Poll: Would You Choose the Military Again?

If you could go back in time, would you choose the military again? http://wp.me/p1d7d0-8KE

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.

Fill out my online form.

Here’s what you said:

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • guest

    DH would have. But for both of us, him staying in at this stage is PURELY a financial decision. It has zero to do with sacrifice and “value of service”. I think that might bring people in for their first enlistment but after that, and especially the closer you get to 20 years, it’s all about the finances, pay, bonuses, tax benefits, pension, and healthcare. I can’t tell you the number of our friends that are in the same boat, they fully plan on making X rank to maximize the pension then bailing as quickly as humanely possible. It’s hard to jump ship when a multi million dollar pension and lifelong health benefits is staring you in the face.

    Is it a gamble, has he had many a close call through I can’t even remember how many deployments now…yes, hands down, beyond a shadow of a doubt. But to him the idea of retiring permanently by his 40th birthday, and never having to work another day in his life, keeps sending him back.

    • paul

      If you think you could retire form the military and never work a day again you are mistaken, and I would love to sell you some Ocean front property in Arizona or maybe sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. Because when you retire for the military you get 1/2 of base pay (no housing allowance or food) plus taxes (Federal & State) and Medical (Tricare fee) and then SBP. If you take that 1/2 of base pay and than minus another 1/3 that will probably be just about what you will bring home once a month. Moreover, Tricare cost more than you think because for every doctors visit you pay a cost share, if you have two doctors appointments in one day then you pay a cost share for each appointment. You also have cost share for each prescriptions they give you.

      • guest

        Paul, we’ve already run the numbers, and between his pension and our investments (I have a very well paying career that I will also quit when he retires) we will never have to work another day in our lives. We will have a near six figure (inflation adjusted 2.5% SWR) yearly passive income. We are moving to a place with no state taxes, and numerous property tax breaks for veterans. I fully understand about the doc appointments and have included that, prescriptions however will still be free as we will be living near a military post.

        Even without investments he could retire and we could WELL pay the bills on just his after tax pension provided we sold our current homes (which we keep on 15 year mortgages) and paid cash for the retirement home our expenses would be well within his monthly after tax pension. However, I like to travel, and he likes boats, so his pension will pay the bills while the investments give us breathing room and fun money.

        It is FULLY possible (barring insane bad luck or illness) to retire from the military and never work another day in your life. It’s about making conscious choices along the 20 year career that effect your savings rate in regards to the big spending categories of food, housing, transportation and family size.

        • Larry

          Paul’s math is fairly accurate. Pure transition to the civilian world will require more than just retirement. The good news is that DOD contractors will pay him very well for his service expertise. But more importantly, your husband will likely be more marketable and I’m sure he’ll still have a tremendous desire to contribute and earn for his families long term well-being. 40 will be too too young to retire anyway. He’ll go stir crazy.

          • guest

            One only goes stir crazy when you have no plans for retirement, or if ones entire identity is wrapped up in what you do for work. We have tons of plans and neither of our identities is tied to our work positions.

        • PDR

          I think those who think you cant do the retirement thing should first have known at what rank with how many years will your husband retire. If you retire with 20 years as a W4 or higher you can definitely live of the retirement even without the investments.

      • Guest

        We have no Tricare fee or co-pay because we use Standard. Yes, we have a cost share, but for a visit to our PCM, our cost share is $18.79 per visit. For our specialty doctors, we’ve never paid over $25 for a visit. The most we’ve paid for any of my surgeries is $649 cost share for the hospital bill, and $350 for combined doctor bills. We use Standard because it gives us the choice of going to whom we want, when we want and where we want, with very few pre-approvals. Because we are Standard users and all of our providers are participating providers, we are automatically bumped up to Tricare Extra, meaning we pay 20% of Tricare’s allowable instead of 25%. Our maintenance meds are free because we get them through email and they are all generic. This is a good thing because I take 11 meds and hubby takes 8. The only meds we pay for are ones we need immediately such as antibiotics, which of course we have to get at our local mom and pop pharmacy. And because our pharmacy gives us an additional senior (age 55 and up) discount on top of Tricare, the most we’ve ever paid for any med at our local pharmacy is $6.50. As far as medical goes, we are fortunate indeed compared to the civilian insurance our daughter has. Tricare Standard and Express Scripts mail order pharmacy is the best thing next to chocolate syrup on ice cream.

        • Jon

          I am a retired SFC with over 20 years. I have Medicare and Tricare. The Tricare cost me nothing. My wife, rest her soul, was very sick and without the Tricare we would have had devastating out of pocket. We paid nothing. I recently had lung surgery and I have not paid anything. All my doctors visits, yes I see several a year, I pay zilch. I am proud to have served and would do it again for God and country.

          • Chief741A

            Jon – I’m a retired CWO-3 (made it to SFC before OCS) with 20 years, 1 month, and 10 days. I have been retired for exactly 24 years and 1 month as I write this. I turned 65 this summer, so I just started on Medicare. Unless you are older than I am, something does not ring true about your story.

            Late in 2009, my wife was diagnosed with a cancer which will remain nameless. She refused chemo and radiation, told her surgeon to cut out anything that might someday even look like cancer. They operated in January 2010. 6 months later she developed near fatal case of pneumonia – her entire right lung was involved. They sent her home to “fatten her up” so she could survive the removal of her lung. Several months later, they could not find any damage to the lung. A few months after that, she was operated on to remove what appeared a return of cancer but turned out to be a simple abscess. A year after that, she had a psychotic break – went to sleep one night and woke up s-l-o-w-l-y over the next 3 months. The upside is that she is closing in on her 6th year cancer free. I have another 20 years of misery to inflict on this woman, so this makes me happy.

            Our billed medical expenses now total over $700,000. Did I mention my heart attack in 2013? Every one of the years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 we hit the catastrophic out of pocket cap of $3,000, at which point Tricare stepped in and paid everything. In fiscal 2013, our catastrophic cap reset on October 1, her psychotic break occurred on October 5 – and our $3,000 catastrophic cap was reached on November 7. Funny thing – her problems meant that I wasn’t charged a dime for that heart attack – and the ambulance ride was 35 miles!

            What I’m saying is that I have had to shell out slightly more than $3,000 every year between 2010 and 2014, inclusive. This year, 2015, we have actually not broken the $1,000 out of pocket line. I think. I haven’t been able to get the last numbers yet. But I have still had to shell out that $1,000 for fiscal 2015. All cost shares, except for the $300 deductible.

            I have not received an actual medical bill since I went on Medicare back in June. Every month I get a statement from Medicare that says I don’t owe anything. My wife’s bills – she turns 58 in October – keep on coming. I’m not complaining – my worst case scenario is $3,000 out of pocket per year – and you can not touch that in the civilian world.

            My point is that, unless you AND your wife are both over 65, you are not paying “zilch”. If you are both over 65, you are both on Medicare and TFL, and your claim is likely true, except for the fact that you are on Tricare For Life, not Tricare Standard. If you – or your wife – are under 65, you are paying something out of pocket until you hit the $3,000 limit.

            Tricare Standard is primary insurance – unless you have other insurance, in which case Tricare Standard pays 2nd. TFL is a wrap-around Medicare supplement, and, for most practical purposes, pays everything that Medicare does not. BIG difference.

        • Susie

          I am a veteran on SS disability. I was poisoned by toxic chemicals while training in AL. I have been sick for years, every $ we get goes to Medical bills. My credit is shot and my life has been horrible. The VA turned down my disability request again. I pay $15 for an office visit and $50 for a specialist. Praying God will take me soon to give my wonderful husband a break. My son has kidney issues, and they have to watch his children for the effects of my exposure. NO way in hell would I do it again. No one cares about a veteran unless they are missing a limb.

          • SSG KIT CARSON

            Women vets get shafted more rhan men do. But, as soon as all of us reach 65 in rhe VA we’re screwed regardless of gender. Would I do it again? A resounding YES! I did it for my self-worth and personal value. The medical benefits we need are a joke. But I am more than my pain and disabilities…I’m a retired soldier and always a Marine.

          • George Bookout

            Hire an attorney who specializes in VA claims. I did and got 90% Un-employable which pays me 100% disability. The attorney will not charge you a dime until your claim is settled and then the fee was deducted from my back pay. Do yourself and family a favor “Hire An Attorney Now”!

      • M Meier

        We have retired on an E-7 pay (no SBP because we think it’s a bad investment, you can get life insurance cheaper). No jobs and we live fine. We have been planning for this for over 15 years and while we have investments, we could still love on his income alone because our son is an adult and we don’t require extravagances.

        If you plan for it, it is possible.

      • I retired Feb 2005, and to date have not worked any where, do I guess it’s allbin how you plan

      • JEPaul2438

        Seriously? Would you like a sharp or mild cheese with that whine? Everyone knows what it pays. Where else can you work for 20 years and collect a check for the rest of your life? Does anyone out of high school really expect to stop working at age 38 to 40? Annual fee of $548 plus $12 copayment on TriCare Prime is as inexpensive as it gets unless your employer is paying 100%. If you want to bad mouth the military, find a less Davy forum.

      • JEPaul2438

        Savvy not Davy – stupid spell check.

      • Mike Gabriel

        You are very correct in your statement if you are referring to an enlisted person but for someone of the officer ranks it is entirely different. Example, LtCol retirement averages close to $5,000 a month or more depending on how many years past 20 they stayed. As for someone like me who stayed 21 years and retired at E7 gets close to $2000 before taxes and again you are so right, not enough for a family to live off of. Plus this current administration is doing everything possible to make it as unappealing as possible. Wanting to take our medical away, take our 20 year retirement away, taking any religious freedom away from Christians. …I could go on and on but if things don’t change soon for the better, it’s gonna get a lot worse.

      • Rick Rodriguez

        I agree with Paul’s comment. I am retired after 26 years, not all active years, therefore I do not collect retirement or disability pay until I am 58yrs. I’m 52 right now and have been trying to find more than $10 an hr job. Sure, they offer jobs to veterans like DHS and Border Patrol, and waive the 37yrs age requirement for veterans, but you still will have to meet the physical fitness requirements. Doesn’t do any food if your diability is for knees from many years of parachuting. I have no cartridge between my knees. I can’t even drive a truck OTR because I would constantly have to double clutch. Wish thete were other type of professional jobs for veterans.

    • Edwin

      Better plan on a second income if he thinks he can survive on military retirement.

      • guest

        Uh no, sorry, we’ve run the numbers and yes! we can pay all our retirement bills on just his pension. There wouldn’t be a ton of wiggle room if we didn’t have investments but it is fully possible to live on just military retirement, especially when you theoretically should have been saving for your retirement house for 20 years. No house payment outside of taxes and insurance makes things a lot easier.

    • guest

      I would under the old rules. It isn’t the same service any more. Many would say that is good, but i have my doubts. I know too many senior NCO’s who can’t wait until they can retire. Even retirements isn’t as good now.

      • W.R.Monger

        I fully understand where you’re coming from. I made it 17 years and couldn’t see a way to finish the last three without being discharged under their terms. I’ve been witness to too many good Soldiers being ejected from the game early because, for no other reason than, it was “expedient”; 18 and 19 year career Soldiers who were discharged so that the feds could save money on those who were about to retire. Between surgeries, the turning tide of sentiment towards our service members and the complete and utter hand’s tied backstabbing rules that we kept receiving the writing was on the wall. I’d do it again but I highly doubt that I’d make it to the 17 year mark let alone the 20 year mark. Good luck to those who are making that attempt, without you we’d have no one experienced to do the tasks that no one else would want to undertake.

    • mark

      Unfortunately the military has been turned into a social experiment. Years ago I was trained on how to fight and defeat the enemy. Now we are given computer based training on have I ever been a victim? Did I have a coworker, supervisor or subordinate fondle or touch me in an unpleasant manner. Do I have feelings of being misunderstood? Stuff that is this soft squishy “new military”. All I need to know is a skill set to defeat the enemy. I really don’t need to understand that my enemy may get offended that I am shooting in his general direction. Give me the old days where they just taught us to kill the enemy and break his stuff.

    • mark

      Unfortunately the military has been turned into a social experiment. Years ago I was trained on how to fight and defeat the enemy. Now we are given computer based training on have I ever been a victim? Did I have a coworker, supervisor or subordinate fondle or touch me in an unpleasant manner. Do I have feelings of being misunderstood? Stuff that is this soft squishy “new military”. All I need to know is a skill set to defeat the enemy. I really don’t need to understand that my enemy may get offende.comd that I am shooting in his general direction. Give me the old days where they just taught us to kill the enemy and break his stuff.

    • Mrs. Tom Dougherty

      If you think retiring after 20 years will set you up to never work again – YOU are dreaming! Sorry, but that is not the way it works. You will have to work, the retirement is not enough to live on. However, IF you are smart you will soon figure out you are young enough for a second career and have your GI Bill (or whatever name it goes by now) to attend college for a new career, work at it and retire when you are in your 60s. Why am I sure? My husband retired in 1972 after 20, went back to college getting his Masters and Phd and working in his second career until 1992. Hang in there and figure out what is best for you, and what will make you and your family happy. Good Luck! You can do it!

      • guest

        That’s not the way it works? why do you think that? I beg to disagree…as would the THREE financial planners we’ve consulted during the years. It’s all about planning, sacrificing early, and saving a ton.

