RTFU

Why Did You Join?

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Updated: April 26, 2010

“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!

Comments

comments

98 Comments

  1. Joe Lujan

    April 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I’m joining up because I want to become part of something bigger, and get into something that just won’t stop. I just want to train, make difference in the world.
    I think the promotions, getting payed and free feild food, or whatever, is just another perk, don’t need it.
    Plus I get to travel the world, and do things people only get to hear about.

  2. SPC Vargas, Ponciano

    April 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    To be honest I just joined cause I always wanted to since I was young even before 9/11. I always made excuse why I could hold off on joining. I had a child at the age of 20 and put off joining for 7 years. Soon after my 27th birthday, it was either time to nut up or shut up. So being a decade older than most my comrades at basic was a challenge but worth it. I recently returned from a deployment in Iraq, and my sense of wanting to serve my country, and do something greater than myself was solidified with this experience. I know the Army has another deployment or two to get out of me, and do not to this day regret signing that contract.

  3. MK3 Centonze USCG

    April 27, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Everyone has if you find something you love you will never work again. 98% of the time its a blast, 2% of the time its work. I originally enlisted for 4.5 years and got out, I missed it so much that i re-upped for a additional 6 years. Its a honor and whenever I am out in uniform and people thank me for my service, my wife always gets teary eyed. She’s not from the US but she has the same pride I have for my country. There something about Military comradre that isnt found in the civilian life. This is one of the reasons I had enlisted, to be apart of a brotherhood, getting paid to do some awesome stuff and putting my money where my mouth is by enlisting. The early years of Navy Sea Cadets and Army JROTC definetly had a influence as well as my my Dad being a veteran.

  4. Eugene Kelly

    April 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I’m deadset on joining the military after I graduate from college because I want to help out the world. I considered mission work and the peace corps but in the end I decided that even though this would a be a way of traveling and helping people, its helping people that are easily accessible, in poor living conditions for sure, but still very open to aid. The worst place on earth for anyone to live hands down are warzones, constantly surrounded by suffering and living every day in fear, my mother having grown up in one and still having trouble dealing with it. So what better way to get a free ticket there and all the training and equipment to change the world than join the military? Not only do I get to protect the country and the people I love while working with equally motivated, honorable people (thanks to it being an all volunteer military unlike my fathers day), but I also get to be a part of changing other places on earth for the better, whether it be humanitarian work or destroying a destabilizing influence. Granted, not every foreigner appreciates the sacrifice American Soldiers make for them on a day to day basis, and much of the great things military men do they never receive gratitude for. But knowing that by enlisting I will do something more for the world than march in a peace rally or squat on a useless hippie ass saying peace and love without doing anything to share it with those who actually need it. All these things, and Tim Kennedy is my hero. God Bless you RangerUp for representing everything I love about the military. I have three years to study and train before I put in an 18 series contract and can finally wear your cooler shirt designs without feeling like a poser.

  5. 2LT Bengal, USA IN

    April 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    I always had a deep respect and unquenchable interest in the military, and in my freshman year of college it I refused to live a life wondering “what if?” I would take a stand against those who would do bad things to good people anywhere in the world. I enlisted in the Army National Guard and took great pride in my arduous transformation into a soldier.

    I joined the active Army three years later and there is no other way I would have it. I live a life my civilian peers have nothing on. Running until the sunrises, jumping from flying aircraft, participating in live-fire exercises of every kind, moving through a forest in the dead of night under a heavy ruck while communicating wordlessly, and explosively breaching urban entrances with charges I made with my own hands moments ago are all amazing experiences.

    Now on the eve of my entrance to Ranger School, I prepare to earn a tab and with it the unparalleled privilege of leading an Infantry platoon into combat. Now I will do bad things to bad people.

  6. SGTmac

    April 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    For me it wasn’t a matter of if, just when. My father is a Vietnam veteran and my Grandfather a veteran of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and other various campaigns. Both in the Air Force, My father was an ordinance man and my grandfather a Pilot. I thought that would be natural for me to join the Air Force. Hell I was born on an Air Force base and raised in the aviation industry.

    After stint at a little college playing soccer, having adventures working at one of the National Parks of California, for the Mouse in Florida, and causing all kinds of havoc back home. It was time.

    I sought out the Air Force recruiter. After three weeks of hunting for him / her I never found the Recruiter. It was time to look for another branch of service. After seeing a few demonstrations of the prowess of a United States Army Infantry unit in my earlier days, I decided, that’s what I wanted to do. I marched myself right into the Army Recruiting office and the recruiter didn’t have to say a word. I said “I want to be an Infantryman.”

    I wanted the Infantry because of the challenge it offered. The challenge that the infantry offered and the chance to do something honorable and good. The honor that comes with putting it all out there and the thrill of knowing it. The privilege of wearing the uniform and the honor of serving my country. Being able to be proud of what I do and have no regrets about doing it. Plus I was told that loads of women love a man in uniform and the Blue Infantry cord is a chick magnet. My wife is living proof of that fact.

    Because I want to be able to say that I had a part in helping preserve freedom for all of my countrymen, and following in the footsteps of my father my grandfather. So that I would be able to feel a special kind of pride when I see our flag and hear the national anthem. To travel the world and go to and serve in countries that have been oppressed and torn apart by strife and tyranny. To help to secure them and giving them the opportunity of freedom.

    I am now looking forward to the next challenge. Promotion and now Drill Sergeant school when I get back to the world. Hoping to help make the next generation of soldiers better than me and preparing them to serve.

    For Love of Country and Freedom. That’s why I joined.

  7. Judd

    April 27, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    My Grandfather on my mom’s side got a purple heart as an Infantryman after he was gassed in the trenches in WW1, yes ONE, he married a very young woman that would become my Grandmother. My Grandfather on my Dad’s side spent WW2 in the Coast Guard. My Great Uncle on my Dad’s side was a silver star recipient as a Ranger after being part of the mission to rescue Bataan Deathmarch survivors. My Great Uncle on my Mom’s side was a Navy Fighter Pilot in WW2. My Dad is retired Navy and was a Corpsman with SEALS in Vietnam. My little brother was Army Infantry. I am Army Infantry. Basically, this shits in my blood and after 9/11 it was important that I continue charging up that hill. I saw Band of Brothers when it aired and I realized I wanted to be that guy. I wanted to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, kill people, and blow shit up. Not only did I wind up getting my wings. I ended up in the 1/506th Infantry (Band of Brothers was based off of Easy co 2/506th, for those of you that don’t pay attention) and deployed to Ramadi with them. And yes, I got to kill people and blow shit up.

  8. Rob A.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I joined because it was the right thing to do. My Dad was with the Combat Engineers on the beaches of Normandy during D-Day.He went on to finish the Euorpean campaign and was wounded three times. After learning about the sacrifices those brave men made over there I couldn’t fathom not serving my country and have proudly done so for the last 22 years.

  9. Clifford Fargason

    April 28, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Some of my earliest memories involve my Dad’s (WWII vet) National Guard service. My parents raised us to believe that it was an obligation to serve the country before looking out for our own interests. So, after failing the PT test for a West Point nomination, I joined up. Did it for eight years and thought I would get out for college. Discovered that I really didn’t like civilians too much, so I came back in. Did a bit over thirty and then a retiree recall vacation in the sandbox. Still kinda ticked off that they told me I couldn’t play anymore.

  10. Jeff Christnagel

    April 28, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I joined because at 5 4″ I was one bad little guy, went Security Forces in Europe (Air Force) and I am huge Montreal MMA fan. I live in Miami and dress the dress. Unfortunately I am suffering CFS/GWI so wearing some BA Ranger/up gear I still feel FLOSSED.

    Ranger Up!!!

    Jeff to the C

  11. Chris Slade

    April 28, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I’m joining the Marine Corps after college because I want to be World Class at something. I want to be proud of what I do for a living. I feel the need to be doing something for others, and I see no better way than to protect them from the people that would harm our country. I’m very protective and loyal to the things I love, and I love this country, I love the people around me, and I love everything the military and Marine Corps stand for. Becoming a Marine is just about all I think about anymore. In 2 years I’ll be able to proudly say Semper Fi.

  12. Spc. Simkus, John (Regular Army)

    April 28, 2010 at 8:40 am

    We all come from different places with different backgrounds from detail bounded privates to their ass-chewing bosses, but I do not think it’s possible to generalize any one reason for a person joining. A decision of joining a service that is fighting the ‘long war’ in two diverse theaters of suckage is not a decision to be taken lightly. College, sure. Who WOULDN’T want the GI Bill and all it has to offer? Travel, that was a strong point for me. I spent a 2 year tour in Germany giving me a chance to go somewhere I never thought I’d be. The call of duty/patriotism/sense of honor, that’s one I often hear. Now, I’m not an overly patriotic person, but I do not think I’m better than anyone because I put on a uniform, I’m just doing my job. I don’t see the mail man being thanked regularly for his ‘service’ just for doing his job, but there are people in this service (all of the military, not specifically Army)that I still look up to and deserve more respect then words can convey for all the sacrifices they have given. So I guess the reason I joined is to repay my debt to those before me who have sacrificed so much more then I could imagine to give me the liberties I have….Well, atleast thats one of the reasons.

