Shawn arrived at my house on a Saturday afternoon to meet with me. He brought his Cruise Book. I flipped through the glossy pages of what resembled my high school yearbooks. Liberty port photo layouts jumped off the page. The book sealed the deal. I would join the Navy after high school ended.
In the last hours of September 26, 2000, I set foot onto the cold concrete that is the Navy's only recruit training command (RTC) in Great Lakes, Illinois. My exuberance for writing and reporting had landed me a spot at the Navy's Defense Information School. After the grueling two and a half months known as basic, I would head to Fort Meade, Maryland.
Fort Meade was a nice change of pace from the chilling fall wind that seemed to compliment the city of Great Lakes. I arrived on a Thursday three weeks before Christmas, and I would start school the following Monday.
My plan was to focus solely on school work, and to begin looking into colleges since that was one of the biggest benefits offered to those who joined the military. I remember telling my grandmother of this plan, and assuring her I was not interested in dating anyone. I felt brave enough to withstand the distractions that dating and relationships brought. Then I met Ahron, and my whole entire plan was thrown for a loop.