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Who wants to join the Army? They do.
Chicago Tribune ^ | June | Jason George

Posted on 06/04/2006 6:15:58 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Karen Dandridge, Richard Forrest Jr. and Rolando Medina all graduated from high school last week and live only a couple of miles apart, but they never ran with the same crowd until now.

The U.S. Army has brought them together.

Fresh from proms and final exams, they have made the life-changing decision to volunteer for the Army, even as public opinion of Operation Iraqi Freedom sags and casualties climb. Like the 73,373 nationwide who raised their hands for Army duty last year, these three came to the South Holland recruiting station with their own reasons for signing up.

They will be welcomed into a military that has struggled lately to fill its ranks. Last year, the Army missed its goal of enlisting 80,000 active-duty soldiers by 6,627--the largest shortfall since 1979. Enlistment of both African-Americans and women has particularly suffered in recent years.

The three recruits all live in Calumet City--a town that closely resembles the nation as a whole when comparing economic and social characteristics, including the number of veterans as a percentage of the population.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote to James Monroe that every citizen should be a soldier at some point.

"This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state," he argued, believing that service improved both the military and the man.

This does not happen today in the United States, of course. There is no universal conscription. There is no draft. Instead, people like Dandridge, Forrest and Medina elect to serve.

Their motives range from patriotism to pay. Although their paths to the Army have been their own, they now enter this new endeavor with similar measures of fear and fortitude.

(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: army; education; military; nationalsecurity; recruitment; service
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1 posted on 06/04/2006 6:16:01 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Calumet

Isn't that the location of the Red Dawn movie?

2 posted on 06/04/2006 6:17:32 AM PDT by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

There are hero,s born every day, this is there time and they will do there best.


3 posted on 06/04/2006 6:21:36 AM PDT by Duke Wayne
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To: Bear_Slayer

Red Dawn was set in a fictional town called Calumet, Colorado.


4 posted on 06/04/2006 6:21:56 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Thanks

Great movie!

5 posted on 06/04/2006 6:23:52 AM PDT by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Karen Dandridge, Richard Forrest Jr. and Rolando Medina all graduated from high school last week and live only a couple of miles apart, but they never ran with the same crowd until now.

The U.S. Army has brought them together.

One of the most important lessons I learned from the Air Force was working with people that I had nothing in common with.


6 posted on 06/04/2006 6:28:34 AM PDT by Valin (http://www.irey.com/)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Bear_Slayer
Isn't that the location of the Red Dawn movie?

Nope. Cal City is south suburban Chicago.

8 posted on 06/04/2006 6:38:15 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Baynative
"Thomas Jefferson once wrote to James Monroe that every citizen should be a soldier at some point."

Roger that!


There would be no faster death for our fighting readiness than to have every citizen serve in our armed forces.
9 posted on 06/04/2006 6:38:38 AM PDT by Renderofveils
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To: Renderofveils
I would prefer the Robert A. Heinlein system.

No one has to serve, but only those who have may vote.

10 posted on 06/04/2006 6:48:53 AM PDT by Jotmo ("Voon", said the mattress.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Calling all Freepers.

My son came to us last week and said he was interested in joining the military and wanted our advice as to which branch to join.

I am at a complete loss as neither my spouse nor I have ever served.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


11 posted on 06/04/2006 6:58:11 AM PDT by babydoll22 (The facts ma'am, just the facts. I don't want to know what you feel!)
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To: Valin

Excellent point!!


12 posted on 06/04/2006 7:07:55 AM PDT by ops33 (Retired USAF Senior Master Sergeant)
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To: babydoll22
The one where the enlisted send the offices off to die, while they hang out well behind the lines. ;-) The Air Force.
13 posted on 06/04/2006 7:08:24 AM PDT by Jotmo ("Voon", said the mattress.)
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To: Jotmo; babydoll22
AIR FORCE!! We're the smart ones...send the officers out to fight.
14 posted on 06/04/2006 7:15:10 AM PDT by Valin (http://www.irey.com/)
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To: babydoll22
Don't know if you (or those from other branches) really want to hear this, but here goes. When ours was making his decision, his father's advise was:

"Odds are you'll go over, you might as well learn the best and right way to do things."

I concurred. We made sure his head was on straight, that he really had a good clear realistic, unglorified picture (seek out some vets-old ones are the best, they've got the wisdom of sages), and then, all that was left to do was cover him in prayer before he left home and we've never let up since he left. God bless you all.

