It has been said that Jiu Jitsu is not about being better than someone else, but about being better than what you used to be. The discipline of Jiu Jitsu teaches how to respect your opponent while also teaching you how to defeat them. As a US soldier, my husband put forth this mindset everyday while serving our country in Iraq. He knew that he was fighting a war, not because he hated what was in front of him, but because he loved what he left at home. Now, years later, he maintains this mindset while perfecting his skills in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I have watched my husband come home from combat war and struggle with the acclimation of civilian life again. He has always felt that as a soldier it is his duty to protect and serve, and it was hard for him to feel fulfilled in the everyday life of a civilian. For seven years I could see how unhappy he was. I knew it was because he couldn’t find anything that would make him as happy as being a soldier. That was until he found Jiu Jitsu. Finally, I can see the joy in my husband’s face again when he tells me about his recent Jiu Jitsu class! When he informed me about this scholarship, I knew I had to send in his nomination. The obstacles he has overcome, his selflessness, and his passion for Jiu Jitsu are proof that there is no one more deserving.
When I say that my husband deserves this scholarship, it’s not because he thinks he does. He truly deserves this because of the selfless human being that he is. When he was told that he would be deploying to a combat war zone for a year, he did not see it as one of the most difficult things he would ever have to do, he saw it as his job and he was proud to serve our country. Selfishly, that was the hardest year of my life. There I was in the comfort of my own home, sad that my husband wasn’t there with me, while he was in a foreign country being shot at, not knowing if he would ever come home again. Not once did he ever complain about the circumstances or the things he saw over there. He just kept fighting because he knew that was his duty. Even after coming home, my husband continued to show how selfless he was and constantly put others needs before his own. After coming home, finding a job was no easy task in the small town of Moscow, Idaho. He was finally offered a position at a used car dealership, and while this was pretty much the complete opposite of what he had spent the last year doing, he knew he had a family to support. This job was harder on him than deployment was. As a civilian, he didn’t feel like he was important. Little did he know that the dedication to his family was the most important thing he could ever do.
Fast forward to today and my husband is a completely different person since finding his love of Jiu Jitsu. His dedication to the discipline astonishes me everyday. Jiu Jitsu has taught him how to appreciate life again, and has shown him how amazing he truly is. Every night he tells me about something new he learned in his class. Whenever he talks about it I see nothing but pure joy in his face! To see happiness in his face again is the best feeling in the world. While I personally do not know much about the sport, I do know that it has changed my husband’s life, and for that I will forever be grateful.
For those who practice Jiu Jitsu, it’s so much more than a sport; it’s a way of life. I’m not trying to sound incredibly cliché, but that’s the best way to describe what Jiu Jitsu means. Every night my husband goes to his class, and he learns new techniques, meets new people, and is shown how great he can be. He does Jiu Jitsu not because he wants to hurt those he is against, but because he wants to make himself a better fighter and better person.
Everyone has a story, and every story is meaningful and important. My husband’s story of a soldier who does what’s right, no matter how difficult it may be, is a story that I am proud to share. I hope that in reading this nomination, you can see how strong and deserving this man is. This scholarship will show him that his hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed, and will prove to him just how incredibly important he is to those in his life.