        I’m not a Mrs X…I am a woman who has a career of her own, and has contributed to said significantly early retirement for as long as he’s been in the military through investment accounts. He retires in a few years…between his pension and investments we are looking at just under a six figure passive income with a paid off house (one of our homes currently has no mortgage, the other is small). If you don’t think a family can live off of that, especially with no mortgage, then it sounds like someone has a spending problem.

        It’s not that we are “smart” enough to plan for a second career, it’s that we were smart enough, early enough in our life to make the choices that led us to be able to plan and save for a SINGLE career, leaving the rest of our lives to do with as we please.

        • Mrs. Tom Dougherty

          Your parents should be very proud! Our kids – blended family – are not in this situation. My husband and I got married after he retired from the USAF. We met when he was 39.. When he did go to work after college we put away 20% and sometimes more as we got a late start. You are a breath of fresh air – to hear of young people who have planned ahead and know what they are working for. I wish you the best – but you already have it – working together for a future together. Bless you!

        • Mike

          Retired officer no doubt.

          • MSG

            Both my husband and I were career military. We would do it again. We did the five year plan….five yrs out start reducing your debt. Medically we are both being taken care of. All I can say is we planned An live the dream everyday.

    • Med Evac Pilot

      You had better rethink that multi million dollar pension, free healthcare and never having to work agin for the rest of his life!!! Thats all Bull. Ive been retired for 23 years, I was promised all of those things too but in reality evey time something needs cut …mits beans and bullits vs the retired. You know who always looses. My health care went from free to $480 a year plus deductables .etc to now after Obsma care a minimum of $6,000 per year. They retort go to a base it fre there!!! Unfortunately durnthe BRAc Base Realignment and Closure all the base nearby are now closed. The closest is 3 1/2 hours drive one way. Oh and if you live out side of their 25 mile radius… they wont see you at all! Lets talk multi million dollar retirement pay…. Im a retired officer CW2 . My pay when I retired 23 years ago was $865 per month , today that pay is now a whopping $1364 per month. The whopping cost of living rasises we never got (remember Beans and Bullits) and the fact our elected leaders dont follow the law as we are supposed to be tied to the civilian sector cost of living. Forget that dream ….He will never need to work again!!! If you just subtract the cost of my FREE health care and assorted taxes I make less than $400 a month! Heck the kids and In & Out flipping burgers make triple that!!! Well then you think mabe he will need to work… AHA gotcha agai!n. I was a pilot. No one will hire you , your too old!!!! I know I found out the hard way. How about Law enforcement, Too old, nationwide and federal Law enforcement requires you to be able to complete 20 years of Law Enforcement duty prior to the mandatory retirement age of 56… you do the math!!! Well How about Government service!? I recently had applied and was selected for a position in TSA Management. However with the job offer came a letter. and this gets good!!!! Under the Working aged retiree clause and my military retired pay I could work for the TSA but due be the clause I might not have any pay due me from the work or I might actually have to pay the Governemtnfor workning there!!! So you see Yes its a sacrafice…. We just have to continueing after retirement and for the rest of ones life!!!! Would I go to war all over again… knowing I’d be lied to, miss represented and thrown at the bottom of the heap for everything! Hell NO!!!!

      • guest

        The DoD retirement calculators were updated last month if you don’t believe a modern day pension is worth between 2 and 3 million dollars depending on retiree rank over the course of 0-40 years assuming a paltry 1.3% raise over all that time. Also, my companies health insurance, if I were to use it is 500 a MONTH in premiums with the cheapest co pay being 35 dollars, so 480 a year is beyond amazing in this day and age. We also are moving to a place near a post for prescriptions etc and to a state with no state taxes and multiple veterans benefits.

        You also didn’t seem to read we have a large variety of investments. Our investment accounts, as they stand today, are as large, if not larger, then a vast majority of current retirees and even in a low interest environment kick off enough in dividends and interest to provide us with a comfortable five figure yearly passive cash flow.

        If anyone is going to have to “go back to work” it’s going to be me. He’s had a stupidly busy and stressful life over the course of his career, he deserves to spend the rest of his life doing nothing if that is what he so chooses. I’m not one of those people that thinks it’s a man’s job to “provide” while wifey takes care of the house. We both work full time, his job is triply more dangerous, time consuming, and stressful then mine, and somehow I earn more then him with less responsibility. He’s earned retirement at this stage.

        • Chief741A

          “guest” – I am 65 years old. I retired in 1991 after 20 years of service, under the “50% of base pay of the highest grade held” rules, at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3. Your husband will NOT retire under those rules – he will get a pension calculated under one of several “high 3/high 5/redux” formulas, depending on exactly when he entered the service and the choices he made since then. He will be lucky to get 40% of his final base pay, especially if he elected to take one of the career incentive bonuses (NOT reenlistment bonus, entirely different).

          Here’s a tidbit I doubt that you have taken into consideration: 2016 will be the 3rd year in the last 8 in which military retirees will receive NO COLA. And another: Social Security and military “length of service” pension COLA’s come under the same law, and “no COLA” for one means “no COLA” for both. That “paltry” 1.3% average COLA may turn out to be optimistic.

          Your husbands pension will start losing value the day he retires. COLA increases will not keep up with inflation – that is built in to the system. Don’t be surprised when major changes to the retirement system happen in the next few years – the nation can’t afford to pay pensions to people for 40, 50, 60 years after they leave the service.

          I genned up a simple spreadsheet to calculate how many “millions” I will receive, based on the 24 years that I have been retired, my current pension, and your “paltry” 1.3% COLA. I will be 79 years old before I will have received my first “million”, and in my 38th year of retirement. I will be 104 years old and in my 63rd year of retirement before I will have received my 2nd “million”. Of course, the chances are that I will be dead long before that happens. So much for “millions of $$ in retired pay” 1 if you are lucky.

          You are right about SBP being a bad investment.. I figured that out 24 years ago. It might have been worth it except for the Social Security offset. My 58 year old wife’s history of cancer, lack of interest in giving up smoking, and my generally good heath virtually guarantees that I will outlive her and SBP premiums would have been a complete waste.

          You say that your husband had a “stupidly busy and stressful life” during his career. I’ll buy that because I’ve been there. 100 hour weeks, going to work on Tuesday and coming home in September – I’ve been there. The 2 years I spent in service schools and civilian vendor training were absolutely restful breaks – but the 5 years I spent working my way from a high school diploma to a graduate degree in my field, driving as much as 35 miles each way to attend night classes at state universities in the middle of those 100 hour weeks was not.

          I’ll tell you this from personal experience – you don’t survive 20 years in the armed forces if you don’t love your job. That is what drives you and makes the sacrifices worth it. I can’t speak for women, but I have a clue about what drives a man, and I can guarantee you that you don’t run flat out for 20 (or more) years and come to a dead stop overnight. Your husband WILL be climbing the walls within a few months. It won’t be the money – it will be the need to KEEP MOVING. Something I learned watching my father after he retired at 65 and came to a complete stop – when you stop moving, mentally and physically – you start dying.

          Look – I live on 10 acres – paid the mortgage off 3 years ago – and my Army pension and Social Security check allow the wife and I to live in modest comfort. Our home is paid for, our car is paid for, the kids are self-supporting, my income exceeds my outgo, and I should be deliriously happy according to you. I am not. I am bored spitless – obviously, I’m on here writing to you. I WANT TO WORK.

          “At first, there were no jobs, so I couldn’t find a job, and then there were jobs, but we only want to hire people who never lost their jobs, and then there were more jobs, but we only want to hire young people who will work for peanuts, and then there were more jobs, but you haven’t worked for years and we don’t believe those skill assessment tests that prove that you already know more about the job than the people we hired year before last and are still training”. AKA Catch-22.

          I wish you and your husband the best of luck – you are going to need it. The future is not going to be as rosy as you want to believe it will be, and your financial advisers are not telling you the whole truth. If I was you, I would plan on half of what they are promising you.

          • guest

            http://militarypay.defense.gov/Calculators.aspx These are the current pension calculators. Assuming 1.3% he’ll hit the first million inside of 20 years.

            I don’t doubt he’d be crawling the walls after some time, but I can assure you if he could get out with that pension tomorrow, he’d be GONE in a heartbeat. He’s SOF, and he’s just fed up with the gone over half a year, every year thing, and he couldn’t handle going back to big Army bureaucracy. He wants out as quickly as he can get it, he sticks around simply for the pension (and he will have 3 years time in grade at retirement)

            To combat the stir craziness we developed a plan of what we are going to do in retirement. It consists of a few years of travel prior to settling down. Once settled he wants to volunteer or start a charity fishing charter for vets. The idea is he doesn’t have to work for money any longer if that is what he so chooses to do. Again, could we pay all our bills on just his retirement check, yea, but it would be tight. Which is why we have significant seven figure taxable and non taxable investment accounts. That money will also provide seed money if we decide to start a business in the future just to keep busy.

            Low bills and a large passive income will give us the ability to do as we please, once he hits his 20, he never has to worry about “providing” for the family again, our passive income will be triple what our current bills are, giving us plenty of leeway to live life as we please.

    • Mr. Joe

      I was reading a little history, and I read that the Roman soldier that served a live time in the military received property, a farm and everything he needed to live out the rest of his life.

    • Todd

      It’s worth the reasons mentioned, but nothing in this polling article mentions that the corruption and cowardice throughout the ranks is a major factor to the problems we have. Right now, our own leaders are our biggest enemies. Lies, cover ups, prevention of individual successes and progression, awards decided by rank and not by performance, lack of care, pretentious involvement, micro management on large scale, etc. For the nay sayers to spew arguments at me for exposing the truth, you are the problem. Saying “just play the game” is a passive characteristic. We don’t need passive cowards. We need brave patriots. I am embarrassed at how the majority fail to do the right thing. We are falling into the hands of terrible people. We are not being led by leaders. The “prove it” attitude is destroying our ability to purge. Change this new culture and we will be stronger than ever as a force.

    • Gy/Sgt. Lew Souder

      The politicians and the President are cutting the Military Money, they are not taking care of the Veterans before and after they get out of the service. Our country is far from being able to prevent an attack like 911. Our country is sooooo broke – if we take back the money that we give to other countries, we could return to the way we use to be POWERFUL and FEARED by other countries.. We need to get rid of OBAMA and all of his cronies. Donald Trump is telling the people what they want to hear – He is what we need now not another politician like the ones on Capital Hill. Bring back our RIGHTS.

      Thanks,

      The Gunny

    • Lew

      Yes – I would do it again – if it was like it was in the 50s – the 70s The bad part was in the 60s coming back from the NAM we were spit at and booed in the LA Airport – we weren’t even in uniform. The country had forgot about us – treated us like we were nothing. I will never forget that and the way our country welcomed us back from the war – then over 30 years later they try to make it up to us. I LOVE this country but they didn’t love us……

    • Senior chief boats john minkle

      Where do I sign up I would give life for my country One Nation under God. BMCS SW/AW READY TO SERVE AGAIN WHEN AND WHERE

    • Senior chief boats john minkle

      Where do I sign up I would give my life for my country One Nation under God. BMCS SW/AW READY TO SERVE AGAIN WHEN AND WHERE

    • Philip C. Krasnicki

      Are you kidding me? Retiring (from a first career) by age 40, OK. Never having to work another day in his life!!?? Bull. Retirement benefits, much like Social Security, provide a “safety net” against hard times, but are only the means to meet very basic needs. My second and third careers enabled me to invest my military retirement checks for REAL retirement after age 65. Anyone who believes that they will live happily ever after on military retirements is in for a VERY rude awakening.
      20 Year AF Vet

      • guest

        Did you not read the part where we’ve already invested significant sums? He doesn’t need to work a second or third career to save for a “real” retirement because we’ve done that at the same time as his military service. I have a high paying job, we live cheaply, and have been banking my entire salary, and a chunk of his for years and years. If you don’t think a near six figure passive income with a paid for house is sufficient to live on, then I would suggest you have a spending problem.

    • Doug

      Sorry to say this but you are both in this for all the WRONG reasons!!! This is what is wrong with our military these days, too many people only looking out for their own benefit and not “Service BEFORE Self”. As a retiree myself I would not want to come back to serve with anyone that has your self-centered outlook on military service.

  • Thatperson

    We would. And this is a conversation we have in this house endlessly. I continue to believe that in the end the only thing that gets you past PTSD and through to post traumatic growth is the knowledge that life is bigger than the heart beating in your chest. If you believe that, that we each have purpose and a calling and a place in some grand scheme of existence it is so much easier to stumble toward healing and to frame these long wars in such a way you can not just live with those experiences but be better for them. Maybe for some people it is all about benefits, retirement, etc. But here we could never place a monetary value on not only the sacrifice of the past 21 years and counting, but the very real growth in character we have experienced because of living this crazy military life. We’re good people forged by fire and truly there is as much to be thankful for as burdened by when we look back. It’s taken a lot of very hard gut wrenching soul searching work to get to a place we feel that way, but if you do the work, you can get there.

