Hi, But, I don't know any Americans personally, and I want to try and understand, but I just don't get it.
I have read two recent posts about your children( or childrens friends) going off right after high school and joining the military. Since you are sending troops overseas still, and some of them never coming back, I just don't get the " congratulations" thing that seems to be going on . People say things like " you must be proud of him/her" , why are you proud that your child would make a decision to go to war?
I would just be SCARED. !!!!! Honestly I think I would cry.
I have talked to many of my friends here, and the ladies at work, and we all would be upset if our 18 yr old kids were going away to war.
Kids that age need to stay home and go to school or get a job. I realize that the military does offer schooling, but many who enlist don't get school out of it do they?
I am not bashing kids doing constructive stuff( and I do consider joing the military a good thing most of the time, just not now!) , my own son was an Air Cadet for two years , but beleive me if he wanted join the forces during these times I would ask him not to, I would however respect whatever choice he made. I just couldn't say things like" what a hero, or I am so proud of you"
Why would people say to each other " you must be proud of your child for joining the forces"?
I still think that your children under the age of 21 SHOULD NOT be sent overseas, they are too young and I don't care what anyone says about that! They should at least work in the military here , in North America until they are 21, then at least when they go into a combat zone they are not " green" .
This post is not meant to upset the parents whose kids have gone, but it is a question at to why does everyone seem so happy about it, I would be gloomy!?
I do hope that this action ends and everyone comes home safe.
Pg I have to agree with you on some points. First I too believe a 18 year old is too young for combat. I also would go "nuts " if my son had to go to war, but would support his decision in doing so. I am sure there are many who will bash you about your post, but I can understand where you thoughts are coming from. I love my children so much and would be a wreck if they had to go to Iraq.
My husband was in the Navy, and sometimes when we talk about our son getting drafted, if a draft started, and my husband says he must go, me being a mother says no!
I just pray and pray for peace everywhere, but its a "fools" dream.
Pg, I probably think your post will be deleted because its not something people want to hear, but maybe people will just post their opinons and not resort to being childish and bashing you.
As Americans we are capable of taking advantage of something not offered in many places around the world. Freedom. Freedom of choice, speech, action and deed perhaps unmatched in the world. Those freddoms have come at a cost, that of having a strong and active military which is prepared to defend those freedoms. I will not engage in further discussion regarding current or past military actions, we all know that
can be contraversial and perhaps in violation of the rules of this board.
When a young person feels strongly enough in their conviction to step up and join the military, yes I am proud of them. Yes they are heroes, simply for having the courage of their convictions to step up and join they are heroes. Although there is the potential to be placed in harms way as a member of the military, so too is it possible to be placed in harms way as a firefighter, member of law enforcement or emergency first responder (ie ambulance driver , EMT). They too are heroes simply for choosing the profession and contributing to the betterment of our society with their everyday actions.
NO ONE wants anyone to be in harms way , or to have something happen to them ,
but I say a prayer everyday for those willing to do it.
As some folks on this board know, my older brother was killed in action during a previous military conflict. He did not get involved with the military to meet that end, but, this was his carreer, although young he had five years invested in it and although not always happy with his decisions, they were supported by my parents with the greatest pride at every moment.
Maybe some of what I've said helps you understand at least why I am proud of these young folks . I pray and worry for them every moment, but remain proud of them . They are heroes, everyone.
Way to go Papa Bill... When I initially read the OP i was very frustrated at their attitude and at myself for my inability to adequately respond intelligently.
Your eloguent post says it all and I proudly concur.
Bill and Chris have pretty much nailed it. There are a number of professions that place people in danger and thank God we have those that are willing to risk it all in the service of others. Those that are only willing to serve in the Military provided we are at peace are not really serving their country but rather living off it IMHO. I too have served during wartime and found a way to continue to serve my fellow countrymen as a Police Officer after the 'war' was over. I have had a numbr of personal friends in both professions that I saw lose thier lives in this service and they ARE heros and not the media heros that are proclaimed such because they made a phone call. You must risk your life willingly and conciously to attain that status to me. Servicemen, Police, Firemen, all fit this bill as well as many 'regular' people who have done some wonderful things. Just my opinion.
