Is military service good for you?

inkognitoJuly 15, 2012

Did you know:

One active-duty service member in US military commits suicide every day.

One in ten prisoners in British jails is ex-military.

According to Department of Defense estimates, more than 19,000 service women and men were sexually assaulted in 2010 alone

Here is a link that might be useful: secret war

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Yea, but its a great way to get life time health care for yourself and dependents and a really nice pension if you manage to be in the 95% who never face combat.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 3:32PM
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Is military service good for you?

Depends on the individual, for the most part.

"One active-duty service member in US military commits suicide every day.

One in ten prisoners in British jails is ex-military."

For those people, not a good idea.

The sexual assault situation outlined in the link is deplorable. Hopefully some good will result from this story.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 3:46PM
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Elvis nailed it.
No job is a one size fits all.

I had read about the sexual assault charges and was horrified and saddened that our women are still being targeted by the same guys they have to depend on to "watch their back."

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 6:52PM
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About one doctor a day commits suicide in the US. Maybe we should get rid of doctors, along with the evil US military. Don't you just hate those people???

Our niece has spent over twenty years serving in the US Army, been to Iraq and Afghanistan God knows how many times. We probably put ourselves at risk from her latent criminality every time we let her into our home.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:36PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Nika, such bitter blessings on us.

My gosh, we'll soon run out of doctors.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:39PM
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I was drafted during the Vietnam conflict (before the lottery) and I hated the Army. We had 17, 18-year old lieutenants and captains telling 30-40 year 50-60 year old sergeants how deep to squat and for how long. Not only was it miserable, it was depressing. A month after I got out, I had to go to the doctor for an ulcer. Maybe it's changed for the better, but I doubt it. The waste and mismanagement and bureaucracy were incredible.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:12PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

Ron, I respectfully would like to correct you on the 17- and 18-year lieutenants. My ex-husband was a lieutenant who was drafted and served in Viet Nam. He was a college graduate and then received his training in Officer Candidate School and so was at least 23 when he became a second lieutenant. It took more than a year for him to become a first lieutenant and then to become a captain, which he actually never achieved since he opted to not stay in the army. There were officers who did not have college educations but they were tested and had to have a certain IQ level which allowed them to enter OCS, with boot camp before. With all the training they received I don't think any of them could have been officers much before the age of 20, and I actually never met one who was that young. One thing they all knew though was that it was the sergeants who really ran the army! The mismanagement and bureaucracy came from much higher up and frustrated everyone, including the younger officers.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:16AM
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Ingrid, my two officers in basic were 19 and 17 respectively...that's why I used those ages. I was 20 at the time and I was talking to the 17 year old who was from the high school in the next town from the one I attended. He graduated three years after me. When I commented to someone else after that conversation that's when they told me the other guy was only 19. Both these men were not college graduates obviously. In basic, they tried to get me to go to OCS but I refused. I got KP just about every other day because of that.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 2:09AM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

It seems incredibly foolish to have a 17-year-old, who is basically an overgrown child, lead men in combat. It's completely unfair to them and to the older, vastly more experienced enlisted men who were supposed to say "yes sir" to a kid who was barely shaving. I was just reading that a much greater than average number of these young officers were killed in battle, and that hardly seems surprising.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 2:43AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Serving during the Cold War was a great maturing experience for me and I expect for millions of young men...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 6:48AM
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Your story is reminiscent of the situation during WW1 Ron where thousands were sent to their death by incompetent officers and it is this kind of situation where the individuality of military service flies out the window. Imagine even a small percentage of the 60,000 British soldiers who were killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme deciding for themselves whether to go or not! "You want us to run across an open field into machine gun fire, is that it? Nah not me." Most of those who died never fired their weapon.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 8:37AM
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This is a very hard question for me. Two out of three of my sons (actually 3 out of 4, counting my Sweetheart's son)have served, and lemme tell ya, I have such mixed feelings. Lots of points on one side, more on the other, and they don't cancel each other out, just fall on different issues. You are all, of course, talking about the U.S. army. For some of us, it's different, with a whole different set of variables, and no, I'm not sure it's a good thing at all, then I do, then I don't......Half the time I see my young men after serving and wonder, the other half of the time I'm enraged.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 11:59AM
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We did have a couple of threads on the issues Ink mentions. All sank like rocks, except for the one where it was mentioned that Republicans sought to stop legislation to adress rape in the military. That got defended.

Every country has its army (and if it's not your own it'll be someone else's). Thus, Military is a necessity. Good for you? Not so much. If you think it's good for you, you have a problem.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:37PM
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One could become a captain or lieutenant without a college degree? At age 18???

