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What age did you join the Military and why? What motovate you? Any regrets?

Posted on 12/30/2005 8:15:40 AM PST by FlatLandBeer

What age did you join the Military and why? What motovate you? Any regrets?

What would advise a young person to do these days?


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: airforce; army; coastguard; draft; fun; job; marines; motivated; navy; recruit; stupid; usmilitary
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1 posted on 12/30/2005 8:15:43 AM PST by FlatLandBeer
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To: FlatLandBeer

Drafted at 20 during the Vietnam war. Didn't want to go, but avoiding the draft in any way was not a legitimate moral choice. Was the best thing that ever happened to me. I grew up a lot, had the privilege of serving my country, and learned the true meaning sacrifice. I would strongly encourage any young person to spend a year or two doing something outside themselves either serving the country or the community in some way. It's not only good for the country but good for the individual.


2 posted on 12/30/2005 8:20:06 AM PST by Casloy
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To: FlatLandBeer

I joined the USAF at age 20, in 1965. I had dropped out of college due to boredom and was working a dead-end job. After my service, I returned to college, with a new sense of the importance of an education.

I recommend a tour of duty for all young men. It's a real experience that is more important that college at that time.


3 posted on 12/30/2005 8:20:56 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: FlatLandBeer

husband joined right out of high school. Got his masters over the years. He has no regrets. Traveled, learned, grew, developed, was mentored, mentored others and thankful for the opportunities it affored him and then our family. NO regrets at all. Career man. Military put us where we are today. It was wonderful. More young people should join. Guides their lives, turns some of them around, helps them decide on what they want to do, gives them a focus and makes them strong to face life. It's a GOOD thing.


4 posted on 12/30/2005 8:21:06 AM PST by cubreporter (I trust Rush. He has done more for this country than anyone will ever know. He's A++)
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To: FlatLandBeer

20 years old. A friend of the family was an instructor at the winter survival school for pararescue. So, AirForce was my choice....and a wise one at that. Airforce sends their officers out to fight. ROFL.

IMO, every American should spend 2 years in the military. It's the LEAST they can do for our country and will make true men and women out of them.


5 posted on 12/30/2005 8:21:31 AM PST by MadeInAmerica
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To: FlatLandBeer

Just turned 17. Was not doing well in school. Joined the Army.

Regrets, no. When I got out, I went back to high school at night, once I got my diploma, I went on to college.

It would have been easier to remain in High School but I was not motivated to learn. When I got out of the Army and discovered the only work I could get was manual labor, I found the motivation.


6 posted on 12/30/2005 8:21:38 AM PST by CIB-173RDABN
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To: FlatLandBeer

joined at 17....to get out of NJ, see the world.....went to Parris Island at 18...stayed in for 11+ years and still miss it (sometimes).
Best thing I ever did. Made some friends for life.

The Few. The Proud.


7 posted on 12/30/2005 8:21:57 AM PST by MudPuppy (Another Day ~ Another Adventure!)
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To: FlatLandBeer

I was 30 when I joined the US Navy Reserve. So far so good.


8 posted on 12/30/2005 8:22:06 AM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: FlatLandBeer

I was drafted 6 months after high school graduation but because of the advice from a close friend, a Marine, I chose to enlist in the Marine Corps.....one of the best decisions of my life. My youngest son is currently a lieutenant in the Corps.... Semper Fi to all you jarheads out there. God I love the Corps.


9 posted on 12/30/2005 8:22:54 AM PST by skimask (Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.)
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To: FlatLandBeer

Enlisted in the USAF at the age of 20. Walked away from a college scholarship and mom and dad directing my life. Wanted to do something besides be an accountant, and instead became a jet engine mechanic working on the best fighters in the world. Any regrets? Not about my service, no - best job in the world.


10 posted on 12/30/2005 8:23:47 AM PST by Tennessee_Bob ("Those who "abjure" violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.")
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To: FlatLandBeer

I joined the US Navy when I was 17. I wanted to serve my country. I volunteered for air duty in Vietnam. I have no regrets and would do it again.


11 posted on 12/30/2005 8:25:32 AM PST by clamper1797 (Proud member of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club VA-93 aboard the USS Midway CVA-41 1972-1973)
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To: FlatLandBeer

Enlisted in 1965, motivated by the news showing guys my age fighting in Nam. Thought it was my duty to join the fight.

No regrets would do it again in a second.

Army was good in motivating me, paid my way through College and I would recommend military service to everyone.


