Grab some tissues, take a seat, and help me make this lean.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
obrayd
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:56 am

Grab some tissues, take a seat, and help me make this lean.

Postby obrayd » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:50 pm

I need to drop 90 words. I have this beast memorized and lost the ability to imagine it any other way. Please advise:





I am riding shotgun in the lead vehicle of a security detail for a group of engineers en route to the site of a bridge being built over the Tigris River. It is a project of vital importance, part of a larger effort to help the Iraqis forge a society based on the rule of law and protected by a functioning government. These days, infrastructure is as important as civil codes of conduct.

But the path to that future -- and our route to the site of the new bridge -- is a treacherous one. The congested and trash-strewn Iraqi road is as dangerous as it is indistinguishable from the many others I’ve traveled during my tour of duty. Each piece of rubbish, vehicle, and person look suspicious and it is impossible to look at them without wondering why the U.S. military is in this far corner of the earth attempting to establish the rule of law when our own country needs so much work.

As the shattered buildings pass on both sides, I see children in tattered clothing playing soccer in a field of rubbish ringed by the charred carcasses of torched vehicles. In time, hopefully those ill-clad children will enjoy the protection of a power greater than that which my truck’s .50 caliber machine gun now ensures – a society based on the rule of law. The most valuable part of my service has been giving the Iraqi people the protection of the law. I’m humbled by the recognition that our route was charted by people who sought to shape a nation, a future, and my life, not for recognition, but because they thought it was right. Now, I’m eager to study the law in my own country after seeing it sprout in Iraq, because it will allow me to continue a career of service and, in the end, help others navigate their own treacherous paths, just as my fellow soldiers, family, and teachers, have helped me in my own journey.

Growing up with two brothers, three sisters, my family was like the Brady Bunch without an Alice to clean up after us. For several years, my father’s job kept us on the move around the world, from Utah and Alaska to Germany. The children survived the constant moving, but my parent’s marriage did not. After the divorce, the “Obray Six” settled in Fairmont, Minnesota. It was a shock to move to such a small town after years traveling around the world: when I began secondary school, I was the only student in my class. By the time I graduated high school, the ranks of my class had swelled to nineteen.

The class and the town might have been small, but I was certainly not. At 5’10”, I hit three-hundred pounds just before graduation. I dreamed of serving with my brother who was deploying to Afghanistan with the local Army Reserve engineering company, but a full 100 pounds stood -- or rather hung -- between me and the military’s height and weight enlistment standards. I expected more from myself and as my class tossed our mortar boards into the air, I saw an opportunity to reinvent myself.

It began by passing on the buffet-style cafeteria on campus. While my peers dreaded the “freshman 15,” I was dieting and jogging to shed one hundred pounds. In the gym, I watched the athletically chiseled men and women strut around as I studied diagrams of how to put my oversized body into the exercise machines. I had no idea what I was doing, but I wanted to learn. Between dieting and hours sweating at the gym, I enjoyed my classes that were challenging me to think of problems in new ways. In time, I replaced my appetite for food with an insatiable curiosity.

The pounds soon fell away and I spent a semester away from Winona State for basic training where I learned the seven Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Simple enough words to learn, but words that would take on new and powerful meanings for me in fields far away from Middle America.

I came back to Winona State empowered and prepared to immerse myself in the academic community. Blending the experiences of college and military life gave me the sense that I had much to offer the world. Tireless and hungry for responsibilities beyond my course load, I took on challenges and opportunities whenever I found them. I worked fulltime at the campus advising office and as an industrial machinery mechanic at Gold N’ Plump Chicken. I designed a program to teach safe and proper weight-lifting techniques to students as the vice president of Warrior Weight-lifting. I was voted 2007 Homecoming King. As the Student Association president, I organized campaigns to educate voters and get them to the polls for the 2008 national elections. I lobbied in D.C. on issues ranging from campus security to financial aid on behalf of the 70,000 students I represented as a member of statewide student government board of directors. My platoon sergeant got word of my busy life on campus and selected me to compete in the U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition.

