[SPORK] Loving The Troops

James Rogers jamesr@best.com
Thu, 20 Mar 2003 11:03:08 -0800

From: Jeff Bone
> Let's do a little bit of reality calibration, here:  most of "the=20
> troops" are kids from relatively poor families who signed up=20
> because it=20
> was their ticket to going to college / getting started in life /=20
> traveling abroad and seeing the world, something they couldn't have=20
> afforded otherwise.  Most of them probably - naively, perhaps - never=20
> expected to fire a live round or have one fired at them in a conflict=20
> situation.

This is also an incorrect and simplistic view.  This isn't why I joined =
nor was it the reason most of the other guys joined up.  Remember also =
a very significant portion of our troop strength is in Reserve and Guard
troops.  Also, the US military is not a dangerous occupation by any
meaningful standard.  Essentially everyone on the knife's edge requested =
be transfered to such slots and competed for those positions.  You are
highly unlikely to face actual combat unless you requested it.

The predominant reasons:

- It can be an enjoyable job and it is well-known that the military =
very good care of its soldiers even if they pay isn't so hot.  The =
is very much an extended family for all intents and purposes.  The =
is desirable for some people, and the benefits (tangible and intangible)
counterbalance the relatively poor pay.

- College money.  The benefits related to college are substantial and =
every year.  The military encourages people to go to college while they =
serving and supports this.  I don't think this path to college is *that*
compelling unless you are also being driven by one of the other reasons =

- Tradition.  Don't discount this reason.  A lot of people serve because =
is family tradition, and military service is a very respected occupation =
many parts of the US.

- Experience.  There is nothing in civilian life remotely comparable to =
military, and the life experience benefits are definitely there.  =
this is worth two years depends on the individual.

Most of the people that join the military are aware of the cost-benefit
relationships.  The single biggest reason people leave is to make more =
or follow another career path, not because they were conned or =
One of the intangible benefits of military service is that it is =
of a fraternity and having been a soldier at one time can be beneficial =
occasion even after you leave.

But I agree with the rest.  You'll find *way* more thugs in your local =
than in the military.

-James Rogers