12 posted on 12/30/2005 8:25:40 AM PST by bannedfromdu
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To: FlatLandBeer

Joined at 29. Something I always wanted to do. Love it. Became an officer and a SF Soldier. Don't be as dumb as me and at least have the army pay for college!


13 posted on 12/30/2005 8:26:13 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - They want to die for Islam, and we want to kill them.)
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To: FlatLandBeer

I was 21 in JUly 1961. The friggin' Russians built the Berlin Wall in August. I was learning the manual of arms and close order drill in November.

Got my draft notice and subsequently enlisted (RA - MICI) after being classified AAAAA, you're next.


14 posted on 12/30/2005 8:27:28 AM PST by Beckwith (The liberal press has picked sides ... and they have sided with the Islamofascists)
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To: FlatLandBeer

Joined USAF in 1960 mostly to try and find what I wanted to do. I was a HS drop out and was really going nowhere. It was the best move I ever made. I finished my HS education (GED) and went on to get a couple of years of college while in the AF and finished up college when I got out in 1964.

Even though I bitched and moaned the entire 4 years (3 in the UK)they were some of the very best times of my life. The military taught me discipline and how to focus and look past the next beer or day off. I would do it all again and in fact would gladly have gone back after 9/11.


15 posted on 12/30/2005 8:28:08 AM PST by Eagles Talon IV
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To: FlatLandBeer

Joined at 18.

Only regrets are not following up on all the oppotunities for which I was presented...and foolishly declined-- DLI, USMA Prep School, OCS.

And not saving more money...and for decking the jerk who punched a friend...and for NOT decking a certain LT!

Oh, yeah, and not getting representation at my disability hearing.


16 posted on 12/30/2005 8:28:15 AM PST by Eagle Eye (There ought to be a law against excess legislation.)
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To: FlatLandBeer
AF ROTC class of '65. Commissioned a 2nd Lt. I had this romantic notion that the military was one of the accepted professions as outlined in the 19th century novel "The Red and the Black!" by Stendahl.

I left the AF as a Captain in 1973 having had to withstand, like many Viet Nam era personnel, the slings and arrows of Fonda, Kerry and their ilk.

17 posted on 12/30/2005 8:28:57 AM PST by Young Werther
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To: FlatLandBeer
At age 17, I joined NROTC in college to avoid having to take phys ed my freshman year. In my sophomore year, my draft number turned out to be 11. I stayed in NROTC to avoid being drafted.

My first class cruise was "WestPac," which I thought would be Hawaii. It turned out to be Vietnam. I was on an LPD, and we took part in an opposed landing.

I remember wondering as it was going on just exactly how it was I'd managed to get myself into exactly the spot I was trying to avoid. I consoled myself with the satisfaction of having avoided phys ed. In fact, I'd still rather fight in a war than take another phys ed class.

As for advising young people, I don't ... and if you have any doubts as to why, try re-reading the above.

18 posted on 12/30/2005 8:31:12 AM PST by Gumlegs
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To: FlatLandBeer

It was either the AF at 18 or I might have eventually ended up in jail in my boring, dying home town. No regrets, except I wish I would have signed up sooner. I missed the old GI bill by a couple of weeks.


19 posted on 12/30/2005 8:31:20 AM PST by manwiththehands (My Christmas wish: I wish Republicans were running the country.)
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To: FlatLandBeer
I served for awhile in the reserves in the 1980's, and I've recently re-joined to see if I can help out with the global war on terror.

For me, the experience has been phenomenal. I got in to serve others, but the real beneficiary is myself, in terms of confidence, fitness and strength.

20 posted on 12/30/2005 8:32:26 AM PST by 68skylark
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To: FlatLandBeer
Enlisted in the Army at 18, wanted to be on my own. Wasn't quite ready for college, and didn't want to flip burgers. Taught me respect for country, to this day I cannot listen to the national anthem and not get teary-eyed. Best thing I ever did. When I got out I had almost $30,000 for college. No regrets, and look back with pride. Eagle
21 posted on 12/30/2005 8:32:36 AM PST by EX52D (Happy New Year Freepers!)
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To: FlatLandBeer

I enlisted in the "Delayed Entry Program" for training as a Naval Aviator in March, 1963, at age 22. Reported to NAS Pensacola to begin Aviation Officer Candidate School in May, 1964, and was designated a Naval Aviator in Sep. 1965.

I spent almost 11 years on active duty and remained in the Naval Reserve until I retired in Oct. 1991.

