How Joining The Army Forced Me To Grow Up And Look At Life Like This

Milim Roy Milim Roy in Bakkar. Chai. Sutta on 26 May, 2017

My father was Sgt. in the army till 2009 until he finally decided to get back home after serving for 24 long years. My mom is a housewife and she never complained about not living with my dad at his postings just for the sake of my education and the wonderful convent school I was studying at.

I am the only son and I never felt the need to have a sibling because I lived in a joint family and had 4 cousin brothers and 2 sisters who I grew up with. We were pretty close to each other.

When I was in my Secondary high school, I saw my grades getting affected and it only got worse. I had zero interest in studies and I just wanted to complete my high school so that my dad's money didn’t go to waste.

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This was the time I was going to regret. I wish I had known better.

I had completed my high school with 46% which was too low to get through any colleges so I didn’t even try. I had already wasted a year just fooling around and it was pretty clear to me that I was also going to get enlisted like my dad in the army. Even though, at first he and other family members forced me to join a college but I knew that won’t happen. 

Dad never forced me to join the army, it was my decision and I don't regret it even today. I get 852 bucks a day and all the perks, who will give that to me in a private job with my qualifications?

But I feel I let down my mom and dad. They wished for their son to become an army officer, just like my other cousins. Even I will never forgive myself for the carelessness I showed towards my education. The platform that was provided to me by my family, the support, the sacrifices and every little thing they did, I ruined it.

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It was only after I joined the army that I was treated like an adult at the age of only 18. No second chances, no mistakes; our mistakes come back home in boxes with national flags wrapped around them. That's what I was taught the very first day.

I was introduced to my new friends; discipline, punctuality and responsibility. Army has taught me a lot of lessons in life already at this age and it's an endless road up ahead of me.

The rude tone I used for the arguments with my parents has now changed to a tone of love and appreciation. All my ego and aggression is gone and I have learnt to channel it to something positive. I am not a foot soldier even though I also went through a tough training. But whenever I look at my colleagues, I still feel I am lagging.

As for now I just have one goal - to rise from ground to glory and fulfill my parents' dreams. I am currently in pursuit of Army Cadet College; I want to become an officer.

It’s been 2 years of service for me and I am currently serving in Jalandhar, Punjab and will hopefully soon be posted to Kupwara, J&K. That's where the real story will start.