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 Post subject: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:10 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:32 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Panmunjom, South Korea
Back in 1987 and in less than a week, I lost my job, car repossessed and had about $45,000 in unsecured debt (credit-cards), what to do? I joined the military.

As soon as I could, I set up a checking account with a good federal credit union and started down the hard road of paying down my debt and saving money.

It took nearly 15 years but I made good on my promise to pay off my debt; sure, I could have simply declared bankruptcy but where's the honor in that?

I also managed to buy a new car, get married, have kids, buy land, build a house and see most of the entire world., And, as an added bonus, I got to be a part of many great historical life changing events all over the world and serve in the armed forces which protect our way of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness., Not a bad deal if you ask me.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:49 am
Posts: 148
Location: Australia
Panmunjomi wrote:
which protect our way of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness


Well I see the brainwashing was at least a success.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5285
Vile Merchant wrote:
Panmunjomi wrote:
which protect our way of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness


Well I see the brainwashing was at least a success.



LOL, and why was/is it our business to "protect our way of life" in the rest of the world? Oh, I know, you mean protect our way of consuming well beyond our share of resources by shooting at anyone who even considers interfering with the flow of oil.

But congratulations on your financial success and integrity in pay off your debts.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:18 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 576
the disrespect i see here just irritates the hell out of me. anyone who willingly signs up to put their entire life on the line in service of our country deserves far more than the cheap shot replies here.

and yes, it is in service to our country because it is our country's elected officials who do the declarations of war and the appropriation of other missions. do not misdirect your disagreement with political decisions to the soldiers who take up the task of supporting them.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
+1 to galactic's post.

To the OP, thank you for your service.

To the other guys, Vile, I know you're Australian, so you just don't get it. DH, you're American and I would like to think you're more educated on these matters. I guess if you don't appreciate US soldiers, you should move to another country and be disrespectful over there.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5285
I apologize for the cheap shot. Yes, I realize it is the elected officials that make the decisions. I do respect the service members that put their life on the line ad serve honorably.

I have no excuse for what I said. I can only say I am sorry.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1716
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Disclaimer: I'm Canadian.

Let's be honest. Not a single soldier involved in this "war on terror" is actually defending America. The 9/11 terrorists were all from Saudi Arabia. So of course, you went to war with Afghanistan, and then later (under the premise of weapons of mass destruction)' Iraq.

Why has there not been any diplomatic initiatives with Saudi Arabia? And regarding the soldiers, there has not been any coordinated attack on the US since 9/11. So I'm not sure how sending them overseas is "defending us".

As we all know now, it turned out that Iraq did not actually have any weapons of mass destruction. Nor did the war eradicate al quada.

Meanwhile, North Korea has actually detonated 2 nuclear bombs. Last time I checked, nuclear bombs were weapons of mass destruction. And yet, the US is not making any moves at all to attack north Korea.

Is it because North Korea doesn't have any oil? Anyone have any non-cynical explanation?


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:56 pm
Posts: 51
Location: California
kombat wrote:
Disclaimer: I'm Canadian.

Let's be honest. Not a single soldier involved in this "war on terror" is actually defending America. The 9/11 terrorists were all from Saudi Arabia. So of course, you went to war with Afghanistan, and then later (under the premise of weapons of mass destruction)' Iraq.

Why has there not been any diplomatic initiatives with Saudi Arabia? And regarding the soldiers, there has not been any coordinated attack on the US since 9/11. So I'm not sure how sending them overseas is "defending us".

As we all know now, it turned out that Iraq did not actually have any weapons of mass destruction. Nor did the war eradicate al quada.

Meanwhile, North Korea has actually detonated 2 nuclear bombs. Last time I checked, nuclear bombs were weapons of mass destruction. And yet, the US is not making any moves at all to attack north Korea.

Is it because North Korea doesn't have any oil? Anyone have any non-cynical explanation?


First let me point out the obvious - This thread has gone way off topic but your post demands a response so I'm making it.

Any man or woman who voluntarily enlists in military service in any country should be given the utmost respect. They are willing to put their lives on the line for their country and they are doing it by choice. The US military is entirely a volunteer service. No one is required to serve by law. Therefore they command some respect from our citizens no matter where they are sent in the line of duty. My guess is that those of you from other countries would feel the same about those serving in your armed forces. It has nothing to do with whether they're "defending" anything. It has to do with the fact that they're serving.

As to the rest of this post, my first reaction on 9/11/2001 as I was watching the events unfold on TV was that it was an act of war - not a terrorist act. It felt to me much like my parents described their feelings on 12/7/1941 (Pearl Harbor). The NYC attack was worse than Pearl Harbor because it was not against a military base, it was against a civilian office building. People died that day whose only offense was getting up and going to work. Frankly the feeling was that someone needed to PAY and PAY BIG.

How would you have felt if the attack was on an office building in Toronto or Montreal?

That's the emotional side of things. On the practical side a decisive response would have been easy if the perpetrators of the attack had been wearing the uniforms of a foreign nation. The US could just declare war on said nation and no one in the world would have disagreed.