  13. Michelle

    April 28, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I always loved the scene from the opening credits of M*A*S*H when the nurses run to the helipad. I thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.

    I wanted to have stories to tell when I was old that were badass.

    I grew up in a hippie community. All my life they told me to stick it to the Man. Question: How do I stick it to the Man who’s sticking it to the Man? Answer: Join the Man.

    I wanted to be like my grandfather who fought at Guadalcanal. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after he graduated from Yale Law School. I think that’s amazing.

    I had a teacher in high school who had been an Armor platoon leader. He thought he was tough shit. I was in the lunch line and he told me I could never make it at USMA. I turned around and said, I guess we’ll see because that’s what I’m going to do. (To that point I hadn’t decided, but I didn’t want him to decide for me). He knew before my parents did.

    I love my country. Hearing the Star Spangled Banner makes me cry. Every. Time.

    Mostly, though, it wasn’t “Why”, it was “Why not”.

  14. David

    April 28, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I was a sophomore in high school on 9/11. I remember thinking that day that my plans and those of my closest friends would change after graduation. We were the group that were called ‘nazis’ because we dared stand up for this country during debates in US History classes.
    Anyway, aside from my utter hatred for the lowlife scum that terrorize innocent families in Afghan/Iraq and elsewhere…and then bring thir lowlife scum to the US to kill OUR innocent people. Well aside from that I just dont think I’d be able to look my children in the eye years down the road when they ask what it was like during the war(s) if I wasn’t a part of it. Hopefully our efforts today and in the coming years will stifle the enemy enough to keep their BS overseas.
    Out.

  15. Dirtdartwife

    April 28, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Posted the first part of this over on facebook first… sorry! 🙂

    From my husband: “Before I had a family it was because I wanted to serve something great and be a part of a noble organization of which my father was a participant. The stories he told of WWII taught me to believe there is no greater working force on the planet. I knew I could contribute my skills to a great organization. Now it’s no one can defend my family better than I can and I want to do what I can to ensure their safety and security from people that seek to destroy us and our way of life.”

    As for myself: I joined because I didn’t know how to be a civilian (I’m an army brat) and I honestly didn’t know how to live as one. Four months of being a civilian and I BEGGED the Army to take me onto Active Duty instead of the reserves. I was discouraged and insulted that half of my reserve unit didn’t give a damn about passing a PT test, and that’s IF they showed up to drill. I know many good Reservists out there but my experience with that particular unit left me feeling as if I was missing out on the good stuff. I didn’t want the side dishes, I wanted the main course. So I got onto Active Duty and felt as if I belonged to such an honorable and noble organization. I had a purpose in life and it wasn’t to serve myself! It felt SO good.

    We were dual military until we started having children. So now we have five children and my “service” is now to keep my family stabilized while my husband proudly serves. We are a very proud Army family and wouldn’t want it any other way.

    • Karrie

      April 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      You need to check out this online museum for military families. Sounds like you might have some great stories to contribute, given your background.

  16. SPC Hernandez, Edwin

    April 28, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I joined because ive wanted to since i was a kid. I grew up in a military and police family and have always been influenced to do my part and serve my country and protect me family. 9/11 was what pushed me to join. I lost some family members in the towers and ever since have wanted to honor them by doing my part. Being in the Army has opened my mind and helped to me experience a whole different life. (38B – Civil Affairs)

  17. Nick

    April 28, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I figured I’d weigh in as well.

    My dad had been a Vietnam Vet and my brother and I always had a lot of pride about his service, but neither of us really thought we were going to serve. My junior year of high school I started visiting colleges. I had done pretty well in school so I was fortunate enough to visit a lot of the “snooty” locales in the New England area. My dad, who had served as a Staff Sergeant, recommended I check out West Point. I kind of figured I’d go through the motions for him, because he always thought highly of the organization.

    So I showed up and shadowed a plebe (freshman) for a day. He got destroyed. I was stressed out just being with him. I wondered how he could handle it – he honestly was the most screwed up plebe I met, yet he was part of their family, and everyone looked out for him.

    At every other school I visited I was told “We’re the best. You need to come here.” At West Point an upperclassman looked at me and said, “Dude, check it out. Don’t come here for dad, mom, friends, or reputation. Come here because you want to serve more than anything in the world or you won’t make it. You just won’t make it.”

    Fuck yeah.

    I now had a goal. I didn’t know if I was going to get in or not, so I applied for ROTC. If a school didn’t offer it, I was no longer interested. I wanted to be one of these people.

    Fortunately, I got into West Point, which allowed me to become the arrogant, ring-knocking cocksucker I am today.

    Best decision I have ever made.

  18. Cross

    April 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I had wanted to join the Army for as long as I can remember. From getting in trouble in the 2nd grade for drawing battles in my notebook and setting them next to my best friend’s to see whose side would win. Through all the Halloweens that I dressed up in BDUs and applied camo facepaint. All the way through high school when I took the ASVAB and decided that I would not go enlisted and applied for ROTC scholarships. Now, all these years later I am 1 week away from being a commissioned officer and my best friend is finishing up his 4 years as a Marine. People have always asked me why I chose this path and I just reply with an honest answer: I have no idea, I’ve just always had this urge, it just feels right. It certainly helps that I absolutely love everything I’ve done and I cannot wait to begin my training as a combat engineer platoon leader in 1 month.

    And to Nick & Kelly, keep your stories coming guys, I read every one as soon as they are up and I have taken a lot of useful lessons from you guys! Keep up the good work!

  19. Maxwell, PFC, National Guard

    April 28, 2010 at 9:40 am

    As a kid whenever I got a chance, Id be playing soldier. I had a whole rubbermaid tub of the green soldiers and used to use my room, my mom’s room, and the bathroom to set up massive battles between them. Even as a child I understood the importance of high ground…cause days after my battles, my mom would find my toy soldiers up on high shelves and the tops of furniture. My dad worked as a DOD contractor at Hanscom AFB from the time i was 2 until I was in high school, and as such I grew up visiting his office on snow days, and was always impressed by the servicemen there (Air Force and Navy).

    All through childhood I was in some sort of organization with a uniform, usually a form of Scouting. I took pride in having my uniforms to the rules in the handbooks. Once I got to high school I joined the JROTC unit in the school and thrived on the discipline. When my junior year came around, and I started looking at colleges, I realized that even with the scholarships I was going to recieve, and the money my parents had saved for me, I couldnt go to Norwich or Texas A&M like I had wanted. By that time as well I had changed from a fairly active child to an overweight teenager.

    Throughout high school I had always been friendly with the Army National Guard recruiter for our area, and took his advice one day to try the ASVAB. I left that afternoon with a score of a 93 and a lecture from him…don’t miss out on other chances just to join the military. So I worked harder in school, and got into Massachusetts Maritime. The cost was still out of my reach, and after explaining the college benifits one day to my Mom, she spoke to him, “Tell my son to lose weight and buckle down and I’ll support him enlisting”. After that I lost 80 pounds in 6 months and finally, in my senior year of school I enlisted in the Mass National Guard.

    I never looked back after that. Now that I’m deployed, everyone asks me why I joined if I knew this was going to happen, and the answer they get is short…”Because it felt right”…and it still feels right.

  20. Thrash

    April 28, 2010 at 9:56 am

    As far back as I can remember, I always idealized the American
    military. I grew up watching such fare as G.I. Joe & the A-Team,
    which instilled in me the idea that America’s military forces were
    composed of the most honorable & heroic warfighters in the world. As
    a child I never believed that I could make it through boot-camp to
    become one of these people that I so admired.

    Fast-forward several years, and I am fervently and often rejecting the
    advances of the local Navy recruiter. After about a month of this,
    with my then-girlfriend excited about the prospect of being a Navy
    wife, and the lure of money for college, electronics training, &
    guaranteed advancement, I gave in and entered the DEP program with a
    contract to become an Electronics Technician.

    I didn’t know then, and am still not really sure exactly why I
    joined. The one thing that I did know was that I was following in the
    footsteps of my grandfather, who was my personal hero, and I would’ve
    joined up a million times over to be able to see the joy and the pride
    that shone on his face when he talked about my future in the Navy.

  21. Bill Kearney

    April 28, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I can’t exactly explain why I joined, it always felt like a choosen profession to me. Ever since I was a kid I would go to Army surplus store and buy camo and gear to play army. All through school when asked what do you want to be when you grow up, I would write about is being a soldier. So when I got the chance to enlist it was the greatest day of my life. It was like a dream come true. It was the best decision of my life and I will never regret it. After 8yrs. in as an infantry soldier I love every aspect of my career choice.

  22. Jerrold Strong

    April 28, 2010 at 10:20 am

    At the time I was a long-haired hippie-dressed college kid working part-time in an electronics reconditioning plant. Being a Marine Corps brat I was familiar with the military and it’s benefits. So, when my boss started harping on me about getting my hair cut and wearing different clothes, I told him that if I had to work under military conditions I want the benefits too. So I quit, went to the Air Force Recruiter (I wanted to work smarter, not harder), and signed up.