I know what it is like to need a hero. A year and a half ago we lost our house to a fire. Everything inside was destroyed with the exception of the 2 turtles that the firemen rescued. Two small animals may not seem like much, but it meant the world to our family. The turtles gave us hope when trying to rebuild our lives. At least 10 firefighters were injured in some way that night trying to keep the fire from spreading to the other houses in the neighborhood. Luckily our house was the only one that suffered any damage. Everyday I wake up and realize how lucky our neighborhood was to have these fine men and women save the other houses and my two turtles. I never hesitate to give money to them at intersections or any other charities events they sponsor. Firefighters along with other service men and women deserve the title of hero.
pg, I'm glad to see that no one seems to be attacking you for your question or your thoughts. I think it's very important to raise questions like that, and many of your concerns and feelings are ones that we all wrestle with.
Papa Bill, thank you for being able to put into words what so many of us would have wished to say. I agree with you completely.
My son will be graduating in June and will also be joining the Military (Air Force). I get the same response from my siblings and some friends "how could you let him join the military when there is a war going on". I too am very proud of his decision, now on the other hand he actually wanted to join the army and I put my foot down and said no. He looked at his career opitions and decidied that college was not his thing but wanted to get some skills to be better prepared for the real world. He also felt that maybe later he would want to return to school and would have the money throught the GI bill to do that. I believe this decision is a very mature thing for him to do and I back him 100%. Think about it if we did not have these brave individuals volunteering to serve, the draft would return and they wouldn't have a choice. God bless these "true" heros.
pg . One more thought if I may.
One of your thoughts regarded your own son's choices. You indicated (to paraphrase) that if he chose the military during these times you would discouarage the choice and could not say he was a hero or that you were proud of him.
This is where you and I differ greatly about our children. I could never tell my children that I was not proud of them There are no circumstances where that could happen. I might not agree with their choices, but, I will universally respect them and my pride in my children and their actions and accomplishments will always be parmount.
I raised three daughters. But for a medical condition that would prevent military service, my middle daughter would likely have followed in her uncle Donald's footsteps (West point Graduate and a military career) . I would have feared every moment for her safety and well being (not that I don't do that anyway), but, I would never have tried to block the decision and would always have been proud of it.
Again to paraphrase your thoughts, you said that if your child made the decision to join the military you would be gloomy. I wholeheartedly agree with that feeling. My heart would be heavy with worry for their wellbeing, but despite that, I would be swollen with pride in the decision and self sacrifice.
May God bless you and may all our children know only peace. What parent does not share that?
Very true PapaBill. Our hearts were in our throats almost all the time when my oldest was in the Army simply because he was part of the 82nd Airborne and kept jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, something that I have always thought quite foolish myself. <G> I also knew that there are a number of training accidents/deaths in the service and even more in this elite unit, not to mention the fact that they are the first to deploy with the standby team ready in 3 hours notice to go anywhere in the world! He was once on his way to Africa only to be turned around just over halfway there. We did not even know of it until he returned nor did his wife who lived just off-base! They call, they go. That is heroism and a sense of duty to your fellow countryman. IMHO. I salute all who are willing to place themselves in harms way for the betterment of our nation and our people.
I also had friends and a couple of family members who asked "how could you let him join the military when there is a war going on". I never held them down and forced them. My son also looked at his career opitions and decidied that college was something he did NOT want to do. We discussed ITT Technical Institues and others like it, community college, etc. He wanted no part of it. He wanted to join the military. No one forced him and and I would never forbid him to do something he felt strongly about. He did not like the idea that we are in Iraq and that the potential was there, but it did not stop him. I wish I were rich and could afford the best colleges so that if they chose that, I could afford it, but even with that said, both of my kids chose the military.
Yes I am proud. I am also scared of the possibility of either of them being sent to Iraq but I cannot stop from from living their lives and I did not hold a gun to their heads and demand they sign up either.
John's daughter Dana has been in the Navy for 6 years now. Never in harms way yet, even though she has spent that entire time on a destroyer. Never been to Iraq. Spent about two months in the Med and that's it.
My nephew in law has been in the Marines for three years and this is his second time to go to Iraq.
Michael is schedule (so far) to go to Germany. We of course pray that he never has to see Iraq.
Ashley does not have a departure date as of yet, but she took her oath today and I am extremely proud of both of my kids.
