Why did you join the military and what do you think you were fighting for?

Why did you join the military and what do you think you were fighting for?

This is a discussion on Why did you join the military and what do you think you were fighting for? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Why did you join the military and what do you think you were fighting for? This question bugs me for the sole reason some folks ...

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Why did you join the military and what do you think you were fighting for?

    Why did you join the military and what do you think you were fighting for? This question bugs me for the sole reason some folks seem to think less of someone if they do not answer "correctly". I was at a VFW the other night. I never really go there but a guy and I were going to talk about business and he likes it there. Folks were talking about stuff and a guy asked why I went into the army. I don't know the man, just was part of the group. I said that I was in college and had a GF and an Army recruiter came to talk to me. We wanted to get married and we thought that would be a fast way for me to get a job, finish a skill, get married and get out. Duty, honor, country......that were not even a factor.

    So, basically he trashed me without even knowing what I did for the military for 23 years. BTW: this guy got drafted during Vietnam Some of his buddies chimed in and defended him while others siad it was fine to join for whatever reason. As long as you served honorably. And that pretty much sums up my feeling on the subject also.

    And the whole thing about fighting for the Constitution and protecting our rights.....well....take this FWIW. I never gave that much thought when I was actually "fighting" if you know what I mean. In fact, I was able to know I was doing something important on a small scale and sometimes large. But my last years were not about protecting our "rights" and the people that wanted to take them away. The Taliban could not take away our right or way of life, nor could Iraq. Many felt this way but still did their duty, better than some folks that waved the flag all the time but never saw or heard a shot fired in anger. (and I am not talking about anyone on this forum)


    I just mentioned that because it is important. One does not have to wave the flag and cry when the National Anthem is played to be a "patriot" which I do consider myslef. And for folks that do like to wave the flag and get misty during the National Anthem, that is there way of being Patriotic and that is just as good.

    Bottom line....I judge Patriotism on deeds, not what they show. And if any of that came out wrong please do not take it like that way. It was meant to honor everybody who has served honorably and have done their duty regardless how they felt about why they had to go to war.

    Anyway, I am curious as to why others joined and stayed in if they did. Also, what were you fighting for?

    manolito and Phaedrus like this.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8


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    Interesting question.

    In spite of what many think, the Coast Guard is the 5th branch of the military. I have the DD-214 to prove it.

    I actually intended to go Marines, but at the time it was during the 'cold war' (1982/83) and my Dad was terrified that I was going to be Soviet cannon fodder. He appealed to my young intellect by convincing me that since we weren't at war, the Coast Guard was the only branch that did anything besides train.

    Honestly, I didn't go with any patriotic intention of serving my country. I was just burnt out on school and wanted to do something that would at least look good on a resume. It worked, as after 5 years of being reminded of how worthless I was because I was not an officer, I was obsessed with getting a good degree. A life-changing experience for sure.
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    I felt a sense of duty to join the military. I lost my left eye in a fishing accident, and tried to join all the branches at one time or another. None of them would let me give back, what I thought I owed...
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    I joined the army for the GI Bill and Army College Fund and I am unashamed to say so. I ended up really liking being a soldier, though.
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
    Clint Eastwood

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    I joined the army for the GI Bill and Army College Fund and I am unashamed to say so. I ended up really liking being a soldier, though.
    I loved the concept of chain of command and direct orders. Something that I've always missed in civilian life.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    I loved the concept of chain of command and direct orders. Something that I've always missed in civilian life.
    Same here... 18 years later and I still think of myself as a soldier and use a military-type chain of command with my subordinates. I'm sure they totally love it...
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
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    VIP Member Array OutWestSystems's Avatar
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    When I joined the military in 84 as a young punk, I was joining because I really didn't know what else to do with my life at that time. Joined as AF Security Police. Didn't really think much about why or what it meant until the first time I was issued live ammo to guard an armory. That night it hit me that I might have to shoot someone. I had never thought about it until that day. I struggled with the thought of having to take someone's life. That day I realize what it really meant and how important it was to this country. After that day I did a lot more research on the Constitution and the founding of this country. After that day I really understand what my Oath of Enlistment really means.