15 posted on 06/04/2006 7:21:53 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine FRiend, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: Jotmo
There are exceptions to every rule:

Air Combat Controllers

16 posted on 06/04/2006 7:22:05 AM PDT by TADSLOS (Right Wing Infidel since 1954)
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To: babydoll22

Invite the recruiters(one by one) to your house and sit around the kitchen table with your son and see what each branch has to offer...then decide.....make sure everything you want is written in the contract.....Good luck....and thank your son for wanting to serve....HOO'AH..


17 posted on 06/04/2006 7:26:41 AM PDT by mystery-ak (Army Wife and Army Mother.....toughest job in the military)
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To: babydoll22

Air Force if you want an education and decent living conditions. Navy is you want good chow Marines if you REALLY want to see some action. I was drafted, so I had no choice - but I enjoyed my service with some of the best soldiers in the world.


18 posted on 06/04/2006 7:40:27 AM PDT by pgobrien (82d Abn Inf pings......)
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To: babydoll22
I think the first question to answer is .. What do you want to do?
I know a young man, waiting for orders to go over to Iraq .. that started out wanting to be a sniper and ending up a machine gunner in the Marines.
His motivation for joining in the first place was a sincere desire to do something in/to/for the Middle East because of the homocide attacks on us on September 11, 2001.

So the second question answered is .. Why?

After that ... then check out the different branches.

19 posted on 06/04/2006 7:41:22 AM PDT by knarf (A place where anyone can learn anything ... especially that which promotes clear thinking.)
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To: babydoll22
Depends on what he is interested in.

Is he planing to be career military or just four years?

20 posted on 06/04/2006 7:44:08 AM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Every lady in this land hath 20 nails on each hand five and twenty on hand and feet)
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To: babydoll22
The Navy because it offers everything the other branches have and a lot more that they don't. (Even if they are about to screw up the uniform.)
21 posted on 06/04/2006 7:56:35 AM PDT by VRWCtaz (Conservatism is about promoting opportunity and Liberalism is about controlling outcome.)
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To: VRWCtaz; babydoll22
The Navy because it offers everything the other branches have and a lot more that they don't. (Even if they are about to screw up the uniform.)

They started screwing up uniforms years ago when they went from 100 percent wools and cottons to polyester. Probably only the Marines still have the real thing.

22 posted on 06/04/2006 8:01:30 AM PDT by XR7
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To: XR7
Then they fixed their synthetic fiber mistake in the early 80's with dungarees and the cracker jacks. Although, IMHO, the "Johnny Cash" was great -- comfortable, easy to maintain, and looked great.
23 posted on 06/04/2006 8:13:40 AM PDT by VRWCtaz (Conservatism is about promoting opportunity and Liberalism is about controlling outcome.)
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To: babydoll22; StarCMC; Jack Deth; BufordP; bmwcyle; patton; IGOTMINE; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; ...
My son came to us last week and said he was interested in joining the military and wanted our advice as to which branch to join. I am at a complete loss as neither my spouse nor I have ever served. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

First, I commend you for raising a fine young man who is looking to serve others. I was in a similar predicament years ago, although I came from a Navy family and thought I'd go that route. But I decided to talk to the four Dept of Defense recruiters (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) and listen to their pitches. (I didn't talk to the Coast Guard back then, but I'd certainly recommend your son check it out. Its already important mission is IMHO even more important in this terrorism environment.)

I ended up choosing the Marines and really enjoyed my service. But I can also say that I ran into some awesome people in all branches. Your son's desires will likely decide for him. (For instance, technical training might push him toward the AF or Navy, while physical challenges/fitness/leadership may push him toward the Marines or Army).

Since neither of you have any preconceptions, I'd recommend going to each recruiter's office with him, or calling them on the phone with him on another line. (Only if he's comfortable with this approach.)

I've probably blabbed enough. :-) Good luck on his decision, and below I included a nice one-stop shopping link for more info. Of course check out each individual service's sites as well.

www.usmilitary.com

24 posted on 06/04/2006 8:33:36 AM PDT by Coop (FR = a lotta talk, but little action)
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To: babydoll22

Oops. Meant to say that I pinged some veterans from various branches and active troop supporters to perhaps offer other perspectives. Cheers!


25 posted on 06/04/2006 8:37:23 AM PDT by Coop (FR = a lotta talk, but little action)
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To: babydoll22
I would ask him if any appeal to him, because I bet deep down he already knows.