Known as “the Superbowl of Army competitions,” every major section of the Army, from Special Operations to Space and Missile Command, hosts a competition at each level of command to identify the Soldier of the Year. The grueling competition features everything from the use of hand grenades and hand-to-hand combat to a handwritten essay. Over the next year, I competed at progressively higher echelons of the U.S. Army’s hierarchy and prevailed in every competition. In October 2008, I became the first Army Reservist in history to be named the Soldier of the Year. It was an overwhelming honor.

Over the next year, I traveled 100,000 miles for more than 200 media engagements throughout the United States to honor and represent the 1.1 million men and women serving in the Army. At speaking engagements, I encouraged audiences to adopt those seven Army values in their own lives. Talking to reporters, I thanked millions for the support they show our men and women in uniform. I reminded anyone who would listen that soldiers stand ready to protect the American way of life. Between my duties as Soldier of the Year, I finished my undergrad degree, interned on Capitol Hill with Senator Arlen Specter, and took a job in the Pentagon with the senior leadership of the U.S. military.

Needless to say, there is a stark contrast between serving as a Student Government Association leader -- even working in the Pentagon -- and serving in a combat zone, responsible for the lives of 23 fellow soldiers. My platoon’s job in Iraq is providing personal protection for powerful people in dangerous places. It is challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is my first time in Iraq, but I have been outside of my comfort zone before, and I know that this challenge, too, is an opportunity. Whether it is escorting engineers as they construct a bridge, or helping to train the Iraqi Special Forces, it is all part of a larger effort to build the foundations of a society that will lead the Iraqi to a more secure future. We are all bridge builders. Through my deployment, I saw firsthand the constructive impact of the institution of law on the Iraqi people, in the midst of the development of a more democratic government.

Throughout my travels—from a big family and a small town to a university that allowed me to find myself; from childhood obesity to the U.S. Army Soldier of the Year; from student leader to leading soldiers at war—I have come to understand the law’s power to affect and transform the lives of individuals and even build nations. With my skills, my capacity, my experiences, and a legal education from your law school, I will use the law to serve those around me and generations to come.

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: Grab some tissues, take a seat, and help me make this lean.

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:10 pm

obrayd wrote:I need to drop 90 words. I have this beast memorized and lost the ability to imagine it any other way. Please advise:





I am riding shotgun in the lead vehicle of a security detail for a group of engineers en route to the site of a bridge being built over the Tigris River. It is a project of vital importance, part of a larger effort to help the Iraqis forge a society based on the rule of law and protected by a functioning government. These days, infrastructure is as important as civil codes of conduct.

But the path to that future -- and our route to the site of the new bridge -- is a treacherous one. The congested and trash-strewn Iraqi road is as dangerous as it is indistinguishable from the many others I’ve traveled during my tour of duty. Each piece of rubbish, vehicle, and person look suspicious and it is impossible to look at them without wondering why the U.S. military is in this far corner of the earth attempting to establish the rule of law when our own country needs so much work.

As the shattered buildings pass on both sides, I see children in tattered clothing playing soccer in a field of rubbish ringed by the charred carcasses of torched vehicles. In time, hopefully those ill-clad children will enjoy the protection of a power greater than that which my truck’s .50 caliber machine gun now ensures – a society based on the rule of law. The most valuable part of my service has been giving the Iraqi people the protection of the law. I’m humbled by the recognition that our route was charted by people who sought to shape a nation, a future, and my life, not for recognition, but because they thought it was right. Now, I’m eager to study the law in my own country after seeing it sprout in Iraq, because it will allow me to continue a career of service and, in the end, help others navigate their own treacherous paths, just as my fellow soldiers, family, and teachers, have helped me in my own journey.

Growing up with two brothers, three sisters, my family was like the Brady Bunch without an Alice to clean up after us. For several years, my father’s job kept us on the move around the world, from Utah and Alaska to Germany. The children survived the constant moving, but my parent’s marriage did not. After the divorce, the “Obray Six” settled in Fairmont, Minnesota. It was a shock to move to such a small town after years traveling around the world: when I began secondary school, I was the only student in my class. By the time I graduated high school, the ranks of my class had swelled to nineteen.

The class and the town might have been small, but I was certainly not. At 5’10”, I hit three-hundred pounds just before graduation. I dreamed of serving with my brother who was deploying to Afghanistan with the local Army Reserve engineering company, but a full 100 pounds stood -- or rather hung -- between me and the military’s height and weight enlistment standards. I expected more from myself and as my class tossed our mortar boards into the air, I saw an opportunity to reinvent myself.

