I am Chee. I am a Canadian combat engineer.
I started to consider joining the army in 2013. I was enjoying my freshman year in McGill University in 2013. In the late fall of that year, I first watched the Remembrance Day ceremony on campus where the Canadian Armed Forces hold the ceremony annually. The Maple Flag floating in the air, military uniforms accompanied by marching cadences, and the stories of the Canadian Expeditionary Force carved from a monument impressed me. “Maybe army too?” I nudged myself.
Not until 2018 have I made my dream true. In the years following 2013, McGill assignments and my shrinking bank account compelled me to shuttle between the McMillan Library on Sherbrooke and a bubble tea restaurant in Chinatown. My dream fell on the verge of obscurity. Finally, at a night of late July of 2018, I got up at midnight and submitted my application online. Afterwards, I passed all the tests and was enrolled by Canadian army. Bidding farewell to civilian clothes and my old sofa, I left home for basic training camp.
Army life is hard: to be a combat engineer is to learn what is far beyond my previous education. However, army life is rewarding: it brings me another perspective from which to view life.