What is he looking to get out of the experience? Skills, or adrenaline? Does he like the idea of water, land, or air?Let him know that with great grades in college and good eyes he can fly.
26 posted on 06/04/2006 8:38:31 AM PDT by Vision ("America's best days lie ahead. You ain't seen nothing yet"- Reagan)
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To: babydoll22
Go Navy.

(Commander USNR Ret.)

27 posted on 06/04/2006 8:39:18 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Thomas Jefferson once wrote to James Monroe that every citizen should be a soldier at some point.

Ironic, given that Jefferson was never a soldier.

28 posted on 06/04/2006 8:40:13 AM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: babydoll22
How old's you're son? What are his goals? My dad and 11 of his 7 of his 8 brothers and sisters were all military, most of them career...I wasn't 'pushed' into the Army, but raised with a sense of values that compelled me to want to go in (although I left after 10 years for personal reasons). If your son's not that certain, I would recommend he enlist check it out for a few years, see a little of the world. I'd be willing to bet that after that his life goals will assume a much sharper focus.

If he's pretty positive the military is what he wants, and he still has a year or two left in High School, have him start looking seriously at the Academies and ROTC programs at civilian colleges and Universities....and emphasize that his academic performance between now and then will be a factor of major consideration....

29 posted on 06/04/2006 8:45:17 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: babydoll22; Coop
Don't listen to these guys - there is only one service - the 82nd Airborne Division.

The rest are wanna-be's.....

(time to LRRP out of here!)

30 posted on 06/04/2006 8:45:54 AM PDT by patton (What the heck just happened, here?)
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To: Non-Sequitur; IGOTMINE; RaceBannon; freema; trooprally; Jim Robinson; Indy Pendance
Full disclosure - I like that, Commander! :-)

Reminds me of an old joke at a Marine Corps ball years ago.


A Navy admiral and three generals from the other three DoD services were standing around arguing about which service was superior to the others. Each was making passionate points, and the argument was beginning to get overheated. Suddenly there was a flash of lightning that struck nearby and knocked all to the ground. As they got back on their feet, they found a glowing note with beautiful script that read:
---------

Each military service has its strengths and weaknesses, but all servicemembers - regardless of uniform - serve honorably. Inter-service bickering, especially among general officers, only detracts from this honorable service. Be grateful for all military services and their members.

Signed,

God
U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)

31 posted on 06/04/2006 8:48:55 AM PDT by Coop (FR = a lotta talk, but little action)
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To: Coop

It's only a joke 'cause He's still on active duty.


32 posted on 06/04/2006 8:53:39 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine FRiend, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: patton

I was a proud member of CHAIRBORNE!
33 posted on 06/04/2006 8:54:37 AM PDT by Coop (FR = a lotta talk, but little action)
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To: babydoll22

My son is sitting on an airplane at this very moment. His flight to Quantico, VA to begin officer candidate school takes off in about 2 minutes.

I'm not sure I have any advice. If your son wants to join the military, God bless him. It's not an easy decision to make.


34 posted on 06/04/2006 8:59:12 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Coop

Admit it, you still are. LOL


35 posted on 06/04/2006 9:01:12 AM PDT by patton (What the heck just happened, here?)
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To: patton

Without the uniform, yeah. :-)


36 posted on 06/04/2006 9:03:31 AM PDT by Coop (FR = a lotta talk, but little action)
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To: Dog Gone

God bless him and your family. And my offer still stands!


37 posted on 06/04/2006 9:03:54 AM PDT by Coop (FR = a lotta talk, but little action)
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To: Bear_Slayer

Cal City is more Blues Brothers than Red Dawn. :)


38 posted on 06/04/2006 9:05:27 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Dog Gone

Well done.


39 posted on 06/04/2006 9:05:37 AM PDT by patton (What the heck just happened, here?)
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To: babydoll22

Foreign Legion


40 posted on 06/04/2006 9:05:48 AM PDT by dakine
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To: Coop

I appreciate it, and he's been informed of it as well. He won't be able to communicate with us, except perhaps by letter, for the next three weeks.

He's going in as a boy. He'll come out as a Marine. It brings a lump to this old man's throat.


41 posted on 06/04/2006 9:09:54 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone

God Bless your son. My prayers are with him.


42 posted on 06/04/2006 9:10:57 AM PDT by minor49er (If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.)
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To: minor49er; patton

Thank you.

We need brave, strong, and patriotic young men and women to volunteer for our armed forces. We are at war whether the MSM believes it or not.

I'm proud of my son, and I am of course concerned for his safety. But I back his decision 100%.


