During my Officership class my senior year at West Point, one of our last lessons was based off of Gen MacArthur’s “Duty, Honor, Country” speech to the corps of cadets.  If you are interested in listening to the speech yourself and making your own opinion before I start my discussion on it, you can find it at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lWm4iLLOKg.

The tone of voice in his speech is eerily solemn and sad.  My teacher made note that just before this speech, General MacArthur was forced into retirement and lost all that he had dedicated his life to.   He had us not just listen to the “hallowed words” of his speech, but his tone of voice and it’s reverence for the past with almost no hope for the future.  General MacArthur dedicated his entire life to the Army, and though his dedication was highly commendable, once he had lost his career and basically all that he had dedicated his life to, his sorrow and depression facing the real world speaks multitudes in this speech.

COL Stafford, my teacher at the time, did not intend to degrade the history behind this speech or General MacArthur and his greatness, but to teach our class a very different lesson.  He taught us that although we are to put our whole heart and body into our duty as United States Officers, we also must find other things in life that make us happy.  We need to find our own personal hobbies that take us away from the “Army world” that skews us from reality, and find something that draws us into our personal lives.  Find a hobby that we find comfort in and that distracts us from the stresses and the realities of war.  Being able to find something that makes you tick outside of the military world is vital to your personal health as an Army soldier and will help sharpen your ability to become a well rounded human being.

My personal hobby is volleyball.  Any post that I move to, I try and find my niche with a volleyball team in and around post.  Playing volleyball at the end of the day, usually with civilians, takes me away from the stresses of work and gives me something to look forward to other than waking up another day and going back to the daily grind.  Volleyball helps me feel whole and has always been a part of my life.  I know that when I leave work at the end of the day, I can put all of my stress from the work day into my game and turn my stress into success.

Find your own hobby and your own personal niche…Go GIRLS IN GREEN!