After I graduated Basic Training and Infantry OSUT in 2012, I was assigned my first duty station. There were many things I had to overcome while adjusting to my new duty station, Fort Wainwright, Alaska. One of the main concerns was “lack of protein”. We vegans tend to get this “lack of protein” as an insult from others in the civilian world, but in the U.S. Army, it’s almost seen as a matter of fact. I decided it was time to prove my duty station and the others around me that vegans are highly capable of accomplishing any Army standard, and in some cases, perform better than others. As I’ve trained my body; my ability to push myself, my stamina, my strength and energy have all increased sufficiently. One thing I made sure to do while accomplishing all of this was to not brag or boast about any of my achievements. I always strive to maintain humility because I try to live by a saying that goes “Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you.” With that being stated, this is one of the main reasons why I’m vegan. That saying solves any confusion. I have proved myself to my peers and leadership, but can I prove to the U.S. Army that vegans are capable and that our lifestyle should be recognized by the military? To this day, I continue to have a few soldiers ask me where I get my protein from. I wouldn’t recommend answering sarcastically. I’ve had the feeling of wanting to reply in a rude way, but I just go with the assumption that they are actually curious as opposed to thinking they are ready to go in with the insults and doubt. I’d say about 85% of the time, people completely ignore what your answer is and continue to persuade the thought that you do not get enough nutrients and protein. I overcame that thought when I started feeling better and when my body began to get into shape. I see great results, and I’m the one walking in my shoes, not them. Anyone who has doubt is solely basing their ideas on an oblivious view of vegetable-based diets.