Let me be clear - war is never a good thing for anyone. However, when your country is attacked and people are slaughtered a response is required.

The problem was/is that there was no nation that could be fingered. (Bin-Laden is Saudi but to my knowledge has not operated within Saudi Arabia for many years.) So the US government had to find out where these guys were and then take the fight to them. Did they succeed? No. Could he be in Saudi Arabia? Somalia? France? Canada? Right here in the US? Sure. He could be anywhere in my opinion.

Would the rest of the world (or even people in this country) accept it if the President of the United States pointed to another country in the world and said, "He's there and we're going to get him whether you like it or not!" Probably not. That's the real problem. No single nation can wage a war on terror any better than it can wage a war on drugs. If terrorism or illegal drug trafficking are going to be ended it's going to require an ongoing coordinated international effort to do it. It's been nine years since the attack and the guy that most people would agree was behind it can't be found. On an emotional level I still feel that until he's dead or rotting in solitary confinement in a prison somewhere, there's still unfinished business.

I can't really respond to the Iraq campaign. I never really understood the decision making on that. I don't know of many people who feel that they do. In my opinion the issue of "WMDs" should have been tackled by the UN - forcefully. The second inspection teams were kicked out of the country there should have been a response. That didn't happen and our former President somehow felt it was his job to do something. Like I said, I don't really understand it. I do think it was idiotic to go in there without a solid exit strategy. GWB was never really known for his intellect though. I'll also tell you that I would have practically danced for joy if Bin-Laden had been found in the bunker with Hussein. Then I would at least feel that the end justified the means.

As for Korea - That's a country everyone in the world should be concerned about. Policing this kind of thing is what the UN was supposed to be for. Are they doing anything? No. Is any country willing to do anything about their nuclear program or their recent aggression? Apparently not. There is a treaty between the US and South Korea to aid them in the case of any attacks from North Korea. I'm pretty sure if North Korean troops cross the DMZ or anything else more severe than the recent artillery exchange occurs, the treaty will be honored and the US will get involved. I hope it doesn't happen.

From my perspective all of this boils down to the fact that in our country people like me and the others posting on this forum don't make the military decisions. That's done by the our elected officials, namely the President. Once those people are elected the decisions are theirs. We can question his decisions, disagree with them, protest them, etc. We can vote for a different person in the next election. We can't change the decisions though. What I can and will always do is give my support to those men and women who enlisted in the military voluntarily and who carry out their duty. I might disagree with the decisions that sent them there, but they are in harm's way serving what someone believes are the best interests of their country.

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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1716
Location: Ottawa, Canada
cjscully wrote:
Any man or woman who voluntarily enlists in military service in any country should be given the utmost respect. They are willing to put their lives on the line for their country and they are doing it by choice. The US military is entirely a volunteer service. No one is required to serve by law. Therefore they command some respect from our citizens no matter where they are sent in the line of duty. My guess is that those of you from other countries would feel the same about those serving in your armed forces. It has nothing to do with whether they're "defending" anything. It has to do with the fact that they're serving.


This is going to sound awful, but it needs to be said.

People who join the military are not selfless heroes-in-waiting. They're high school dropouts with no other job prospects.

Let's be honest - the military is a job interview you can't fail (unless you're too fat or a convicted felon). That makes it pretty attractive to 20 year old high school dropouts with an invincibility complex and a string of bad job interviews.

How many Ph.D's are serving on the front lines in Afghanistan? I'd say none. People with real job prospects just don't join the military to "defend your country" from the dangerous Iraqis who have obviously repeatedly attacked you (huh?). does that mean uneducated dropouts are more patriotic than educated scholars? Or is it possible that the military is actually little more than a patriotic jobs program, willing to sacrifice innocent young Amerian lives for oil and political gain?

I think it's pretty clear which answer I believe.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 320
Location: Canada
If there is a link between Wealth and any Military, I'd like to offer a few ideas:

War erodes wealth on a net basis
The tools of any military are designed to destroy property and lives
Peaceful and productive living takes place when all soldiers leave

Disclaimer: I used to be a hawk, but now I'm a pacifist.

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RICKLEE


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:56 pm
Posts: 51
Location: California
kombat wrote:
cjscully wrote:
Any man or woman who voluntarily enlists in military service in any country should be given the utmost respect. They are willing to put their lives on the line for their country and they are doing it by choice. The US military is entirely a volunteer service. No one is required to serve by law. Therefore they command some respect from our citizens no matter where they are sent in the line of duty. My guess is that those of you from other countries would feel the same about those serving in your armed forces. It has nothing to do with whether they're "defending" anything. It has to do with the fact that they're serving.


This is going to sound awful, but it needs to be said.

People who join the military are not selfless heroes-in-waiting. They're high school dropouts with no other job prospects.

Let's be honest - the military is a job interview you can't fail (unless you're too fat or a convicted felon). That makes it pretty attractive to 20 year old high school dropouts with an invincibility complex and a string of bad job interviews.