    Now, I’m a retired E-8 after 26 years, had a blast, even when assigned to Red Horse, combat engineers. It was the best move I have ever made.

  23. Aaron Yoder

    April 28, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I know this sounds stereotypical like everyone else, but as a kid I would always love to play with G.I. Joes, and run around with toy guns believing I was in a war. Listening to my Grandpa’s stories of WWII at that age enticed me to be like him. Once I graduated high school I had a scholarship for music performance and to play baseball at ISU (Indiana State University). Two days before my freshman orientation I went to the recruiter and started the paperwork to join the Army. I had read the book Black Hawk Down, and watched the movie the night before. That’s when my heart was set on Enlisting. Through all the experiences I’ve had since going from Reserves for a year, to Active Duty now for almost 5 years I will never regret a moment of it. It’s been one hell of a ride. Being able to assist and defend our great nation has been a privilege to me. We would not be a strong Country without all the sacrifices that have been made by our fellow brothers and sisters before us. It is my honor to be able to follow them in their footsteps.

    “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.” – Winston Churchill

  24. PFC L

    April 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I joined for a couple reasons, most of them deemed at least acceptable by my Vietnam/Desert Storm veteran elders. One, I would round out the sixth generation of men in my family to serve (all the way from the Civil War). I wanted to serve beside my brother, who enlisted in ’07. I wanted to do something I could be proud of, more than the kids sitting on their ass drinking beer and having sex with college chicks (wait … I fucked up).

    Really, I wanted to go do something worthwhile. Yeah, college is great, but I wanted to be a soldier and serve my country. That’s what I cared about. That’s why I enlisted, to serve and carry on a proud family tradition.

  25. andyinsdca

    April 28, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I had done 3 years in college and didn’t really want to keep pursuing my degree in Comp Sci. I wanted to join straight out of HS (had actually gone to the Army recruiter’s office, because I wanted to be an Apache pilot/gunner, but couldn’t because my vision sucked), so I went to Mich Tech and took Army ROTC classes while I tried for a 3-yr scholarship. Didn’t get it. So, after doing college for a while, I decided “screw it” and went down to this office building where all 5 branches had recruiting offices. I said that I was going to join whatever branch had the first door on the left; that was the Navy and I did 4 years.

    Best 4 years of my life!

  26. Jeff Ebner

    April 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I first started out as a NROTC candidate, but was physically disqualified because of a temporary condition. It cleared up and I spoke to the Navy and the Army. The Army recruiter was a 75th bad ass that totally impressed me. Even though I had originally went for the Navy, I was going to sign up to be a Ranger, heartbreaker and life taker. Then the Navy recruiter, a submariner, took me aside and said that as much food as I ate to just maintain 170 lbs weight on a 6’5” frame, I would starve to death in Army Boot camp. He then told me they fed 4 times a day and the golden words “All you can eat” on a submarine. So my happy ass was in submarines for 7 years. I went to Engineering school after I got out, but got bored. Long story short, ended up in the National Guard, first in Signal then went to infantry school in my 40’s. Retired after 28 years as a SFC (11B40-2S) and two deployments supporting OEF.
    I loved the submarine Navy: it was because we were the class of the world and my boat was one of the best in the business. When you go to sea knowing that you are the hunter and everything else is prey….
    But the biggest kick in the ass was the infantry. It took me 7 years to convince my 1SG and SGM that I really wanted to be out in the mud with the rest of the animals. My only regret is that I never could get approval for airborne school. I doubt seriously if they would have let me go to Ranger school at my age, but if they had I would been on the next flight out that day.
    I never wanted a commission; I was asked repeatedly to apply. The thing is as an NCO you are part of a tradition of service that stretches from the distant past into the future. The hard lessons a Roman Centurion learned got passed onto his eager, scared foot soldiers and was distilled into the knowledge passed on to me by various senior NCOs (SGM, MCPO) I worked for. In my career, I like to think I did the same for the younger men and women that served with me. It isn’t immortality, but it is damn close, and the mission of protecting the concept of freedom and rule of law (‘cause folks it ain’t inalienable, it’s all of us serving with a weapon in our hands and blood in our eyes) is a source of pride for me. When I have to stand and answer for my life, I like to think that my Maker will look on me and say that there walks a good and honorable man. I also like to think He will say it to a formation including those Romans stretching past me to include the good men and women giving their lives for the same mission as mine.

  27. stevethemp

    April 28, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I joined because I have always felt called to do something with my life. From the time I was young, I’ve always wanted to be in the Armed Forces. Coming from a military family, I had seen what the military did for my family, and wanted to be a part of it. A story that my dad likes to tell, and it’s one of his favorites, is when I was about 7 or so, I wasn’t behaving myself, so my dad threatened to send me to military school. Instead of crying about it, I went upstairs and started packing my things. 12 years later, I signed up, and went off to basic training. Since then, both of my brothers have enlisted, and we are officially a happy military family.

  28. Diana

    April 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I decided in my high school senior year I wanted to be a law enforcement and military journalist, but my admiration for those who serve and protect us at home and abroad grew to the point where I wanted to be a part of it. I felt that though I was closer to the “front lines” than any civilian picking up a newspaper or watching the news from the comfort of their living room, I was still very much on the sidelines. I wanted in on the action. I wanted to challenge myself, be part of something bigger, and serve to make the world a better place. I was attracted to the camaraderie, pride and honor. As an American-born citizen whose parents came to the U.S. as refugees after the Vietnam War, I also wanted to give back to my country. It was either join or go on as a military journalist wondering “what if” for the rest of my life. I’m now a Marine officer candidate and won’t ever look back.

  29. Jill Murphy

    April 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I joined because I had just immigrated (legally) from Ireland 2 days after I finished University there. I didn’t know how to write a check, or drive. Or get my degree recognized. Or what “credit” was. I was surfing every day and working in a do-it-yourself dogwash (still one of the best jobs I’ve ever had). I bought a motorcycle from a Tanker who just got off active duty. He told me his 4 years “in” kicked ass. I sighed and said “Jaysus, I wish Oi could do that! Ye Americans have a brilliant Army ye do!”. He told me he thought I could. I went to the recruiters office to find he was right. They gave me the whole pitch. They showed me the Airborne Video. I went away and thought about it. Everyone told me I was insane (all hippie California beach bum dope smokin’ peacenik or intellectual type eliteist peeps). I thought a) The US has given me a 2nd shot at life, Ireland was in a deep depression back then before the economy took off (and okay, I was a bit of a wild child with some stuff to er… leave behind), couldn’t I at least do some public service for a few years to pay that favor back? b) I could get earn credit and have a place to live, and food and clothes on my back, c) don’t tell me what not to do! and d) “OMG! I GET TO BE A PROFESSIONAL TOMBOY! I DON’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT TO WEAR EVERY DAY OR EVER WEAR HEELS, OR MAKE-UP, OR HAVE LONG HAIR, AND I GET TO LEARN TO KICK PEOPLE’S ASSES AND SHOOT PEOPLE AND JUMP OUT OF AIRPLANES AND THEN SHOOT PEOPLE AND KICK PEOPLE’S ASSES….. ER…. only bad people’s asses of course”….ahem…. You get the picture. Oh, and guess what? The Army came through with every single one of those promises 🙂

  30. Ashley

    April 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    growing up in my house you had to choices after high school…..join the military or go to college. i knew a long time ago that there was no money saved for me to go to college therefore the military seemed to fit. at athe age of 18 i was engaged to a great guy (who was 2 years older than me, but something seemed to be missing….LIFE! OMG!!! i as only 18 i needed something more! people that i was hanging with werent see past graduation i knew i had to get a way! so i escaped into something that seemed to have a purpose, a meaning and a future for me. something that coild make me a better person and see past tomorrow. i was and still proud of my choice to give myself a future that didnt involve be a manager at the local McDonalds. now i can tell my kids about the things that i saw and about being apart of the big picture! Duty First!

  31. Ash

    April 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    growing up in my house you had to choices after high school…..join the military or go to college. i knew a long time ago that there was no money saved for me to go to college therefore the military seemed to fit. at the age of 18 i was engaged to a great guy (who was 2 years older than me, but something seemed to be missing….LIFE! OMG!!! i as only 18 i needed something more! people that i was hanging with werent see past graduation i knew i had to get a way! so i escaped into something that seemed to have a purpose, a meaning and a future for me. something that coild make me a better person and see past tomorrow. i was and still proud of my choice to give myself a future that didnt involve be a manager at the local McDonalds. now i can tell my kids about the things that i saw and about being apart of the big picture! Duty First!

  32. Ash

    April 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    growing up in my house you had to choices after high school…..join the military or go to college. i knew a long time ago that there was no money saved for me to go to college therefore the military seemed to fit. at the age of 18 i was engaged to a great guy (who was 2 years older than me), but something seemed to be missing….LIFE! OMG!!! i as only 18 i needed something more! people that i was hanging with werent see past graduation i knew i had to get a way! so i escaped into something that seemed to have a purpose, a meaning and a future for me. something that coild make me a better person and see past tomorrow. i was and still proud of my choice to give myself a future that didnt involve be a manager at the local McDonalds. now i can tell my kids about the things that i saw and about being apart of the big picture! Duty First!