    • Dwight

      I’m a Viet Nam vet. with 4 tours. Thought of making the Army a career but after 6 yrs. and not understanding PTSD at that time I rolled up in myself with self distruct on my mind 24-7. Is it really worth it? From my heart it is. For God and Country. From my head, not a chance. Been married now for 46 yrs. and put my wife and my 2 sons thru hell for most of that time. Ruined friendships, turned to drugs and boos. Then I had to literally fight the VA to get any type of help. Nightmares and flash back, not to mention splitting my wifes lip and beating her at night because of a nightmare.
      So, in short. Is the health care and finances after 20 yrs. worth it? All depends on that person and his or her spouse and don’t forget the kids. How you raise them will affect them for the rest of their lives. Good luck. I would never put my family thru that again and I think that is why my sons have no ambishsion to join the military.

      • Thatperson

        Dwight my Dad did 4 toursin Vietnam as well. My childhood was what can best be described as chaotic at best. But mostly because unlike you, he rifled through wives and had no social support while trying to raise three daughters alone and deal with his combat injuries both physical and mental. What I can say at 42, married 21 years to my own soldier with his own 5 deployments is: I honestly, would not change one thing about my crazy chaotic life, not then and not now. Not when I sit with my Dad at the VA, not when I sit with my still active duty soldier at behavioral therapy. The totality of those experiences have made me who I am. They’ve driven me to do pretty awesome things and more importantly I think they’ve offered me the gift of empathy and compassion. That’s a lot of years of intense therapy answering you on a good day. I have days I too want to either rage against the machine or disappear into the woods somewhere never to be seen again, but overarchingly this life has been a blessing. I have a sneaky suspicion your family feels the same way about their life with you. 46 years is an amazing and inspiring feat in the best of times, up against what you describe it is a damn miracle and POWERFUL. Where you were, is not where you are. Life is about mostly learning to allow ourselves the grace to be human. I tell my own Dad and my husband that forgiveness is a gift they give themselves. Don’t beat yourself up too much us kids and wives often we turn out on in the end, maybe even stronger if we get in and do your own work to get there.

      • Thatperson

        PS: you know, you may not feel like it, and your post echos remorse that only comes with sober soul searching hindsight…but you Dwight must be pretty dang amazing because your wife stood by you all those 46 years. If you weren’t worth it, do you really still think she’d be there? My guess is she says that to you maybe daily, and like my husband or my Dad maybe you can’t hear it through all those echos of the past. So I had to say it, maybe a stranger saying it will hit some different frequency PTSD can’t tune out so easily. You’re amazing Dwightand clearly worth fighting and staying for :)

  • Guest

    Do it again? Not sure. From an individual standpoint, I think my spouse would, and I would certainly choose my spouse again, but as a COUPLE? We’ve been married for near 15 years and have had to live apart–usually WAY apart–more than half of that time due to my spouse being military. A small portion of that time we have been apart because I could not pursue my education or career from the place he was stationed. We both deserve a career and to be able to provide for the family unit. But spouse in military has equaled very little time as a couple.

  • Guest

    No. 10 years and several deployments; the military is becoming too much of a social experiment that I’m happy to be out from under.

    The average SM spends more time in classes like SHARP, EO, “No Fear Act” blah blah than their actual MOS. While that might be great for our recent generation [who exploit those] it’s probably great.

    The Warrior class is gone.

    • guest

      Thank g_d for that. I for one wouldn’t do it again because I am tired of dealing with sexism, racism, and homophobia which are still prevalent in the military. It’s exhausting.

      • paul

        Sometimes an issues is never a problem until its advertised and someone want to make a statement about the issues.

      • AirForceE5

        I would go back and go to school first under ROTC or USAFA to get that cushy officer pay. Nothing like sitting behind a desk and getting paid 3x as much!

        • Guest 123

          But you didn’t and you won’t. That’s the difference, I went in E1, retired 03-E. I recall all my enlisted buds going to parties while I went to the library.

    • Jeff123

      These bull courses is also a good reason to not do it again, but these courses continue into the civilian sector, too! Drives me nuts!

    • SFC Ranger Rider

      Warrior class gone? Boy are you lost. Yeah the current soldier spend time in class and when not in class there is very little real MOS training because there are no funds. If there is a conflict they still do not do their MOS. I Spent 5 Years in combat. I am the longest consecutive deployed soldier. There is a big difference from a peacetime soldier and a combat soldier. It is easy to tell which side you fall on. Try a couple years in combat when it is hostile. I would do it all again even though I am combat wounded. The reason is because you won’t. Not for money I have been broke, not for a retirement, but for my brothers in arms. I lost soldiers and friends, some I knew for awhile others briefly. I felt the loss of everyone of them. We do what we do because others won’t or can’t. We know the cost and are willing to pay that cost if we must. So rest easy the Warrior Class may not always like the peacetime crap but we stand ready when duty calls

      • 1SG Jon Weiss

        While I do respect your service and honor your wounds, I served in both Peace and War, and I must take exception to one of your points. You stated “there is very little real MOS training because there are no funds.” This quite frankly is a cheap cop out. I served 22 years as a 19D/19Z, and every unit in which I served, even RDF, were on a shoestring budget.. You don’t need funds to train. Funding is needed for the big items such as unit maneuver training, but individual MOS skills can be taught in the barracks, in the Motor Pool or anywhere you can put your troops with your unit equipment. Training is an exercise of the mind as much as it is of the budget. Need to teach maneuver skills and don’t have funds for fuel? Ever hear of rock drills. Need gunnery training? No cash for ammo? Well you have your tank BFV, or other gun system in the Motor pool, use dry fire drills. Need crew coordination? All that is needed is a clear piece of ground. Never use lack of money as an excuse not to train.

  • retiredusnnavywife

    In a heartbeat, three times again if I could…the best decision I ever made. I count my life as starting the day I raised my hand. Already a college graduate…looking to make a contribution and for a more exciting life…of course as a woman I didn’t face the draft so was a total volunteer….equal pay for equal work (Remember that slogan? Well the military was one of the first institutions to make it happen)…definitely not overpaid but never starved….If anyone out there says I may have had easier assignments because I was a woman, well it was not true, I faced the same rotation as any guy in my field. Miss the travel, miss the mission. Can’t say everyday was wonderful; too often buried in the weeds but could usually pull myself out to appreciate what I had. Took me a long time to understand this life is not for everybody, not better or worse, just different.

    • sdunniway2

      I think every person should spend time in the service, as it makes them a better person in there whole life !!!!

  • paul

    Well if someone invents a time machine where I can go back to 1980 and do my 25 years in the Army all over again than yes I definitely will. But I will change some things (you know Hindsight 2020). The problem I see today is that we are putting too many issues in the spotlight by people who do not have a clue as to the issue i.e. The Media & people who never served & politicians, but may of these issues are not one size fits all and what issues one person has others don’t have but are treated the same i.e. PTSD, Alcohol, Drugs, lack of education and so forth only some has it but if you listen to the media we (Every Soldier who ever joined) all have these issues in which is a false statement

  • Retiered Marine

    The question is too simple with only 3 options. I had a great experience in the Marine Corps (2 combat deployments) and served with some of the finest men and women in America, but…. The Marine Corps and the other services are changing, and not for the better. Woman in infantry is one example, forced acceptance on homosexuality is another. People of faith will be forced out in the name of “tolerance”. God Bless the young NCOs and Officers who will have to make it work.

    • guest

      And I am tired on bearing the brunt of people’s sexism, racism, and homophobia. This idea that straight white males are the only people who are worthy of being service members and the only people capable has to go.

      • paul

        @Guest you know in my 25 years in, if there were ever a gay person in any of my units I would of never known it because they did not go around advertising it like they do today. By advertising it you make an issues that is all about yourself and that is not what the military is about. In one of my units though there must of been a gay person in the late 1998 a few years after DADT started we had a male soldier got raped in the barracks by another male soldier, that was the only unit where it became a problem for a few months.

    • guest

      but you have no issues with the MANY homosexuals and women that have served, and continue to serve in a large assortment of SOF units huh? Just remember, you have to have tolerance for my faith (and actually my lack of faith) just like I have to be tolerant of the bible bouncers.

      • El Gato

        Yes he shouldn’t because those many were selfless individuals putting their units and services ahead of their own personal wants and needs. For the ones today to force themselves on my beliefs and parade them selves for “individuality” is shameful, worthless and very selfish. the military is about operating as a team, and it worked well till the whiny civilian population got involved

        • paul

          EL Gato How true, I think the problem today is the in-your-face mentality of the LGBT people, If they like that stuff then its between themselves why do they always want to broadcast it all the time i.e. look at me, look at me and act like freaks. It does make you sick. Just like I said before it was never an issue until someone wanted attention about it.

          • Guest

            Yeah, I know I REALLY hate it when straight people have pictures on their desks of their families, and talk about their family vacations and their plans for the weekend, and talk ENDLESSLY about how their kids are doing. TOTALLY in your face ALL THE TIME with their heterosexuality!

          • El Gato

            They aren’t rocking the boat with that stuff, they are doing what everybody else does, contributing to unit cohesiveness.

          • guest

            Just like gay servicemembers are doing so. Talking about their families, their weekend plans, showing pictures of their loved ones. See…they TOO are contributing to unit cohesiveness.

          • TK75

            Agreed. Your personal life is just that, your personal life. The problem is the fact that now society chooses to flagellate it to death and constantly shove that in our faces. One would think they would have far greater valid concerns to address other than someone’s sexual preference. That’s what makes it a problem.

    • Bill Reese, USMCR

      I fully agree with Retirered Marine, the idea of mixing women on the front line, homosexuality, and taking away the opportunity for Chaplin’s to perform their sworn duties are destroying the US Military as we know it.

      I understand the Marine Commandant is fighting the idea of incorporating Women into front line combat troops. there are just too many negatives and almost any one of those negatives can get a Marine killed. Why are we even trying to act like other militaries around the world, when we are the number one fighting force in the world today, let them copy us, at least before we incorporate all this stupid Social experimenting with the lives of our finest young men and women.

      • Ssgt E – USMC

        Amen. It’s evidently clear that the vast majority of Americans, our politicians, POTUS and a large number of those of you commenting on this post clearly have little to no first hand experience/knowledge of what it means to be a Marine and what the Marine Corps represents. It’s really simple. Becoming a Marine requires that you leave your individualism behind and submit to the institution… the traditions, principles and culture of the Corps. And the very mission of the Marine Corps rifle squad is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver and to repel enemy’s assault by fire and close combat. That mission is the only thing that matters. By it’s very nature social engineering is in stark contrast to the Mission and anyone who says differently is a fool and in my eyes an enemy to the best fighting force the world has ever known. Shame on any of you knuckleheads that put your stupid individualism, ideology and fascism before the mission. Good night Chesty wherever you are….turning in his grave I’m sure.

        GOD COUNTRY CORPS,
        A former combat infantryman, Marine and saddened American

    • Herbert McGinnis

      I am a retired Army Special Forces 16 years.Back then you had to be an e-5,drawing pro-pay in your MOS,Abn qualified,Expert Rifle and Pistol,pass Physical Fitness Test, Physiological Battery,Gt 110 or better, have an aptitude for the 5 basic disciplines Pass the Q-Coerce.A Foreign Language will help you get an assignment to countries using that Language.Providing they ask The US for help.I cite the above to show how we were trained as junior leaders.

      Soldiers have a harder time getting Senior NCO’s as Mentors.These young men and women had to learn by fire.Thank God we still have soldiers carrying on American Tradition of natural leadership.They will persevere and natural leaders will emerge to carry on molding our Leaders of tomorrow.

    • Ellen

      Agreed, the answer is not as simple as multiple choice. I have a son who was in the Navy just shy of 180 days. Completed boot camp in an honor division with plans (8 year contract) to be a SAR. He was diagnosed with leukemia and sent home immediately (got the diagnosis after 8:00 am on a Friday and was at O’Hare waiting for a plane at 11:00 on Monday). AML is a very aggressive cancer. Oncologists have told us that he could not live 8 weeks untreated without major symptoms (like collapse or death during the rigor of boot camp), let alone the 13 that he was in the Navy. He was routinely swimming and running in temporary hold just prior (days before) to his discharge. The Navy insists that the condition preexisted his enlistment (he was sworn in more than six months before he was discharged). He has an “uncharacterized discharge” that follows him with a negative connotation and they will not correct. The Navy doctor that made the initial diagnosis recommended a medical discharge and wrote “5 years without sequel” he could re-up. We are thankful that he has maintained full remission for three years, but the recruiter (and MANY others) have told us that the Navy will never take him back with that medical history. It is quite sad. The oncologists all insist that with five years remission his risk of a recurrence is no greater than anyone else’s in the general population. He was a great sailor. Loved Navy life. Swam with the top 6-8 in his unit of approximately 80 men (all special ops guys). He had been talking about serving his country since he was in the 4th grade. Would he do it again? ABSOLUTELY! But I am pretty sure they will not give him the opportunity. Their loss.

    • guest

      I agree with this marine 100% In fact if I were in the military today I would resign. The president does not listen to his officers and in fact punishes them if they present plans that differ with his political a gender.

  • sw514

    Not such a simple question. The military has changed much since I first enlisted almost 40 years ago. If I was 18 again and yearning to do something worth doing and learning along the way, yep sure would. Comparing today’s military to the one I joined and comparing the two, not so sure.

    One things does hold true, although I have been retired from service for 17 years, I still miss it. Wish I had stayed to 30 vice 23.

  • Pleiku

    Working on the aircraft was a learning experience. Sometimes wish I re-enlisted when my captain asked me. The first four years went fast.

