Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gabriel Hess Prepares to Serve

After my mission I returned to BYU and continued working on my bachelors, living in the French immersion housing (part of the Foreign Language Student Residence) to help improve my French. When I've been at home in Maryland I have attended a brand new French-speaking branch (the first and only branch of its kind in the United States) where I have been able to practice my French and my Haitian Creole and serve in the church.
My first summer back I became a certified lifeguard and began working at two pools, including a pool with the Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC), where I am still working during the summer, now as a pool manager, swim instructor, and lifeguard.
My first Fall back from my mission (2009) I took an Arabic course and became conversant by the end of the school year. I intend to pick up where I left off this coming Fall with Arabic, schedule allowing. Beginning last year I began taking social/ballroom dance classes at BYU which I have enjoyed. I have since reached the gold level and hope to continue taking classes and just enjoying ballroom.
What I also picked up as I returned to school was the Army ROTC. I continued in the program as a freshman and then as a sophomore, with little responsibility. In my junior year all junior year cadets were given extensive responsibilities (comparable to mission leadership responsibilities, although more strenuous in my experience) modeled exactly after real-world Army ranks and positions. Next summer I'll be attending an evaluative course called LDAC that will determine the rest of my Army career.
Last summer I was privileged with the opportunity to attend a volunteer Army special school called Airborne. There I joined with other Army cadets, officers, NCOs, enlisted, as well as officers and enlisted from every branch of the military (Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, etc) and even foreign militaries, in training to jump out of an airplane in flight. I now have experienced five solo jumps from an aircraft, which I can say is quite exhilarating (though the build up is freaky), and claim a small part of the Airborne heritage.
Beginning this past school year (2010-2011) I attended training and began volunteering for a suicide/crisis line in Provo while I was at school. It was a rewarding experience. When I return this fall I intend to move on to volunteer on a similar specialty crisis line called the rape crisis team which will require more training.
This summer I just finished taking a course to become an Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B) and am now volunteering on an ambulance near where I live in Maryland. I hope to go on to upgrade to become a Wilderness EMT, which will help supplement my skills and preparedness to serve in the Army and help the troops.
I am still pursuing a career as a chaplain (in the Army). My undergrad will be complete in two more school years, then I have a masters to complete, as well as some other requirements that will be taken care of before that time.
Otherwise, life has been good. I've been doing my best to fulfill my callings wherever I've served. I've kept up on the dating scene, although I'm still single (RSMs take note :P ). I look forward to seeing everyone soon at the next mission reunion!

-Gabriel Hess

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