Props: Timothy Bolger
Last week, one of my best friends took his oath to defend our country as an officer in the United States Army. He has worked incredibly hard to get to this point. He faced some tough obstacles, but his determination and grit have been truly inspiring to witness. On this Memorial Day, I am giving my props to Second Lieutenant Timothy Bolger.
Timmy made up his mind to join the military during his Junior year of high school. That speaks volumes about his maturity at the age of 16. Looking back, he always had very protective instincts– always looking out for his loud-mouthed friends and making sure that the girls we hung around weren’t being taken advantage of by sketchy characters. With no outside persuasion, he chose to take these skills to a higher calling when he joined the ROTC at Purdue University during his Freshman year.
His training schedule alone would be enough to deter most people. Waking up long before the sun was up (at a time that I didn’t even know existed in college), he slowly transformed from a lanky lacrosse player into a built powerhouse. (Although, we refused to acknowledge this at the time to deny him the satisfaction.) Maintaining this intense routine in a college environment requires serious determination. Because he woke up before 99% of the student body, he didn’t even have any cute girls running on the treadmills to impress. Just a goal. I once asked him why the hell he was doing this to himself. He responded:
“I am joining the Army because I know plenty of amazing people that will go on to create great things because they have the freedom to do so. My goal is that they’re able to accomplish theirs. That’s truly how I feel.”
During the Summer of 2011, I received a terrible phone call while I was at work. My friend told me that Timmy had been hit by a drunk driver. I couldn’t move. My friends told me that he was trying to stop two girls from driving drunk, but they stepped on the gas pedal and ran him over, dragging him under the car all the way down the street. It’s important to know that we had lost a friend to drunk driving just one year before this night. The ambulance took him to the hospital where he was sent to the burn unit. He was in bad shape. Still, when he came to his senses, his primary concern was that he would not be able to join the military due to physical ineligibility. Personally, I was just happy that he was alive.
It was true though. He was told that he would not be able to pass the physical requirements to join. Primarily, there was serious damage done to the tendons in his arm and hand. During one visit between surgeries, Timmy commented that he was impressed at what the surgeons were able to do. His mother suggested that he pursue a similar career path. Timmy quickly responded, “You know what I am going to do, Mom.” That was the end of that conversation.
Due to the surgeries and the rehab, Timmy was forced to miss a semester of school. While we were all back at school, Timmy was in rehab. He must have kicked ass because about a year after the accident at Fort Knox, he was declared eligible and allowed back into the service. He was back on track. When I see the scars, they don’t remind of the night of the accident . No. They remind me of this day, when he defied the odds to achieve his goal. They make me proud to know such a badass.
On the morning of May 15th, 2014, Timmy B swore his oath and became 2nd Lieutenant Timothy Bolger. He’s now officially a Field Artillery Officer of B Battery, 1-30 FA in the United States Army. With all of the effort that he has committed to reaching this point, there is no doubt in my mind that he will do great things with the responsibilities entrusted to him. In accordance with his goal, I feel it is our civilian duty to take advantage of the opportunities that our freedoms enable. I give my props to Tim Bolger.