It began by passing on the buffet-style cafeteria on campus. While my peers dreaded the “freshman 15,” I was dieting and jogging to shed one hundred pounds. In the gym, I watched the athletically chiseled men and women strut around as I studied diagrams of how to put my oversized body into the exercise machines. I had no idea what I was doing, but I wanted to learn. Between dieting and hours sweating at the gym, I enjoyed my classes that were challenging me to think of problems in new ways. In time, I replaced my appetite for food with an insatiable curiosity.

The pounds soon fell away and I spent a semester away from Winona State for basic training where I learned the seven Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Simple enough words to learn, but words that would take on new and powerful meanings for me in fields far away from Middle America.

I came back to Winona State empowered and prepared to immerse myself in the academic community. Blending the experiences of college and military life gave me the sense that I had much to offer the world. Tireless and hungry for responsibilities beyond my course load, I took on challenges and opportunities whenever I found them. I worked fulltime at the campus advising office and as an industrial machinery mechanic at Gold N’ Plump Chicken. I designed a program to teach safe and proper weight-lifting techniques to students as the vice president of Warrior Weight-lifting. I was voted 2007 Homecoming King. As the Student Association president, I organized campaigns to educate voters and get them to the polls for the 2008 national elections. I lobbied in D.C. on issues ranging from campus security to financial aid on behalf of the 70,000 students I represented as a member of statewide student government board of directors. My platoon sergeant got word of my busy life on campus and selected me to compete in the U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition.

Known as “the Superbowl of Army competitions,” every major section of the Army, from Special Operations to Space and Missile Command, hosts a competition at each level of command to identify the Soldier of the Year. The grueling competition features everything from the use of hand grenades and hand-to-hand combat to a handwritten essay. Over the next year, I competed at progressively higher echelons of the U.S. Army’s hierarchy and prevailed in every competition. In October 2008, I became the first Army Reservist in history to be named the Soldier of the Year. It was an overwhelming honor.

Over the next year, I traveled 100,000 miles for more than 200 media engagements throughout the United States to honor and represent the 1.1 million men and women serving in the Army. At speaking engagements, I encouraged audiences to adopt those seven Army values in their own lives. Talking to reporters, I thanked millions for the support they show our men and women in uniform. I reminded anyone who would listen that soldiers stand ready to protect the American way of life. Between my duties as Soldier of the Year, I finished my undergrad degree, interned on Capitol Hill with Senator Arlen Specter, and took a job in the Pentagon with the senior leadership of the U.S. military.

Needless to say, there is a stark contrast between serving as a Student Government Association leader -- even working in the Pentagon -- and serving in a combat zone, responsible for the lives of 23 fellow soldiers. My platoon’s job in Iraq is providing personal protection for powerful people in dangerous places. It is challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is my first time in Iraq, but I have been outside of my comfort zone before, and I know that this challenge, too, is an opportunity. Whether it is escorting engineers as they construct a bridge, or helping to train the Iraqi Special Forces, it is all part of a larger effort to build the foundations of a society that will lead the Iraqi to a more secure future. We are all bridge builders. Through my deployment, I saw firsthand the constructive impact of the institution of law on the Iraqi people, in the midst of the development of a more democratic government.

Throughout my travels—from a big family and a small town to a university that allowed me to find myself; from childhood obesity to the U.S. Army Soldier of the Year; from student leader to leading soldiers at war—I have come to understand the law’s power to affect and transform the lives of individuals and even build nations. With my skills, my capacity, my experiences, and a legal education from your law school, I will use the law to serve those around me and generations to come.


First of all, really compelling narrative. The events themselves draw your reader and keep us on the line. The power of the subject carries you a long way, all by itself. That said, I think this might be a bit much "why law school." Although I got the impression your P.S. should indicate why you think the study of law is valuable, you needn't sell the admissions committee that you want to go. You're going through the work of applying, paying for the app, and are willing to both take tremendous amounts of debt and put your life on hold for three years. You want to go to law school.

