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On Women's Rugby and Joining the Military

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link   All Posts
 Alexa Ward This year has truly been good to the underdogs, at least in my favorite sport. Not only did the New Zealand national team win the World Cup for the first time since 1987, but CGA Women’s Rugby went further than ever before in the playoffs. Since our first game way back in September, we played our hearts out, developing from a mostly green team (10 of our starting 15 had graduated) to a team that played the number one team in DII and came away being told we were the best team they had played yet. It is especially amazing because not two years ago, we were playing in DIII without any expectations of moving up. However, due to the hard work and determination of our ladies, we were moved up to DII the next year, which was highly advised against, and surprised everyone when we made it to the first playoff game. This year we went even further, and were one game from continuing to the Championships in the spring. Next year, I have no doubt that we will make it to spring.

Now, on to a more serious note.

A few weeks ago, my younger brother announced his intention of applying to both the Coast Guard Academy and the Naval Academy to pursue a degree in marine engineering or marine science. I could not be more proud. However, when I was speaking with my parents, they had yet another story about a friend or coworker asking, “What on earth you did to your kids to make them want to go into the military?” The simple answer is nothing. The more in-depth answer is that my parents did a fantastic job of raising us. They taught us the value of protecting your country, of standing up for what you believe in. There was no pre-grooming us for a military career. In fact, when I made my decision, they made every effort to make sure it was what I really wanted.

When I am questioned, my usual response is to request the asker mind their own business. I like where I am and who I have become. Recently, especially this month, I wonder why people ask those questions. So close to Veteran’s Day, I can’t fathom why people would question those who choose to serve. If not for those before me in the Long Blue Line and the rest of the Armed Forces, there would be no America, at least not as we know it. There is a reason we have a day commemorating their service, and I hope that this year, those who question my family will appreciate the sacrifice of those who have served, are serving, or will serve.

More about Alexa.