Friday, March 07, 2008

Uncle Sam is Calling

Receiving mail addressed to our sons from the US Armed Forces is not unusual. My oldest son, now 21 starting getting recruitment information soon after he became an Eagle Scout. Same thing happened when number 2 made Eagle. They were both offered Officer's Training School but who knows where they'd end up.For four years now number 1 has been off their radar since he's been in college . That is until a few weeks ago. He graduates in May and will be a registered nurse. Seems the Army is interested again and in need of some nurses. If he didn't join the Army four years ago to get his education paid for he's not going to enlist now.
Son number 2 will graduate from high school this June and guess who's courting him? Over the last several weeks the Marines and the Army have called him. He talked with the Marine recruiter for a good 5 minutes answering their questions. Was he going to college? What is he interested in? When he told them he wanted to become a high school English teacher they had a program for him. He finally told them no thank you, he wasn't interested.
Now if either of my boys wanted to join the military I would be petrified but very proud. I have nothing against the military and I have the utmost respect for the young men and women that inlist. Our nephew was in the Army for seven years, spending his last year as a First Sergeant with the 101st Airborne where he specialized in urban warfare. He served in Iraq where yes, he killed people and lost soldiers that were under his command. One thing that concernes me is that my son is just 17 years old, can they be calling him? Obviously they can and do but it seems like if you're not even old enough to vote; you're not old enough to be recruited by the Armed Forces.


Slick said...

I signed when I was 17 under the "delayed program". I didn't have to leave for bootcamp until I got out of high school...

I, like you, don't really want my son to enlist but I wouldn't talk him out of it either. I just wouldn't want him to enlist because shoot, I don't want him gone.

Kitten Herder said...

I had never considered this before, but I think I have a problem with the military talking to minors without their parents consent. If minors are 'incapable' of legally making their own medical decisions, how can they be legally capable of enlisting, even on a delayed entry?

My son is not yet 15. I may have to look into this a bit more closely.

Nobody™ said...

I knew that one could enlist at 17, but what I don't know is if parental consent is needed at that age (I would think so).

I very seriously considered joining the Air Force after I finished college. I scored very well on the ASVAB test, visited the base for a day, and spent hours and hours and hours talking to the recruiter. The only step I had left was to sign the paperwork and have the medical exam. The day before the medical I decided not to sign the papers.

I often wonder how life would have turned out if I had enlisted. I know it would have been good for me, I could have used a bit of mi. I've never liked being told what to do, which makes living in the real world a bit of a challenge at times :)

I think that the main reason I didn't enlist was due to my social anxiety, I just couldn't stomach the thought of living with random people for the next four years of my life.