  • Guest

    The poll doesn’t offer enough choices. I would like to say yes, I’d do it again, but honestly the lack of integrity, loyalty, and honesty I saw when I was in is why I would not do it again. Sacrifice is one thing and I never expected the service to be a cake walk. With that said, I also never expected to see the toxic leadership that I saw. Leadership, or the lack thereof is why I would say, no, I would not do it again. Not knowing what I know now.

    • Jones

      Spinning wheels and working oneself into a lather over issues that are not life threatening or causing exceptionally grave damage to the US is a result of boredom and complacency. Add to that social media and instant communications and it’s easier to see the big picture for what it is. At least back in the 40’s information was tightly controlled for the good of the country. National Security is the first thing that went out the door with this free exchange of information and look at the result of it. Kids don’t even have to go to a recruiting office to get a picture of military life. The internet will give them more than enough information to make an educated guess. At least they get a true picture of military life. Best I can say is weigh the pros and cons of the military life versus your current situation and decide which is better for you in the long term.

      • Guest

        There’s a lot of truth to your comment. However, I (I’m the Guest you replied to btw) served before DADT and the internet and I still saw a lot of toxic leadership. I saw a lot of good, and potentially good, Marines careers ruined because someone higher up needed a scapegoat or just plain didn’t like the other individual for personal reasons. Now before anyone reading this assumes I’m disgruntled, that’s not the case. All in all I was able to steer clear of trouble like this but I observed a lot of it, in multiple units and this caused me to lose faith in the overall leadership of the Marine Corps and I know full well the Marines Corps does not have a monopoly on this problem. I knew full well to never trust the enemy but I didn’t think I’d have to constantly be looking over my shoulder at my fellow Marines. These were the people who were suppose to have my back no matter what. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of good Marines out there who will have another Marine’s back no matter what but they don’t always make it into leadership positions.

    • Viet Vet ’72

      You got most of that right! Vietnam War vet, here. Would I do it (all) over again? NO! Yes, I would enlist & do everything I did in Vietnam, again. I spent most of my time in Vietnam doing what I figured we (U.S. military) were there for: helping the South Vietnamese people route out the “vermin” who were maiming/killing/raping/(too BAD to put into words here). I met & worked with (if you want to call it that) Vietnamese military and civilians who loved their country/people & were unafraid to go on missions most U.S. military would not. If I could have, I would have stayed in Vietnam and continued to assist them in defending their country/people. Yes, I paid a price for it (PTSD does NOT ‘go away’, no matter what the medical experts claim) and is something I will deal with until the day I die. But… I know (in my heart & mind) hundreds of Vietnamese men & women thankful that I did what I did while in their country, fighting for them. I’ve also met several of the ‘boat people’ who came to USA after 1975 and some love me ‘like family’ after they ‘milked’ out of me just a small portion of places in Vietnam & surrounding countries I had been; and less than 1% of the facts of things I did/endured while trying to protect them (Vietnamese in south) and their freedoms.

      The rest of the story… The rapid return to USA (direct from Vietnam) is when PTSD first reared it’s ugly head! I’d changed from a USA civilian/soldier into a Vietnamese/warrior and could only take being in USA for less than 6 months. I re-enlisted for another overseas (Asian countries were all I even considered) assignment. I had to ‘get away’ from here (USA), because there was 2 people inside this body by then (I’ll call them ‘good guy’ & the ‘warrior’), with the warrior being strongest (as I had just returned from warrior mode in Vietnam). Even when I was ‘back among Asians’ in new assignment, because it wasn’t in Vietnam (war zone) I could only control the ‘warrior’ by almost constant use of beer/whiskey/vodka, drugs (yeah, those!!), and intimate company of Asian women. Until I found the right one, the latter didn’t do anything for controlling the ‘warrior’. All 3 didn’t enhance my military career, but didn’t really hurt it either. Things started ‘going south’, as my TIS (almost 14 years) progressed and more & more people in military became ‘politically correct’ and more n more were (obvious to me) afraid to fight. Even during field training exercise I found myself surrounded by cowards (when it came to actual combat ops). During one TDY assignment in Central American country, the camp got about 10 rounds of small arms fire (incoming) and the majority of US military were ‘hiding’ instead of manning assigned defense positions. It got worse as the years passed, until I (a senior NCO) had incidents of privates (E-1 thru E-3) telling me & other senior NCO leaders ‘Heck No’ and higher command telling me/us there was nothing I/we could do about it. “Ain’t going to war with that kind of soldier(?) behind/beside me!!!! In Vietnam, those kind of privates ‘didn’t make it back’!

      After almost exactly 14 years of ‘doing what military is for’, and repeatedly getting screwed by the ‘politically correct’ amongst us ‘warriors’; I resigned!!! It was not an easy choice, but for a ‘warrior’ (at that time, mid 1980s) it was right choice. I still fight my ‘war’ inside (between ‘good guy’ & ‘warrior’), and for me the only part of 14 years active duty I ‘value’ is time in Vietnam & time spent with my wife of 40+ years. (She was 2nd woman I met who could make the ‘good guy’ stronger than the ‘warrior’. 1st was a beautiful, loving Vietnamese woman I met on street in Da Nang, Vietnam in May of 1972. She was taken from me by U.S. government rules concerning getting married to a Vietnamese woman (at that time), and/or Viet Cong. I’ll never know, as I’ll probably never return to Vietnam, and if I did would probably never find her (if she’s still alive). I still think about her/miss her every single day… and will until day I die. Yes, I love my wife! If not for her, I’d probably died in a bar fight or something along those lines years ago. Yes, she knows about the Vietnamese woman of ’72, and (thankfully) understands.

      Like others have said, your poll doesn’t offer enough choices for any kind of accurate answer to a VERY complicated question. Maybe what I’ve added will help YOU understand… military service is/means a LOT of different things to a LOT of different people at different time(s) in history.

      VietVet71 – still love ya Mai — Da nang, Vietnam May-July 1972

  • Guest

    Maybe they should have been a little more careful not to cut so many good soldiers (many of whom did not want to leave) during the cutbacks over the last couple of years. Now they are having trouble getting new recruits who are up to standard. Foresight and planning seems to be something the military, especially the political side of it, could and should work hard to improve. There would be a lot less waste all around.

    • Chief741A

      Won’t happen until the current crew at the top is replaced – and may not happen then. The top echelons of leadership in every branch of the government – not just the military – has been replaced with sycophants who will do NOTHING to upset the Lord Emperor. EER’s/SEER’s/OER’s are very nearly the sole reference used to choose who stays and who goes – and the only people with spotless records are the ones who kissed the boss’s deireire consistently on the way up.

      If the next Prez is smart, he or she will cashier every 4 star flag officer on active duty, and half of the 3 stars. No, that is not a sly plug for Ms Clinton. By she, I meant Carli. I despise half of the Republicans running for “the big boy chair” – and all of the Democrats.

      Oh, the Army was very good to me. I ran into my share of people who didn’t like my “attitude”, or the lack of starch in my fatigues (yes, I am that old), or my haircut, and did what they could to “encourage me to leave”… but I ran into and served with a lot more people that judged me on my skills, adaptability, and drive.

      I spent 2 of my 20 years as a full time student in various service schools and civilian vendor training – and spend 5 years attending university classes at night. I had the great good fortune to be assigned to locations where I could do that – and busted my butt to take advantage of that good fortune. My Associate degree got me promoted to SP6 with 5 years TIS. My Bachelor’s got me promoted to SFC in the secondary zone, and had a lot to do with me being selected for WOCMDC (that’s OCS for Warrant Officers). My Master’s degree was instrumental in my selection for CWO-3.

      Oh, yes, the Army was very good to me – especially given that I was drafted. Daddy was a soldier, you see… and I soon discovered that life in the Army was easier than it had been at home… I’m talking BCT, by the way. And they kept promoting me, and giving me reenlistment bonuses. I stayed.

      But I watched good soldiers bullied out of the service by people who had reached their “Peter Principle” position and wanted to see to it that nobody else got past them. My first boss (a CWO-4 filling an O-4 slot) after OCS was like that. His replacement was everything he hated – a black female Captain – and got to watch the new Captain kick him in the ‘nads – figuratively, of course. It seems the old Chief was very, Very, VERY lax in the property accountability department… Long story short, I was appointed as PBO and the statement of charges was for more than $70k. Oh, I started out looking for ways to do to the “departing” what he had done to me – and found that all I had to do was count the thingies we had and compare that list to the thingies we had paid for. You see, the old Chief had never learned the first rule of property accountability in the Army: GET SOME OTHER IDIOT TO SIGN FOR IT!!! A lesson I carried with me the rest of my career and saved me some trouble. Especially the part about the Old Chief losing his last active duty paycheck to settle that Statement of Charges.

      One thing my father (a WWII veteran who retired (CWO-4) with enough WWII hero badges to rate burial at Arlington, and stayed for Korea and Viet Nam) beat into my thick head was that “no matter how bad things are, no matter what collosal horse’s rear my boss was – one of us was going to be gone within a year. AKA “This Too Shall Pass”.

      I made it. I beat on typewriter keyboards, painted handling equipment at a missile base, ran a generator shed at that same missile base – was asked by MILPERCEN to go to Programmer school – and served in the Pentagon and at CINCPAC. Spent half my career 2 doors away from a flag rank officer, and half my career working in the “compartmented” environment that is causing Ms Clinton so much heartburn at the moment. Lotsa overlap there, by the way, and most it was on the enlisted side.

      As an enlisted man, I worked for Generals. As an officer, I worked for Captains. Go figure. I got to retire from Special Operations Command – but that’s a long tale for another time.

    • Pte

      The military like most of america has become immoral, not fit for a family anymore.

  • Jetter2517

    100% YES!!!!!!

  • Wayne Perry

    I believe the truth and good always win and in the end the problems we are facing will be corrected. New problems will arise, but then someone will come along and fix those.

  • Navyjag907

    Absolutely. The people and country we protect are worth it and we serve with great people in an evolution which is far more than a job. I would try to have more fun the second time around.

  • Guest

    My husband will have 30 years in 2016. We’ve been together 27 years, married 23. He would definitely do it again, and I would wholeheartedly support him. He’s deployed (again) right now, which is tough with a teenager and tween at home. But this wonderful country is worth the sacrifice!

    • dick

      Thank you so much for the sacrifice that you and your husband have chosen to make. It takes a whole Family to make this commitment a success. Thank You!!

  • ETC(SS) Retired

    I loved the structure of the military. The social engineering will destroy our ability to be the best. Before any new experiment is implemented, a simple question needs to be asked. Will it help us destroy the enemy, or will this create friction. No women in front line combat. No women on submarines. No women forward deployed. They can and do serve exceptionally well in support roles.

  • John

    A three question is really not a good way to take this poll. I would go again
    as I did before but there is NO WAY I would go under this muslim extremist dictator
    and is sissy mary military

    • Sam

      It’s a poll John. It asks if you would do it again back when you did, not today. So we appreciate your comment on the poll but not your remarks about the current Commander-In-Chief. Not every president is well received, however, those remarks are not for this post.

      • George B.

        I served 24 years in the USAF, retired E-8 in 1990. I never served under our current President or under Bill Clinton but watching either one pin a medal on a soldier made me sick. Draft dodger Clinton and dope smoking ultra radical Obama do not deserve that honor. I respect the position but not the person.

      • Mike

        Thank you. I do get fed up with hearing these men serving their country whilst saying disparaging remarks about their current commander-in-chief. A dictator? Really? The hardest thing they need to worry about is doing their jobs, not disrespecting the President of the US trying his best to run a country and tackle problems that have been simmering for the past 60 years or so. If they have a problem with that then get out of the military. There are plenty of jobs in civilian life.

      • Bob R

        George B is right.. The Commander in Chief sets the tone of the military. This president clearly hates the military.. You take it from there..

  • Don

    I would if the need was needed. I talked to my son and he did his time in the Air Force. I would not ask my grandchildren to go or anyone.

  • Retired

    I would do it again! Just this time I would listen to my recruiter and go into a different career field. One that actually challenged me. I know things would be different that way.

  • david phillips

    I’m retired but if I could go back on active duty I most certainly would do it all over again.

  • John Patterson

    SIRS I WAS ABOUT TO BE DRAFTED.,SERVED DURING VIETNAM WAR 1968-1974 SO I ENLISTED USNR, DESTROYER DUTY RUINED MY BACK OVER 20 YEARS IN PAIN THERAPY. YET THIS IS THE PRICE OF FREEDOM SO YES I WOULD SERVE AGAIN.

  • Steven

    I tell ya, if I had to do it all over again (’66 thru ’70) YES! my time in the USAF was not a picnic every day but I handled my jobs and was proud to be doing my bit for god and country. That being said, today the military seems to go to Political extremes to acomadate instead of assimilate when it comes to the troops. And If I had had the brain function and maturity I have now I’d have stayed in! I do however have great respect for the guy’s & gal’s in harms way today!!

  • bigfatduke

    Not me in the military again, to contend with a bunch of fruits and drag queens.

  • chzrplzr

    Under the old days (1970’s & 80’s) structure sure I would go in the Navy ..I had a blast .. yeah you worked hard and when you hit a port your played hard .. back then you were taught discipline and given a whack on the back of your head if screwed up. Kids now a days got it easy, they get time outs and instructors aren’t allowed to yell at them. Seriously … what are you going to do in combat, call time out so the enemy doesn’t shoot you .. NOT!!!

