“What the hell am I doing here?”

Those were not the words I wanted on my mind. But they forced themselves on me anyway. A drill sergeant boomed over my head, “Seven, six, five…” counting down from ten for the third time. Each time he reached zero, I did more push-ups. My hands were already shaking, without the extra work.

Ten more push-ups and he gave up on me. “Get the f--- out of my face and get to formation.”

Anyone who has ever tried something new has experienced those moments of wondering whether it was all a serious mistake. That was my moment. I had just joined the U.S. Army. We weren't even to Basic Training yet, and already ...

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