ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

From Boots to Business

Updated on October 4, 2020
Crystal Romero 23 profile image

Crystal is the founder and CEO of Made to Soar Coaching. She is a certified Life-Coach, and holds an MBA and a MS in Leadership.

As I prepare to close this chapter of my life, I am feeling a bit emotional. This was not an easy decision; in fact, it has been a major burden on my mind for the last month. A week until my final day of my Army Reserve contract, I have finally decided to move on. Both retention NCO’s that I have spoken with, have not held back, in letting me know, all the things I will be losing and giving up, in regards to benefits. Analyzing and reflecting this past month, I realized all the things that I have gained. Ten years of military service, for what? I won’t have a pension; I won’t have the lifetime benefits. I guess that is one way of looking at it. Fortunately, that is not how I have decided to look at it.

I was born and raised in Minnesota, my background is of a Native American and Mexican mixture. I had a rough childhood, moving around a lot, in and out of foster homes, group homes and shelters. I lived on the reservation for a bit, and at 16 years old, began my adult journey. At 18 years old I gave birth to a little boy, and 3 months later, I said good-bye to him, as he didn’t make it out of his second heart surgery. Although, this was a tough time in my life, I decided to go back, and finish high school. I remember going to a recruiting office after I graduated high school and a recruiter telling me, that I needed the military more than the military needed me (in terms of finance and education). I took this, as a challenge, and walked out of there thinking, I will show him.

I signed up for college that summer and graduated 4 years later, with my B.A. in Sociology and an emphasis in Criminal Justice. While graduating did bring me some satisfaction, my heart still craved excitement and an experience like no other. So, I went to another recruiter, and joined the Army.

"who just wanted to be part of something bigger than himself"

What was I thinking

In 2007, I left to South Carolina for boot camp. I remember waking up, time and time again to the sounds of yelling drill Sergeants, before the sun was even up, thinking to myself, I can’t believe I am here. It wasn’t a negative thought, as I would think it, with a smile on my face. “I can’t believe that I am here”. If you have ever seen Captain America, and remember the scrawny, Steve Rogers, who just wanted to be part of something bigger than himself; that was me. I was never in sports, not athletic, whatsoever, so basic training was very hard, both mentally and physically. Although, I did not come out, the way Steve Rogers did, I made it.

My first duty station was FT. Drum, NY, and I firmly believe the Army sent me there because I was from Minnesota, so snow wouldn’t be an issue for me. What they didn’t take into consideration, was my top 3 choices were sunny and warm locations. Six months after arriving, our unit was off to Camp Taji, Iraq. The experience of a year-long deployment, is an experience that will never be forgotten. Six months after returning to Ft. Drum, I was on my way to Wiesbaden, Germany. I remember someone telling me, not go there and get married. Wouldn’t you know, that is exactly what I did (of course, not right away). My husband was the second person I was introduced to once I arrived in Germany.

"year-long deployment"

All the benefits

Soon after getting married, we were blessed with a baby boy. At this point, I decided that serving my family full-time and serving the military part-time was the best option for our family. When we left Germany and stationed in North Carolina, I decided to completely get out. I took a two-year break from the military, and by this time, we had moved to Arizona. I decided to go back into the military to complete 10-years because I did not want the education benefit to go unused. If I completed 10-years, it could be passed to a family member. So, I signed a six-year contract, to serve in the Army Reserves, once again. Two-years later, my husband was being activated, as he went part-time also; so, we were off to Texas. While in Texas, I decided to quit my government job and pursue my graduate degree, with my post 9-11 benefit, that I earned. I graduated with an MBA and a MS in Leadership in December 2019. We now live in Maryland, my husband once again, active- duty; and in a week, I will be at the end of my military journey.

This is a very, very summarized version of my story, but the key take-away is this: for all the things that I may lose because I did not do 10 more years, I absolutely, appreciate and acknowledge, all the things I have gained and benefited from, while in the Army. The many travel experiences, the cultural experiences, the friendships and bonds, I have made, the family I have, my education, the education that my children can receive from the extra 6 years I completed; so many things to be grateful for.

As I sit here and reflect, I acknowledge that this is a bittersweet decision. I will no longer put on the uniform, that I felt so proud to wear, but I will also no longer have to report at 5 am on a Saturday morning, to drill either. Closing this chapter in my life, I thank the Army, not only, for the opportunity to serve, but also for how the Army has served me. Maybe that first recruiter was right, I did need the Army; to get me exactly, to where I am today.

© 2020 Crystal Romero


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • ryan-reighman profile image

      Ryan reighman 

      3 weeks ago from Some where on Earth



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)