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The informant for the interview was my father Guy Batchelder who has been in the military for over three decades. He is a retired general who has been in the army for 35 years upon which he left with a two-star general accolade. I, therefore, thought that it would be a good idea to interview him because not only was he willing to share his experience but he was also readily available for the interview. It was also important that I interrogated him because apart from fulfilling the course objective, it was also a way of enabling him to share on the experiences and challenges he had and that he had not told most of the family members.
The setting of the interview was a simple one considering that he was my father and that he was available. I, therefore, set a date with him and we decided that we would hold the meeting is an open restaurant because I thought that it would be appropriate to hold the session in an area where there were no interruptions. It was a joint we liked to hang out when we felt like having a relaxing moment. We drove to his favorite restaurant and ordered some light drinks because I thought it would offer a relaxing mood for him. The interview was done on 22 June 2018 from 2 pm to 3 pm because it was a time when we were both available. After everything was set and he started narrating the experience, I would take notes especially on the issues that were relevant and that he seemed to place an emphasis.
My father opened up about the most encouraging factors that made him stay in the military for such a long time despite the apparent challenges that people face in the army. When he was a child, Guy was a lazy boy and he was always challenged by his teachers on how he was destined to be a failure n life because he could not take anything as a responsibility neither did he show any determination. It was then that he decided that upon completing school, he would work on his major weakness and the army provided an arena where he would exercise hard work as there was no room for laziness. The fact that the army does not tolerate impertinence meant that guy dedicated most of his effort in it and he managed to overcome a childhood challenge of not being able to concentrate on anything that he as required. He ended up learning important aspects of keeping time and managed to develop insights on how to prioritize tasks. In fact, he realized that all his life changed since and he would even apply the positive elements of hard work learned in the military in other life’s accomplishments and responsibilities He summed that it was an invaluable experience and he gained lifelong skills that he wishes every member of his family emulated because it had since transformed his life from a mere academic failure from his laziness to earning a top accolade for the time he sent in service.
Guy also clarified that apart from touring the world, he also managed to earn the opportunity to tour the world. The United States military is a system that has bases around the word and it was motivating for him to use the opportunity to gain personal satisfaction while still serving the interests of nationhood. Early in his experience at the army, he described of being involved in the Action in the Gulf of Sidra where he recalls that they were sent following an attempt by the Libyan corvette attempted to attack the US forces. Guy was motivated by the opportunity because even though he had been trained to handle pressure, it appeared as a daunting task. They managed to destroy the naval forces and damaged the Libyan air defenses. The experience was truly patriotic and it was encouraging to be part of a team that ended up in a victorious mission.
Guy also opened up about the challenges he experienced for the long time he had stayed in services considering the challenging nature of their job. He appeared emotional describing the subject especially when it became clear that he had lost several of his troop members and friends in service. He explained a series of other wars that he participated in and that resented with mixed emotions because of the disappointments he had. He confirmed that the saddest moment in his life as an army officer has been in the past decade when they engaged in multiple operations where they lost many of their friends. The War in Somalia, for example, led to the death of a close friend he decided not to disclose his name because it was too emotional recalling the experience. In fact, he noted that it affected the way he perceived life in general and he would experience distress that affected the way he conducted himself both at home and at the workplace. Considering that he has spent over two decades with his friend, it was extremely traumatizing to think that he had succumbed to the challenges of being an army officer. There were many other challenges that he stated that contributed to the lows that he could recall about his time in service. A member of his troop also had his limb amputated because of the experience in warfare. In fact, I could not help but notice that he struggled to narrate an emotional story that appeared to weigh him down.
In summary, the experience felt as a normal conversation that I would have with my father only that I noticed that he was too emotional and engaging his mind in deep thought occasionally as he tried recalling memories he made. It was thus different from a normal conversation because apart from a slight smile, I did not see him engage in any laughter neither did I. It was nevertheless inspiring to learn that Guy had taken on the positives about his time in the forces and decided that he would use the lifelong skills be a better man. I was thus intrigued by his resolution which made me consider a similar resolve because I realized I could use his story as a positive inspiration in defining a better destiny for myself.
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