As I get older, each year, Veterans Day takes on a new meaning. With the world as it is, these days, the military often conjures up the worst possible scenario: a grieving family crying as to why their loved one won't be coming home; or, a service member crying: why me? However, that's NOT necessarily the case; there are millions of reasons why someone joins the military; some want to follow in dad's footsteps, some want to persue employment in a field that can only be had with military training; some want to take advantage of the education that's available and some just want to feel what it's like to 'blow stuff up' ...lol (just to name a few).
Contrary to what you may have heard not everyone joins the military to go to war. In fact, no one (that I know) has ever wanted to go to war.
My own reason, of joining the military, was because my parents couldn't afford to send me to college; so, like many of my friends from the neighborhood I enlisted in the U.S. Navy. As with alot of 18 yr old kids coming out of high school, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life; however, I had a liking to numbers so a bug was put into my head about being an accountant. I took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB) and missed qualifying for the accounting field by 7 points. What I did qualify for was:
Gunners Mate (care and mainenance of guns...lol)
Electrician....and a few others.
Thinking of what I could do with torpedo and gun maintenence and radios when I got out, I chose the electricians field. Having completed all of my schooling I served, my 4 years, as an electrician. Some of my (now) Navy friends went on to make careers of the Navy, others did not.
Aside from being grateful for the education and world travel that I've gained, I'm grateful for the discipline, the sense of responsiblity and respect I learned from my military experience: something that's greatly lacking in todays youth. It's that lack of responsiblity and respect that has created a sense of entitlement for people who (simply) haven't 'earned' what they think they're entitled to. And it's because of my military experience that I was hired (and now retired) from being an electrician; which has afforded me the option of a second career as a voice talent/audio producer.
The military shouldn't be looked down on (or frowned upon) as a life choice; but, as an experience that could enhance and enrich ones life: It did for me.
Happy Veterans Day.
by Rich Brennan