  • Senior Chief

    I’m not sure, since today’s Navy is not the same Navy as when I joined back in ’67. I’m not sure I would have the tolerance or the patience to deal with women and other “gender” issues in the work place. I was ALWAYS stationed aboard older ships – WWII DD’s, a DE, the Midway, Coral Sea and Ranger. The vast majority of my time was trying to keep the enginerooms in these ol’ gals in a steaming condition so we could fulfill our mission. When I was a Chief/Senior Chief, I didn’t have time to mollycoddle a bunch of pissant kids – if you couldn’t hack the program, you were gone! And believe me, those old steam ships were hard core! We worked hard and we played hard! I made 96 bucks A MONTH when I got out of boot in ’66 and was getting around 25 grand A YEAR (E8 over 26) when I got out in ’92. We stayed-in because we loved (Yes LOVED) what we did – IT WAS NEVER, EVER ABOUT THE MONEY! How many of those serving today can say that??? And how many “marginal” performers stay-in today just for the Benjamins! Even today, as I approach 70, I miss going to sea! They were the best years of my life! MMCS(SW), USN (ret)

    • Rangefinder

      I was in those same basic years, and I would agree with the Sr. Chief’s response. If I could go back to being 20 in mid 60’s, yes. Today? NO WAY! And thanks for your service, Sr. Chief.

  • Disgruntled

    I love the military but hate my actual job. The Air Force does a poor job of personnel placement to put the right people in the right places. I have zero paperwork and good performance reports but I’m unhappy with my current field. I could do so much more in a field that fits my drive but have been given no opportunities when it came to retraining. Yet when I need the support of personnel in a job I’d like to do they’re a bunch of lazy Airmen and it frustrates me to no end. They are losing a lot of people to things like this, poor treatment of maintainers (12 hr shifts, not panamas just straight 12’s non-stop in all weather etc, hardly have time to eat, and are expect to me a well rounded person like a nonner).

    • Guest

      Absolutely agree. People can’t maintain a life of their own when they are on mids 6 months/yr and working 12hrs/6days in the summer. Deploy for 7 months, repeat. I have watched so many young AND older families disintegrate because the person the families care about no longer exists in their world.

  • Scrapiron

    If I could go back to the time I served 1973 – 1980 I would have stayed in and retired in 1993 after 20 and had had that check plus the one I’m getting ready to receive from my career in the US Government.

    Semper Fi……..Sgt. USMC

    • TechBorne

      Sgt you bailed out at about the right time. It was around 83 that the Corps started getting political. by the 90’s is was plain BS. Our paths may have crossed. 73 – 94 2531,2537,2841,2861 to name a few. Semper Fi.

  • paul

    In the article it ask the question “why are young people not wanting to join the military? Well for starters look how soldiers of today and soldiers of pass are treated, always trying to taka way earned benefits. second in the media soldiers are always demonize based on sex, rape, gay, drugs, alcohol, & PTSD. It is funny that after I retired and someone finds out that I was in the military they always ask me “how many people I killed” they never ask how many people/refugees I saved, help, or protected. They never ask about any of the humanitarian mission I was on or how was it defending West Germany during the Cold War they just want to know how many people I killed. If you want more young people to join the military than I say you need to change how the media portrays the Military, that now every female soldier get raped by their NCO, that not all soldiers are Gay, and that soldiers do not have a drug or alcohol problem.

  • Nunya

    Right now? Today? No, my husband would not enlist in today’s Army. My husband enlisted in 1991 and retired in 2012. He enjoyed his time but he’s so happy to be out. Things have changed so much recently and not for the better.

  • Leo Johnson

    I definitely would do it all over again if they would bring back one benefit and that is “Free Medical Care ” for yor and your family for the remainder of your Life”.That is one benefit they should have never taken away for military retirees.Now I hear that they are trying to take our Commissary Shopping Benefits.

    • Chuck Henley

      Leo, you are correct — Congress and the White House are trying very hard, and I think they will succeed, in greatly reducing, if not taking away completely, most benefits that have historically been a part of the contract between our government and our service members. However, since military service is wholly voluntarily now, and Congress has successfully managed to reduce total active duty numbers down to 489,000, as I understand it, with that number being looked at very closely by the Congress to further reductions, coupled with the fact that the government has kept our military in an almost constant state of war in the Middle East, with today’s military actions in the Middle East continuing to spiral even higher given the turmoil being created by ISIL, Congress, the number of whose members that have actually served in the Nation’s Armed Forces approximates about 15% of all sitting members, has little to no knowledge of what is needed to initiate a draft, followed by requisite training of young Americans should our Nation once again face a military crisis such as that experienced in WWII, we are fast becoming a Nation that is approaching a real shortage of in-depth military experience by any sizable number of its citizens, since few Americans today seem to not share in believing they owe the Nation any of their time to acquire military training for a possible emergency situation, and there continues to be less and less of a percentage of our citizens on whom the USG will be able to immediately call upon who have any experience in our military. Plus , there most assuredly does not exist any major rush of patriotism on behalf of the vast majority of our citizenry to volunteer to serve in the Nation’s military, thus America will soon, if it has not already reached that point, of replicating our deficit of knowledgeable/experienced citizens who have served in our military services — so, America’s history will repeat itself as it lack such experience at the onset of WWI and again when the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor, starting WWII — both World Wars necessitated major call ups and short-cuts in training to man and prepare, with the very basics, the bulk of our military. We may not have such a luxury of time for the next one. Such situations seem to not be on the radar screen of our Executive and Legislative branches today — and, that is a very dangerous and sad state of affairs our government has allowed our military to slip into.

  • michele Robinson

    No. The wounds of PTSD, Sexual Assault, Waste Fraud & Abuse, Damage to careers and young lives,
    has increased. The cover up of these actions is an insult, especially since more awareness has been brought to the front. Leaders still have control to turn a blind eye and sweep things under the rug. The results homelessness, mental wards and bad career records. Who cares right? Organizations asking civilians for donations when the military created these injuries.

  • USN Retired

    Today’s Navy is so different from the Navy I joined in 1994. I wouldn’t make it a career today, I would have gotten out after the first enlistment. Today the Navy doesn’t care about problem sailors, commands are directed to force problems out of service. It highlights the shift in the quality of people the Navy wants in service. The problem? The ones the Navy wants separate and take the training/skills to the civilian world for better pay and better job security.

  • Jim

    No, I would not do it again and I am telling everyone I can, not to join. When our Politically Correct President and DOD kick out a Patriotic ARMY Sargent for smacking around a Child Molester something is terribly wrong with our Military. This Sargent has a clear knowledge of right and wrong but obviously our government does not. A General also had some Navy SEALS Courts Martialed for punching a terrorist in the stomach. You got to be kidding me!
    With our Rules of Engagement that just protects some politician’s chances for re-election and doesn’t place the War Fighter needs and safety first, why would anyone join?
    Pay sucks, they send you places on a moment’s notice away from the wife and kids and for what, to not fight a war the way wars are support to be fought? War is brutal but the outcome is better than what is happening now.
    I know I am going to get a lot of grief over this post but when I joined I was very patriotic and I felt everyone should serve but not anymore. I do volunteer in my town to make my town better but I worry for our military with the lack of support and stupid rules.

    • USN Retired

      I agree Jim.

    • Shawn McFadden

      The way the miliktary is now, I feel you on that. Those guys did the hard right, and are getting canned for it. Not fair. Still, as for vwhat I did when I was in the Army, I would do it again. However, at present, I’m glad I retired.

    • John6185

      Exactly! We want to instill democracy in the mideast and change their culture. We (the government) failed in that respect and it has failed us in the last 7 + years and failed to provide the tools necessary to win a war-but we weren’t in it to win were we?

  • Mike

    Go back to 1982 and do it again He’ll Yeah!!! Now he’ll no!!!

  • wtpworrier

    Yes, I would do it over again, if I were 18 years old again, that’s the only way. As a retiree, I wouldn’t go back on active duty though, for one reason, I’d just be in the way.

  • Ralph Shorter

    The problem I am finding in young men and women is that there is no benefits for them to join any more. Politicians have decided to cut retirement to nothing but a 401k and that they will be paying for medical. Tuition is not being funded as it was and a lot of Vets are telling the students that they are having a complete problem in getting funding to complete college as I personally did. No reason for a volunteer Military any more as our President no longer supports them.

  • Smith

    I wish now 60 yr later that I had been a better soldier. I would do it again this is where I became a man. Today’s family’s are for the most without God. morals, see our leaders as a piece of C— and treating illegals with more money and benefits than our Vetrans with no relief in site. We are importing more and more ever day. I will stop here

  • Shawn McFadden

    I joined the Army in 1987, two months after I graduated High School. Back then, there was’nt any war going on. I went into the Military because I didn’t want to go to college at that time, yet I knew I had to do something with my life. I didn’t go to Desert Storm, or Somalia. I did go to Bosnia, which was a peacekeeping mission that almost went south. I did not go to Afghanistan, but I went to Iraq 2 years later. I’m retired after 21 years of service, and I’m currently working for the Military Sealift Command. Even though I’m currently divorced, don’t have a house, have to pay child support, and struggle to have a relationship with my teenage son, as far as what I did when I was in the Army, yes, If I had to do it all again, I would.

  • You damn right I would.

  • 11CP5

    Some of the best years of my life. Some of the saddest also. The question IMHO is about as dumb as asking if one would break a leg if they had to do it again. I think those who say they would join again in a heartbeat do not really know that the military is not the military they knew. Too many changes for this old man.

  • haloguy628

    Back in the day when I enlisted absolutely 100% yes, I would in a heartbeat. However today? With all the social engineering and all that PC bull? 100% absolutely not.

    PS: 100% absolute refusal would however be negated by true national emergency. Then I’ll be first in the line for my old combat arms MOS.

  • tibour

    As an old grunt would I do it again yes and that is what I answered in the pole. However I also have reservations about some of the social engineering going on. I sincerely hope that the Corps sticks to its guns and keeps women out of the infantry.

  • Docsenko

    Problem for me, I would be kicked out. It has become way too PC for me. I would serve again if I were young enough to do so. But they would just have to put up with me or let me retire again.

  • Richard Christiansen

    IF I was 19 again, a definite YES to my old Army Intelligence job of Imagery Analyst.
    I’ve been retired for almost as long as I served, 22+ years, now and would do it again!!

  • Guest

    From the slightly different perspective of a civilian employee who is also a military spouse: No. I have worked in many different environments in my time, but I have never seen an organization take advantage of its people–mil and civ–as much and as extremely as the US military. On the civilian side, excellent qualified people are constantly headed out the door due to lack of quality leadership and the problems it creates. On the active duty side, relationships and lives are destroyed by multiple deployments and non-vol stations. The amount of stress one lives with is not sustainable. We keep waiting for our lives to get better, maybe at the next location, but it never does.

    • Chuck Henley

      Absolutely scary, isn’t it! Wonder what our civilian and military leaders will do if the balloon goes up in the near future — I know, they will let our Allies go forward into battle first while the US tries to track down and enlist a new and untrained military force — sounds almost like where we were at the time World Wars I and II started, especially, WWII with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor — who could have seen the warning signs that such could or would happen — certainly not our civilian leadership.

  • Guest

    Join again? Don’t know. Maybe if time to have a personal life were guaranteed, but it’s not. I know a couple who chose for the mil member to do a one yr remote with choice of follow-on. They did get that follow-on, but as soon as his family joined him in the overseas location, he deployed. Then when he got home, his work center was put on 12hr/6day rotation with no end in sight. They are now divorced. It’s not hard to see why.

    • Purdy

      Yes. The thing with military families is that they are military families because the non-mil people want to share life with the person who is in the military. If the availability of that person–availability of time when they are actually awake, not sick, and not required to be at a dinner or other military event–is taken away, there is no reason for the family to hang around. Of all of the important benefits, the crucial benefit for keeping families together is time AWAY from the military. And that is never available.

  • A Smith

    Not with the current Commander in Chief. Otherwise, I certainly would,. I enlisted in the Army in 1965, went to OCS, got to fly airplanes and helicopters. Retired at age 38 as LTC with two college degrees. No other way to do that. Opportunities you can’t find anywhere else. Just have to avoid getting whacked in the process!

  • Mark

    If I could wind the clock back, yes I would do it again. I was one of the last ones to get a draft card for Nam and still have it. That was in 1973, and I did not go in until 1979. If I could go back I would have gone in right after high school and stayed in. Probably would have retired after 20 years though.

  • Russell L. Thornton

    I enjoyed the military until I became disenchanted with one project. I was active reserve until an Air Force captain made it impossible to serve. I would have liked to had retired from military.

  • Russell L. Thornton

    I enjoyed the military until I became disenchanted with one project. I was active reserve until an captain made it impossible to serve. I would have liked to had retired from military.

  • Jimbo

    Maybe. I have a problem with all this political correctness that seems to be required. When I was in the USAF the PC stuff was for pay grades 0-6 and above. That was their playground. Now it seems that if you have 98.6 for temperature and are breathing, you have to play by the PC rules. I can imagine Gen. LeMay being told to watch his tongue…and his response! That is the most salient part, where have all our real leaders gone?

    • john6185

      Obama kicked them out!