How many Ph.D's are serving on the front lines in Afghanistan? I'd say none. People with real job prospects just don't join the military to "defend your country" from the dangerous Iraqis who have obviously repeatedly attacked you (huh?). does that mean uneducated dropouts are more patriotic than educated scholars? Or is it possible that the military is actually little more than a patriotic jobs program, willing to sacrifice innocent young Amerian lives for oil and political gain?

I think it's pretty clear which answer I believe.


I didn't bring this up in my last post but I'm definitely going to bring it up now. My son chose to enlist. He was not a high-school drop out. He's a bright kid.

My family has a long history of military service going back to WWI. None of them are/were losers who were incapable of getting jobs elsewhere.

I don't doubt that some of the people who try to enlist in the service fit the description you give. I also know for a fact that those people would not be accepted by the Marine Corps (though they might be accepted in the other branches).

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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:15 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 576
kombat wrote:
Let's be honest - the military is a job interview you can't fail (unless you're too fat or a convicted felon). That makes it pretty attractive to 20 year old high school dropouts with an invincibility complex and a string of bad job interviews.

How many Ph.D's are serving on the front lines in Afghanistan? I'd say none. People with real job prospects just don't join the military to "defend your country"


dude. your ignorance is showing. for enlistment standards, read:
http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/a/enlstandards.htm

particularly glance through the education requirements section. 0.6% of active duty troops lack a high school diploma or GED. this may surprise you but overall, the military population is better educated than the civilian population.

i work with some military PhDs- i am not one of them due to an injury i never fully recovered from. yes, some of them have deployed to combat areas. yes, in afghanistan. but let's also consider that roughly 1% of the general population even holds such a degree, so it's not exactly hugely prevalent in the military either.

you're clearly stepping well outside your knowledge area here. you're also wrong in assuming job prospects for PhDs are universally good... or in many fields/cases, even exist. this is a long topic for another post though.

best check your facts before letting your prejudices run rampant.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:54 am
Posts: 636
Wow - sorry I arrived so late to this thread.

kombat wrote:
This is going to sound awful, but it needs to be said... People who join the military are not selfless heroes-in-waiting. They're high school dropouts with no other job prospects... Let's be honest - the military is a job interview you can't fail... How many Ph.D's are serving on the front lines in Afghanistan? I'd say none. People with real job prospects just don't join the military...


kombat, thank you for your honesty, and having the courage to say what "needs to be said." Is this your opinion of me too?

I'll be the first to admit that few people are heroes, and we're not completely selfless. The fact is that we are well compensated with salary and benefits - primarily because we do have other lucrative job prospects that don't involve deploying to a combat zone. We expect the government to compete with the private sector, to some degree, for our services.

I think you'd be surprised by the pool of talent in the US military. Our academies are among the most selective colleges in the country, regularly stealing students away from Ivy League schools. Many officers are able to complete graduate and post-graduate studies at those same world-renowned institutions. And yes, some get a Ph.D and then go right back to Afghanistan.

See this article from http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/04/news/companies/military_business_leaders.fortune/index.htm about junior officers attending top MBA programs and being heavily recruited by Fortune 500 companies. These are folks who, in their 20s, successfully managed dozens people and millions of dollars of resources while in a combat zone and under intense media scrutiny. They were never lacking talent or job prospects.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:49 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1716
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Tim,

Thanks for your insight. To be clear, I recognize that there are plenty of educated, talented people in the military. But I'm not talking about the air traffic controller on an aircraft carrier. I'm not talking about the drone pilot. I'm not talking about the strategist drawing up next week's patrol schedule.

I'm talking about the high school football star walking point in downtown Baghdad. I'm talking about the 19 year old with a juvenile delinquent record manning the .50 cal atop a Humvee rolling through Kabul. I'm talking about the actual soldiers putting their lives at risk.

People with Ph.D's don't go back into war zones for those jobs.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Posts: 636
You are correct that manning the .50 cal on a HMMWV is an entry-level job, typically not filled by the guy who just completed a Ph.D. I think it holds true in any profession that experienced people with advanced degrees usually don't perform entry-level jobs. So why do you have such a poor opinion of the 19 year-old kid on top of the HMMWV? Why do you think he's any less capable than all the other 19 year-old kids working entry-level jobs as civilians?

People who never served in the military often have misconceptions about the combat-arms (i.e. "the actual soldiers putting their lives at risk"). People think it's where we put people who are too dumb to handle anything else. The reality is that Army and Marine Corps officers must be at the top of their class to get a combat-arms assignment. The officers who have advanced degrees from Ivy League schools, who are now running the show, first spent years at the platoon and company level putting their lives at risk on patrols. They absolutely could have become engineers or investment bankers or doctors, but they wanted to lead soldiers. Even on the enlisted side, a lot of bright, highly motivated kids are drawn to the prestige of being an Airborne Ranger or Marine infantryman.

Being a soldier might have been your last choice, but not everyone thinks like you.

Tim


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