December 22, 2000
On December 22, I graduated the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy with 14 of the 15 classmates I'd started with...one was lost but not forgotten. I was so proud of what we had accomplished together, what I had accomplished, not so much in the work I'd done but the courage I was able to find, the promise I found in myself and most of all in friends I'd made along the way...experiences I'll never forget. At the post graduation party I hugged all the women
all the guys as well and trying to hide the tears, retired to my room to pack for my departure in the morning. You can't have bittersweet without sweet...
and it had been so sweet.
Then I went back to my daily serving of pessimistic, miserable bastard.