  33. Chamaine

    April 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I wanted a career in medicine, but I did not want to be a legalized drug dealer, and I certainly couldn’t picture myself in the hippie worshiping college of my hometown. I wanted to do something that really mattered and since I’m not a man and couldn’t do anything directly involved, like infantry, I chose to support those that could. I got out for a time… to be a proud mommy… but I catch myself longing to rejoin my brothers and sisters every day. You can take a girl out of the Army but you can’t take the Army out of this girl. My husband also proudly serves in the Army as a mortar man and hopefully, after deployment, he will see his goal to become a ranger or green beret come to fruition. Our family serves proudly, despite the misgivings of others!

    It also didn’t help that the year I enlisted was the year of the televised beheading of Americans and the kidnapping of fellow soldiers. You want to know a good way to get us really pissed off? Those actions only confirmed our belief that we are doing the right thing! Too bad the hippies don’t believe in showing disturbing images on TV. If we could remind everyone how painful and horrific the actions of these terrorists are, I’m sure there would be a lot less confused voters!!

  34. Rye MacCallan

    April 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Sounds corny, but it’s simple, I joined because it was the right thing to do. I keep re-upping because it’s still the right thing to do, because there are still people out there who want to fly planes into buildings, and because I want to know my wife and people like her are protected. I am one of the guys walking patrol while she sleeps peacefully.

  35. marineseabee

    April 29, 2010 at 3:40 am

    I enlisted into the Marine Corps because the Navy wouldn’t take me due to a DWI I was arrested for two months earlier in Jan, 1968. So, I enlisted in the Marines in Mar1968 because I did not want to be drafted into the Army. Why?
    The reports from Nam were such that the Army was getting most of the casualties, and I felt I would have a better chance of surviving if I enlisted into the Marines.
    I must have been living right because five months after being in country, Nixon started pulling out troops. We left in Jul1969.

  36. lunchbox

    April 29, 2010 at 8:50 am

    I’ve always hated being given anything that I didn’t think I’ve earned. When I was born I was given two things: my name and freedom. Niether of which I believe have been earned as of yet. I was working in a factory for 65 hours a week a month befor I was to bwe laid-off. At 22 years old, 68″ 300 lbs. I walked into the recruiters office and walked out with a purpose. Cut to a year and a half later, I’m 180 lbs. with a 260 on the Marine Corps. PFT and a 292 on the CFT. just waiting for my shot to earn that Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. Hopefully at the end of it all, I’ll be able to proudly hang my hat on my life and say I earned it.

  37. David D.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I was an Army Brat. I was born at an Army Hospital in Germany and moved from post to post quite frequently. My father had made a career of the Army and I had about 3 generations before me that served in various branches of the Armed Forces. I had always wanted to be in the Army and decided after High School that I would join. I didn’t know at the time what it was all about, but after some time, I began to understand that this was my calling. Not a lot of people hear that calling, but I did. Early one morning, the day after my 18th Birthday, my recruiter picked me up bound for the MEPS. This was my ship day, I was to complete the initial enlistment process and fly to Basic Training in Fort Leonard Wood, MO. As I was sitting in the MEPS Station at Fort Bliss, Texas, waiting to go to the airport, the first plane hit the World Trade Center and then the second plane struck, and then the others at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. I joined the US Army on September 11, 2001. I ended up leaving to Basic Training on September 16, 2001 and by late 2002 I was deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and returned to the Middle East on several other Year plus tours. When looking back, I have no regrets and would do it all over again if given the opportunity. My time in the Army, I served with some of the most incredible men and women I have ever met. We will forever share a bond that most people can’t even begin to understand. I am a civilian now, and I continue to live by those values instilled in me while in the military. I miss the Army every single day, and I still continue to serve My Country because it is my calling.

  38. Ryan

    April 30, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Cop not mil story, but similar to the ones above. Hope it’s okay.

    I was a senior in high school on 9/11. Over the course of my high school career I hopped around what kind of service I wanted to do. It wasn’t if, it was where and how. Army thought I should fly Apaches until they found out my uncorrected vision is in the 20/800 range. Too bad because I would have been all about that. However, I came to realize I don’t have the disposition to be a soldier anyway. On 9/11 felt something in my gut that I needed to protect the people here at home from the people that have already breached our defenses. The local Sheriff had been trying to get me to come work for him for quite some time. He was a hero of mine for most of the time I was growing up, he still is. He said I have the spotless record, the honesty, integrity that the citizenry was looking for in a cop. So, I finally believed him and took him up on the offer. All the sheep dogs can’t be in the military, we need some good cops too.

    Served my community as a reserve cop while doing college at the same time. Did about 40 hours a month 100% volunteer patrol on the streets. Got my degree in 4 years when it took most 5-6 and they were doing nothing else. Hated school, loved being a cop. It’s hard to describe going to classes with the very same people you arrested at a football game on the previous Saturday. Reserves was the best job in the department. You could insulate yourself from a lot of the day to day politics and just focus on hitting the street and doing the job. I learned the law (something I now use every day), learned to fight, learned to train others, and many other more subtle things that were integrated into my personality and character.
    I protected the families and stuff of my friends that were serving overseas. I was here for the guys when they were back on leave. Someone at home that also understood what it meant to serve, and had seen some of the ugliness they had. My way of trying to give back to them, try to make sure that they were coming home to the one they left and there was at least one person at home that “got it”.

    However, not a cop anymore. I fought it as long as I could but some problems at the department where I did not believe I could continue to honorably serve there. Took pain upon myself rather than being forced to inflict pain on those I was sworn to protect and the Constitution I was sworn to uphold. Things are finally starting to change locally (some of it due to my activities since leaving the dept), and if the chips fall where I hope they will this November I’ll be putting on my duty belt and armor again going after the evil ones in our midst once more. As the ability to serve and not violate those I’m sworn to protect will return.

  39. Sara Guyaux

    April 30, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I was going to serve my country, one way or another. Few Americans can avoid it. I had come to the time in my life when I had to choose: Hero or Sidekick. Either I could do the hard thing, sign up in a time of war, and commit to the possibility of becoming a different person… or stagnate in the cesspool of wages that is WalMart: safe, consistent, and very low-risk.

    My friends weren’t happy, but in the end, the choice wasn’t terribly difficult.

  40. Cass McDonough

    April 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    To Maxwell, PFC, I’m at Texas A&M, I’m sorry you couldn’t attend here, you’d have really embraced it. It’s the best service school around, but I’m biased. I have never served, but I was an Army brat, and married someone above, so I’m a mil wife (don’t include me in the contest). But Maxwell, ask Tommy or Whitney for my email address, I’d like to get to know you!

  41. Steve Sybert

    May 1, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    A little about myself first, I’m an old guy, old enough to be your fathers, I was in Vietnam, in 1968. I joined for a couple of reasons, I had never finished anything that I had ever started, and had NO work ethic. I needed direction, discipline, a boot in the ass, SOMETHING. And the Army gave me that. I could not stand the idea of someone else going in my place, and taking their chances, while I sat on my ass at home. I come from a long line of vets, I mean since the American Revoution, so I had footsteps to follow, I didn’t want to disgrace those that had served before me. Now, Vietnam was not a “good” war like WWII, or some of the earlier ones, but it was the only war I had, and I knew I’d never have a better opportunity to prove up.

  42. Tarrou

    May 5, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Three reasons

    1: Family. My grandfathers, uncles, cousins have all been in, it’s a bit of a tradition, and I take that sort of thing seriously.

    2: I wanted to see if I had the ability to do it. Think of it as a rite of passage. Always wanted to see if I stacked up. Was happy with the results:)

    3: And most importantly, after 9-11 I didn’t know what would happen, but I was sure it was going to be the biggest thing that happened to my generation. I wanted to be a part of it.

  43. Erick Rodriguez

    May 8, 2010 at 5:23 am

    As a kid, when I would run around with my brothers, bashing each other with random objects, climbing trees and running around in the woods, we’d always find ourselves playing Army. And what do all kids want to be when they’re playing Soldier? It isn’t the Apache pilot or the Abrams guys, it’s the Infantryman. I always imagined myself as one of those grunts with the M1 storming the beaches at Normandy or patrolling the jungles of Vietnam. For as long as I can remember, I didn’t want to do anything but be a Soldier. And then I got to high school. I strayed down a winding path of wrong crowds and bad habits until one morning changed my view on the world. 9/11 happened when I was a senior in high school. That Tuesday morning woke me up. I didn’t believe what I was seeing and I can’t quite describe the feelings that were melding in me at the time, but right then and there, like many other Americans…I felt in my gut that I had to do something better and that I had to become something more than what I was. My attitude did a complete 180 and I worked my ass off to make sure I graduated on time and took my happy ass right to the recruiter. I walked into that office, looked at my recruiter and told him “I want to join the Army. Can you put me in the Infantry?” I was on a plane ride to Fort Benning not long after. I can say that there are many things in my life that I would have done different, but becoming an Infantryman is not one of them. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The opportunity to be led by some of the greatest Soldiers to serve, SSG Marshall Caddy (R.I.P.) and SFC Robert Esquivel showed me exactly what I needed to do in order to be the NCO they were and much more. Their examples, training and leadership made ME the NCO I am today. I remember as a Private I would look up to them and want to be exactly like them. And here I am now as a Staff Sergeant trying to be better. I joined to be a part of something greater than myself. A part of my country’s history. I joined to bring justice to those that would do America wrong. And I joined to be a part of the meanest, baddest most lethal family in the world. And I wouldn’t trade it in for anything.

