As a new writer to the site, with an extensive, varied, and loyal audience I have to introduce myself. I am Norwood, and I turned thirty last April. That being said, I left the military last August and am completely out of service after eight years of active duty. I’m sure those will prove to be the years that formed who I am today, and whoever I become. What led me to leave the service was a multitude of things – not the least of which, marriage. But, I’ll try to go back to my origin story. I was born and raised in a very generic, cozy and decent middle-class suburban city in Maryland situated between Baltimore and D.C. It’s home to many Fort Meade and government employees. It was a great place to grow up, I think. I was an athlete throughout my high school years and continued to be so when I first went to college.

I, however, was not happy because I wanted to join the military directly from high school. But, my parents insisted and pleaded with me to take the college option. It was probably for the best and I think I would make the same case to my child. At any rate, it didn’t work and by the time I was turning twenty-one I decided to set to do what I wanted. Besides, the amount of money they were wasting on my education was off the charts. So, I went into the recruiter’s office and walked out with a contract to be an infantryman.

While in basic training, I felt like I could maybe go for even more and possibly find myself in the heart of the action, the meaningful work. That idea prompted me to walk over to the SF recruiting station and make a pitch try out in selection. I made it through the course, too, learned Arabic to a limited degree and became an 18D – Special Forces Medical Sergeant.

Afterward, I shipped off to 5th Special Forces Group, looking back, one the greatest things I’ve done. I spent the next five years working at 5th Group, and I do not regret any bit of it. I miss the guys, the work, the lifestyle and the mission.