Would I do it all over again? In a heartbeat! They paid me to fly and land on aircraft carriers. It don't get no better than that!

And I worked with and for the finest Americans I have ever known. That was an added benefit.

In fact, the only military related regret I have is that I did not enlist in the USMCR when I was 17. It would have served me well when I got to Pensacola had I been a Marine.

As a "Candyass Feathermerchant College Boy," I was grits for my Gunnery Sergeant's mill!

HST, whenever I encounter a sharp young college age man or woman, I encourage them to seriously investigate the US Navy or Marine Corps Aviation as a potential avocation.

I cannot think of any place I would rather be today, if I were 24 again, than strapped in the cockpit of a FA-18 on the port catapult of the USS Abraham Lincoln (or any other carrier, for that matter) to deliver a load of FReedom to an Islamofacist raghead!


22 posted on 12/30/2005 8:34:03 AM PST by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
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To: FlatLandBeer

boy, there's a lot of old farts here...(including me!)
i'd say try and join before the age of 21, just for physical purposes. my son is 19, and we just finished visiting our first recruiter.


23 posted on 12/30/2005 8:34:50 AM PST by frankenMonkey (Name one civil liberty that was not paid for in blood)
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To: FlatLandBeer

Joined the Marine Corps at 20, because I wanted to go through bootcamp (SanDiego version), and air traffic control school outside of Memphis. Had a great time, met fun people, saw places, no regrets.


24 posted on 12/30/2005 8:34:56 AM PST by SF Republican
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To: FlatLandBeer
I joined the Army when I was 19, looking for adventure. Found same. There were other reasons of course, too many to list, but 'the money' was definitely not one of them.

Do I regret it? Not in the slightest.

Would I recommend it? Only for those that are willing to risk their lives for their country, their friends, and their way of life. You'll always have brothers and sisters in the Army if you feel that way.

As far as specific recommendations, each service has it's own personality, and people generally drift towards the one they're most compatible with. Job selection varies quite a bit, but again, people gravitate towards what they're good at.

I would definitely not recommend the military for everyone. However, I would say that I've seen things my civilian peers never will, and am far richer for the experience. (If a little banged up in the process.) I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

25 posted on 12/30/2005 8:35:11 AM PST by Steel Wolf (If the Founders had wanted the President to be spying on our phone calls, they would have said so!)
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To: FlatLandBeer

I did not serve and regret it to this day. I tried to serve in Gulf War 1 but I was too old by a year...

My son reports for boot camp on Monday next week. He has joined the Army and has been accepted for Airborne Ranger traning.

His goal is to join special forces. I am as proud as I can be about his decision.

Every young person should serve their country...they will get back 10 times what they put into it...

Thats my opinion.


26 posted on 12/30/2005 8:35:17 AM PST by antaresequity ((PUSH 1 FOR ENGLISH, PUSH 2 TO BE DEPORTED))
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To: FlatLandBeer

Enlisted in the USAF at 18. I wanted to travel and I wanted job training. I got both and liked it enough to spend 22 years on active duty.


27 posted on 12/30/2005 8:35:25 AM PST by mbynack
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To: FlatLandBeer

Well, I'll say this: I never served, and it is my greatest regret. If only I were 18 again...


28 posted on 12/30/2005 8:35:57 AM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: FlatLandBeer
Joined the Army right after high school (1964). Spent almost 4 full years, and don't regret it. I was not ready to sit on my butt in scholl any more. I wanted to see the world.
It turned ot to be the best thing I ever did. Once out I went to college on the GI Bill and got my degree in EE.
Got married and bought our first house using my VA.
The main reason I joined was I did not want the draft hanging around my neck.
29 posted on 12/30/2005 8:37:47 AM PST by DeaconRed (Happy NEW YEAR Especially to our brave Military! ! ! ! Lets win and get them Home! !)
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To: FlatLandBeer

Joined the Navy at 17, just in time for Viet Nam. Made two WESTPAC cruises in a tin can. Got schooling in electronics, the GI bill which put me through college, a lot of traveling to foreign lands and a much more mature attitude for my trouble. (Actually it was no trouble at all.) I almost re-enlisted.


30 posted on 12/30/2005 8:38:33 AM PST by jack308
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To: EX52D; All
Thanks for your service, everybody!!!

I wish I'd gone in, and I think every teenager ought to serve for at least two years. Teach them some pride, respect and discipline, and a good work ethic.