43 posted on 06/04/2006 9:30:21 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; Bear_Slayer
Red Dawn was set in a fictional town called Calumet, Colorado.

Which was actually Las Vegas, New Mexico, IIRC.

44 posted on 06/04/2006 9:34:21 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (Pray for peace, prepare for war.)
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To: TADSLOS

Yes, and Para-Rescue as well. Those are some bad dudes. But you have to volunteer for it.


45 posted on 06/04/2006 10:07:47 AM PDT by Jotmo ("Voon", said the mattress.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I just started going to a church that a friend and his wife belong to and this morning, the pastor had the graduating high school seniors from the bible study class stand up in front of the assembly and give their names, high school graduating from and where they are going from here.

Two of the boys announced they had enlisted in the Army and Marines respectively, and each received a round of applause from the congregation. Each time it brought a tear to my eyes.......

46 posted on 06/04/2006 10:18:48 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Itís good to be the King Ėhe can have a pointy knife if he wants.)
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To: Coop

LOL!! The military needs those too!


47 posted on 06/04/2006 11:05:17 AM PDT by AprilfromTexas
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To: babydoll22

What a way to hijack a thread!

What service your son shoudl go to depends on what he wants to do and what sort of man he is already.

If he wants to fight, he should probably join the Army or Marines. They do the fighting. Twenty years ago I would not have recommended the conventional Army at the same level as the Marines; today I would. A young man does not need to be in the Marines, SF or paratroops to be with good peers and great leaders. Of course, in any of those elite forces he gets valuable bragging rights.

If he is more interested in something else, like saving money for college, or learning a trade, the Air Force is the best bet. It has the most technical fields (although few of them translate into a specific civilian job). There are a few gems in there though. A military trained air traffic controller can step right into an FAA job on leaving the service, and the FAA is hiring (Army, Navy and AF all have this specialty).

The Navy has some challenging jobs but it is also the least egalitarian, most feudal service. While the physical conditions (housing, food) of Army service are the worst, the navy can be an unpleasant place for a free man, unless he is an officer. In recent years the "travel" has become a lot of riding around in the ship with not so many visits to exotic ports. One good thing for the education minded, on the bigger ships (especially carriers) they have college classes... professors and everything.

If he wants to help his country and people there is one more service that deserves fair consideration: the Coast Guard. I was talking to a young man a while back that said his job -- rescue swimmer -- was the best job not only in the service, but the world. And he meant it. For that job, you need to be smart and strong.

But there are a lot of different jobs and with a smaller military, most of them make a real contribution to the safety and security of the nation.

Finally, a young man looking to "find himself" probably belongs on active duty (rather than in college burning mom and dad's money. The college will still be there in four years). But for some people the reserves or Guard are a better option. That lets you combine military service with civilian living.

My own background colours my own opinions, of course. As a college dropout, I joined the Army in the 1970s intending to do four years and go back to school. Somehow I wound up getting into it, and served 8 years active, 8 years reserve, and over 10 in the Guard. Along the way I finished the college degree, while getting a lot of training that doesn't apply well to civilian life. (I can disassemble a BAR, construct a 1/4 wave HF antenna, treat severe deceleration trauma, construct an anchor point in earth or snow for hoisting a vehicle up a cliff, and name all the pieces of a Madsen submachine gun... I can command a unit of up to battalion size in about six languages. None of which impresses dates).

As a mother, you will worry about risks. You know, it's a rough age for young men. The ones that are not facing IEDs in Anbar will be learning lessons about drunken driving and other youthful risk-taking behavior. At least in the service, like the Boy Scouts, there are some adult leaders.

And their moms worry about them, too. I was in my 40s in my last tour and my elderly mom was still worried sick the whole time. Sorry, Mom.

By the way, when he comes home from basic training -- whichever service he selects -- he will have much new vocabulary. You are STILL his mom and don't need to tolerate that!

Best of luck

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F


48 posted on 06/04/2006 12:12:25 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F (America has no native criminal class, apart from Congress -- Mark Twain)
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To: babydoll22
My son came to us last week and said he was interested in joining the military and wanted our advice as to which branch to join.

It all depends on what skills he wants to learn. I joined the Air Force because I loved technology and Aviation. (the quality of life the AF provides was a good bonus!)

49 posted on 06/04/2006 12:18:25 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; All

.

MEL's -PASSION- sparked by -WE WERE SOLIDERS-

http://www.Freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1085111/posts

.


50 posted on 06/04/2006 12:41:32 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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