I can only hope that neither of my children go over there, but yes, I am proud of the courage it took them to decide to join when there is such trouble in our world today. You asked "why are you proud that your child would make a decision to go to war?". They didn't make a decision to go to war.....they made a decision to join the military, to have a career. That does not always mean they will be in war. Many of our military personnel have never been, many never will, some might, but the decision was a career choice, not a decision to fight. And yes, the military has the community college if they choose to increase their skills and will pay for most of it (about 75%).
I agree with only ONE statement you made pg and it is this one - I still think that children under the age of 21 SHOULD NOT be sent overseas. They should at least work in the military here , in North America until they are 21, then at least when they go into a combat zone they are not " green" .
I agree, they should get substantial training before they are sent to a hostile evironment.
I AM proud of my kids and their decision. Not because there is a war, but because they made a decision to DO something with their lives rather than being happy slapping burgers at McDonalds and partying on the weekends. They have made a difficult yet rewarding decision to have a CAREER not just a job.
I'm proud of all my Cruisemtes friends for posting so eloquent and heartfelt responses to a very difficult question. Like p.g., I too wondered how do parents deal with their children going off to war. You have all given some insight and I thank you for that, and for not attacking someone for daring to ask the question!
I have no children but I feel terribly for those neighbors and friends who have children in the war. I am disgusted at the daily reports of "another 22 killed in ambush," "12 killed in car bomb, " "6 killed in hospital attack, " etc.
This picture is developing very similarly to look like Vietnam, in my opinion. Problem is, we can kill the insurgents and rebels but then develop a new generation of American haters out of their children. So we will have to fight them too. And we will continue to fight, kill and then create new enemies while doing so. Where does it end?
I'm certain there are a vast majority of Iraqis who are glad we overthrew Hussein and ended their tyranny. There are also a lot of those same people who continue to have loved ones, children, and elderly folks killed and/or injured for life because of our presence there. I fear we are losing their support.
This has gone on long enough. Sammy Bin Laden is alive and presumably in Afghanistan.
As I sat down and read this post I did not know how to feel. As I returned from Iraq not long ago and slotted to return in early March most of the men that I have met in the 17 years of my military career as an Infantry officer have never felt themselves as heros. Most have has a strong conviction that freedom, as Papa said, is a concept or way of life they are willing to defend with their own. After being in many conflicts and losing men under my command including being wounded myself hero is not the reason anybody fought or died. The men I lost in most cases after talking with their families had a high sence of the service to freedom. It made them heros to me and maybe you, but to them they served for you and for me so that we could enjoy the liberties of all the free countries. Most that are in harms way today hope that at the end of the conflict the people whom they put their lives dpwn for can have the freedom we enjoy today
Well said Cruisemates! I first read the original post this morning when I checked into the good morning thread and was too foggy to form an answer.....Carole and Papa Bill have said it all so well......thank you. Yes, I'm scared for my friends son but also incredibly proud of him for stepping up.
And it's nice to see this didn't turn into a bashing thread.
PG you brought up something pretty good and I've enjoyed reading all the comments, but one question that you asked has not been answered. I quote you here: "I realize that the military does offer schooling, but many who enlist don't get school out of it do they? "
Well I can only talk from my point of view and what I still know. Those that want the schooling in the service can get. In the 70's I was in the Navy for 6 years and I can only say that over 2/3 of the sailors were skilled workers that could use their skills to get good paying jobs on the outside. I know I did. Today it is no differant. May be the military today may not train their members for skilled jobs today,I'm sure they still do, but the benifits allow the military members go to colleage and get a degree.
PG I hope this helps a little bit
And for for those who have served, and those who are serving now, and the famlies, my hats of to all THANKS
In response about the 'schooling' one can get in the military, yes there is quite a bit that takes place for most and almost all have a civilian profession they are or can be linked to. I received the equiv of an assoc in electronics right out of basic so that I could work with certain electrical equipment. Unfortunately my job has no civilian use and the only job that was the same was working for the Government in Washington but still, after getting out I basically had a second job going to school with Uncle Sam paying for it as well as my department so I was able to get another AA and was only 5 credit hours from my BA before the money ran out from them. Not bad and it even helped supplement my regular pay.