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    I didn't have much going on in my life when I joined up. Later when I was working as a medic on the flight line I thought I was doing my small part to keep air and missile crews up to snuff during the Cold War.
    I'm just a spoke in the wheel but not a big deal.
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    Distinguished Member Array lionround's Avatar
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    I joined in '73 as Military Police. I always thought I wanted to be a cop and thought that was the best way to go about it. I was only in 3 years and looking back, wish I had reupped as a different MOS.

    I found out real fast that Military Police, at least on Ft. Bliss Texas are not "cops". They are glorified security guards. I remember when I learned that lesson. I was assigned to guard the General's car while he was partying at the OC. My desk sgt. just told me to make sure nobody scratched it or crashed into it. That was not what I wanted when I signed up. Maybe I was naiive going in, but if I had it to do over, I would do it again
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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    I joined the military to avoid the draft. In 1966, I was classified 1-A. Employment opportunities were non-existent because an employer knew it was only a matter of time before you were drafted and he would have to hold a job for you. Enlisting at least gave me options. I don't regret it a bit. The military is an education in its own right. You learn a lot and you learn it quickly. I avoided the draft, avoided Vietnam, and came home in one piece honorably. Can't ask for much more than that.
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    My husband had a low draft lottery number so he was told he could either be drafted into the Army or defer till he graduated from college the next year and join the AF. He decided to join the AF. 21 years later he retired from the AF and was always glad he had that opportunity.

    He might not have had a patriotic fervor when he went in but that definitely evolved over the years. Even today, after being out of the military for 2 decades, he'd go back in and defend it if he had to without a second thought.
    It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanlouise View Post
    My husband had a low draft lottery number so he was told he could either be drafted into the Army or defer till he graduated from college the next year and join the AF. He decided to join the AF. 21 years later he retired from the AF and was always glad he had that opportunity.

    He might not have had a patriotic fervor when he went in but that definitely evolved over the years. Even today, after being out of the military for 2 decades, he'd go back in and defend it if he had to without a second thought.
    I truly wish they had an OF program that would allow us back in. Once my son is out on his own, I'd love to serve again - this time out of patriotism.
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    I graduated HS in '70 and after a few months of college at UNCC decided that wasn't for me. Did hard labor at my dad's steel fabrication shop and knew that wasn't what I wanted in the long term. Both my parents were aviation enthusiasts (I flew their Cessna 140 while sitting on pillows at age five) and I wanted to work on airplanes. The logical choice was Air Force or Navy, and I didn't want to spend all my time trapped on a big boat, so off to Lackland AFB I went in early '71.

    I didn't join for any real patriotic reasons (had spent too many years listening to the CBS news on Vietnam) but I wanted training and couldn't afford aircraft vocational schools. My first job was working on B-52s (Tail Number 58-0173--Yeah, I remember it) and found I had a real knack for maintenance. Put my head into the books and my nose to the grindstone and made rank faster than my coworkers. Did my time in SE Asia at the tail end of the VN War.

    In all, I'd say my military times were the best times of my life. I don't particularly care for the civilian world, too much "entitlement" expected with no effort required. While the service is not for everyone, it is for most everyone. I don't regret any of the 20 years, six months, and nineteen days I served.

    Been retired since '91, but I still dream about my service regularly.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    My Father joined the army during the Korea war . His family was poor and he was about to run on the wrong side . He joined and served at first to get a chance in life . He did become a great man and father and i know the military played a big part of who he is. My father is 79 and i am so proud to be his son and his partner in our welding company. And Thank You to all that have given so much ,for any reason why you served.
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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    When I joined the Marines in 1972 I thought I was going to Vietnam. I was wrong as they were mostly pulled out other than the the Marine Embassy detail.My father was career Navy, I didn't like the war our politicians had started, but I had the utmost respect for our troops. I felt it was my turn to step up to the plate. I am now some what pleased to see that even those who disagree with our current war don't blame our troops for it.

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