  • CWO3

    My spouse and I were both active Army. We were married several years before we retired. Our son also served. There were many separations as we responded to deployments, lengthy temporary assignments, and PCS changes that didn’t move us both at the same time. Then add 30-60 day field exercises for one or the other at least twice a year. When I was medically retired due to a serious health issue, my husband decided he would also retire. I had 21 years in service and my husband had 31 years. Both of us found Army/DoD positions that supported active units until we finally retired. Would we do it again? You bet!

  • 5th cav

    I would do it again if it was military of the 1960’s but not today’s military.

  • Mac McCowan

    I would do it again in a heartbeat! I was a punk kid, expelled from HIgh School, in trouble with the law, and had a bad attitude. I was on the fast track to nowhere! Several people I knew had joined the Navy, so on my 17th birthday in 1963, I did the same. Well, that was a wake-up call, for sure! It didn’t take long for me to figure out that if you followed the rules, things became a lot easier….not to mention I didn’t get my butt kicked as often! I became a Radioman (communications specialist), and a couple of years later, got into the submarine force. I loved it. The harder things became, the more I loved it. Challenges make you stronger, both mentally and physically. I ended up staying for 22 years, and only chose to retire because a new career in the U.S. Foreign Service was being offered with even more challenges. It was the training, knowledge, discipline, and work ethic instilled in me by the Navy that got me into my new career, and for that I am ever thankful. I am now 69 years old and fully retired, and I would still recommend the military for young people today. Whether they do one enlistment or make it a career, what they will learn and experience will last a lifetime. RMCS(SS), USN (Ret)

  • Hawk 6

    As a retired Army helicopter pilot with six years active and eighteen years in the reserve, it took a toll on married and family life but the benefits including Tricare are fantastic and I (and my wife) would definitely do the entire tour again.

  • D Thomas USAF RET

    In May 1968 I received my draft notice & actually took the draft induction physical. I had been seeing a local Air Force Recruiter prior to this draft notice & eventually joined the Air Force a few months later. That turned into a great 20 year career which I totally enjoyed. If I were a young man today I would indeed join the Armed Forces again. The demand is much tougher today on the military man & his family due to the numerous deployments but when you join you must know that those needs of our Armed Forces do come first!! We join not only out of s sense of pride but also out of a sense of service to our Country and an ongoining need to provide safety to our Country and keeping our freedom alive!!

    • D Thomas USAF RET

      Did not want to make reference only to the “military man” without saying that I wanted to include the outstanding “military women” in my comments as well. They too have made great sacrifices during their dedicated service!!

  • Sergeant Rock

    With a draft number of 11, I had a choice?
    Raymond Odierno was once quizzed by a Congressman during a hearing.
    General Odierno did not know that the leading cause of death for his soldiers and veterans is suicide.
    Kind of makes you wonder how the Army defines the term “leadership”.

  • AF Retired

    Not my Military anymore, good leaders are gone, too much social and political correctness.
    Money was never a factor, today it’s a reason to serve.
    Pregnant women in BDU’s, servicemembers drinking in uniform in civilian bars
    The military has lost it’s discipline

  • Soupman

    When I joined the Army in 1976, I wanted to get out immediately. However, I stayed and endured boot camp, AIT, and a three year tour In Germany. Upon returning from Germany in 1980, I planned to get out. A young soldier begged me to stay in saying, ” I was the best Sergeant he had ever seen.” I knew then that I was a lifer. It was not the money…it was the duty, honor, country that kept me going. Yes. It was a sacrifice to my family; something I vowed to never do again. Yet I would serve again. It was the best time of my life. I still have memories of those days and still wear my Army caps, shirts, and shorts. I served 20 years service, and retired as a Sergeant First Class.

  • rob

    As a Navy Vet I have no regret for any of the twenty one years on active duty. I would go back tomorrow if I could. I miss the pace of life that came with the “Sacrifice” as you put it. I did not see it that way then and I do not see now. I did what I did because I saw a purpose and believed I was making a difference. Today’s Navy is not what I served in from 1965 until 1986. I remember hearing the Chief’s say the same thing when I started my career and wondered just what the hell then were talking about then. All the changes that have been forced on the military today surely would bear those words being repeated again from some of “old chiefs”. As the MMCS(SW), USN stated in the post I read, I miss it also and they were the best years of my life also! YNC(AW), USN (RET).

  • George A. Gaun

    I graduated from HS in 1952. I graduated from The Citadel in 1956. I was commissioned a 2nd Lt. I was a Commercial Credit Analyst at Chase Manhattan Bank, NYC for 6 years. I graduated from NYU Graduate School of Business Administration in 1963. I commuted by bus from NJ to NYC for six years. Vietnam was cooking – so I applied for an RA commission and entered Active Duty; Air Defense-Nike-Herc. in Sep 63. I served 30 months in Vietnam. I transferred RA to Military Intelligence and retired in 1993 at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. My wife and I had five children; they have all graduated from college; four are married; they all lived in Munich Germany and/or visited during those years. They all have careers; four have families. If I had to do it over in response to the threats we are faced with today i.e. Islam, ISIS, China, middle eastern countries, and the Soviet Union plus our own tepid government leadership; I would volunteer again! But at 81 years I can only pray that our leadership at the national level will get serious…we are still at war!!!

  • Sue

    Yes (I’m retired now) but I enjoyed the way of the Military – meeting people from all over the world, from all walks of life – that with the Military we came together as one. I worked hard, sacrificed a lot, as a single parent it was tough. But I believed in my country, that what I did, how I did it and what others perceived of me – I was a representative of the U.S. I saw finally – programs come into place to help younger Soldiers during times of financially difficulty – in my time a Chaplain, his assist. Cpt., my brothers were there to help me and later I had castoffs from others in my time of need. No, as they say – it wasn’t about money. Also, in the long run (pun) who but the Military would want to help keep us healthy – a thought every morning at PT (physical training)! Throughout my years I worked with some “bad apples” but working with so many fine NCO leaders far outweighed the bad and there are many fine Military Soldiers then and now. The Military is a fine organization and I am so glad I joined and would do so again in a heartbeat. Best years of my life!

    • retiredusnnavywife

      LOL, the cheapest gym I ever joined! And the motivation to keep physically fit was an incentive too (irony here)!

  • john6185

    I would do it again in a heartbeat but not under the current administration. You know all the reasons.

  • Hank Charleston

    I would love to go back and work under a Commander-In-Chief that understands the military. There is no way that I would go back and serve under the current CIC and most of the people that have been appointed under the services since he took office. It was hard enough under Clinton. Would serve under Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 in a heartbeat.

  • Carolyn Morris

    Well I think you questions were too small. I joined the military because I wanted to. I retired. Today there are changes I would consider. Our government always cutting military benifits, Homosexuals, Spouse that think there in the military LOL. Too many with no military back round dictating how its run. What benifits there were are going to be a thing of the past. Commissary soon to be gone. Free health care already gone. Tricare getting more and more expensive. PX no benifit, Clothing sales extremely high. Veterans always threatened losing more benifits. Deployments back to back, the smallest military in two hundred years.Too many being let go that are trained to make room for immigrants. Not a lot to be proud of.

  • Relentless Traveler

    USN was the best job I ever had. Wish I would have stayed but I left to use my GI bill college benefits and the VA loan for the house. Those benefits were SO worth the nine years but this many years later I miss the travel, new places, and the excitement of being a Naval Aircrewman doing important work.

  • Retired AF

    Yes I would. It was a great experience. Sure it is changing but that is happening in all things. Be flexible. I just wish the politicians would quit trying to fight wars for the military. Let the military do what it is trained to. Plus quit trying to take away the military benefits.

  • George

    With the current policies that the military operates with now, no way! If it was like when I first enlisted in the early 80’s no problem.

  • Ken s

    Under the current administration, I would not return. The services have become a liberal social experiment. I pray for a real leader who truly takes our national interest to heart.

  • Caroline

    I think we should do what a lot of the European countries do and make it mandatory for everyone to do at least 2 yrs in the military. It is good to learn structure in your life and to become responsible.

  • James

    NO. They lied (free medical care) They kept changing the rules. Officer class got away with too much.This is just from WWII on and I would hate to be in now

  • Darold King

    Not the best pay, but benefits more than make up for it.

  • Rebekah Sanderlin

    I think my husband would say that he would definitely do it all over again. As for me in the spouse role, I could probably answer 33.3% on all three choices. 1) Being in a military family during the longest war in our nation’s history has been a tremendous honor. I have been able to know and love some of the finest people our nation has ever produced. I get to spend the rest of my life knowing that I did something to deserve the enormous freedoms we all get to enjoy. And 2) My husband has earned a nice living in the process. We’re not rich, but we’re fine, and we’ll be even fine(er) when he retires because of the educational and other opportunities he’s had. But 3) It has been hell. On him, on me, on our kids, on our family as a whole, on our extended families, on our friends… There’s really no way around that. We had to fight hard to save our marriage, our kids have endured far more than it was fair of us to ask of them, he’s far too young to have the lifelong injuries he has, and I will likely never regain the professional ground I lost because of the choices I’ve had to make in order to support his career. I also will never get back the time I lost by not living closer with family and friends who are no longer here. I would definitely marry my husband if I had it to do all over again, but I can’t say for certain that I’d marry a soldier again. Maybe if I had a time machine I’d tell him that he needed to get out. I can say — without a doubt — that I will not encourage any of my children to serve or to marry service members. The pain and hardship are just too much.

  • Carol

    My father was an army general and the week after I graduated from college, I married an army capt. Because of FREQUENT moves, as an army wife, I was never able to have a job other than substitute school teacher. My husband & I divorced after 15 yrs of marriage and I entered the civilian world. I couldn’t believe the difference…especially between the military & civil service (CS) careers!
    CS families don’t have to move…ever! They can buy a house, make improvements, and save money. (We military wives save until all our savings are spent on the next move. Every new move requires thousands of $ in hidden expenses.) The CS employee can request a move to a certain LOCATION! WOW! And the relocation money he receives is FAR greater than our military moving $ of one month’s base pay.
    If we military wives are lucky enough to have military housing, we also have that dreaded “white glove inspection” required for clearing quarters. REALLY difficult when small children are involved.
    Things changed a lot…for the better… when Admiral Zumwalt established his 100 Z-Grams for retention. But the CS vs military differences are still huge. Are you aware that when a CS man is relocated, he & his wife can fly to their new location and take their time looking for a house. Expenses paid. Military transferred can’t start looking until the family arrives…and the man usually reports to work the next day. Meanwhile the military family pays their own motel expenses while looking for housing.
    And there are many many additional differences between CS & military careers. The ONLY CS advantage is that CS can’t use the commissary. Have you ever driven 30 miles (past dozens of beautiful civilian supermarkets) and then waited 45 min JUST TO GET A SHOPPING CART at Cameron Station?
    Yes, we all knew we’d “Never Get Rich” but we are appalled at the HUGE advantages of CS over military family lives! We ask that congress either improve military living conditions or reduce CS ones!

    • retiredusnnavywife

      Carol, a few changes since you were moving – there is a chance, although not always practical, for house hunting leave and the military pays up to ten days dislocation allowance to cover your hotel until you find housing.

  • Tom

    If the benefits were the same as they were in 1985……defined benefit pension, decent medical, commissary, etc then yes I would retire again. The piece of crap 401K and no money until your almost social security age they’re going to offer soldiers now….not no, but a resounding no!

  • harry

    I do not recommend serving our country to the younger generations today for one overriding reason: the moral decay/liberalism in our senior officer/civilian ranks. At one time sacrifice meant God, Family, Country; in that order. Now, with the creeping politically correct crap in D.C. our kids aren’t taught things like patriotism, which started out every morning with the pledge of allegiance and a prayer for our nation and our troops when I was growing up, to being taught the fundamentals of the sacrifices given to establish this great nation of ours. When God and prayer was taken out of our school systems and things like it is alright to be an LGBT inserted in its place, my stomach turned. This isn’t the country I grew up in anymore and even though I still love it, and under the right circumstances would still defend it, I can’t condone the direction the military has been pushed in and will not recommend joining to any young person until such a time as real leaders with real common sense are again in charge.

  • Rpi

    I served one tour in Vietnam, and for one active duty enlistment. Intended to re-enlist, but plans changed. Partly, my wife was ready for civilian life. I guess I didn’t press the issue. You couldn’t ask for better officers and enlisted men that I served with. I did like and value the fact I served. Now, I hear things have changed. The number of deployments have to take a toll on family life for those married, and with children. The social experiments are not appropriate for the military today.

  • Ben

    Most definitely would serve again!
    Great learning experience.
    It is sad to here from current service members
    About the military’s current state.
    A big thumbs up to those who served and
    Those who continue to serve.

  • Nam Vet

    As a 1% of the population that has served our country knowing I would be be going into harms ways and would again to defend our country. Some gave some gave all never to be forgotten their or their loved ones sacrifice

  • Rick Russell

    I’d go in the first time as long as Oballess wasn’t Commander in Chief, and reenlist the same.

  • Robert Katz

    no way now that the military is PC and what was wrong that is right now. the military is not test market for mortality. When can not read what is the bible what their faith is that is what is wrong the military. When a service can not read a book in his time off that written by a conserved author.

    • Guest

      Your comment makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Is there a language issue here?

