I think being in the military everyone kind of expects us to be tough, and strong. Originally I bought the key because I was going through a time of self doubt and needed some reminder of the true strength I had physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Recently a good friend of mine who is going through the process of becoming an officer in the military with me, found out her father who had cancer, has it again. It's hard opening up to each other because we always think we are supposed to be the ones helping others not the other way around; it's the nature of the job. But the other really cool thing about the military is that whether you are together for 6 months or 6 years, your unit is your family.
She is having a hard time being here when she would rather be with her family and her father figuring out the next step in his fight against cancer. She's 25, has seen the world in the Navy and decided to challenge herself and enroll in an officer program. She finally feels like she has her life together and that things were falling into place and then she found out about this. Talking with her, I sense her frustration at the situation. She told me her parents worked so hard to make sure her and her sister had an awesome life, and did absolutely anything and everything for them so that they would have a better life than their immigrant parents. I can't disagree with her, it's not fair. People who do everything right, and still experience so much pain and hardship. I guess that is life, but I know one thing for sure. After speaking with her I immediately felt right passing the key onto her. She needs strength now more than I ever did, and strength that can only come from inside of her to deal with her whole situation.
We may be in our mid 20s, moved out of the house, and serving our country, but we will always be our parent's children, and just as they gave us a good life, it's our turn to return the favor.