All I really mean by that is you mention the "rule of law" three or four times in the first seven sentences or so. Too much. The repetition just weakens the quality of the writing and does nothing to convince us of why you feel that way. I think you could cut it out altogether and still have a nice little metaphor make itself evident (i.e., you served as a civil engineer attempting to bring literal stability to a nation and now you want to work with the soul of a nation). I think the weight loss thing and serving in the pentagon both show determination to succeed, so I get why they're there, which brings me to the final problem I had with it, namely, that everything works, but it might not all fit.

You cover a lot of ground and thats understandable--you've got an interesting list of accomplishments, any of which make for a good law school narrative. But squeezing them all in here makes it feel disjointed, and just leaves me frustrated by the fact that I don't get to really connect with any of them.

jarofsoup
Posts: 1952
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:41 am

Re: Grab some tissues, take a seat, and help me make this lean.

Postby jarofsoup » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:10 pm

my family was like the Brady Bunch without an Alice to clean up after us.

I like this line, but you dont really need it I guess.

I like your personal statement.


You could also mess with this paragraph.

Over the next year, I traveled 100,000 miles for more than 200 media engagements throughout the United States to honor and represent the 1.1 million men and women serving in the Army. At speaking engagements, I encouraged audiences to adopt those seven Army values in their own lives. Talking to reporters, I thanked millions for the support they show our men and women in uniform. I reminded anyone who would listen that soldiers stand ready to protect the American way of life. Between my duties as Soldier of the Year, I finished my undergrad degree, interned on Capitol Hill with Senator Arlen Specter, and took a job in the Pentagon with the senior leadership of the U.S. military

User avatar
thesybarite
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:35 pm

Re: Grab some tissues, take a seat, and help me make this lean.

Postby thesybarite » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:44 am

obrayd wrote:I need to drop 90 words. I have this beast memorized and lost the ability to imagine it any other way. Please advise:





I am riding shotgun in the lead vehicle of a security detail for a group of engineers en route to the site of a bridge being built over the Tigris River. As part of a robust effort to forge a ....functioning government, this project is of paramount importance.It is a project of vital importance, part of a larger effort to help the Iraqis forge a society based on the rule of law and protected by a functioning government. These days,could leave out these days, it is an indicator of present tense therefore implied. infrastructure is as important as civil codes of conduct.

But I'm hesitant of but, maybe however. Also the dashes scare me grammatically although they're probably fine. I'd be inclined to say something like: Like our route to the new bridge, the path to the future is treacherous. I think this feels stronger. [color=#FF0000][/color]the path to that future -- and our route to the site of the new bridge -- is a treacherous one. The congested and trash-strewn Iraqi road is as dangerous as it is indistinguishable from the many others I’ve traveled during my tour of duty. Each piece of rubbish, vehicle, and person look suspicious and it is impossible to look at them without wondering why the U.S. military is in this far corner of the earth attempting to establish the rule of law when our own country needs so much work. Good, shows maturity, reflection, provocative.

As the shattered buildings pass on both sides, I see could leave out "I see", make it stronger, transport the reader directly...Children in tattered clothing...great depiction.children in tattered clothing playing soccer in a field of rubbish ringed by the charred carcasses of torched vehicles. In time, hopefully those ill-clad children will enjoy the protection of a power greater than that which my truck’s .50 caliber machine gun now ensures – a society based on the rule of law yes re-phrase that rule of law thing. It's onerous.. I think this could be a new paragraph. Sorry, know that doesn't help your space thing. The most valuable part of my service has been giving the Iraqi people the protection of the law. I’m humbled by the recognition that our route was charted by people who sought to shape a nation, a future, and my life, not for recognition, but because they thought it was rightbrilliant. Now, It has left me eager...I’m I ameager to study the law in my own country after seeing it sprout in Iraq, full stop new sentence It will allow...because it will allow me to continue a career of service and, in the end, help others navigate their own treacherous paths, just as my fellow soldiers, family, and teachers, have helped me in my own journey.

