When I was in high school...many moons ago...when we were planning on what to do after graduation, the options were: college, community college, military, or into the workforce. I think it was kind of an unwritten rule, that if you were even a little smart you with to college...even if you didn't know what you wanted to study...go to college. Bottom line.
Community college was for those that wanted to do something technical like be a mechanic or a carpenter. Join the workforce if you didn't know what you wanted to do. Don't join the military. I can't think of a single person from my graduating class that joined the military.
I don't know where we got the idea that military was a bad choice... I'm wondering if this is regional in part...if parts of the country promote the military as a good choice for the ultra-successful students and not just for the directionless...there were no military bases near where I grew up...maybe this played a part.
There was an article on msnbc the other day about a group of soldiers here in Afghanistan who were killing civilians for fun and sport. A group of reckless cowboys...
Being over here, around soldiers from all branches of the service...except I haven't seen many Navy folks...I can say that the "reckless cowboys" are the exception...not the norm. The soldiers that I have the priveledge to interact with here are respectful, respectable, intelligent, kind people. Many could've easily made other choices out of high school/college besides joining the service. They could've easily been successful in other areas, but the chose the service.
They carry themselves with a sense of pride...they believe in our country and in freedom. They know more about what the flag means than most people...and they are proud to serve under that flag...they know the history of our country.
Way back when, I never considered the military for myself. To me it represented a lack of choice, freedom, and individuality. I don't feel that way anymore.
When I think of my boys and what kind of men I want them to grow into...respectful, proud, kind, caring, moral, and hard-working are all traits that I want them to embody. Kristi and I are doing our part to instill these values. If we can and they choose college and work...we'd be so pround. If we can and the boys decide that the service is the place for them, I'd be very pround to be the parent of a soldier.