Tel est mon destin This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   As the doorknob creaks, I sit up to see who is coming. Myheart skips a beat when I see him casually standing there with my heart and allmy dreams in his hand. He notices the intensity in my eyes and tries to make mesmile. I hug him and we sigh together. As we pull apart, he hands me that which Iseem to have been waiting for my entire life.

"Go ahead, look atit," he whispers. With shaky hands I open the package and tears start toflow as I read, "Congratulations, we are proud to inform you of youracceptance into the United States Military Academy at WestPoint."

When asked why I would ever want to join the Army, I can onlyshake my head and try to explain. But it is impossible to explain the way myheart clenches at the thought of serving a greater cause. I cannot explain theshivers that race down my spine each time I see a soldier selflessly going toserve his or her country. It is impossible to explain my desire to be alieutenant proudly saluting my colonel.

The strongest love I hold in myheart is not a love experienced by all. It is not the kind of love that makesyour heart flutter and your knees weak; it is the kind that makes your eyes shinebrighter and tear up at the National Anthem. It's not a love shown through rosesand candy, or even flags and bald eagles, but honor and courage. It is the love,the passionate love, that I have for my country.

A love like mine makes aperson leave her family in order to protect freedom thousands of miles away. Alove like mine changes people. It makes them see things, experience hardships andlearn hard truths that many Americans will never know. A love less strong can becrushed by the discovery of the inevitable flaws in an imperfect government, thenecessary evils, the economic interests we are forced to protect despite ourideological differences. A love this strong requires trust in the system andtrust in the officers.

It is not always easy to be a soldier. She feelshatred from people who do not understand or care to understand her cause.Soldiers are often foreigners in countries with languages and cultures sodifferent from their own, and aware that many do not want them there. Soldiersfight because they are told to protect; they are told to let the American spiritendure. They never know when they return home if they will be treated as heroesor shunned because they are reminders of a shameful event.

Soldiers seebest friends die and dreams shattered. Yet they come home and never forget howthey fought to protect a dream, how they fought and conquered. There is no lovestronger.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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