Ed, you said "I certainly mean no disrespect to either you or your son. But quite frankly, I'd expect him to say that. Not only was he in the army but I'm sure he wanted to join to begin with and judging by your reply, he's probably still in it. That's great that he got a lot out of it. I absolutley applaud him, you have a lot to be proud of. But consider if he didn't want to enlist and he was forced to. Forcing someone to do something against their will doesn't sound like a great idea to me."
My son is no longer in the Air Force, but is now a police officer. What he meant is, this...a lot of people who come into the military are from low income families...not all, but the majority of them, therefore, they don't realize the many options available to them...all they see is poverty and drugs, they want out, but they don't know how. The military rears them to maturity, to respect themselves, in turn, they respect others, gaining confidence, and an insight that there is nothing they cannot accomplish if they put they're minds and hearts into it.
David, my son, was floundering upon graduation, and had no idea at that time what he wanted to do with his life. There was an Air Force recruiter (Rick)working down the hall from me. We became friends...
I went home and discussed what Rick relayed to me, and suggested that David stop in and talk with Rick...just to learn more about the issue, that maybe it might be another option to explore. He did, and after about a month or two of thinking it through, he joined. David at that time, didn't possess the confidence then, that he did when he came home. He left a child and came home a man. He also was very tall and slumped himself over for years, to feel smaller and fit in with the other kids...the military taught him to stand up straight. Also, he was shy, soft spoken...now, he's simply weighing issues, options and situations over in his mind...he looks at the entire picture before he concludes. Actually, I wish I could be more like him, and that is the truth.
The military gave him options...helped him be confident and not fear decissions he made...knowing it was all about trial and error...it gave him career options, and the ability to learn how to fly, to learn languages, to continue education while in...to also learn agility, and a whole lot more.
There is good and bad in everything on this planet, good and bad people, good and bad in organizations, our work force, good and bad food, (trans fats) (by the way, I really loved those trans fats) unfortunately it isn't all good, but, the military also taught him to deal with that realistically.
I think, a manditory draft would be a great way to teach kids what parents cannot give them or know nothing about...and I also think, if the draft were manditory and everyone's kid had to serve two years, those who are way to quick to go to war, might also rethink their decissions to do so, if it meant their son or grandson going. Also, all those kids who go in for two years, well, I betcha when they came out, the majority would say, they were glad they had the opportunity to do so...and you might be surprised, how many would make the military their career.
I think a strong military has a great trickle effect on a lot of other things, such as truth, respect for others, realizing the importance of team work, patience, intellectual skills...etc
While they were in the military, if we had a disaster here in the U.S. we would certainly once again have troops to respond and help rebuild. We would have troops to help reinforce our boarders...a strong military is a strong country, with a knowlege of how to survive.
Again, remember, we are forced to go to school, forced to pay taxes, so, going into the military for 2 years, is not going to hurt anyone.
Now, tell me, if you will, why you deem the entire military organization bullies?
Some of the finest men and women on the face of this earth Ed, are lifers in the military and they are not bullies, but well trained human beings...
So tell me, if you would be so kind, what frightens you about the military?
thanks for your reply