  44. Will Johnvin

    May 10, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I joined the Army because shoveling cow [email protected]%t on a dairy farm didn’t have a whole lot of career advancement. The year was 1991: America was still relishing the one sided ass-kicking in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Grunge was becoming a music genre and not just a hygiene preference, and the mullet was finally being herded into trailer parks. I was on my way for another glorious day of pulling teets (cow udders, for all you city folk) when I was stopped by this man in a polyester green suit with a whole bunch of ribbons and decorations on his chest. He told me, being an over the top avid deer hunter, the Army would give me all the free camouflage and thick long underwear I could imagine. My Dad, uncle, and grandfather all served and I remembered hearing all of their stories of far off lands. I couldn’t believe anything existed past the sprawling metropolis of Green Bay! The man with all the decorations told me of all the places I could see, the things I could do, told me that I could fly in airplanes (but didn’t tell me I wouldn’t be landing with them), and all I needed to do was sign on a dotted line. How could anyone pass up a deal like this?! So, I signed up (more like thumb printed) to be an Engineer (a carpenter, to be exact, and not a train operator) and volunteered for Jump School. Basic training felt a whole lot like Deer Camp: constantly getting yelled at, endless walks through the woods, carrying a rifle I didn’t intend to shoot, and dog tired the whole time. But my dad, a former Drill Sergeant during the Vietnam War, told me I had an advantage over most of the recruits; I knew which end of the rifle the bullet was out of. (Thanks so much, Old Man!) 19 years, over 60 jumps, and three or four CNN news spots later, I’m still amazed at all the cool stuff I get to do in one week. Why did I join? I didn’t know what I was getting myself into but, today, I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.

  45. Rick Masters

    May 12, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I saw a show on the military channel about EOD. I thought it was bad ass, so I joined the Army as an EOD tech.

    That and chicks love that flag on your right shoulder.

  46. Kilo 3-3

    May 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I joined cause the recruiter told me it was a good opportunity to see the world……its been four years and the only thing Ive seen is a miserable Germany airport terminal and every single damn city off of MSR Tampa.

    But in the long run, I wouldn’t have it any other way cause it was my buddies who helped me make the best of it. Very rarely will you have a network of friends as wide as the world like you do in the army in a civilian job.

    Shooting weapons that civilians dream of shooting at night.

  47. Jim

    May 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I grew up fascinated with the military. My father was a Vietnam era Naval Flight Surgeon and very proud. I remember sneaking into his closet as a young child and putting on his flight jacket every chance I got. On every Halloween, until I was too old to wear a costume anymore, you could bet money I was going to be a fighter pilot, Navy Seal, Green Beret, Delta Force or any combination of the above.
    In high school, I loved the camaraderie of team sports and the sense of brotherhood that came with it. By the time I was in my senior year of high school, I was obsessed with joining. In 1993 I graduated, joined the Army, and became an MP. I never deployed anywhere special nor did I reenlist. The later is a decision that sits heavily on my shoulders even today. I am now a 13-year police officer and am very satisfied in my current service. As I get closer and closer to the point of no return where I will be too old to do it all over again, I sit comfortably knowing that I am surrounded by so many great Americans who do it in my place.
    I have the utmost respect for all of you past, present, and future service members here. I feel a strong bond that I would have never known had I never joined. Thank you all for your service.

  48. Andy C

    May 31, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    I am not currently in the military,(only 15), but my dream is to one day join the military and fight for our country. One reason is a quote from Marcus Luttrell’s book “You have to serve your country before you exploit it.” But in my opinion, there’s a lot more too it then that. September 11 was the first time i realized why there is a military. It is to defend the millions of people in it’s country. I would like nothing more than to fight for every single American in this country. I believe there is something you have to be born with, the warrior spirit that gives you the will to die for the greater good. And to be honest, I really want to hurt the terrorists that attacked, and continue to plan to attack, our country.

  49. Skip LeMay

    July 28, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    I grew up a Navy “brat”, the son of a Master Chief. There is no man in the world I have more respect for than my Dad. He built in me a solid foundation that everything good about who I am has been constructed upon. Just before my 12th birthday he wrote me this letter from Vietnam during one of his many deployments:

    Dear Skip,

    Hi again! I got to thinking the other day, after I had written to you. Maybe I should try to explain something. I don’t know if I can make you understand or not Son. But I think I can.
    When I left to come over here I put you in a rather bad position. There you were, eleven years old and had to become the man of the house for 6 months. Now that’s a long time. And by the time I come home you will be twelve years old. Well, what I want to say is this.
    There are some people in this world that think if they kill enough, or torture enough, then everyone will let them do as they please. But people in the United States don’t believe this way. That’s why, when this war here in Vietnam started we decided to help the people of South Vietnam. Communism is a threat to the whole world. And if we let the Communists of North Vietnam take over South Vietnam, they will just go to some other country and do it again. So we are helping the people of South Vietnam fight them off. It may be hard for you to understand why your Dad must be over here and away from you and Mom and the two girls. But listen to me Son. I love all four of you, I love our country and I love the way we are free to come and go as we please. Worship the God of our choice and elect our own people to run our country. I’m in the Navy because I believe what we have is worth fighting for. And I’m here in Vietnam, because those people we elected to run our country, believe that Communism has to be stopped.
    I pray that you can understand what I’m trying to tell you Son. Because I think you should know why I’m being gone so long and why it came to be your job to look after the family for me. Your mother needs your help Skip. She needs to know that you love her and that you think it’s right for me to be gone. So help her out Son. Let her know that while I’m gone you are doing your best to help her. Keep your schoolwork up and learn all you can. Someday it will be your turn to take over the jobs of people my age. And the more education you have the easier it will be for you.
    It’s time for me to sign this off Skip. Keep your chin up and take care of Mom and your sisters.

    Love
    Dad

    I made it my goal from that day on to become a Navy helicopter pilot. Unfortunately my eyes went bad at age 17 and I had to start wearing glasses, thus ending my military pilot dream. My back up plan was college and then a career as an officer, but when it came time to go to school I didn’t feel right with saddling my parents with the high cost of higher education. I decided to join the Navy, do a tour, and then get out and go to school on the GI Bill. 24 years later I retired from the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer. Along the way I always looked back at that letter Dad wrote and it helped me keep my eyes on what was right and just.

    Thank you Dad.

    ATC(AW)Ret. A. C. “Skip” LeMay III

  50. Rory Flint Knife

    August 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Gonna hear from another one of the “old guys.” Growing up, our family was relatively privileged – dad made what was a lot of money back in those days. So I was groomed for college at private boarding schools. When I got to the university, it was my chance at rebellion against all the structure I had lived with in my formative years. I played cards (and made a decent small living) at the Student Union – skipped classes, and eventually received a semester of “F’s.” The next semester I started out on probation, but was headed down the same path. One day, SSgt Barry Sadler’s, “Ballad of the Green Berets” came over the jukebox, and I determined that was what I would do. My father, his father, and my great-grandfather all were Marines in the various World Wars, so it really was a family tradition to serve. But everyone was stunned that I would join the Army instead of the Marines. Ultimately, I got my wish. After Airborne and Officer Candidate School, I went to Ranger School, and then ultimately was assigned to what now is the JFK Special Warfare Center (Special Forces) at Fort Bragg. I did 19 months of ODA combat command in Vietnam. Even tho I had attained my Green Beret, my heroes were the helicopter pilots who brought us rations, provided gunship support, and medivaced our wounded. I was determined to go to flight school and then return to the action. Instead, when I returned stateside I received orders to teach ROTC at Brown University. That was the end for me – too much time in the bush made me unfit to be a spitshiner. Now 63 years old, I look back at my service time with great fondness and pride – it made me the man that I am. Few, however, seem to understand how deeply either time in service or war affects you. Thankful these days for the Military channel – I can live vicariously thru some of the young ones doing the country proud these days. My salute to all of you who enlist and serve. Freedom certainly isn’t free. You all make me extraordinarily proud.

  51. Uncle Mac

    August 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    The last semester before graduating high school in 94, I had an epiphany… I was a shitbag who would never make anything of himself under my own volition. I understood I needed a motivational kick in the nuts. So on my 18th birthday, I walked into the Army recruiting station, asked who was in charge, and after being directed to the station commander I asked “where do I sign & how soon do I leave”.

