Being a Highlander!

A long time ago, when I was just 17 years old, one of my dreams came true. I Became a soldier for my country, and since then I have not stopped being one. I received training and more training and later I became an officer, having the opportunity to lead soldiers, cadets, and other officers, until the time came when I had to separate from the Army. I dedicated myself to other things and my destiny took me to Europe, to get to know and study in London. That was when I had my encounter with the British soldiers and within them, those who truly took over my admiration, the Scottish. Those with whom the Roman Empire could never dominate, those who never surrendered, those who were invaded because their clans were divided but when they became reunited, they achieved their freedom again, and later by royal laws, their king was recognized as such throughout the United Kingdom, those who live in the highlands, those who are known as the Highlanders!

I kept dreaming, and I went two more times to the UK but couldn’t go to Scotland. I was still tied to the Highlanders, to their pipes and drums and their extremely loud, sensitive, and extremely inspirational tunes. I said to myself, I’m going to be a soldier but inspired by the Highlanders for the rest of my life.

Things in my country did not go well and I was forced to emigrate outside it. I did not go to the United Kingdom but to the United States. My wife and I received extraordinary protection and here is where my son was born. During my journey looking to settle somewhere, we managed to settle in Illinois. And, to my surprise, here were the Highlanders, the Chicago Highlanders! They needed someone with experience in military marches, they needed a soldier. They evaluated me and I marched with them, later they designated me to be their drum major, they made me a Highlander, a real one! Here was the same spirit of strength and pride brought from their Scotland’s pioneers and founders more than 100 years ago. Another of my dreams came true!

Now I am a Highlander. I am marching with the pipes and drums, full of heart, strength, and pride in the streets! I’m happy! Yes, I am.

And, I keep dreaming!

If you can dream it, you can do it.
Walt Disney

Oswaldo Morales, Oz
Drum Major Chicago Highlanders

Author: Oz Morales

Oz joined the Highlanders in February 2023 and we were surprised to find out that his nickname has nothing to do with his full name, Oswaldo. Rather, it's his favorite character (the wizard) from his favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz! Oz is a husband, father to Angel, a retired military officer and a former student in Money Laundering & Electronic Fraud from the Ifex in the UK. Oh yes, he's also a skydiver!