Today in my history: September 5, 1993
I’m reenlisting in a few days. I’m not sure about others but whenever my personal Navy anniversary arises it’s time to revisit the reasons I volunteered to join the service. This isn’t the kind of blog entry to stir your patriotic juices or to teach a lesson, it’s just another piece of my personal puzzle more of an adjunct to my last entry.
Sixteen years ago today was a Sunday, which meant I was going to work at Gymboree. It was also my last day coordinating outfits for toddlers. I originally chose to work at Gymboree because there was nothing there I would want to spend my paycheck on! It was a great job but without benefits. The place was filled with happy music, colors and little clothes making it an easy job and a joyful part of my week.
My weekday job was as a Teacher’s Assistant at the Rockville, Maryland Treatment and Learning Center. It was another rewarding job but without health benefits. The children were speech delayed 2-4 year olds, some were abused others had other types of developmental delays. I enjoyed the personal satisfaction of watching my students grow and overcome their disabilities or learn new life skills. Watching the light bulb above their heads go on and their eyes light up with understanding were addictive but it wasn’t enough to hold me there. My mentors were professional women who taught by example and were generous with their time whenever I had questions.
My final job was at Natural Wonders. It was by far the coolest place in the mall to work. Amongst leadership skills, display techniques, and shoplifter spotting, I learned how to juggle! I had the most seniority at this job but without a college degree I would never make it to manager or earn benefits. This is job where the manager had been in the car accident and spurred me to join the Navy.
I actually went to the recruiter’s office on August 11, 1993 and went to the Baltimore Military Entrance Processing Site (MEPS) and entered the Delayed Entry Program on August 13, with a shipping date of August 1994. Imagine my surprise when I got a call on September 2 that an opening came up and was to leave in ten days! Now I had to tell my parents that I joined the Navy… and that is another story.