    I signed on to be an M1 Tanker with a guaranteed duty station of Korea, because I’ve always had that nagging urge to “kill people & blow shit up” (although my grandfather was a medic in WWII). It worked, it de-shitbag-ified me.

    I knew I had found a home in the Army when I reported to Hood after my 1st year in Korea & the female E-6 at replacement asked me why the hell I came in as a 19K & before I could reply she said “Let me guess…to kill people & blow shit up”.

    Now I just sit here with 50% VA disability, bugging the hell out of recruiters to try & find a way back in & if they’re taking prior service guys yet, lacking any form of a friend outside of those I served with & the folks I meet who served.

  52. Nathan

    August 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I’m 28, a college graduate and recently divorced. I had considered military for many years. Got out of high school and found myself in college instead of the service. Got my degree. Met my future ex-wife. Got married. She wouldn’t be with a military man. I accepted that because I loved her and changed my plans. I got a job as a Support Engineer instead. We divorced and now I’m in a position to revisit lost opportunity.

    I know if I do not enlist, I will regret it for the rest of my life. Even if they don’t accept me due to my past life choices and a mild-handicap. I know the service is where I belong at this point in my life. It’s not the money, it’s not the travel. It’s for self-integrity, for duty and above all, I can’t but help answer a calling that I’ve felt for too long; a calling that, for too long, I have ignored.

  53. matt

    August 18, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I am in a very similar boat to nathan. I am 30 and have considered joining for many years. I went to college instead when i was younger so I could stay closer to my sick parents. Time is running out for me and every day of my life i regret not joining when i was a kid. when Nathan said, “I know the service is where I belong at this point in my life. It’s not the money, it’s not the travel. It’s for self-integrity, for duty and above all, I can’t but help answer a calling that I’ve felt for too long; a calling that, for too long, I have ignored.” It brought tears to my eyes because its exacially how i feel.

  54. Ranger Huynh

    August 19, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    As a 1st generation Vietnamese/American I know of a lot of my male family members from my father to his siblings fought in the Vietnam war as part of the ARVN alongside the U.S military. I felt as if there was a rich military tradition within the ranks of my family members, so that could’ve been a good reason to join….but to be honest I was completely and utterly bored out of my wits and want to do something like shoot rifles and blow S#[email protected] up and be somewhat rebellious to the all but true stereotype (within my family) of going to college to be an accountant/ doctor/ computer whatever. So next thing you know (Pre 9/11)I was on my way to fun and adventures at Ft. Benning, Hooah schools and Afghaniraqistan.

    Rangers Lead the Way!

  55. OIFvet

    September 17, 2010 at 2:24 am

    It is your civil duty as a citizen to want to fight to protect the freedoms that our forefathers handed to us. You shouldnt join because it’s the right thing to do or because your parents were in the military.

  56. Bill

    September 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I joined at the ripe old age of thirty. I had almost joined after high school, and was talked out of it, by my mother. I didn’t want to be 40 and look back with regrets. Simply, I joined to serve my country. I am now 44 and a Chief Petty Officer in the Naval Reserves, with 2 OIF tours under my belt, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I take that back, the one thing I would add, is that now, I serve for the guy to the left and the right of me.

  57. Steven

    October 1, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Why am I joining the army? 3 simple reasons. 1) I, like many of my people in this generation am lost. I am completely and utterly lost. I have no initiative except for that of joining the army in hopes that it will instill initiative in me. I know it will. 2) I am a native New Yorker and therefore am deadset on bringing all the hell and fury that my beloved city holds towards our enmies across the globe. The army will give me plenty of opportunities. 3) I want to to make a man out of myself. I have a girlfriend whom I love and hope to marry and have children with someday, but as of now I cant. Im still just a child I guess you can say. The army will make me quite the man to deal with, and an honourable man at that.

  58. John

    October 4, 2010 at 12:17 am

    I joined in 1965(Nam vet)’cause when I heard the Star Spangled Banner and seen Ole Glory wave, I get a lump in my throat…this is the best country to serve. I paid my dues(debt?)..Proud to be an American..Marine..OOOOHrah

  59. DocMojo

    October 10, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    This is going to start lame, but with a good sense of humor this may make sense. You ever been sitting around a “field party” and say to yourself, “Man my life is fucking boring!” You know, those rural western Oklahoma pastures where you cut down the only tree in sight to start a fire and drink weak 3.2% alcohol beer while regaling stories about how you are going to work at the local grain Co-op when you graduate high school ’cause you shit your GPA down the drain? No you say, well you my friend are clearly not living the dream! As this story happens I just so happen to be! That is when a brilliant idea comes to mind, as they always do! My buddies and I decided right then and there we sucked. So just like our father’s did 25 years before we all decided to join on up with the local guard unit! “Why the hell not, not like my unmotivated ass is gonna get any scholarships anyway!” I thought as I drunkenly stumbled around a fire in the middle of a cow shit mined pasture. I needed an adventure for a few months, and when I get back I’ll look good, have some real money of my own, and have a chance to use that G.I. Bill thing I saw on those “bad-ass-man-shit” recruiting adds! Of course there was a problem, I was the youngest of my friends then and I had to wait 6 months after they signed up to (’cause God knows my parents weren’t about to sign papers for me.) Let’s face it, joining the National Guard pre- 9/11 wasn’t exactly the direction they wanted for the middle son of their 3 boys! I had to constantly assure my friend’s that I wouldn’t chicken out and not sign. Talk about family support too! My dad told me he expected me to be the guy to get the first sock party in basic… (I was a little over weight, and did I mention unmotivated?) I also had the misfortune to watch my buddies get carted away to basic training and return “Post-boot Jacked.” They came home “swole” as hell too, and there I was the fat friend. So when it came my turn in the recruiter’s den I was more then excited to sign the dotted line (Fat jokes from friends are enough encouragement as it turns out!) There was another problem as it turns out. I didn’t get to be a “Gun-bunny” (which is a sad term for MLRS launcher crews I feel… no guns… only rockets!) I had the pleasure to choose between a medic, or a chaplain’s assistant. Seeing as I didn’t think my cussing, drunken, whoring ways would be a good fit for the “Keeper’s of the Cloth” I chose the former. (you might be thinking to yourself “how does a fat kid get any? Go to western Oklahoma it will all make sense!) Anyhow I got my ship day, and that news went over with my mother real well; about as well as a new pair of swimming cleats! I shipped off to basic in May, and came home in December a brand new 68W. And make the all the jokes you want, but basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood took me from a chunky 210 to a lean 165 lbs! Not only did I get to rub that in my dad’s face, but when I out lifted my friends and put my older brother in a rear-naked choke the joking ended there. As far as my service since, active duty fans I have seen 3 combat tours in Iraq, a mobilization to Hurricane Katrina, and am currently gearing up my first tour to Afghanistan. I earned my CMB in ’05 in a little place called Ramadi, Iraq, and am setting pretty as the Senior Evacuation NCO (E-5) in my current unit 45th IBCT. I have been in love with the Job ever sense AIT. And I wouldn’t change a single decision I made since that night in a cow shit mined pasture!

    Oh, p.s. 45th Infantry Division from Oklahoma is an original RANGER brigade… Represent Dirty Birds!

  60. clint sacks

    October 15, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I did not want to go to college so i joined and left for fort benning 2 weeks after graduating and now 1 year after i left i am sitting in iraq, great choice right ?? haha

  61. Andrew

    October 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I joined for the reason a lot of people joined and are affraid to come out and say. For fear of sounding un-patriotic. I lived in a small city with noting but factory work and dead-end carrers. The only real ways out were prison or the military. I chose the former that was close to 10 years ago and I have not looked back since.

  62. Brendan

    October 19, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    To kill bad guys and break their stuff.

  63. Ballz

    October 26, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I wanted to go to Ranger school, fight tigers, and fast rope out of blackhawks. Two outta three ain’t bad.

  64. Lextalionis

    November 9, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I served because that is who I am.

  65. Samantha

    November 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I joined because I’ve always wanted to make a difference, to make someone’s life better before I became extinct. It helped that signing up was the quickest way out of West by God Virginia and the poverty that I had grown up with.

  66. Jeremy C

    November 15, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Funny answer….I joined n 2001 just to get the hell outta Colorado…I became a medic just because it was “the family buisness” all my family were something in the medical field…..It wasn’t until I had my hands in one of my guys chest’s in 03 in the middle of Iraq that I realized that “this is my calling” Now 7 years later and a broken back incurred from doing the duty I wouldn’t trade a damn thing…..

    …….These things we do so that others may live.
    -Combat Medic Creed

  67. SGT Higgins

    November 21, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Well, I joined the Army, not for any real reason other than the Air Force recuirters where never around when I went by the Station in the mall ( and every paternal memeber of my family is retired Air Force), but they did not mind to much. This is the military is the family bussiness, my father both grand fathers, my uncles, all have served, but what do you expect from a family who’s motto is pro patria (for Country), it’s what we do, and we do it well.

