END OF A LIFETIME by matt freire

21 OCT 15

My 12 years being enlistment in the U.S. Army ended today. Just so happens it's the same day Doc Brown decides to go back to the Future Two. It's been an awesome dozen and it doesn't feel real yet. Honestly right now I'm excited and nervous in equal portions. Choosing civilian life is far more difficult than it was choosing the military life. I remember my parents driving my 120 pound frame the four hours from Chico to the Sacramento MEPs station. Mom crying. Dad giving words of wisdom, "Chin out, chest up, mind awake." I was stoked to be on my own and to go to combat and document war as a COMCAM Soldier. Still had mutton chops and a mohawk when I raised my right hand. At first a few of the hardest things to let go of was my hair and calling everyone dude. (Drill Sergeants are not dudes)

I quickly morphed into full assimilation mode. In a way the military became comfortable and easy: right place, right time, right uniform, drink water. Simple. But what is life where you just settle for sticking with what is comfortable and easy. I need to be challenged. I need to create and to go out of my comfort zone. I need change. I don't know what all that looks like right now and I who knows if i'll ever find it. But I The military felt right in the past and this feels right here in the future.

Here in the present I'm 180 pounds, still say dude a lot and shave my head due to the dwindling hair package.

One pretentious, childish and self-serving lament I have is not really having any photos of me. The visual evidence?! I was looking through my hard drives and I'm stunned. WHERE ARE THE PHOTOS OF ME? Maybe because I was behind the camera and it felt more comfortable there. Maybe it was different before camera phones and the word SELFIE. Maybe it's better as a memory.

So, in the only way I could think of last night to better visualize my story, I decided to share it in supercut form.

Enjoy dudes,