31 posted on 12/30/2005 8:38:54 AM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: cubreporter
Glad you mentioned someone besides yourself. My older brother joined the Air Force at 15 to do something for our country. He had his 16th birthday at the Greenland AFB. He grew up in a hurry but when the Iraqi War broke out, he said if he were a lot younger, he would volunteer to go again. He was in the Korean conflict, went through all the atomic bomb testing and has the many health problems to go with that kind of exposure. I do not know what the groups are in the AF but most of his are dead from that exposure. He is my hero.
32 posted on 12/30/2005 8:39:40 AM PST by MamaB (mom to an Angel)
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To: FlatLandBeer

Joined 2 days after my 17 th birthday and it was the best thing to happen to me.
11 th grade drop out, served my 3 years and had 2 years of college when I got my honorable discharge.


33 posted on 12/30/2005 8:39:56 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (“Don't approach a Bull from the front, a Horse from the back, or a Fool from any side.”)
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To: EX52D

Joined at almost-18. No regrets, I have seen places and been out of the bubble unlike 99% of my co- workers. I understand the value of teamwork, also unlike 99% of my co- workers. I would rather die in my boots than in my bed, but I am also a mother. Cannot be fully mom and fully soldier, so I chose mom in the end.
Either you are a soldier in your heart and soul or you hate it. I am comfortable with this fact: If need be, I could defend the things I hold dear in this life with a great deal of skill and courage.


34 posted on 12/30/2005 8:40:41 AM PST by momincombatboots (Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber)
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To: FlatLandBeer

I was 21 and had been a college student. On a study tour of the Soviet Union (part of a semester abroad program) and witnessing the misery and lack of freedom in the Soviet Union and then peering over the Berlin Wall at the barbed wire and mine traps, I had a seachange in my view of the world; It dawned on me that most of my professors were idiots. I joined the army and was stationed in Turkey and South Korea. I still think the best people I ever met were in the service. I'm hoping my children consider the military academies in the future.


35 posted on 12/30/2005 8:40:55 AM PST by takbodan (.)
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To: FlatLandBeer
Enlisted in the USAF Reserves in 1959 right after High School. I enlisted at the time to increase my chances of getting an appointment to the USAF Academy after failing on my first attempt. I got in on the second try and began one of the most interesting careers ever... flying fighters, travel, advanced education, and rubbing elbows with the "best and brightest" in the whole U.S.!! I never dreamed that it would be like it was for me. My main motivation at the time was getting a college degree, and the Academy seemed my best option. I made it a 30+ year career and have no regrets. Like I couldn't imagine what a military career would be like at age 18, I now cannot imagine what my life as a "civilian" would have been. I only know I would have only had a tiny fraction of the "life experiences" I now have. I was extremely lucky!
36 posted on 12/30/2005 8:42:52 AM PST by coldoc
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To: FlatLandBeer

I was 18 years and four months old (in 1956). I was in college, but didn't think it was taking me anywhere I wanted to go. So I stopped out, and went off to "learn a trade" which I hoped would be in electronics or mechanical maintenance. One look at the mention of college, and the classification specialist put me in a foreign language school, definitely NOT a choice on my part. I washed out, but found the only option remaining to me was to be trained "OTJ", as a typewriter jockey. At the end of some four years, two months and twenty-four days (the four years I figured I owed to my country, the two months and twenty-four days were somebody else's time), I went home, with the attitude that they would have to call up the blind, the crippled, the crazy, the little old ladies, and the small children, before they dragged me back in again (I believe I invented the phrase FIGMO, and its reverse, OMGIF). In later years, the experience was, on balance, much to my benefit, as the mention of the honorable dischrge was well regarded in the early part of the 1960's, and later on, the "Cold War" GI Bill paid for my return to college and eventual masters's degree.

Do I recommend life in the military for anyone? As a personal discipline, honing life skills, few experiences can beat it. But you really learn the meaning of commitment, and eventually you get self-reliant, or suffer horrible consequences. Simply being in an organized unit with stiff demands on your abilities and emotional stability, and because by definition military services means you WILL be around a number of highly hazardous situations, which can develop with incredible speed into a confrontation with one's own mortality, is a stern test of will and fortitude.

Some crack under the strain, others get ground up by the machinery of war, and the majority come away with a much more profound admiration for everybody who has stepped into the breach in defense of their country.