Growing up with two brothers, three sisters, my family was like the Brady Bunch without an Alice to clean up after us. For several years, my father’s job kept us on the move around the world, from Utah and Alaska to Germany. The children survived the constant moving, but my parent’s marriage did not. After the divorce, the “Obray Six” settled in Fairmont, Minnesota. It was a shock to move to such a small town after years traveling around the world: when I began secondary school, I was the only student in my class. By the time I graduated high school, the ranks of my class had swelled to nineteen. I think you could almost do without this paragraph. Could you leave it to a diversity statement or something? It doesn't really tie in with the military theme. Wow - just realised how long this beast is...ok. You need to bridge the military with your experience. Maybe, My own journey began in (maybe at high school?)

The class and the town might have been small, but I was certainly not. At 5’10”, I hit three-hundred pounds just before graduation. I dreamed of serving with my brother who was deploying to Afghanistan with the local Army Reserve engineering company, but a full 100 pounds stood -- or rather hung -- between me and the military’s height and weight enlistment standards. I expected more from myself and as my class tossed our mortar boards into the air, I saw an opportunity to reinvent myself.

It began by passing on the buffet-style cafeteria on campus. While my peers dreaded the “freshman 15,” I was dieting and jogging to shed one hundred pounds. In the gym, I watched the athletically chiseled men and women strut around as I studied diagrams of how to put my oversized body into the exercise machines. I had no idea what I was doing, but I wanted to learn. Between dieting and hours sweating at the gym, I enjoyed my classes that were challenging me to think of problems in new ways. In time, I replaced my appetite for food with an insatiable curiosity.

The pounds soon fell away and I spent a semester away from Winona State for basic training where I learned the seven Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Simple enough words to learn, but words that would take on new and powerful meanings for me in fields far away from Middle America.

I came back to Winona State empowered and prepared to immerse myself in the academic community. Blending the experiences of college and military life gave me the sense that I had much to offer the world. Tireless and hungry for responsibilities beyond my course load, I took on challenges and opportunities whenever I found them. I worked fulltime at the campus advising office and as an industrial machinery mechanic at Gold N’ Plump Chicken. I designed a program to teach safe and proper weight-lifting techniques to students as the vice president of Warrior Weight-lifting. I was voted 2007 Homecoming King. As the Student Association president, I organized campaigns to educate voters and get them to the polls for the 2008 national elections. I lobbied in D.C. on issues ranging from campus security to financial aid on behalf of the 70,000 students I represented as a member of statewide student government board of directors. My platoon sergeant got word of my busy life on campus and selected me to compete in the U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition.

Known as “the Superbowl of Army competitions,” every major section of the Army, from Special Operations to Space and Missile Command, hosts a competition at each level of command to identify the Soldier of the Year. The grueling competition features everything from the use of hand grenades and hand-to-hand combat to a handwritten essay. Over the next year, I competed at progressively higher echelons of the U.S. Army’s hierarchy and prevailed in every competition. In October 2008, I became the first Army Reservist in history to be named the Soldier of the Year. It was an overwhelming honor.

Over the next year, I traveled 100,000 miles for more than 200 media engagements throughout the United States to honor and represent the 1.1 million men and women serving in the Army. At speaking engagements, I encouraged audiences to adopt those seven Army values in their own lives. Talking to reporters, I thanked millions for the support they show our men and women in uniform. I reminded anyone who would listen that soldiers stand ready to protect the American way of life. Between my duties as Soldier of the Year, I finished my undergrad degree, interned on Capitol Hill with Senator Arlen Specter, and took a job in the Pentagon with the senior leadership of the U.S. military.

Needless to say, there is a stark contrast between serving as a Student Government Association leader -- even working in the Pentagon -- and serving in a combat zone, responsible for the lives of 23 fellow soldiers. My platoon’s job in Iraq is providing personal protection for powerful people in dangerous places. It is challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is my first time in Iraq, but I have been outside of my comfort zone before, and I know that this challenge, too, is an opportunity. Whether it is escorting engineers as they construct a bridge, or helping to train the Iraqi Special Forces, it is all part of a larger effort to build the foundations of a society that will lead the Iraqi to a more secure future. We are all bridge builders. Through my deployment, I saw firsthand the constructive impact of the institution of law on the Iraqi people, in the midst of the development of a more democratic government.

