By Chaplain (Cpt.) Jose Rondon
Soldiers come from all over our nation to become better human beings, to make their families proud either because they are keeping the long-standing military lineage of their loved ones, or because they want to set the example for future generations in their families and communities.
These young men and women are full of ambitions, dreams and desires to become the best of the best.
Some of them have met highly decorated veterans. Others have watched inspiring videos eliciting them to join the most powerful army in the world.
Still, others have joined to pay for education, or for finally fulfilling their childhood dreams of becoming an American Soldier. A
ll in all, they come in the thousands to Basic Combat Training to face their fears of the past, to assimilate themselves into the changes of a fast-paced daily training, and to develop habits of discipline, integrity, respect, close-knitted camaraderie and professionalism.
They share tears, laughter, struggles, the lonely emotions of not learning faster and of missing their families and friends from home.
Yet, they become stronger, more determined, more convinced their future is bright, more mature to face life in a level-headed way because they have understood that nothing is impossible for them.
And this is all because their most memorable event happens after almost 10 weeks of training — their “Values Tags” Ceremony, where their leaders welcome them into the most heroic military force in the world.
Thank you so much to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for our Army is the representation of Soldiers from all races, ethnics, and cultural backgrounds who have chosen our most glorious institution to become the strongest “One Team, One Fight” force in the world.
We are still building this dream he envisioned to build and preserve our freedoms in the greatest nation where “‘all men are created equal’” and where our Soldiers are “not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
We will keep his dream alive to welcome hundreds of thousands of many more Soldiers to our “Team of One.”
(Editor’s Note: Rondon is the 787th Military Police Battalion chaplain.)