Pvt. Fabio O'Donnell.
On Dec. 22, 2009, I was sworn into the United States Army. On June 8, 2010, I will ship out to Fort Benning, Ga. There I will complete the nine week boot camp; upon graduation I will attend AIT (Advanced Individual Training) for five weeks. I have chosen, and so states in my contract that I will be in 11X, (Infantry). I will major in light or heavy weapons. At this point I have filled out a request to attend Airborne School (where you jump out of Black Hawks and planes) and RIP (Ranger Indoctrination Program) and/or Ranger School. If successful within two-three years I will have attained a position in 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force), the elite of the Army. On June 1, 2010, Fabio was promoted to Private E2.
Why I chose to serve.
I do not serve for riches or personal glory, nor do I serve for some grotesque need to kill. There are many credible reasons as to why I have made the decision to join the U.S. Army, but there is only one that stands above all, and that is, you cannot have peace and freedom without war. As long as there is envy and hate in man the price of peace and freedom will be war, an ugly truth that cannot be ignored.
Since my youth I have yearned to have the ability and the privilege to put on a military uniform, to fight for something much larger than myself. As I looked at the battalions of green plastic men stretched forth on the living room floor, I envied them. Those green army men were not at home pursuing some sort of self glorifying job that would bring more ease to their life. They were on that hard wood floor fighting for much more than that. They were fighting for freedom. As the cannons thundered and the jaws of hell were opened, those men fought for all, and some gave all. As they stood their ground in formations they were constantly assaulted by advancements from the enemy. When the lines were broken more men were brought forth to fill the spots of the brave men who had fallen. Many great men died on that hard wooden floor, but they did not die in vain. Their sacrifice bought freedom, and that is what I wanted to do.
As I have grown older my eyes have been opened to the reality and cruelty of war. Its ability to take and destroy, to hurt and to kill. But I cannot deny the great call that beckons me to join the armed forces. It would be much easier to go to college and attain a normal job and have a normal life, but when I take my last few breaths I would like to know that my life had a greater purpose than to live for myself. Though my last breath may take place thousands of miles from home in a foreign land as I lay outstretched and helpless, I will know, I will know that I did not die in vain and that my life had a great purpose. I will know that my blood and the blood of many brave men has bought and secured freedom for this great nation. My life is my own, but make no mistake, I will lay it down if my country calls me to do so.
Part of my responsibility as a U.S. soldier is to know the Soldier's Creed. There is one line that I take pride in the most. The second to last line in the Soldier's Creed states, "I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life." This line is one that I will uphold and consider one of my personal mottos. This line single handedly describes and gives purpose to my military service.
The American flag is stained red as a constant reminder of the price of freedom, a daunting reality and truth that freedom is not free. Our freedom was bought with blood, a price so high few accept the call to serve. That is why, with much pride, I have accepted the call. (Fabio is the son of Brian and Liane O'Donnell of Freeport, Maine and the foster son of Don and Debbie Wilberg of Castle Dale).