  68. marineseabee

    November 24, 2010 at 1:29 am

    I enlisted in the Marines after the Navy said they couldn’t use me because I had a DWI two months earlier. And, after watching the news from Vietnam for several years, I didn’t want to join the Army because it seemed that they were always getting their butt beat (even though they won their battles). I figured I’d survive better if I joined the Marines. As it turned out, my Marine unit in Vietnam was the 1st Batt, 9th Marines – The Walking Dead.

  69. Dennia

    April 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    AFTER graduating from College and spending 3 years working in a Biochemistry research lab, I was bored and wanted some adventure in my life. I saw an ad in the paper, “NAVY NEEDS PILOTS”, and so I applied and was tested for the Naval Aviation Program. When I was applying, I met a Nuclear Submariner who talked to me about nuclear submarines, so I applied for that, too. I passed the tests for BOTH programs, so I chose the Nuclear Program, was sent to Washington, D.C. and interviewed by ADM Hyman Rickover, and got accepted into the Nuclear Program. The close leadership and working with the cream of the crop told me this is where I belonged!

  70. Ron Green

    April 14, 2012 at 7:53 am

    I joined and flew 3 tours in Vietnam for GOD and COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!

  71. E-3 forever

    April 24, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I enlisted because I could never wake up early enough for Sunday cartoons and my recruiter said I wouldn’t have that problem anymore if I signed his contract.

  72. JB_RUGBY

    April 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I joined the Army for the Service, Honor and Camaraderie. I loved the “old” Soldiers creed which stated “I am a member of a time honored profession”. We worked hard to uphold the reputation of generations before us, and now as NCO’s we strive to instill it in SIT and Young Soldiers.

    I love the Army for its standards – the fact that “I didn’t know” is a BS answer.

    Above all of that I wanted to serve my Country. I am the only one of the current generation within my family to serve – after generations before answered the call. I am proud to wear the uniform, serve this great Nation and uphold a family tradition.

  73. Cote

    April 24, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I joined the Marines because my dad and sister were in the Army.
    Let me back track and say that my earliest memories growing up was the Army. My mom has a photo of me with my dad’s Kevlar and him holding me.
    Why didn’t I join the Army and choose the Marines? Maye to try to outdo my sister and make the old man proud. Maybe because my grandfather was a Marine at Guadacanal. In the final analysis, I wanted to serve America and the sound of country and Corps sounded damn good. Do I personally believe that the Marine Corps is better than the other branches. I would say we’re better at doing more missions across a wider spectrum but everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Yes even the Marine Corps.
    Why did I join? I wanted to become a better person. The man that my parents could stand up and say, “Yes, we hav a Marine and a soldier in the family.”

  74. Dan

    April 24, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Dude, I joined for the chiiiiiiiicks.

  75. Rich Nic

    April 24, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I joined to Pillage before I killed. Paybacks are a Bitch! 2/75

  76. TroyS

    April 24, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I joined for myself and my family, I know I can’t sit behind a desk for the rest of my life. I am 5th generation military with every family member having served, many of them double lifers. I love this country, I was taught to love it and see it from my family’s perspective. From the hours my father forced me to learn the pledge of allegiance in the sweltering Georgia heat until I got it just right when I was 5. To the countless stories of loss and sacrifice, for my freedom, for all of our freedoms. They taught me about their friends and family lost forever who willingly answered the call. It was then I knew I wanted to join the military, not to carry the torch from my family, but because I wanted to fight for our freedoms. It is a weird feeling, it is not that I feel obligated because of family, but I know it’s who I am, it runs in my blood I can feel it. I can’t put it into words, but anyone who comes from a long lineage of military understands it. The morning of 9/11 sealed it when two of my family members barely escaped with their lives. It all came rushing back, the stories of my Grandfather witnessing of Pearl Harbor and my other grandfather storming the beaches in WWII to fight the Japanese. I never truly understood what that felt like until that day. I understood, everything made sense that day, and I knew where I belonged.

  77. J 3T

    April 24, 2012 at 11:39 am

    While other kids in elementary school were reading Clifford, Dr Seuss, ETC. I was reading books on warfare and weaponry. Growing up poor we didn’t have a lot of things. I remember using a X30 jet turned sideways to for use as a gun.
    Fast forward to my teen years. Looking at me you would never think I would ever be in the military. Grunged out skater kid with a purple mohawk. I ran with some of the more unsavory types. A lot of older kids if you will. We after seeing them going to jail and getting killed for the same things I was doing it made me start to think. My shop teacher had some recruiters come to my vocational school my senior year. It was then I reverted to what I always knew I was meant to do. That was 15 years ago.

  78. Steve Croushore

    April 24, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I first I joined because I felt a sense of obligation and patriotism. As time went on I began to think I was just a cog in the machine that enforces policies of the United States government, good or bad. Eventually, I realized that it wasn’t about apple pie or being a cog…it was about the man to my left and right and who had my six.

  79. SGT Steve B

    April 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I joined so my wife and children don’t have to experience the horrors of war that is every day life for Afghans and Iraqis, Somalis and Burmans. Take the fight to them, so they don’t take it to us at home. Unfortunately, post 9/11 showed us that the USA isn’t untouchable like we naively believed we were. I joined to do my part to prevent another Pearl Harbor or 9/11 for future generations and give my family the gift of peace.

  80. CPT B Nelz

    April 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    To be the kind of father and grandfather that my family will look up to for being part of something bigger than me.

  81. John Sprecher

    April 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I joined because college looked boring, working for my dad’s construction business didn’t look fun and I could kick ass and take names in the Army. I was right on all accounts.

  82. John Sprecher

    April 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I joined because college looked boring, working for my dad’s construction company didn’t look fun, and I knew in the Army I could kick ass and take names. I was right on all accounts.

  83. SGT David Mc

    April 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    OIF kicked off my freshman year in college and I got the “fun” of dealing with the hippies who critiqued war from the comfort of a liberal arts college in PA, and the chickenhawks who rabidly supported wars they had no intention of fighting themselves. After I graduated in 2006, I decided I would enlist in the Army. Since I supported OIF back in 2003, it felt wrong to see other go, fight, suffer, and die in a conflict I supported, especially if I was unwilling to go myself. Ended up doing two deployments in Iraq, and hold my head high in that I backed my words with actions, and was willing to take action instead of just talking and yelling from the peanut gallery.

    No regrets, and I’d do it all over again.

  84. Wolowicz, M

    April 24, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Because what other job/career path allows you to jump out of planes, blow stuff up, kick in doors, and shoot douchebags in the face? Also: self-improvement, service to the nation, and honoring the memories and sacrifices of those who came before me.

    MANCHU!

  85. Sung Baillargeon

    April 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I joined the military to get some direction in life. I failed out of my first college and was kind of lost at 19. I went to community college to salvage what i could from my past failures and realized i needed help. That is when i thought back to my dad, who to my understanding got drafted in 1964 and retired from the US Army in 1985. During that time he got married, and had a family during his time and got the skills needed to succeed in life. I didn’t see my dad’s time in the Army (i was born in 83) but i had always wondered about it and thought that it helped my dad, so it could help me as well.
    I joined up in 2003, and did both stateside and overseas duty in Iraq as part of the Reserve component. I learned a lot about life and how to get things done and most of all take responsibility for every single action in my life. I honestly believe that if i did not enlist I would not have achieved what i have now. I am proud to have served and if push came to shove, I would re enlist again.

  86. Randall Wirth

    April 27, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Why did I join? This is a question I get asked every day by various people. I have quite a few answers for it, actually. I will either tell people that it’s because it’s always what I wanted to do or that my family has a reportable history in the military dating back to WWI after freshly getting off the boat from Germany about a little less than a generation earlier. It could be that my Grandfather was one of the first Navy Seabees fighting with the 302nd in the South Pacific liberating Guam, the Philippines, and various other islands from the Japanese, while his brother fought with the 82nd Airborne in Europe. It could be that my great uncle joined the USMC and fought and died on Pork Chop Hill or that my father joined the Army as soon as he was able(at age 17) to try and join his brother who enlisted in the Marine Corps just a few years earlier, both hoping they would be sent to fight in Vietnam. Although they were never given the chance, my father was able to serve on the DMZ in Korea, participating in Operation: Paul Bunyan while my Uncle served his time in the Philippines on stand by orders to be deployed. That’s just family history and only had a slight effect on my desire to enlist. I would have to say that overall my desire, my drive and my passion to join lies in the fact that once again our nation was under attack and we were going to war and I was going to be damned that if no one I was in school with was willing to sign up and fight then I would be the one. I was at the recruiter from age 16 and on trying to do everything possible to get myself enlisted and once I finally graduated, I was off to OSUT at Ft. Sill, OK. Once I was in I was your typical soldier with a big head and a desire to be a hero but I learned my place. When I finally got to Iraq at the end of 2005 I knew how much of an idiot I was to want to be a hero, I just wanted to make it home alive and make sure the guys next to me made it out as well so they could go home to their wives and kids and girlfriends( I was single, so I didn’t mind making the sacrifice play if I had to so someone could live to raise their kids) I lost men, I saw men horrifically wounded, I dodged death, I laughed,I cried and the I got stop-lossed to do it all again in 2008 when I was supposed to ETS. SO instead of whining and crying I picked myself up and did it again( although I was significantly more of a smart-ass because of it) I finally got out in 2009 and I’m in college for Criminal Justice, I’m still in the IRR and I will be extending that. If I get called back for any reason, I’ll gladly pack up and go. Overall, I’d have to say that I joined not because I have a family history, not because I wanted to be a “badass” or to try to impress girls( which is a horrible reason anyway and won’t get you too far when they’re conditioned to call you a baby killer) I joined because I love my country, I love my people, and NO ONE will threaten either one while I still have life in my lungs and a working trigger finger. I joined to defend my brothers and sisters in arms and if the time came, avenge them. That’s why I joined and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  87. "TurkeyFoot"

    April 30, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Bc i love my country. Bc I love my country. Bc I love my country… Oh, and bc I just want to kill bad guys for my country. Call me a simpleton. — RLTW!!!

