Kuwait City, Be Nice…



Going on my second month of deployment, I have really realized how much I truly miss the good Ol’ U.S of A. Growing up in North America is a privilege that most take for granted. Waking up in the morning, walking out of your house, wearing what you want, being able to speak your mind, and not get killed for it, is something that by no one’s fault, we truly do take for granted every day. The ability to preach whatever religion you want, believe in whatever you want, come from wherever you come from and still be accepted into society is something that does not happen all over the rest of the world.

Branden Dude Be Nice
MMA Futures and Dude, Be Nice in Kuwait City…

Besides the great freedoms that our fore fathers have fought to provide for us, I most definitely miss the beauty of our great 50 states. When I first arrived in the Middle East, I couldn’t believe that there are living things here. The vast barren desert portrays a picture of solitude and death. Something as simple as grass, would put a smile on my face right about now. From the beaches in California, to the mountains in Colorado, from the plains in Kansas, to the harbors in Boston, when I wake up every day and all I can see is sand, I try my best to close my eyes and remember how absolutely beautiful our country is and that I would fight to keep it that way a million times over if I had to.

Some days over here, motivation levels rise and fall. It’s tough to want to keep up with training when I have to walk a mile in the 120 degree heat to get to the gym, or knowing that I don’t have the training partners that I have worked with for over a year there to help push me to go that extra round. But amidst those

Sergeant Major and I
Sergeant Major and I

challenges, comes a whole new strength, mental strength. Learning to push yourself to do that extra rep, to go that extra round, to work so hard that you’re ready to fall on your face and puke your guts out, that’s where you gain the mental toughness that no one can take from you. The mental side of fighting can over take the physical side real fast if you let it. Not only has this helped me realize how much stronger I will be in the cage, but it has helped me be a stronger person while deployed. Being a team leader (like a shift manager in the civilian world) I have soldiers that depend on me for guidance every day. There are always stressors while being deployed that can get you down. Missing your home, family and friends is usually the big one that can take over your frame of mind quickly if you let it. I know that I have to stay positive and show the soldiers under me that we are getting through the tough times together and will be back on American soil before we know it.

All in all, I know that I will walk away from this experience a better man. You learn a lot about other people and yourself, when all you have is the man to your left, and to your right. Every day brings something different and new, when you’re somewhere in the Middle East….