This is where I found myself, all alone on this deserted beach. I put in an online application to join the military, thinking this was the right move for me, getting to travel and explore the world while serving my country. They would pay for my college tuition and if I stayed long enough I could get retirement benefits. The problem I had was I did not know which branch I should choose, should I go into the Reserve, the National Guard or sign up for active duty in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy Air Force or the Coast Guard. I knew that I was in good physical condition, of appropriate weight and I should have no problem being able to pass a standard physical screening. There were some things that I knew I didn’t want to do, like jumping out of a plane, so I would not become a paratrooper and I didn’t like being cooped up, so I was not going to be assigned to a submarine.
It is so peaceful here and I need this tranquility to collect my thoughts. I want to get some vacation time and since the military will give me 30 days of paid vacation every year starting with my first year, this sounds great. On the other hand, I am not happy about taking orders, I don’t want to have to salute anyone and I wouldn’t like to be assigned to latrine duty. I don’t want to be screamed at for not making my bed, or not ironing my shirt properly. I am still a young man and joining the military might cramp my sex life. What if the recruiter is lying to me and the last thing that I want is to get shot in some God forsaken county like Afghanistan. Maybe I should look into joining the Peace Corps? I hope that this seashore with its clear, turquoise sea, bordered by small islands and a rocky headland will provide me with some clarity.
Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge Week 96 prompt – lost or found, for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt – Clarity and for Rachel Poli I Read I Write I Create – Time To Write Creative Writing prompt – Application.