“You’ll never continuously live at home again,” my mother told me over dinner one night. She was right. Home for me had forever changed the moment I came to Culver… Or had it? Well, the truth is no, home had not changed. I will always cherish the memories of my mother, sister, and dog at 405 S. Morrison Rd. I will always think fondly of my dad’s cluttered apartment at 2403 W. Charles. I will never forget the fun and laughs of the North Barracks where I make my home with Company C. The thing that stays with me, the warm familiarity, is not the buildings or addresses or neighborhoods, but the family and friends and neighbors.
The common ingredient in home-no matter where I am-is always the people. I acclimate to my surroundings based on who is there to acclimate with me. Take New Cadet year for instance: eighteen young men entered one of the hardest schools in the country faced with bed-making, room-cleaning, harder classes, and peers yelling at us for the smallest of details we didn’t even know were deficiencies.
The struggles and hardships were many, but the brothers I gained and friendships I acquired will last forever.
It is ironic. I get so accustomed to one home that I cannot wait to get back to the other. This past summer, I left school seven weeks early to have surgery on my spine, and although I loved being home and relaxing, there was something missing from my life without a cannon firing daily outside my window at 0630. On the other hand, after being around my brothers in the unit for months on end, I have an urge to watch Hannah Montana or Full House because of how much I miss my little sister.
As for home, it’s about the people. Contrary to the cliche, home is not where the heart is. Home is where the hearts of your loved ones are. So why do I smile when I pull up to my old brick apartment or when I park below Sally P. and look up at North Barrack? Because I’m home once again.
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