  • vnvtoo

    As a 100% SC former Marine, I often tell my family that I should have gone to Canada instead of the Corps. But they and I all know that’s just frustration with the physical problems and pain. I would, and still will if ever necessary, go again, without qualm or afterthoughts!

  • Nick

    Being a Marine, Class of 62-66, Avionics MOS and Aircraft Crewman. Never served in combat. At 71 years old I miss the Corps of that era. We had our share of “bull” during those years, but the good out weighed the bad. Often times in the 49 years since I’ve been out I wished that I stayed in for 20 or more. Not because of the Pay. As a Cpl/E4 I was making around $180 a month. I was proud to serve. I don’t know how I would handle it today. Having daughters, I accept woman in non combat roles. I don’t think I could handle the transgender, or openly gay people in a military environment. My nephew just retired after 20. He’s my hero. 4 tours in the war zone. We talk about the things we miss ( the Camaraderie of fellow Marines, Taps at night, Colors being struck at the end of the work day ( 5pm), and believe it or not, parades, pride in/of uniform and respect earned and given). Thanks for letting me air it out!

  • Jerry Nezat

    I would not serve under this President so……my answer is NO!

  • MSgt. R.K.

    Yes if this was 1955 or if the United States Air Force could offer the same benefits as they could when I entered the military back then and retired 20 years later. The reason that the military recruiters are having a hard time meeting their goals as mentioned above is because the politicians in the military HQ and those in the US government have just about gutted the benefits and are attempting to take away any of those that are left as they can. I went through recruiter training at Lackland AFB Texas and we were taught how to sell the United States Air Force to potential recruits but you need to have something to sell them and from what I have seen and heard there is not much left. For instance in 1955 a recruiter could tell a potential recruit that if they served and retired from the Air Force that he/she and spouse would receive free benefits for life and their children would also receive those free benefits until they reached the age to leave home. They could sell free collage and just about the type of career training that he/she wanted and there was a lot of other benefits as long as the potential recruit did not ask about a large salary. I believe that all of those military and government politicians should always talk to listen to and take the advice of a recruiter before they consider removing or changing whatever benefits that the military has left, perhaps then they might change their mind unless they really want to see the all volunteer force disappear and the draft start up again. Perhaps if their own children started being drafted into the military and serving in war zones like Vietnam in my days they might change their minds about messing around with what military benefits the military have left.

    • retiredusnnavywife

      Sir, pls check out the current GI bill; it is the most generous ever offered. There is a housing allowance and you can transfer your benefits to your spouse or child.

  • John Gunter

    In a heartbeat. I was, I thought, miserable. But you know what I found out? The best brother’s a man could have. We brothers, from a different mother,very proud of our service. We found hard times but we always found the good. I miss the comrades I made and I believe that the worst and the best times of my life was while serving.

  • John

    I would go back in if I could. I did just over 8 years 97-2005. I made friends I hope to have in my life forever. I will have a bachelors degree in may 2016 and I think what it would be like having that credential behind my name while in the service. I would love to go warrant officer but I might be to old (39 in march). I didn’t understand how much I enjoyed leading and developing soldiers into the leaders they can be. I’m no super trooper at all, but I cared about my soldiers a great deal. I did my job and could take on a lot of responsibility and make it happen day in and day out. I learned how much I hate dropping the ball. I think I really miss being in situations that are a real world serious. Having a mission was one of the coolest things I ever had going for me. E6 points being maxed out did suck though. Through sacrifice we grow into the best that we can be.

  • Bill Shultz

    I would in the brown shoe Army and the early black shoe. Not sure i’d do it in today’s Army. But I count my blessings. I retired in 1979 and today I live a blessed life. Other than getting old and my health starting to slide down hill accelerated by my time in the military, life is good. There isn’t a days goes buy that I don’t feel thankful for having made the decision to make a career out of the Army. And yes, if my country and our way of life is in danger, I’d go again right now, and I;m pushing 80 years old.

  • Jim Jackson

    Yes, the military provided me with opportunities the civilian segment never could. I know the Army isn’t the same as it was when I was in, but I still have hope the powers to be will wake up and stop using our military as social engineering tool. We need to use it to win wars and not as policeman. Fight to win or don’t fight. Our active duty military is a great organization will worthy serving in. The retirement and benefits aren’t bad either and some of our retirees should stop their complaining. All the bad PR doesn’t help with recruiting and the media isn’t the only source of bad PR. While I’m on my high horse, the VA is doing a great job, not prefect but considering some the people they have to deal with they are do a good job. Yes, I would do it again!

  • “Tex” Stephanishen

    I would gladly serve again IF military was the same as mid 1960s. Only change I would make is I would go Army as it allowed its women into more career fields than did Air Force. ( I was A WAF). My military service defines me to this day. As a young girl growing up I always knew I would take time out to serve and felt it was my obligation to do so.

  • Richard Hooper

    100% YES

  • jastanle84

    I’m not sure an excuse to not join the military because they are getting too many, I call them “We need to cover our butt courses” like Sexual Harassment, Privacy Act, computer security awareness should apply. If anybody has had a decent paying job out of the military will tell you these courses apply everywhere, at least, in the US due to the financial and legal ramifications that can spur from incidents caused by not providing education to the soldiers and military leadership. Personally, I don’t like taking these courses, regularly, I mean even taking them only once every year, but these courses are common place and they protect our government from frivolous lawsuits and the destruction of government property which cost the taxpayer and our economy as a whole. I only did 4 years and I have lifelong wounds that prove my service, but the VA, the military, and my civilian federal agency employer have all provided the financial support I need to not have to work another day in my life. Sacrificing my life for my community and the American lifestyle so we, as Americans can enjoy our financial lifestyle compared to the rest of the world’s financial lifestyle is why I would join again. Sure, some of you are probably wondering why would someone justify the pain caused by the military to join the military again?

  • John E. Ridenour

    On September 10th four of my closest friends and I and 12 additional friends got together and held a reunion on the date the five of us left small town Ohio for MCRD San Diego in 1969. 3 were grunts, I was a radioman and I was a Truck Driver. We discussed would we do it again – 4 replied Hell Yes! the number 5 man is too crippled up to do it again. Our love of the Corps and what it has meant to us over the last 45 years, has said it all. Semper Fi to all the Jarheads reading this response.

  • Rod T.

    The Obama administration has changed the value structure of the military so much that I wouldn’t recommend this to my family or friends. Eventually the Obama policies will show up in recruitment numbers and the military reenlistment rates.

  • Michael Riordan

    The Navy worked well for me in 1981 and got me grounded. After graduating H S in 79; worked
    a job i loved , made o k money but no sense of direction. Once i got out in 85 went to College ,
    did well and sustained a good career. Would not have achieved College out of H S.

    Today’s Navy and Military is too particular in standards. Many came from impoverished families in Enlisted yet ran the ship in standards to meet the details of there craft developing years of how things should be done. Seen if given an opportunity even as a Boatswanmate with questionable background
    you can make something of yourself in the armed forces.

    Just because you were an Officer / Enlisted ; still asked advice from the enlisted craft. and relied on them in many circumstances in Combat Systems.

    We love our Veterans and the sacrifices they make.

    Respectfully,
    Michael Riordan

  • S. Ward

    Not sure, but how can someone lead who has never been or gone anywhere? It seems if you are book smart (former AF Firefighter) you can get promoted to a level of incompetence (seen this a few times in my travels).
    Looks like 7-Level TSgt’s are doing jobs that once SSgt’s/SrA’s do. Overall, I enjoyed my time and travels in the USAF (Clark AB, Hahn AB, and 2 times at the “Kun”!

    • W.R.Monger

      We got that a lot in the Army as well, you screw up you moved up. Those who did their jobs well stayed where they were; no promotion, you’re needed here. Many, including myself got out because of this and other issues; the military was getting too PC.

  • J. M. Jackson

    Definitely, yes. Army for 22 years. I never really thought about money, retirement, etc. as a young soldier.
    I thought I would like serving in the Army before i entered active duty and I did with all the good and the not so good parts. I believe that there is still present in the military today the idea of service. Many veterans when asked about their time in the military respond in exactly that way: “I served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines”. not ” I was in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines.”

  • Sgt B

    I became a Marine, it was my duty to my Home and family. I do not care who is president, another’s sexual identity, about benefits . I do not believe there is a thing called PTSD, which is short name for crybaby. if I woman wants to pick up a rifle and help her country… she has the same right as a man.
    If you do not defend America ..you wont have an America. and of course I would return to service if need be.

    • jackie battles

      SFC B. Best post I have ever read after 20 years 4 months and 22 days. And all the other complaints are on point, except we don,t hav a muslim president. 50-5 program.

  • Bill lynes

    Yes I would for the time I served! HOWEVER, Since Clinton and the Administrations after him have screwed up the Military, (ESPECIALLY the last 6+ years) I would NOT serve and I will NOT allow my son to serve! The Current Administration has DECAPITATED the Military and instituted changes that destroy good order and discipline! The current military has been weakened to the point that I worry about this nations security and ability to perform its primary mission, PROTECT this nation and its citizens here and else where in the world!

  • J. M. Jackson

    Definitely, yes. Army for 22 years. I never really thought about money, retirement, etc. as a young soldier.
    I thought that I would like Army before I entered active duty and I did with all the good and not so good parts.It was the people, my fellow soldiers that made it special for me. I found that liked working and living with soldiers. Like most of us I served with a lot of good, even outstanding soldiers and also some who were not so good.

    I think that the ideal of service is still present in our military. Many when asked about military service will respond with, “I served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines,” not ” I was in the Army, Navy, Air Force,
    or Marines.” I believe that verb “served” is significant and supports this idea.

  • MDB

    I would if conditions were what they were when I served from 1967 to 1987. With today’s military and the use of the military for social experimentation, not only would I not do it but even if I did I would soon be booted out for being unable to adapt to the current social norms. I’m not at all surprised that the services aren’t hitting their recruiting goals.

  • NavyVet90

    Oh, hell NO! I am a MST Survivor. If I could go back and do it all again, knowing what I know now, I never would have joined. I had a Bachelor’s Degree when I went in as an E-3. I served during peace time and had a job in my field that I loved. I had fully intended to go 20 years or more. Then over the course of nearly a year, I was repeatedly raped by the XO in our Chain of Command. It really messed me up. I managed to last a total of 12 years until the mental and physical stress was too much to take anymore. I just couldn’t reenlist again. I have done my time. The Navy should have been a safe place to work but is just bad memories. Thankfully, the VA has been taking care of me, so that helps. I’ve been in therapy for years for PTSD and I wouldn’t wish what I went through on ANYONE. Sadly, things aren’t any better than they were in the 70’s and 80’s. MST is still an epidemic in our armed forces.
    Here is a sobering statistic to think about: On average, 1 in 10 men in prison get raped; for women serving our country, it’s 1 in 4.

  • Josh

    Given the same circumstances I was in (No job, No money for school, tired of living with parents, etc.), I would have made the same decision. I still look it my time as one of the best life moves I’ve made. Only thing I would changed would be doing 4 years tops instead of 4 + 4.

  • James Wright

    I would do it again in a heart beat. Most of my ex military friends say the same thing all the time. It was the best part of my life.

  • Stephen Ragan

    I definately would never “serve” again, or let my children “serve.”
    Americans and their allies are not protecting Americans or it’s allies.
    Americans are protecting the civilians in the country in which they are fighting.
    Civilian lives are more important than military lives.
    The Geneva Convention will not allow American troops to blow-away the enemy if they are hold-up in a mosque, or call-in artillery or even fire a round at enemy forces who have circled themselves with civilians.
    Don’t kill civilians, even if it means loosing American military personnel lives BECAUSE CIVILIAN LIVES ARE MORE VALUABLE THAN AMERICAN MILITARY LIVES!
    How the President of the USA can send American military personnel to WAR and not be able to fully close-with and destroy the enemy, because some civilians might get killed, is pure homocide on the US Presidents part and Congress.
    Get rid of those Geneva Convention rules, and let the free world blow-away any enemy regardless if a mosque gets blown to bits or civilians get killed or injured!!

  • James P.

    I don’t agree with the promotion system at DA, too many good soldiers are passed over by this system. Too many political type phonies are promoted over the sincere soldier. Sergeant Major of the Army is a farce, with a lot of unsavory people assuming that post. The blood and guts field combat soldier with many deployments is not considered for his or her valor, but how they appear in a photo. The OER and SEER are also a joke.

  • Guest

    Hi im 23 and i am a second term soldier in the army. When i first decided to join it was to purely serve my country. I just felt like it was a great way to give back and also improve myself. I did grow i have seen things i probally would have never seen and i have met great people along the way. I am only a specialist and far, i am really struggling with the decision to reenlist and stay to serve another term. It is not so much the rules of the military but the current leadership and what they are teaching the new leadership makes me want to leave. Alot of younger soldiers like myself are not being trained in our MOS, are not being trained in most of our needed military basics, we are not being shown how to advance, some NCOs are only concerned about them selfs and dont care if we advance. Its alot of favoritism and disrespect. They are more focused on computer based training instead of actually interacting with us personally or getting to know there soldiers. I know many people who are getting out because this is not living sometimes. To be mistreated,disrespected,unheard, untrained and left out. Yes the benefits are mainly the only reason stay in now.i dont know how the old army was but the new one i entered is breaking people physically and mentally and they dont care.

