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The Beginning of My Journey

March 01, 2011 | Captain Ron Casper

I was 17 years old when I enlisted in the Army and had no clue what I was getting myself into!   I knew I lacked the grades and finances to attend college, but more importantly, I knew I did not possess the discipline or the maturity to take on such a feat.  What I did know was that if I wanted to be successful in life, I had to leave my small town in California, and I had to do it quickly.  My recruiter sold me on the Army almost immediately.....okay, okay, it wasn't that hard to sell.  I believed before I left for basic combat training the Army would provide me with a better lifestyle by providing the discipline and structure I so desperately needed at that point in my life, while opening up future educational opportunities.  Since I left my hometown 1992, I have never looked back.  After nearly a decade of trudging through college courses between field training exercises with Infantry and Field Artillery units, I earned my college degree and completed Officer Candidate School in 2005.  Who would have thought?

In July I will have 19 years of service and I, like those that have come before me, find myself asking, "Where has the time gone?"  I never imagined when I left home in the summer of '92 that I would still be wearing this uniform today....but I have to tell you, I'm extremely proud that I am still serving alongside so many great Americans.     








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