Holding On and Not Giving Up On Self
Having retired from the military after serving for twenty-one years with the US Army and then securing a good civilian job, Dee Bryant has written Holding On and Not Giving Up On Self in an effort to help young people see the benefits of her military path and learn how developing strength, resilience, and faith can lead to them living fulfilling and purposeful lives. Through a combination of personal reflections and anecdotes, brief stories of other people’s troubling times, thought-provoking questions, and passages from the Bible, she explains her journey from being a naïve and shy teenager to becoming a successful and resourceful military veteran who is dedicated to improving young people’s lives and opportunities.
Bryant’s account of the key events that have shaped her life begins with her youth in Jacksonville, Florida. As a quiet and reserved middle schooler, she was a frequent target for the school bully, although when that girl made the mistake of pushing her to the ground, Bryant drew on a previously unknown reserve of grit and strength and beat the girl in the ensuing fight. While she takes pains not to advocate violence, this incident is a good example of Bryant’s steely determination and inner resolve. She goes on to get good grades at high school, but it is securing her first job that proves to be the making of her. Still, while she enjoyed making money and finally coming out of her shell, she does regret how work impinged on her high school experience.
After an abortive attempt at attending college in Atlanta, Bryant was at a loss for what to do next. Fortunately, a split-second decision to visit an Army recruiter changed the course of her life forever. While Bryant doesn’t shy away from how grueling basic training was, nor does she overlook troubling aspects of Army life such as discrimination and sexual harassment, her gratitude to the military and her pride in being able to serve her country really shine through. She worked as a telecommunications data operator for some years before gaining a college degree and successfully completing officer training, and her time in the Army allowed her to enhance her education, learn valuable skills, improve her physical fitness, travel the world, and more.
In Holding On and Not Giving Up On Self, Bryant draws on all these experiences to demonstrate how it is possible to achieve pretty much anything so long as you put the hard work in, persevere in the face of difficulty, and place your trust in God. As her aim is to help direct the lives of young people, the book is probably best suited to those in the final few years of high school, although teachers and youth workers would also benefit from its lessons. Bryant closes each chapter with a question related to the preceding discussion, which should help young readers to see how the ideas and messages can be applied in practical terms in their own lives. Her inclusion of relevant Bible passages means that the book will likely also prove particularly impactful for those with Christian faith.
|Author||Demetris T Bryant|
|Page Count||106 pages|
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