No other choice but to serve

In class we had a discussion on why it is people decided to join the military and spend their time serving our country. We came up with a few answers: They feel like it is there right to give back to a country that has done so much for them, they can not afford to go to college so they see no other choice, and previous generations in their family have served so they feel like it is their right to keep this “family tradition” going.

Growing up as a Navy brat I can understand the point of view that people have when they feel it is their duty to join because their parents did or grandparents did. College was not always in the cards for me, especially when it came to application time. With low test scores and not the best GPA in the world, and because of financial difficulties I figured that I would be taking classes at a community college or enlisting. Now that I am in school I can join after I graduate and go in as a higher rank instead of doing the runt job of scrubbing floors and polishing boots.

Other people decide to join because there is no possible way that college is in the picture for them. I have a few friends who chose that root and are living good lives and are working on their college degree. My dad was in this situation. His family lived in a rural area of Georgia and college just was not in his future. So my dad enlisted and took college classes while serving and wound up getting a very good education and a degree from NYU. He is now retired and still does work for the military and feels like it was the best choice for him, and he would not change any decisions he made.

Then you have the people that feel like it is their right to give back to their country; I understand this point of view as well. Once I was old enough to understand what really happened on 9/11 I was outraged and wanted to get back at the people who killed so many. I told my dad that and he just gave me this look that meant he understood my thought process completely. It really opened my eyes up to a whole other world. A world of hate and fighting, and it made me angry, so angry to the point that I kept telling my parents that as soon as I was of age I would be enlisting. My mother is still completely confused as to why I have this mind set, but my dad…he understands completely.

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One Response to No other choice but to serve

  1. dgriffith says:

    Katie, thanks for this personal reflection on our class conversation. It really provides a nice counter to those who see the military as the place for those who have no other options, instead of a meaningful and rewarding profession.

    I would like to see you keep going, though. Reflect on these feelings of and revenge in light of the larger conversations we have been having in class with regard to how the US prosecuted the War on Terror after 9/11.

    Also, proof read your posts. You have some careless typos and misspellings. The blog post tool bar has a spellchecker.

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