37 posted on 12/30/2005 8:44:16 AM PST by alloysteel (There is no substitute for success. None. Nobody remembers who was in second place.)
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To: FlatLandBeer

Enlisted in the Corps 2 days after my 17th birthday. Shipped out 6 months later. Most enlightening experience of my life by far. Got to travel around the world twice, met people and saw things I couldn't have dreamed of if I hadn't been there in person. That four years changed me in ways I simply cannot express in words. Thank God for the Marine Corps.


38 posted on 12/30/2005 8:47:12 AM PST by VRing
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To: FlatLandBeer

Graduated HS in June 71, two weeks later I was going through Army BCT at Fort Dix. Spent over 7 years active Army, got out went to college, got a commision with the AF and spent another 14 years on active duty. It's really surprising how fast those 20 some years on active duty went. Would do it again in a hearbeat.


39 posted on 12/30/2005 8:47:16 AM PST by Bruce Kurtz
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To: alloysteel
"the classification specialist put me in a foreign language school, definitely NOT a choice on my part."

Was that school in Californicate...to study Russian?

40 posted on 12/30/2005 8:47:57 AM PST by litehaus
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To: FlatLandBeer

I enlisted in the Air Force in 1971, at age 17.
I supported the war in Vietnam, but wasn't sent due to my skill code (nuke weapons).
My motivation was getting out of the house with 8 younger siblings.

No regrets, as I'm still in Aerospace.


41 posted on 12/30/2005 8:49:44 AM PST by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
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To: FlatLandBeer

Great thread!


42 posted on 12/30/2005 8:49:48 AM PST by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
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To: 2banana
Don't be as dumb as me and at least have the army pay for college!

Worked for me. Thanks to the planets aligning on the day I took the ACT, and the fact that the applicant pool was greatly diminished due to Vietnam, I was awarded a 4 year Army ROTC scholarship.

What a great deal! I received a great education at virtually no cost: tuition, books, lab fees, etc. were all covered, plus a $100/month stipend (I think it's 200/month now).

I had a 4 year commitment, but served a bit over 8. It was a great experience, and I don't regret it one bit. Whenever I have the opportunity, I extol the virtues of ROTC to kids. I even mention it to the 6th graders that I teach at my parish, just to plant the seed.

Nowadays, that scholarship would be valued at over $120,000, considering that Gonzaga University costs about $30K per year. Back then, it was $10K-12K (mid 70s), and there was no way I could have afforded that.

The Army also paid for my masters degree, via the GI Bill.

43 posted on 12/30/2005 8:50:11 AM PST by Night Hides Not (Closing in on 2500 posts, of which maybe 50 were worthwhile!)
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To: FlatLandBeer

volunteered to USMC at 17 out of high school .. no regrets


44 posted on 12/30/2005 8:50:14 AM PST by fnord (497 1/2 feet of rope ... I just carry it)
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To: FlatLandBeer
Enlisted at 16 US Army(logical choice since I had been trained in combat locking horns with my dad). Volunteered for Nam. Patriotism and duty to my country were my motivators(and to get away from my dad). I encourage all people with a degree to at least give the Armed Forces a look see. I guarantee that you will be a different person coming out. The question is, "Do you have the guts to follow it thru?".
Glad to see that I am not the only old f**t here:-)
45 posted on 12/30/2005 8:50:49 AM PST by crazyhorse691 (Diplomacy doesn't work when seagulls rain on your parade. A shotgun and umbrella does.)
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To: FlatLandBeer

Joined the Navy at 17
Joined the National Guard at 34 (thought I wanted to set some roots)
Joined the Army Reserve at 39

Naval Aviation was the most challenging and the most fun but as others have said before me, each branch has it's own flavor, I miss them all.

TT


46 posted on 12/30/2005 8:50:55 AM PST by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: teenyelliott
Thanks for your service, everybody!!!

That deserves a PING and MEGA-DITTOES!

47 posted on 12/30/2005 8:52:17 AM PST by Night Hides Not (Closing in on 2500 posts, of which maybe 50 were worthwhile!)
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To: FlatLandBeer

Became a USN officer @ age 24. It was more or less my "family business." My only regret is that I'm no longer in the service.


48 posted on 12/30/2005 8:52:19 AM PST by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: Neil E. Wright; Chieftain; Warrior Nurse

Yo! Check it out.


49 posted on 12/30/2005 8:52:23 AM PST by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
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To: FlatLandBeer
I was 18. I was/am patriotic. I wanted to serve under President Reagan and see the world as well as get more self-discipline.

My only regret is that I didn't get to stay around long enough to fight radical Islam.

50 posted on 12/30/2005 8:53:40 AM PST by 101st-Eagle
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