(AP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Two hundred soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, will be sent to fight western wildfires next week after brief training, a Pentagon spokesman announced on Monday.

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Being that I spent most of my high school career participating in theater, competing in speech tournaments, and writing for the school newspaper, I really didn’t do anything strikingly active that would perhaps constitute the need for a second shower. Unsurprisingly, my family was shocked when I told them I wanted to become a soldier. Although their smiles gleamed with support, their worrisome eyes feared I wouldn’t make it. Truth be told, I had a similar fear. Creatively, things came easy to me. Athletically, however, objectives were a little more challenging. But for some reason, I was motivated by the challenge.

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