Throughout my travels—from a big family and a small town to a university that allowed me to find myself; from childhood obesity to the U.S. Army Soldier of the Year; from student leader to leading soldiers at war—I have come to understand the law’s power to affect and transform the lives of individuals and even build nations. With my skills, my capacity, my experiences, and a legal education from your law school, I will use the law to serve those around me and generations to come.


I like this, I think you have a lot to offer. Good luck!

Pip
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:30 pm

Re: Grab some tissues, take a seat, and help me make this lean.

Postby Pip » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:55 am

Biggest problem I see is the first three paragraphs seem completely out of place with the ones that follow. If it were a movie I can understand the opening paragraphs and then you flash back to earlier times... but this isn't a movie and the way you have written it doesn't flow well.

Frankly I would simply pull part of the 3 first paragraphs and put them toward the end of the other part... I'm also not sure if you need the amount of detail you give throughout... little things like being specific about the caliber of machine gun could cause the admissions office to think you are a gun nut... The overall theme of the essay would make me think you were a very conservative republican... Whether you are or not doesn't matter to me... BUT you need to think about where you are applying. If you are applying to a place like Yale you would be warned not to come off to conservative, even if the admission office were to put your application into the pile for the next round it would then be given to 3 additional readers... the professors there tend to be more liberal than not and you would be betting that they would not allow their own bias to impact how they looked at your application. Very rarely is it possible for someone to keep their bias out of it...

The essay might work well for some schools but I wouldn't use it for one that was known to be very liberal or anti-military... yes you are supposed to be writing about yourself, but you are really trying to sell yourself to a particular school. If you wanted to get into a known hyper-liberal school you might twist the whole thing to you being the military and in total fear of being outed as gay and how you long to work for gay rights... whether its true or not isn't important the important thing is you would be looked at more favorably by some schools by saying that... if there is anyplace where you can BS like a mad man its on the essays.

obrayd
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:56 am

Re: Grab some tissues, take a seat, and help me make this lean.

Postby obrayd » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:47 pm

Thanks all for the constructive feedback!

obrayd
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:56 am

Re: Grab some tissues, take a seat, and help me make this lean.

Postby obrayd » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:13 pm

I am applying ED to U of MN which allows three pages for the PS -- got it.

The below statement would be flung as a "hail-mary" to the law schools numerically out of my reach. In cutting my statement down to two pages, I decided I needed to drop either the Soldier of the Year or childhood obesity graphs, or both. I dropped both and got the statement down to one page. My resume would qualify the successes I list in the "throughout my travels" paragraph.

Please let me know what you think. Do you think it is an error in judgment to rely on other supporting documents in my application, i.e. would adcoms be likely to sift past my resume if they did not connect with the PS or like my numbers?

*****************************************************************************************************

I am riding shotgun in the lead vehicle of a security detail for a group of engineers en route to the site of a bridge being built over the Tigris River. It is a project of vital importance, part of a larger effort to help the Iraqis forge a society based on the rule of law and protected by a functioning government. But the path to that future--like our route to the site of the new bridge--is a treacherous one. The congested and trash-strewn Iraqi road is as dangerous as it is indistinguishable from the many others I’ve traveled during my tour of duty. Each person, vehicle and piece of rubbish look suspicious and it is impossible to look at them without wondering why the U.S. military is in this far corner of the earth attempting to establish the rule of law when our own country needs so much work.

As the shattered buildings pass on both sides, I see children in tattered clothing playing soccer in a field of garbage ringed by the charred carcasses of torched vehicles. In time, I hope those ill-clad children will enjoy the protection of a power greater than that which my machine gun now ensures--the protection of law. I’m humbled by the recognition that our route was charted by people who sought to shape a nation, a future, and my life, not for recognition, but because they thought it was right. Now, I’m eager to study the law in my own country after seeing it sprout in Iraq, because it will allow me to continue a career of service and, in the end, help others navigate their own treacherous paths, just as my fellow soldiers, family, and teachers, have helped me in my own journey.

Throughout my travels--from a big family in a small town to a university that allowed me to find myself; from childhood obesity to the U.S. Army Soldier of the Year; from student leader to leading soldiers at war--I have come to understand the law’s power to affect and transform the lives of individuals and even build nations. With my skills, my capacity, my experiences, and a legal education from XYZ law school, I will continue my career of service as a JAG officer.




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