Being told that you would be deployed in a couple weeks and then watching a movie about a 20-something-year-old get cancer gets you to thinking. Not to be melodramatic, but truly confronting the prospect of death changes the way you see things.
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
Steve Jobs, 2005 Commencement Speech, Stanford