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Military service wasn't very good for the 50,000 who died in Vietnam! What did we gain from that? What have we gained from subsequent military actions?
When my son was thinking of joining the military, I threatened(promised) to break both his knees before allowing him to go. I never regretted that promise.
He is doing great now and is not mentally or physically crippled.
I like the Swiss model where everyone gets trained and serves in the militia - then takes their weapon home and is on standby until someone invades them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 2:11PM
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The author of the linked article is from San Francisco. She started out Every politician who has ever uttered the empty slogan "Support Our Troops"... that's as much of the article that I read.
I volunteered as an enlisted Marine in the 70's and went to Parris Island. For many of us it was the best decision that we ever made.
There were many who were weaned out:
-emotional problems--
-health or medical discharge ie cannot shave
-hardship discharge, ie death of parent
-physically unfit
Regarding commissioning of officers, the USMC has many different programs. Here are three requirements which were in effect in the 70's and remain in effect today:
-minimum of Bachelor's Degree (upon commissioning)
-must be a US citizen
-must be 18-28 years of age

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Thank you for the information, Sam. And thank you for your service.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 2:30PM
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I think volunteer military service can be of material benefit to many people, yes. Half of my family is in the military, and about half of those have seen combat. Thankfully, for them as individuals, I can say that they seem to have gotten more good from the experience of being in the military than not.
One of those folks though, is actually career military, very high ranking (I am being deliberatley coy to keep the post more anonymous) and has actually worked in what is essentially military HR. And I do have to say, there are some truly heartbreaking eventualities and dissappointments for many enlisted folks, even over and above the obvious of death or serious injury in combat.
In any case, with so many people I love so much having served, and with knowing thier motives were altogether noble in joining up, it is nonetheless always a tough subject for me to really think about the morality of being a soldier; of whether it can ever really be a moral choice to subsume one's free will to the decisions of politicians, and on so serious a matter as killing another/other human beings. How much does the motivation of wanting to protect one's family and country and the things one loves mitigate that, and other related ideas.
It's a subject that I have very little opportunity to discuss, obviously loving my family as anyone does, I would never want to hurt them, and I care about this question primarily because the idea of thier lives or thier goodwill towards other human beings being used carelessly by politicians who lack thier committment sends me into an utter rage, or as much rage as my pacifistic/defensive heart can muster. I try to never let them know anything but that I appreciate they wanted to offer a service to our nation, and that I am proud for them and thier individual accomplishments in thier chosen branches, because my worries will really not benefit them, and could of course, hurt them very badly.
In any case, thanks for the opportunity to post about some secret feelings near and dear to my heart.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:47AM
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Txangoddess--tough indeed.

I think the root of the problem is that the US army is a voluntary one, a job. I know there was a draft at the time of the Vietnam "war" (I can't bring myself to call this a war, attack would be the proper term instead) yet many managed to dodge it for the wrong reasons (cowards that they were. how many of the warmongers did serve? Next to none). If there was a draft today, it would be very difficult for the warmongers, if everyone was likely to suffer, people would think twice. Bring it back and no exceptions this time around, because without a draft it'll be a rich man's war, but a poor man's fight.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:43AM
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Forgot to add...

There's Patriotism, and then there's Nationalism. Big difference.

The people of the latter have no respect for life, and the military--they just worship the power.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:52AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

A lot of blood and treasure has been on lost or mistaken causes but without a strong military we might not be participating on this forum today...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 6:38AM
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TxanGoddess your heartfelt post is very much appreciated. Doing the right thing while in the control of politicians who can't tell right from wrong is indeed a dilemma.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 7:38AM
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Tobr, I'd rather see peace engulf the globe, no need for military defense, and give up the forum...

While I see merit in the basic training aspect, insomuch as it teaches certain things, like respect and discipline, as examples... I see no merit in war, none in the military weapons industry, and none in forcing the ways of life from one nation to others. The destruction and loss are too high a price, and it's too sad to see how expendable certain classes of people are to certain others.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:15AM
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Cannon fodder is all that comes to mind most of the time particularly in that mess with the renegade south.
Or the trench warfare of WWI or Galipoli canon fodder.
Having no military experience I can't speak to the subject the lottery of death passed over me but ground up some of my Bronx buddies in Viet Nam either with ammunition or heroin & now they make sneakers for the world!
Joyeux Noel was on cable again This week in fact it's on again today a fictionalized account of a real event when soldiers actually stopped fighting in WWI for Christmas.
Sad when people like Cher or others have to raise funds to equip our troops well.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:16AM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Apparently making sure ground troops have the right gear isn't seen as a moneymaker.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:15PM
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