Essay for the Louis Mancuso, Sr., Scholarship
As an elementary school student, I never allowed my mind to venture into the possible career realm of aviation. My mind was so mathematically focused that the only futures that presented themselves were those that involved education in some aspect of the medical field. This thought process continued through my freshman year of high school, and I aspired to be a neurologist.
High school brought about changes, and my participation and involvement in my Naval Jr. Reserve Officers' Training Corps (NJROTC) unit brought me to the realization that the civilian world was not for me. I now formulated potential futures in the U.S. military, fixated around the idea of being a field medic and saving lives. But one day, as I set foot into the AH-1 Super Cobra flight simulator at a Marine Corps base in North Carolina, I realized my true aspirations: I would not be running through battle, aiding the injured, but flying, providing my fellow Marines with close air support.
When people discover that my dream is to become a pilot in the United States Marine Corps, I am met with surprise, disbelief, and the query, "why?" I find it challenging putting my reply into simple terms. Nearly everyone who wishes to become a U.S. Marine will tell you that they are doing it for their country. They wish to serve their great nation with pride, honor, and dignity, and there is no better way to do such than to be a member of America's finest force. Due to the fact that I cannot be an infantry Marine, I have decided I would like to be as close to combat as the U.S. government will allow. Should I be lucky enough to become a Marine pilot, I will take to the skies and show the military a passion it has never before seen in any aviator, male or female.
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