  88. JPARF05

    May 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    To crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their women

  89. combatjumpmaster

    July 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I joined because my father landed on Omaha Beach. My big brother was a grunt in the 101st at Khe Sahn and the A Shau valley. I played in an M-60 tank when my father took me to his Reserve unit. I played with his TA-50. I had sought a career in NYC, and had a great job as a computer programmer. But I wanted to serve. I wanted to better myself and my country, not my bank account. I’d do it all again…

  90. Steve

    July 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Why did I join? I joined because the men and women who volunteered to fight and die for our country deserved better leaders than those I saw in front of me. As a college student in 2001 I woke on September 11th to see our nation under attack. It was a surreal experience; I knew I had to do something but I didn’t know what. At the time I had a number of friends and brothers in ROTC so I thought I’d give it a try. After the first year I knew that leading Soldiers was what I wanted to do. However, as I looked around I did not see what I expected. There were a handful of men and women who, to this day, are some of the finest leaders I have had the privilege to know. Unfortunately, the majority of what I saw was people who joined for the free education and benefits, with no real expectation of ever going to war or ability to lead in general.
    As I moved closer to graduation and the level of our nations conflict grew, I knew those Soldiers most in harms way would need the best leaders possible. I knew that I was willing to train harder and focus more in order to prepare myself to provide the leadership those men would expect. I volunteered (more like begged) for Airborne School while still a Cadet. Much to the dismay of my fiancé and parents I selected Infantry as my branch of choice. I was a Distinguished Military Graduate and made Commandant’s List at IOBC but I knew that still wasn’t good enough. I went through a miserable winter class of Ranger School and after recycling Florida I graduated and moved on to my PL position with the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st ID.
    Now it was time to put my money where my mouth was. Would I be able to prepare men for war and bring them home alive? Luckily I was blessed with some of the finest NCO’s I have ever met, which made that task much easier. In a year and a half we prepared for, and deployed to, combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq. As the first unit to resume 12 month deployments we were able to operate as a split company on 2 Joint Security Stations, and begin the transition of authority back to the Iraqi government. We did this without the loss of a singe life in our organization (though numerous medevac’s will forever be seared into my memory).
    After returning from Iraq I made the decision to transition to the National Guard. What keeps me serving is the same thing that inspired me to join: the opportunity to provide quality leadership to our nation’s most valuable resource – its men and women in uniform.

  91. sherry

    July 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I joined the Army because the Air Force recruiters were out to lunch…really!!!

  92. Sergeant N

    August 5, 2012 at 5:52 am

    I didn’t know what I was getting into when I joined, but in a way I did. My reasons for joining were half-formed, vague, and indistinct, as only those of an 18-year old can be. But I did join in the middle of 2005, and was acutely aware of what that meant. I watched the news. But I knew I wanted to do something that involved more than being groomed for the assistant manager positon at a steak house, but recognizing that was nothing more than identifying that there was a problem. As a child, I had always been fascinated with the military. Both of my parents were prior Army, having met in Camp Darby, Italy. Maybe those things played a part in it. Either way, I walked into that recruiter’s office having already decided I was joining. Easiest day of that Staff Sergeants week.

    Basic and the early years came and went, and I decided I was in love, although I still couldn’t put my finger on why yet. Later down the road, I entered the ranks of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and within days was placed in charge of my first team of four soldiers. I fell in love all over again. I was born for this… for leading soldiers. Not trying to say I’m God’s gift to the NCO Corps and soldiers the Army over. But the pride in accomplishment that it gives me, the stark awareness that people are looking up to me and I am responsible for their lives, their accomplishments and failures, the persistent urge to better myself in order to better my soldiers… part brother, part mother, and part teacher. I absolutely love it, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ll get out when it kills me, or they force me to retire. Whichever comes first. So maybe I can’t nail down exactly why I joined. But now that I’m here, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is exactly where I am meant to be.

    Airborne, all the way!

  93. PV2 Gannon, Timothy; 11B Infantryman, MA Army National Guard

    August 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    For family and country. I grew up in a middle class family with a single mother. She always had more than one job, and even went as far as to put herself in debt to keep a roof over our heads and food in the fridge. If there was one thing she taught my siblings and I, it was family ALWAYS comes first. Joining up seemed like the perfect way to repay my mother for everything she ever did for us. I feel, as an American Citizen, it is my duty to this country and my fellow Americans to serve in the US Military. I have a long line of service members in my family, so it was an easy decision to make. I chose the Army National Guard, as it gave me the opportunity to follow my dream as not only a proud member of the US Military, but also an Infantryman in the best Infantry unit in the state of Massachusetts. Also, joining the Guard meant I was able to stay close to home, so I could be there to help provide for my family. Family first. “Never Quit!”

  94. Raul Felix

    August 21, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I’ve always to join and I wanted to go to war. I wasn’t ready for college, wanted to leave my home town, and I wanted to be independent and not be a leech on my family. I’m an immigrant to the US from Mexico and I wanted to say “Fuck You!” to anyone who told me I didn’t deserve to be in this country.

  95. Drew Z.

    August 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    People died so that this country could reach it’s full potential, and be a shining star and example for the rest of the world. I figured growing up I owed those people a debt, and putting on the Uniform was the only way I could see paying it off.

    My only regret was ETSing before I was actually needed, and being medically unfit by the time 9/11 happened. Sometimes I feel like I let my buddies down, and sometimes it doesn’t. I have seen a few people I know on TV or in other news formats, and I wonder what might have been had I stayed in.

    Thank You.

  96. Cole frusteri

    January 26, 2013 at 5:43 am

    1/26/13

    I’m 24 and have been a wild land firefighter (a job that I loved, despite the fact that you are basically a low…ish paid laborer). I loved this job because I jut want to be outside, and away from the materialistic/obese/complaining mass that is American society. I have also been an underground miner which makes a decent amount of money in quite an adventurous environment. Basically now with 2 years until I am to old to join, and half way through my 20s I feel like it is time to find a career that makes enough money to support a family in the event that I ever decide to knock someone up (sorry for the harshness to whom I may offend). Or roll the dice, throw caution to the wind and live a life less ordinary. I want so bad for adventure and challenge, something different and a way out of middle America….

    Fast forward to this January, I have speeding tickets, that is a bad thing apparently, I’m damn near color blind. I’m standing in the processing center thinking that my window of opportunity for joining the military may be slipping away. I mean I was 2 points away from perfect on the asvab (armed services vocational aptitude battery) and a 24 year old fresh off of a hot shot crew, I’m in great shape. But as the staff sergeant looks at my paperwork and back at me with disappointment, I begin to realize that it’s back to the mines for me.

    All of the times you heard that you could be whatever you wanted when you grew up, like a fighter pilot, or special forces, or a rescue swimmer, were when you had your whole life In front of you. If I don’t qualify for the military it’s just about done, with the wait time to go to boot camp nowadays and the amount of time it would take to fill out paperwork for another branch. All with fire season approaching. I begin to realize that if I save my money I could make a good life for myself at the mines of northern Nevada.

    Staff sergeant Watkins looks at me and asks me why I want to join the marine corps. I say “for the challenge sir” “you know you can find challenge in just about every aspect of life mr. Frusteri”. “Yes sir” I mumble. Staff sergeant writes something down in my packet and hands me my packet

    I leave for boot camp on march 11th.

  97. O.C. Moran

    August 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    So I figured if you’re still listening I’ll talk.

    I had a friend who served. He joined up and served in OIF and when he got back the VA took care of him the best they could.

    Until they didn’t and he took his life. He wasn’t able to cope with something or they weren’t listening and he decided it was time to show the world he was truly depressed.

    I got mad and blamed the system. Hated people and their lack of conviction when it came to doing their job of taking care of soldiers and blamed those in charge of him for not caring.

    Trouble is he was in charge of his own life and the people at the VA weren’t responsible. So I applied to the VA for about 2 years before I was informed that you had to serve to get in because of the draw down and the US leaving Iraq.

    I wanted to make a difference and help soldiers. I joined the AZ National Guard and am currently an Officer Candidate. I’m more involved with soldiers and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I sincerely wish I had joined earlier.

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