10 February 2009


This article blew me away.
"Fresh recruits keep pouring into the U.S. military, as concerns about serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are eclipsed by the terrible civilian job market."
I mean, I know the Military provides great benefits, job security (assuming a number of things that I won't get into now), housing, insurance, educational opportunities, and even decent retirements* if you can make it that long. But we are at war. Troops are still dying. Units are still deploying. With no end in sight- no matter what anyone says about Iraq.
"The Department of Defense said Tuesday that all branches of the armed forces, including the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, met or exceeded their active duty recruiting goals for January, continuing a trend that began with a decline in the U.S. job market."
I cannot fathom jumping into this lifestyle in the middle of these wars. We (meaning Swiss and me) are up to our necks in this war, but that is because Swiss enlisted 18 years ago. In peace time. You take the good with the bad... in the back of your mind you know this is a possibility, but then again maybe it will never come to pass. That is the risk you take when you enlist in peace time.

But choosing to go in, in the middle of TWO wars, because of finances, not for one of the multitude of reasons usually cited (pride, honor, duty)? I cannot fathom this. What does that say about the state of affairs that going to war is eclipsed by financial struggles?
"When asked about the possibility of serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, he replied, "I'm not worried about that. I'm just worried about my kids.""
Wow. Just wow.

*Assuming there is any money left to give at the end of your ordeal...


kimba said...

Yup! I thought about this during the election when McCain or Bush or some other Repub was talking about the reenlistment ceremony they saw in Iraq. How it was so patriotic, moving, etc. - all I could think of was the economy, and the dearth of health care out there for families. Some choice.

liberal army wife said...

Guys, when you have a choice of no job, no health care, no food on the table for your kids - you take the chance of enlisting. You figure that not everyone is deploying - there are a lot who aren't going, and others going over and over, I haven't figured that out yet. you can even learn a skill/get a career.

I can fathom it. unfortunately I can.


Tucker said...

Of course I get that aspect of it. I am more amazed that THIS is what it has come down to. Choosing to deploy to a war just to put food on the table, have a home, have insurance. Those reasons should never have to be reasons to enlist.

liberal army wife said...

there are a lot of service members who aren't being deployed, believe it or not! if you manage to get into an MOS that doesn't deploy, and get into a unit that doesn't deploy, there ya go!

It sucks. sucks.


Tucker said...

Sucks is right. Think it is too late to get Swiss's MOS changed? Ah... he'd never do it anyway. My other "step-son" has a deployable MOS but managed to use his wife's connections to get an assignment with a non-deployable unit. So it goes.

slightly salty said...

I was kind of disturbed by this as well. I get the whole "need to provide for the family" motivation but it calls into question the type of recruits they are pulling b/c are those people willing to put themselves on the line for reasons other than pride, honor, etc.? I can only hope that by joining, they get a sense of the bigger picture of what they are a part of.

Anonymous said...

My husband has a single mother of six in his unit - why is she a Reservist? To make ends meet. Six kids!
She was part of the unit that got orders to Diego Garcia rather than Iraq...good move, hubbie of mine.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you say about - why has it come to this... but I also see that side of it. The sad truth is that not everyone has the skills / abilities / degrees that it takes to get a job in this piss poor economy. And the military has always been there through the rough times. You see it as your only way out. Sometimes people do really stupid things when they feel like they have no nothing and no sign of hope. I guess I would rather see people do something that could possibly better their situation, than suicide, crime, etc.

But the fact is... that you are right. It is a sad state we are in. Of course I would rather have people join for honor and a sense of pride.