It was a long road to get here, but one I would gladly walk again. I won the audition to join the United States Navy Band on November 4th, 2019. Soon after, COVID-19 began its global hold, and enlistment procedures slowed down to a crawl. I shipped out to Boot Camp in August 2020 and officially checked into the band in early October of that same year. This new hire announcement, published on Saturday, February 13th, 2021, does not share the full scope of the emotional rollercoaster my wife and I endured during the almost year-long wait between winning the audition and completing the final enlistment paperwork.
The picture below has a fortune cookie fortune taped on my audition packet from my last meal at Chen’s Family Restaurant in Statham, GA, just days before the audition. It reads, “All your hard work will soon pay off.”