In the Footsteps of My Father

By Shane Miller

A U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant salutes the colors at the center walk during the Evening Parade at Marine Barracks Washington in Washington, DC, on May 13, 2011.. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cody A. Fodale)

AmeriCorps member finds inspiration to serve from his veteran dad

As a child, I resented my father’s military service. It took me away from my friends and family and it took my father away when there were things that we could be doing together at home. It always seemed like the military took precedence over family life.

But after my father’s deployment to Iraq in 2004, I began to realize all that he had done, was doing, and would do in the future to support our family and this country. There were others who counted on him—those in his unit and the people he was deployed to protect.  My dad’s contribution to the country inspired me and helped me understand the importance of service. He helped me chart my own path toward national service opportunities and the AmeriCorps NCCC program.

I began my journey by looking into the jobs in the military, the different branches, and even the things I could bring to the military that no one else could offer. After a lengthy internal debate, I felt like something didn’t seem ready…I wasn’t ready. So I searched for something that would be an effective gateway to the military—something that would give me a slight glimpse of what I was committing myself to for the foreseeable future.

Shane MillerBecause of this experience, I know that I am ready to serve my country. I am ready to join the military, and I can honestly say that because of AmeriCorps NCCC, I am ready to be “All that I can be.”

During my search, I stumbled upon AmeriCorps NCCC. I had heard of the program before, but I had never taken the time to really look into it. After speaking with my parents and learning about the work my father had done with FEMA—from Hurricane Fran, to setting up a joint reception, staging, onward movement and integration (JRSOI) site in coordination with FEMA—I felt like I could be a part of this and helping those in need was something that I could see spending my time doing.

During a semester abroad in England, I found myself thinking more and more about AmeriCorps and what I could learn from the program. So as I sat in a flat on a college campus in the United Kingdom, I submitted my online application to serve for 10 months, and I couldn’t have been more excited.

I thought it would be a rough road, but all of my success during this program was heavily influenced by my team and my team leader—from the work that we did helping with the disaster in Colorado to the different meetings at FEMA headquarters with Administrator Fugate and Deputy Administrator Serino, and even doing independent service projects in the D.C. public school system. I know that I wouldn’t be in the mind set I am in now without their involvement and the opportunities that they gave me to see how one group of national service members can impact so many lives.

Because of this experience, I know that I am ready to serve my country. I am ready to join the military, and I can honestly say that because of AmeriCorps NCCC, I am ready to be “All that I can be.”

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Notes

  1. two-tickets-to-paradise reblogged this from nationalservice and added:
    Hey, this is my teammate! :)
  2. nationalservice posted this