People love a good story, and I am positive that everyone has great stories of their personal experiences in the military. My story is no different. Besides playing with GI Joes and toy guns when I was little, I really didn’t have any desire to join the military. When you join the military people want to know who you are, where are you from, and why you joined. Let me answer those burning questions.
My name is Gary Ober and I am from Dayton, Ohio the birthplace of Aviation. Why on earth did someone who grew up in the heart of avionics join the Army? Simple…I wanted to be tough. But seriously…it all started my freshman year of college at Wright State University. The course work as a freshman was boring. I spent much of my time playing video games and eating (yes I gained my Freshman 15). Many of the classes were review from what I did in High School. I was living in the dorms since my mother wanted me to have the “college” experience. For my college experience I had three other roommates in a 12x16 foot room plus a bathroom. Two of my roommates within a quarter dropped out and the third roommate towards the end of the school year started doing drugs. The weird behavior began where he threatened me for not letting him use my computer to play StarCraft until 2am.
I didn’t have a car because my mother had a rule that since my older sister didn’t have one until she was a sophomore then I wasn’t able to have one. Mother didn’t want me to work even though I had been working since I was 14. Besides eating, playing basketball and video games I was interested in finding that special someone as well. I had been Internet dating since 1995 back when dial-up and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) still existed. If you know anything about dial-up I had a 2400 baud modem for about a month, then upgraded to a 9600 baud. During my winter break I met a girl online through AOL named JeepBabe22. After finding out information about her I convinced her that we should meet. She was into running and for our first date we went running together at a local park trail. She wanted to run a marathon, so I started training with her.
One day when my mother was out shopping with my car I decided that I needed to go to the local grocery (Meijer). The store was about 5 miles away and thought it was a nice day for a winter jog. During my run I started to think about how crappy school was. I started to pray to God and ask him to lead me in a new direction in life. We all want to be happy and have our lives meaningful. I asked God to give me a sign of what I should do differently in my life...a new direction. About two miles into the run I notice a car about a half mile from me that wasn’t turning on the main road for some reason. As I got closer I had an overwhelming feeling that someone wanted to talk to me. Finally I got to the car and a clean cut, tall, black gentleman in military uniform stepped out of the vehicle. He introduced himself and asked me what I doing and where I went to school. I told him I was out jogging to Meijer and went to Wright State University. “Do you like running?" he asked.
I told him I was training for a marathon with my girlfriend. He asked what I was studying. I told him accounting. The recruiter then asked if I could get job as an accountant for the Army would I join. A lot of things started running through my head at this time. I’m thinking…experience is important for getting jobs in accounting. I also was wondering if this is the sign God was giving me. I thought that this must be the sign. I said yes. That my friend is the start of my faith based journey into the military.
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