Military recruiters are having a hard time meeting their goals. And they are blaming all the bad PR caused by the loads of challenges faced by the current force — things like PTSD and the VA backlog scandal. There’s not enough light shed on the good stuff that comes from serving, they say.
I think that skipping the story of the struggles service brings — especially when those struggles are created by the inadequacy of our systems — is ludicrous. I think the recruiting problem is caused by Americans failing to teach the value of service.
Most of the military families I know serve because they value the sacrifice. They don’t serve because doing so lines their pockets with cash or because it’s a sweet gig.
Service has a price whether you want to acknowledge it or not. And so this whole thing got me thinking: if my service member and I had known about the cost of service — I mean the real, long term, hangs around forever stuff — would he have still chosen to make the sacrifice?
I want to think the answer is “yes.” I want to think that we knew that service equals sacrifice, even if we didn’t know at the time what that sacrifice would be. I want to say that I know that serving is an honor even if it the price is your forever mental and emotional health … even if the price is that they come home draped in a flag.
But I don’t know. If I was to be really, truly honest, what would I say? What would you say? Take our poll and let us know.
Here’s what you said: