, but sometimes could look evil. He’s taller than a door frame and built like Hulk. However, he is a very proud, loving and caring man with great morals. He served in the Desert Storm and Desert Shield War in the United States Marine Corps. He is the type of man who is not afraid to tell people what they need to do to accomplish their goals and succeed in life.
From an early age, he understood the responsibility of having five younger siblings. There was a total of three brothers and two sisters who were twins. Therefore, he couldn’t enjoy the joys of a usual childhood to its fullest. Unlike his younger siblings, he had the burden of helping his parents with financial issues by working at a young age. He also had to act as another parent to his younger brothers and sisters. “Sometimes, when my parents weren’t able to take off from work, I had to go to parent-teacher conferences and make sure my brothers’ and sisters’ grades were in check.” From what he told me, there were no summer camps, vacations, or free time for him. He only changed diapers, babysat, cleaned the house, took out the trash and went to work. He told me with a wide smile on his face, “The only time I felt like a normal kid was at school hanging with my friends.”
After he graduated high school, he joined the Marines, as a result of his family’s financial crises. ” I remember my dad saying, either you go to college on some type of scholarship or serve in some part of the Armed Forces. Because I want you to make something of yourself and not spend the rest of your life in a dead-job,” he said in a firm tone. While he took three months to review his options, he made his decision to join the United States Marine Corp. He felt this was the best way to go, especially after serving as a role model for his brothers and sisters. Additionally, he felt that since he had already been living a very structured life, it would be a smooth transition. He was right. He was finally able to be the man he wanted to be; he was truly happy. Although there were many guidelines he had to follow, he enjoyed the fact that he could be himself.
He doesn’t talk a lot about the war. He only shares stories of meeting and creating friendships while he was in the Marine Corp. ” So can you describe to me some of the war scenes that were on the battlefield,” I asked. He took a very hard look at me and then towards the wall. I honestly thought he was going to cry because he whole demeanor changed when I asked. However, he responded by saying, “As I’ve told you many times before, I was a gunner on a helicopter. Sometimes I would provide ground troops cover, other times my unit and I went to pick up troops. However, I remember this one time I wasn’t feeling well that day and decided to take a nap. I found a spot in the laundry room and fell asleep on a pile of sheets. Once I woke up, I found out that my unit had been called in for a rescue mission. Since I couldn’t go, another Marine was called in to replace me. My helicopter was hit with enemy fire, and some soldiers were severely wounded and some were dead. Eventually, all those soldiers who were my friends died the next month. I am truly grateful that God spared my life. If I hadn’t felt good that day, I would have probably died and not be able to raise up an excellent young man like you.” I can only imagine some things he’s seen and had to do. No matter how hard I tried to get him to tell me about some of the war scenes he remembered, he’d always avoided the question. However, I respected his response even though he did not give me the information that I wanted.
He always enjoyed his downtime while overseas. As a teenager back home, he was unable to ever go to gatherings because of his responsibilities at home. However, he made up for that while he was in the Marines. He told me about a story that started as a fun gathering but almost ended in tragedy. ” My friends and I were having a party on the beach, celebrating our victory from the war we’d just won. We’d all been drinking and had a few too many. My friend Chris decided it was a good idea to go for him to go swim, even though I tried to persuade him not to. While the rest of my friends and I were talking about nonsense, little did we know that he’d jumped into the water drunk. A little while after he was gone, we decided to look for him. When we found him, he was so drunk, that he forgot how to swim and began to drown. Luckily for him, I wasn’t that drunk. I swam out and brought him back to shore.” If it had not been for my father’s attentiveness and his swimming, skills that man may have died.
When my father came out of the military, he decided he wanted to continue saving lives. He spent almost fifteen years in college, studying for his bachelor’s degree to become a surgeon. “I worked my ass off trying to get my degree. There were times I wanted to quit and drop out of college. However, I thank my mom, dad, and God for motivating me to press through it. If it had not been for their support, I wouldn’t be able to live my life to the fullest. Not one day will pass by where I’ll regret going to college.” My dad loves his job very much. Because of the way his parents raised him, being a surgeon is not his only job. As a side job, he is also a plumber. He is a very hard worker, and at many points in his life, he went years without taking a day off from either job. Even days, when he was sick, he worked through them to provide for our family.
My father always told me, “To succeed in life, you must have self-confidence, self-discipline and maximum effort.” All of these things are key factors to why my father is the man he is today. I strive to live those words daily as my father has. He has set a great example for me to live my life.