By Doris Rivas-Brekke
Graduation Day can be the most beautiful two words a person can hear. For me they were magical and meant the end of my basic training.
But, along with the happiness came sadness. I was going to experience this moment with no family to share this day with.
I had done the unbelievable; I had taken the first step towards becoming a real soldier. Me, the original California girl; me, whose father feared that I would humiliate his great “Marine name”; me, whose idea of work, was cleaning my bedroom. Here I was taking the first step to prove to my family that I could be someone. I could be a real U.S. Army soldier! But no one would be there to hug me, hold me, say to me “well done, Doris!”
All of the women who graduated with me knew we had accomplished something special, something big, something life changing. I knew tough roads were ahead. I still had to get through advance training and my advance school was one of the toughest – the medical training school. But today was my day. So I would enjoy this day, and yes I would cry, but I would be joyful and I would be proud; proud to be a U.S. Army basic training graduate! And no one was going to take that away from me!!
Many life lessons were learned that summer. But more than anything, I learned that I had great potential. The Army was helping me gain confidence in myself. My hope is that all of you who are reading my blogs will look at your service careers with the same enthusiasm and hope.
Going forward, I look forward to sharing my advance training stories with you; the journey only gets better — Fort Sam Houston here we come.
My name is Doris Rivas-Brekke. I served in the U.S. Army as a mental health counselor in the medical corps. Using my military benefits I went on to achieve my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I am currently creative director for Military Mom Talk Radio and share my story with you to inspire you and the women following in my military footsteps.
Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family. Our goal is successful re-integration back into civilian life.