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To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

My boys goin to the military
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Gary    Posted 03-21-2002 at 05:13:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
My son is leaving the farm and heading to the army in late August. I was just wondering if anybody out there has some stories about leaving for the service and then returning to the farm. Thanks.

DJ    Posted 03-24-2002 at 05:11:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
If he finds a women and gets married, he may go where back to where her home is. This was the case with my soninlaw.

ShepFL    Posted 03-22-2002 at 10:00:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Wish him well and watch the man he will become!! Be prepared though as he may not return home for a long time after seeing the BIG ol' world. I now just come home to visit.

I enlisted in USN 1981 when I was 20. Joined USN because of their education system and because at the time N. Idaho economy was shot and not much future in the rural area except gypo logging, ranching or hospitality services for tourists.

Growing up in N. Idaho I had a very narrow view of the world, coupled with the fact it was extremely rural I thought everyone was honest and helpful. WHAT A SURPRISE AND SHOCK TO ME!!
Furthermore, I was raised that it was my civic and moral duty to serve my country. I took that oath and continue to honor today (all enemies foreign & domestic). I am the only of my siblings to serve and am a much better person because of it.

I spent 4 yrs. active in the enlisted USN. Was Avionics tech on tail hook sub-hunters based in N. FL. Out of 4 yrs. spent 32 months at sea (was single, E5 & nite shift shop suprvsr). After that I worked as Dept. of Defense contract engineer until '92 when Slick Willie CUT defense spending to the bone. I sincerely feel sorry for the folks serving during his terms in the White House. While I don't always agree with our govt's various involvements I always support our military. IMHO, we put our noses in places that pose no national threat.

After the initial shock of the BIG world I found my nich. Heck, first black man I met was in San Diego bootcamp and nearly shook his arm off I was so facinated. I got to see and do so much at that time in my life despite being young and dumb. Been to Africa, Australia, Europe, Middle East and ain't nothing better then the USA! All of these travels and experiences are memories I will always cherish. I continue to maintain contact with some that I served with.


I would also encourage him to select an MOS that has a civilian equivalant or skill that can be adapted if he chooses not to make it a career. That way should he decide he wants out after his initial hitch he can take advantage of his experience.

On a similar note, right now I have my boys in Scouts now which I find very rewarding and enriching for them (leadership, self reliance, comraderie, respect, reverence). They are also being raised that military service is part of their civic and moral duty as a US Citizen. As the Scouts say On my Honor. . .to be physically fit, mentally awake, and morally straight.

realfarmer    Posted 03-21-2002 at 12:42:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
It was the best of was the worst of times...When I left the home farm in the summer of '64, I knew there would be no farm to come home to, since I was the youngest of five,my dad was disabled, and I passed up the deferment. I volunteered for the paratroopers and then Special Forces; served overseas but not in Nam, although I volunteered for it, because I believed in our effort there. Proud of my accomplishment to finish training that 95% washed out of, disappointed in the duty assignment. We were often accused (and rightly so) of being cocky, etc., being paratroopers and Green Berets, but I have nothing but respect for those who served in Nam, especially all in combat arms. Sure, we risked our lives every time we stepped out of a "perfectly good aircraft while in flight", but most people here don't know how I served, because that 'leg' rifleman deserves more credit for what he did. Sort of like the 'survivor guilt' so often expressed by those who came back from Nam. None of them deserved the treatment they got when they came back, just blame gutless politicians and the liberal news media. I'm so proud of one son who is a reservist, and who would go Airborne if he was full-time, and another son who tried to enlist airborne but was turned for a medical problem. He's worked constructionfor three years since, pouring concrete every day, so they just missed another good trooper. To the other poster who was a paratrooper:AIRBORNE!

Les...fortunate    Posted 03-21-2002 at 11:27:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I got drafted. Was already married and had a child at the time. Wasn't very happy about it. Came home after my two years. Lucky my younger brother is the one who "stayed on the farm" after getting out of college.
I agree with F14 about the draft. Young men need to know that the country NEEDS THEM, if for no other reason. Between 1970 and 1992, I put in 7 active duty years and 7 reserve component years in two different branches of the military. In '92, the government decided it didn't need old fat bastids like me any more. Otherwise I'd be looking forward to a pension in a few years.
Send him off, Gary, and be glad for him. He'll prolly need some support from you along the way.

