By Jack Mandaville I want to make a few of my...
Why Did You Join?
“That’s not a good reason,” my step father would reiterate when I told him why I wanted to join the Army. Somehow the prospect of a steady paycheck, a German car acquired during an overseas trip, and an early retirement never met his criteria for swearing an oath to defend the country. As a pimply high schooler still trying to figure out how to spell COLEGE, I didn’t get it. What was wrong with those reasons?
I joined the Army anyway, not really knowing why except that my dad and step dad were both Soldiers and I looked up to them. By that reasoning I figured the military must have been key to developing good people. It wasn’t until basic training that I experienced the thrill of leading Soldiers and knew this was the right place for me. Taking charge was what I craved even if I wasn’t fortunate enough to be an Infantryman. I loved the Army and all it stood for.
As my career progressed it was all about adventure, jumping out of planes, and vanquishing the enemies of my country (too bad that last part never happened in the 1990’s). It wasn’t until after 9/11 that I discovered I was part of something bigger than myself that would have in impact on generations to come, which is what I’ll tell my sons when they’re deciding whether or not to join up.
So how about you? Why did you join the military?
We’ll arbitrarily give away free t-shirts to the best answers, so post away!