I agree totally. The military is the military. Not to expect to be in danger is unrealistic even though very few in the military ever are. Even during WWII, only 1 in 5 actually saw combat.
Originally Posted by bone crusher
A lot of my family members have served in various wars too. I suppose I could stand and wave the flag if I wanted to, but I'll pass on that. I saw my service as a commitment, yeah. But I sure as hell never saw how any Vietnamese were going to threaten my family. We lost there and I still don't live in fear of Vietnam. I still don't see how that war kept a single member of my family safe, again given that we lost it. My brother served in a combat infantry company in the Korean War and had problems from frostbite the rest of his life, but still retired as a Lt Col. We both have our Combat Infantry Badges, plus our bronze stars with V's (not the ones w/o the V, that's the officer's CGM). My brother also had a Silver Star, so my family doesn't need any lectures from any non combatants on serving our country. And that's usually the ones that wave the flag the most, the ones who never really faced anyone who's primary job was to kill them.
It's real great to preach about doing it for love of country when you serve in noncombat roles. Some people need to get out there and get their ass shot at a few hundred times and watch their friends die and then come back tell me about their patriotism. My experience is that when those of us that have been there get together, we talk about the reality of war. REMF's sit around, talk about patriotism and jack each other off.
It seems half the men my age I run into tell me about being a Vietnam combat veteran. Usually they were tunnel rats, snipers or something. It usually takes less than three questions to find out they're full of shit. I even had one idiot, perfectly sober tell me he was a sniper in Vietnam assigned to NSA. I asked him what kind of rifle he had and he said he couldn't remember! Even a lot of them who were actually there were REMF's. Hell, I made a lot of money selling NVA belt buckles to them so they could come home and tell their families what heroes they were.:rolleyes:
I'm sure I would have felt a lot more patriotic about my service if I'd had some REMF job somewhere too. I'm proud of the service I gave the men around me, but Lyndon Johnson can still kiss my ass. Anyone who thinks that's unpatriotic can feel free to pucker up too.
Members of my family have served in every American war since the first one against King George. I sometimes wonder if it was a love of country or merely an economic decision for most of us. I know the main reason I joined the Corps was because I was bored and the job market was sketchy. After that, I joined the Guard for something to do on the weekend. Next thing I knew I had 15 years of service and had to stay for the next five for retirement (of course I screwed up the count and did 7 more instead of 5- probably due to my Marine Corps training). :p
There may have been an underlying sense things like duty, selfless service and honor. But the fact of the matter is, overall it was a grind and it became a job- nothing more. All-in-all, I guess I have no regrets serving. Although I did some things I never want to do again, I also did some things that are among my most cherished memories.
I've never served in the military but I have the utmost respect for everyone who has and is currently serving regardless of their reasons for serving. I just wanted to say that this has been a very interesting thread to read through. Although it did seem like there was a little flare up of tempers for a moment or two, you all dealt respectfully with the difference of opinions. Thanks for an interesting topic.
I am glad I served. It seems nowadays that I run into more "airborne" troops more now than I did when I was actually on active duty. I hate that. I am a former 95B (now 31B) and damn proud of that. I can shoot, move and communicate with the best of them.
I joined because I was in College in 1964 and figured I'm going to graduate and get drafted into the army. So I quit College and Joined the Coast Guard for 4 active and 2 inactive feb 64. Then while on the P.D. I joined the National Guard in the 270th M.P. Co.from 83 to 97 I am retired from the military now and my N.G. unit is on its 5th deployment to the Sandpile.
Doesn't that piss ya off tho... I didn't do anything special and wasn't "hard" but I'm still proud of what I did do. What really gets me is the people who weren't in at all and flat out lie. Maybe I should be more pissed off about those who feel the need to imbellish tho
Originally Posted by ex401mp
Originally Posted by 213th
I served in the Army from 98-05. I had to be the easiest recruit my recruiter ever saw as I walked in with my birth certificate, id and social security card, sat down and said "Ok, heres my info, lets get this ball rolling."
I joined because I wanted to do something I wanted to be proud of. I joined because I come from a family that has proudly and without question served, during war time or not. I joined because I realized that it was because of the veterans before me that had ensured the freedom that I had enjoyed up to that point. I joined because this is my country and I wanted to stand up and protect her...so yes...it was for love of country.
I joined the infantry not for lack of ASVAB score, but because I realized that if I could handle the infantry, I could handle anything that Army could throw at me.
Did I work with some blockheads? Sure, they are in all branches of the military. Some were in places where they knew they would not get promoted any higher and let that bitterness bleed out to others around them. Most were well educated and (for the most part) knew what they were doing. When it came to the business at hand, a good majority took fire without cringing but some did their able best to shy away from their duties by any means they could think of.
I dont feel that those of the Vietnam era were any different than those that I served with. I say this because both groups were put into situations where they didnt want to be, but had to make the best of not only the people around them, but the Army as a working place.
I left the service after 7 years. I dont regret my time in, but I have heard so many guys piss and moan of what the Army is doing to them. I agree with many posters, you signed the contract, you should read what you signed.