Tom A    Posted 03-21-2002 at 08:22:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Congratulations to him and to you. He will grow up in ways that he cannot even imagine now. Our country needs good folks to serve, whether *anybody* (either in the US or outside) appreciates them or not. Most do. Some don't but they aren't worth worrying about.

I didn't leave a farm, but left home with high school sweetheart/brand new wife in tow. Learned to jump out of perfectly good airplanes, shoot big bullets over long distances, and lead people. Best years of my life were in troop units. Got promoted too many times and wound up behind a desk...not much fun.

Retired and bought our little 'farm,' something the wife and I had planned for almost 30 years. The Army let us do that--the little retirement check takes the worry about having to make the farm pay; still have to work off-farm too, but the Army's experience let me get a good job that I'd never have been qualified for otherwise.

All-in-all I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Made the best friends of my life, learned lots, grew up even more.

Shake you son's hand for me, tell him "good luck."


Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-21-2002 at 08:50:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well said Tom!!! Mark H.

Hogman    Posted 03-21-2002 at 09:17:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'll second that,did My part to get UMT passed way back there, but tha Mothers of America is what stopped it. Long story if You was'nt there.
Expect any attempt today would meet with even more resistance.

I went in tha Army Air Corp in 42 ,finaly graduated in 78 with 22 good years from tha National Guard. A whole lot in between.

In case some of tha young'uns don't know what UMT is/was, Universal Military Training. Ment every young man who could pass the physical would have to serve period!!!!!!!
Mothers screamed about "My Boy and cannon fodder"." If theres no war", kinda like tha post below. Better ta be trained befor a war starts! Sure beat what has happened in the past of soldiers firing a rifle for tha first time when entering Their first fire fight. Not conducive to long term survival!!!!!! Or winning that fire fight!
Bless that Boy and send Him on His way,God love'im.

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-21-2002 at 09:27:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
My opinion on the stopping of the draft is that it allowed a lot of the poorer kids to pick up the slack for the richer kids who don't have to go. I liked the lotery system it was fair and made some go who wouldn't. It is not fair for just a few to defend the ones who are profeting from what the others did. Bring back the draft and even the score for all. Mark H.

Dave in Mo    Posted 03-21-2002 at 09:38:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Mark, the draft never was "Fair". I don't think such a word as that exists. Even with the lottery (my number was '32' back in '70 and our draft board 109 called up to about '200') Deferments still allowed a lot of men to delay their entry which by '73 was really winding down. Then there's a lot of "conscientious objectors" such as Cassius Clay who used his money and courts to avoid doing his duty.

Greg    Posted 03-21-2002 at 07:34:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't let him go. It's not worth his life and
his nation isn't in peril.

Remember Kuwait's reaction to Sept 11,
ZILCH!. They could have paid for the rebuild of the 2 towers with pocket change. So much for recognition. It aen't worth it dad.

Sign me,
RA 63-66

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-21-2002 at 08:08:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
You could look at that two ways. In the 30+ years I have been back from Nam I have allmost been killed many times, falling, drunk drivers, me being drunk, electricity shocking me, fires, car wrecks, hunting and having hunters shoot at you, planes allmost crashing you name it has been close many times so if I understand you right I should stay home and never leave the house cause it is not worth my life to go to town I might get in a wreck. I mean dieing in a car wreck would realy be a waste of my life. Put that on my grave stone died in a car wreck but made it back from war?? Life allways has it dangers don't let fear stop you from living it. Mark H.

Sammie    Posted 03-21-2002 at 09:37:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with this one, Mark!! As a vet myself, I didn't serve during war time but was ready to go if called. I learned so much while I was away. What I brought back has stayed with me all of my life. I would have stayed and wore the uniform with pride but being a helicopter mechanic is a 24 hr/day job - so is being a mother. Had to chose - wasn't hard!! lol

However - I have said it many times to many and will say it yet again. I was 23 when I went in. Most were 17-19 so I saw them through different eyes. I sincerely feel that any young person just out of high school should join the reserves or guard to start with. Go through basic and schooling and find out what it is all about. Then if they love it - go RA. If it just doesn't work, they still have the commitment to training time with their unit at home but don't become the problem soldiers that hate it and let everyone know it, pulls down the moral of the unit and are absolutely miserable the entire time. This is a free standing army - not draft. I could really see the difference in the people who had just gotten out of high school and the people who had been out in the world for a bit and had to figure out for themselves what they were about.

make sense? opinions?

