The General

Who is a person that has had a major influence on your life? How has this person impacted or changed you as a person?


I have experienced the scene so many times that all recollections of the event blend together into a single, unforgettable memory. The seasoned, old general, with an eye for perfection, conducted his troops, me included, through daily, often mundane exercises. Any man who lost focus or made a mistake was so sternly reminded that even the slightest of errors could spell disaster, not just for the recipient of the general’s ire, but also for the other men who were counting on him.

In reality, my memory pertains not to war, but rather football practice. The general, Coach Walter Barr, was preparing us for our weekly game, not an international conflict. Though the stakes involved in football and war are not comparable, the values and ideals needed to reach victory are almost identical, and Coach Barr constantly reminded us of this fact. Traits that Coach Barr demanded, such as respect, accountability, and hard work are necessary for success in regards to anything. Coach Barr did more than build a winning football team; he changed me into a young man ready for life and the real world.

Saying I played for Coach Barr is a gross understatement. A more true reflection is to say I committed to myself him, his system, and his values....

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