Veterans Day note by PURE Bikram Yoga North Austin‘s studio manager, Audra Shimek:

Veterans Day2As a military veteran, I know well the sacrifices soldiers make. I was raised in a military family. I spent almost 4 years in the Army, and I am a veteran of the first Gulf War.

I joined the Army just after my 19th birthday and soon after I was quickly shipped off to Fort Dix, NJ for Basic training. I still remember getting off the bus and thinking, “What did I do”? Drill Sergeants yelling in my face, so close I could smell what they had for breakfast… yesterday!

Military life is structured and disciplined. Within these parameters one can dig deep, and gain a lot of strength mentally and physically. Sound familiar, yogis?

I learned a lot of cool Veterans Day 2016stuff; like how to handle weapons and drive big trucks, how to survive out in the woods. I also learned about human behavior, but most importantly I learned a lot about myself. Like how I react and handle extreme pressure. I learned to lead and to follow, and how to acknowledge which one is needed in a given situation. I learned to focus on the mission, even when everything else seemed chaotic. In the military you can’t give up, or just walk away. You’ve got to solve the problem.

Most veterans I know are very humble. We feel like we were just doing our job, but I realize that anyone who has ever served our country gave time out of his or her life for a much larger cause. Veterans Day gives us the opportunity to publicly thank Veterans for their service and sacrifice.

I thank my fellow veterans for continuing to fight for our rights. Our freedom wouldn’t exist without your courage and dedication to this great country. Take pride in what you do!

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