Greg    Posted 03-21-2002 at 09:36:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
With all due respect.

I understand where your coming from and I know
what you've been thru but these guys are mostly in their teens, although adult, they're just looking
for adventure and don't have a clue what's in front of them, I mean conciously. It's only when there buddy is missing a face and still momentarily standing that they realize that it's for real.

You know as well as I do why the recruiting is geared to the youngest, caus they are more vulnerable. No ones talking about bravery, or after some time they'll get experience and hardened, that's not what I'm talking about.
I'm talking about the mom who's going to get her kid back after he got shot on a mountain in aphganistan. All this will blow over one day and that's when the dads start asking questions. Like I just asked, "Why didn't Kuwait show a little more friendliness when the US was hurting". Our guys laid they're life on the line there too.

Everyone says the same thing after VN, we should have had a declaration of war. Why did we go?. So now history is repeating itself and the same question will be asked. The world aen't interested anymore with fighting taxes,inflation,
air pollution so let's stay home and build up defences here.

You say you've been to Nam then you would be honest enough to admit it. The guys were in shock
when they got there and they were right.

I did my time too when I was seventeen. Knowing what I do now I would probably assess the
world situation and my country's attitude before enlisting and probably given the rec. officer a lesson in logic.

The pentagon has a lot of say in the oval office, part of the reasoning is to keep troops trained. Trouble is, they don't want to admit that's the real reason, not some national fear.

War is the pits.

kraig WY    Posted 03-21-2002 at 10:11:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Sorry, kids make the best soldiars. That's the way it is, that's the way its always been, and that's the way it will be. Talking 18-20 year olds. You got to get them before they get any pre-conseptions else you're gonna have each guy antilizing instead of acting, then you end up with more casualities. The war against Germany wasn't our fight either. Looked what happened. Cost a lot more live cause it wasn't our war.

Greg    Posted 03-22-2002 at 05:38:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
1/ The war with Germany was declared, that's the difference. 2/ the nation was in peril.

Tom A    Posted 03-21-2002 at 09:55:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Your last sentence is exactly right: "war *is* the pits."

But the best way to avoid war is for our Nation to be prepared to fight one, and to be fully capable of striking back immediately and hard when somebody doesn't get the original message. Remember: "Speak softly and carry a big stick."

It takes years to learn the profession of arms. If you've had any recent experience with the military, you would know that the equipment, tactics, communications, and teamwork needed are something that cannot be learned in a short period of time. Yesterday's training accident at Ft Drum is just a reminder that no matter how hard we train, the profession is a dangerous business.

We recruit the very best and brightest because that is what it takes to do the job well. People join for a lot of reasons--some want adventure, some want college paid for, some out of a sense of patriotism. Why they go originally doesn't matter...they do go, they learn valuable skills and they grow up, and maybe most importantly they provide the deterrent that keeps "the bad guys" from doing stupid things most of the time. Yeah, I still believe there are "bad guys" out there.

Yes, war is the most terrible thing that men ever invented, period. But the only way to prevent war is to keep a strong and ready force, well-trained, well-motivated and willing to do what is necessary to protect the rest of us so that we can live our lives as we want, and even express our opinions on this here b-board.


PCC-AL    Posted 03-21-2002 at 06:56:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
My family for as far back as I know has always been pro service. The only ones who never served were a couple that were turned down for health reasons. I enlisted in the Navy in 63 and my dad was in WWII in North Africa. I very much agree that young people gain a lot from the discipline of the military. I will go even a step further and say that it should be a requirement for all able bodied people to give some type of service. A lot of my family has died to help make this country free. Take all the welfare loafers that can work and put them in the military or some type of mandatory work. Picking up litter on the roads would be great. If people want the benefits this country provides, they should have to give something back. Maybe the unmarried women will stop having the 5th or 6th check baby(extra gov't check when another baby is born) if they have to pick up a little trash. Uh oh, I'm about to get carried away on my pet topic.

Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-21-2002 at 06:54:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
I was sort of a city boy when I went in. As soon as I turned 18 I joined to see the world!! I was so excited about going in that I went 9 days after I was 18. I thought it was going to be fun too. I had other family who had went and a brother who was in Vietnam also. I wanted my turn and wanted to go and fight. Then I was in for a big supprize when they shaved my head and startd making a man out of me. The things I got to do I would have never done as a civilian. I realy like shooting a Bazoka at tanks (WW2 Item) the rifle range was great, got expert on grenades and rifle. Got to freeze my but off in what the call the Million Dollar Hole in Fort Lenonard Wood Missiouri for 8 weeks learing how to opperate dozers. Then the big day came I got to go to RVN Training (Repliblic of Vietnam) as did every body else. At the end of AIT it came time to get assigned to you place you would spend a year at and I got to go to vietnam!! Got on that big plane and landed there boy to go from the middle of winter to the middle of summer was a rush too. Then the fun started Got on a C-130 and flew into a place in the midle of nowhere and was told to get off fast there was planes blown up along the runway and sand bags and machine guns all over the place. It started to sink it this was for real. Then I got on a 2 1/2 ton truck full of ammo and went to Fire Base Blackhawk. I was a Combat Engineer but got assiged to a Fire base we had 8 inch Hoisters, 175mm, 155mm 105s Dusters Tanks Ect in a little bard wire compound Those suckers fired all the time and would blow the speake cone out of the radio in a fire mission. This was the great begining of a adventure I will never forget and was proud to do. When I got out I did not move back home. I sent some time at Fort Lewis Washington and became a country boy. Did not like the citys after Vietnam. Mark H.

kraig WY    Posted 03-21-2002 at 06:17:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
All my boys went into the military. Oldest is still in the navy trying to decide what to do when he gets out (been in 15 yrs). Other spent six years in the Army, now living close enough to home for day work. Still in the reserve. I got a total of 24 yrs 8 months between the regular army and national guard. Just a part of life. I'll probaly start a fight but I personally believe every kid has a better chance of making good with a little military disiplin behind them.

F14...I'm with you    Posted 03-21-2002 at 06:48:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Abolishing the draft was the dumbest thing this country ever did.

Nothing to teach you a little self reliance and discipline like a couple years in the service.

The young feller down the page would benefit greatly from the experience, I suspect.

Dennis in Ma    Posted 03-21-2002 at 09:16:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I absolutely agree with you.

I don't have any stories about my kids as they never went and are now too old but this Army Veteran (1967-71) gives a great big THANKS ! to those who did and those who will !

Salmoneye    Posted 03-21-2002 at 06:29:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Wish I had gone when they were all trying to recruit me.
Would not be the same person I am, but I wish now that I had done it.

Thanks To All For Serving!

Jim (Mi)    Posted 03-21-2002 at 10:17:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I agree w/Thanks To All. I always wanted a pilots seat, but unfortunately my peepers would not allow. I was gonna enlist in the Jr. Rotc during High School, planning on going into the Navy, but my family who has long served in the II, Korean, & Vietnam all encouraged me not to. The ALL felt why serve for a man who himself dodged the draft. I graduated in 95. Guess who the man was.

Sammie    Posted 03-21-2002 at 10:54:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't even remember who the president was when I was in. I didn't do it for him, I did it for me and all that being a soldier meant to me.

Sammie- me too - Thanks to all that served!!    Posted 03-21-2002 at 10:08:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
I grew up during the VN era and heard the stories on tv but the news just became a part of life. In the 6th grade I wanted to be a nurse in Nam. I had alot of respect for the people there and even at that young age, I knew who gave the orders and who's job it was to follow them. The hear about ANY soldier being disrespected here at home made me sad. Regardless of the politics of a war, the people doing the fighting are doing their jobs as ordered and if people don't like the war, understand that those are still our people and they deserve our support and respect. Yes, I was all for "bringing the boys home" from VN but bring them home with a pat on the back and recognition for what they did and tried to do. They are our own. Thank you to all that served. Alot of people have died so I could have the right to say what I want to say- the way I want to say it, if not directly, indirectly.

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