ROTC Life Changer

I’d been hearing my parents yell and argue with me every day since I began 8th grade because I was a just barley passing my classes and I’d yell at them for yelling at me so far.

When I came home today I argued with my step father. This wasn’t the first time. We’d argued almost every day. Today he yelled because of my report card being low. He started with me right after I walked in. “Billy your grades of horrible.

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F’s and D’s. You’re grounded off your game and outside until they go up.” He shouted I was furious. I didn’t care who he was at all. He was my mom’s boyfriend and that is all I was thinking.

“That’s not fair just because you say I have to stay in doesn’t mean I have to. You’re not my dad and you’re not a telling me what to do,” I shouted back .He was mad. He looked at me and his face was piercing red. Of course I didn’t care at all.

“What! I don’t care if I’m not your father or I am your father, but I’m the one who is taking care of you since you were three,” he argued back. He always told me that to shut me up, but it didn’t work that time. “You know what just stay in all week with your attitude! Don’t even watch T.V or call your friends or else you’ll be grounded longer!” I thought that was really mean of him to ground me for that long. “Fine I don’t care! I’ll just tell my mom that you’re being unfair!” I shouted.

I knew what was coming. Mommy’s boy, but he didn’t and walked away. A week later I started high school at Rauner College Prep. I joined ROTC because I hated band and the fact of playing and carrying an instrument around. My first day of ROTC CWO3 Dixon called my name.

“William S.?” she asked. “Here” I replied. “Oh the cool guy, huh? She asked trying to be funny. I laughed.

She called all the other students and we started talking about ROTC and its rules. Later in the month, I got my uniform. Every time we had inspection she would fail me because of my long hair. Why don’t you just cut the ridiculous hair off? She asked. “I like my long hair and I’m never going to cut it” I replied with haste. “Fine but watch when your report card comes in.

Two months later I got my report card I was failing ROTC. When I got home my step dad yelled at me for failing ROTC. “Why are you failing ROTC already!?” he yelled. “She keeps failing my inspection because of my long hair, I replied. Your hair!? He shouted.

“Yeah” he was furious, but my mom told him, “Bill stop yelling at me. He’s just failing because of his hair.” He stopped and left. Later in the year I got my hair cut because I was sick of having that failing grade in ROTC. I got my hair cut and it bugged me for weeks. I felt bare, but after a while I got used to the idea of having barley any hair.

Eventually I got a certain type of hair cut, which I loved. I started getting into ROTC during class. “Today we’re going to go outside and exercise”, CWO3 said. I was pumped and ready. “You all are going to do your fitness test today”, she added. We went to the park, and I was going crazy.

“One, two, three, four”, I was shouting while doing my crunches and push ups. “William you’re really pushing yourself” she said. “I know I want to be the best”, I shouted. After that I got honors for my hard work. After 4 months I was a respectful cadet and I respected all those who respected me. My family and I started getting along even better.

Today I got promoted and my parents finally said, “I’m proud of you.” I was happy and felt good about myself. “You know what. ROTC really changed my life”, I thought. “I’m going to keep doing it no matter what”, I said to myself. “No matter what”, echoed through my head everyday here at Rauner.