    • W.R.Monger

      Get out for now but DON”T burn the bridge. Life is ever changing and the Army may recover in time but for now you are not what they want in a “Soldier”, you were at one time but not now. The service will still be there in two years, give or take. in the current military climate you only need to make a slight misstep and they’ll slam the door in your face, I got out after 17 years because the cadre was ejecting good Soldiers for virtually nothing and keeping the poor or worse, outright bad Soldiers making it unbearable to stay in. in the end YOU must do what’s best and right for you and those you love and care for. Your rank will be put on hold if you don’t re-up but the alternative, from what you’ve described is a career ender (or worse, it could follow you into your civilian life). Weigh each side carefully before you make your decision as no one else can do this for you. Good luck.

    • Sue

      I had a self-serving NCO when I first came in, made me do all the dirty tasks, which I did, until he PCSd, Then I was able to do my job. Got an apology from the Warrant Officer who stood up for him. I didn’t need that NCO to know my job. When I went to BNCOC, I met his wife who said she knew of me. He had told her what “evil” things he used to do to me and laughs about it. He was surprised I was still in. I’m a determined person, patient, thinking, doing the right, the positive kind of thing. I believe we keep the good Soldier in, sooner or later the bad apple will trip up or just leave or we find a way to help them leave in the right way. I have met too many fine NCOs to want to give any attention to those less deserving. I would say You have it in you to be a Leader! You can help yourself and others. From what you wrote, some really great points – even the computer based training can be used for interaction and for stronger comprehension. Get to know your fellow Soldiers! Lead On!!! A Leader is known by his Soldiers

  • Ken

    For the love of country I would but due to the “in your face” social experiments being foisted on the military, definitely not. It’s obvious this poll wasn’t able to ask the real question about serving. The proof of that is the willful decimating of our senior flag officers over highly political issues that have no place in the ranks.

  • Danny Johnson

    Enter text right here!I Would I serve again? I have no regrets and still have life long friends I made from -65 – -69…spent the best 2 yrs of my life in Japan, went to war with Warriors I still honor and love to this day…the world is changing and I am appreciative of the kids who choose to serve our Country…I only hope our Country will be honorable enough to serve you well…

  • Jerry

    I said definitely, but after reviewing some of the other comments, I remember why I got out when I did. Yes, it was great when I joined! Circa 1975. I fully intended to make it 20 years at least. I don’t know what happened but by 1979, either I matured a hell of a lot or the recruitment requirements had degenerated so much I couldn’t tell the difference between roll call and the welfare office! No offense to the truly needy, I help everyday. It’s all the PC bull I can’t handle.

    Bless the troops and keep them safe!

  • Legoge47

    With the current Commander in Chief, no I would not nor would I recommend anyone I care about to join either.

  • 32yrretiree

    Maybe. In “the old days”, our country may have expected a serviceman to voluntarily put himself in harms way, two, three or possibly for four tours your entire career. Today – every eighteen months you are rotated back to to an area of hostile actions. The odds just are not too good over a twenty year career. Service and self sacrifice for four years? You betcha’! twenty or more years with a family? Uhmmm? Not so much. The military services numbers have been cut so badly, I’m not sure.

  • Don S. RET USAF MSgt

    I say, bring back the draft. If the values aren’t being taught in our present society then maybe a dose of sacrifice and commitment will help change the direction of America. To serve you need to be patriotic, money and benefits don’t buy that, it is something that is learned, handed down through generations. As time goes on and family military numbers become more diluted the problem will become worse. The draft may even help with the current unemployment issues.
    To answer your question “YES” I would do it over again. I came in in 69 at a time when views were divided due to the Vietnam war. 22 years later retired from the Air Force. Proud to have served!

  • Guest

    Very glad that your dedication to your country and your brothers and sisters in arms is so arbitrary.

  • Howard

    I think that the writer’s comment about most Americans not teaching the value of service falsely describes the reasons most people join the military. People join the military for numerous reasons and get out before they retire for numerous reasons. Many young people join the military to see the world, experience something different, learn a trade, get the GI Bill, etc… When there’s a national crisis or the economy is bad, more people tend to join the military. When we’re in a war for over 10 years and our civilian youth are exposed to media that highlights death, suicide rates, multiple deployments, VA disability claim delays and VA healthcare access problems, I would think that those issues might make someone more hesitant to join the military. And, once someone joins the military, based on their experiences and personality, they either get out after their commitment or they stay for a career. I was enlisted for 8 years and was commissioned for another 20 years. I joined at 17 years old because I wanted to protect my country, get an education and experience a different life. I stayed in the military because it was challenging, had great experiences, made great friends and had a supportive wife that understood my commitment and appreciated the military lifestyle.

  • Daniel

    Would I do it again?

    Is very interesting, considering I am 5 months away from my ETS and debating on whether to re-enlist or not. March will be my 12 year mark and things have changed a great deal even in that short period of time. The long timers and the retirees must be seeing a huge difference.

    Frankly it is depressing to look at our country now and have to ask yourself what exactly are you serving for. I just don’t see it anymore, I’m not proud of my country lately…. and I don’t know if I want to fight for it.

    My last re-enlistment there was no question…. I re-enlisted on the day I was eligible to do so. Now here I sit waiting and debating, is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

    • W.R.Monger

      Get out for now, don’t burn any bridges. You may feel different after you’ve been away from the daily grind and perhaps you might re-up for something else. After 13 years aviation I went in to be an Army Scout for the last for years of my service; if I had known in 81′ what that was about I would have started out as a Scout but as it is my aviation “career” got me the civilian job that I now have. All that I can say is that if you see dark clouds on the horizon it’s probably time to take shelter and get out of the rain…

  • a number out of many

    Would You Go Back and Do It Again? I started out answering this question with HELL NO! but then Maybe and the reason why written below.

    Hello NO!!! I was intimidated, manipulated and scared my supervisor when I first enter into the army as a private, which put me in a unwanted relationship for months until I wanted out and he pushed my head though a wall causing authorities to get involved, resulting in me being punished and black ball. Work hard to overcome the incident to become an NCO and be sent overseas and raped to be sent home given psychiatric treatment and be relabeled because I told my chain of command, which swipe it under the rug. In fact the base has since been closed down and I have been told records can’t be found. As an enlisted I was constantly sexual harassed and assaulted with no one caring because at the time I thought it was because I didn’t have enough rank. It wasn’t just me but our voice was not being heard because we were minorities. I thought I could make a change by going green to gold and it was just as worse on the officer side as it was on the enlisted side instead of 1SG and senior NCO it was now CPT, MAJ and LTC. I reach out to was POSH and SAPR even sought help from EO, EEO channels just to again be labeled and black balled within the military community. Yes, investigation was done and quietly sweep under the rug with those individuals being place in different position on a higher level. Example: A LTC told me “there were two people that could affect me, My boss whom he is close friends with and him a person not in my chain because he was also a minority (black) with rank and who had the command hear because he was black, LTC and knows his way around the system” All because I didn’t want to come to his barracks during deployment. He was moved and a position was created for him in charge of dealing with Soldier’s welfare on a higher level. He was allow to continue in the military and I was eventual forced out. The only crime was I tried to be an victim advocate/ spokes person for women though SHARP and other program because what I was going through and having to endure.

    I started out with Hello No but maybe even though I’ve be through a lot of crap and suffering from PTSD, serve migraines, depression, constant noise bleeds , some memory loss and a long list of physical problems dealing with my body, I was able to be the first in my family to obtain a bachelor degree, master degree, work my way up ranks of enlisted and officer, travel outside the US. and retire which is more than I can say for some of my peers going through similar situation.

    Joining the military is a unknown sacrifice. It’s a sacrifice that we have to realize and understand we are just numbers that will eventually fade away. You have no idea the amount of sacrifice you will be required to make or how it will affect you until you going through it. Sacrifice could cost you; your life, parts of your body even your mental state. Sacrifice has taken the lives of those I call friends and family. I have seen sacrifice destroy families mentally and physically. Sacrifice is definitely a hard pill to swallow if you have been or are on the receiving end.

    The bottom line is I can’t say if I would or would not do it again because as human being we only have one life. I joined the military the first time because of my situation or circumstances. I do not have the luxury or opportunity to live another life that would alter my life style which caused me to chose the military the first time. I hate some of the things I had to endure but would I be me if I had not endure it?

  • Terry L. Casey

    I have severe PTSD and a number of other problems relating to my tour of duty in Vietnam. In 1966 I walked into my Army recruiter and signed up. If I knew what was going to happen to me I would still have signed up. Members of my famility have fought in every conflict for this country starting with the Revolutionary War. I know that my ancestors are looking down on me proudly. My mother didn’t tell me this until several years after my dad passed way, but she told me how proud she and dad were of me for my service.

    To those of you who served for financial reason and just want to get out, I hope that you have some guilt for those who thank you for your service, since in my eyes you weren’t serving.

    • W.R.Monger

      Those who serve for financial reasons are still taking the same risk as those who serve for an idea or those who serve because they have nowhere else to go. It doesn’t matter what an individual’s reason for initially enlisting was once they are there their reasons change. You did a good thing for whatever reasons don’t judge others for their motives; we were all on the same side with the same goals. We all had our part to play and as long as the Soldier next to me did their job we were, and always will be part of something larger than any single individual. I too come from a long line of US Soldiers and my wife comes from a tradition of US Marines, one is not better than the other as we’re all part of a unique brother and sisterhood that only III% of Americans belongs to; be proud of them all, drafted or volunteered.

  • S.Cox

    I would do it again,I was proud to have served my country,it gave me a education that I was able to use in civilian life which was a federal civil service position with the Dept. of the Army (Corps of Engeers) that I very much enjoyed , I retired from the Army and the Army Corps of Engeers.And I would do THAT all over again..

  • W.R.Monger

    I initially joined because I thought that I could make a difference; that thought changed within the first week of basic. I was making more money working in steel foundries so I didn’t join for the money, I joined for an ideology; I was young and stupid I suppose. However, I reenlisted for those who I worked and fought beside; again not money but comradery. I stopped my time in service at 17 years because the environment had taken a decided turn against all service members and I had seen too many come close to retirement and before they could collect were forced out, that usually devastated them to the point of extreme severe depression. They were betrayed by the very system that they had called home. To leave on my own terms was preferable to having your life destroyed for doing your job or obeying RoE’s enforced by those who haven’t a clue what military service is about and watching friends go home in body bags… knowing then what i know now i’d still do it again back in 81′ but i advise people against joining now, no one will have their back for PC reasons imposed by a government that cares only for its own image.

  • Anthony

    Served 1969-73……year in Nam, and yes, I would do it all over again during the Air Force of those days. Had a great job (airborne avionics) and worked with some of the most awesome people around!

  • Ken

    I was raised as an Air Force brat, and have lived all around the world. Then, I went in and spent 23 years. Hell yes I would do it again. Having seen the places, cultures, and the way other people have to live, I learned early on that we have the best. I would not hesitate to take up arms and defend our way of life. Yes, we have problems in this country, but nothing like other countries have. Ours needs to be protected, or we won’t have it any more!!!

  • Phillip Guthrie

    When I served I though it was for freedom during the Vietnam war. After seeing this country going down the tubes in the past 40 years or so I would not serve and furthermore I would not encourage anyone else to serve. The are several issues I have with serving, women in combat roles, gays in high ranking positions, and the biggest issue is fighting for rights of all who have entered this country illegally, and for them to ride on the coattails of those who did come forward to protect them. The issue of illegals angers me more than you can imagine, and then have presidents past and present to contribute to our downfall, who say they fight for the troops, but the real truth is they can give a crap about service members, they are just another number. You should give a few more options in your servey. A proud Marine Semper Fi.

  • george platt

    i would not go back in being a vietnam vet and now a disabled vet and retired e7 iam finding out that none of the promises they quoted are there hve been fightiting the mil over agent orange for 20 yrs and hve got nowhere the gov keeps taking our benifits and i am they even take my disability out of my retirement pay instead of a benifit my oldest son seved and i told my yougest son he wouldnot serve let some of the rich or gov kids sacrifice for our country

  • Terry L. Casey

    W.R. Monger, we are just going to have to agree to disagree. Being a patriot and doing the right thing is not the same as going in just to get a paycheck. The paycheck service members may do just as good a job but the reason for going in do not compare. Paycheck vs. patriotism. I’m a flag waving American and would have gone back into the service after 911. But age was a factor. I have a close Iraqi vet friend who in his 40’s, just after 911, quite is well paying job to reenlist. And to Mr. Guthrie, I agree with a lot that you have to say. Yes this country does have problems but sticking our head in the sand isn’t going to make us invisible to the other super powers. If I would proudly serve again and am especially proud of all the service members today that serve. And unlike you Mr. Guthrie, I am encouraging my granddaughters and God-daughter to serve. It is like the saying goes, it’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it. God bless America and all of our service members, past, present, and future.

  • Doc Wood

    I’d gladly do it all over again IF the military service was like it was when I served. I’ve been retired for many years and there have been too many changes which have not been for the betterment of the service or the life of the soldier. We’ve had two commanders in chief (non-caps intentional), since I retired, who I could not have supported. Fortunately I was able to retire before things began going south. Hopefully we will see some positive changes, and support for our military forces, with a new administration just around the corner. Heaven help us if we don’t.

  • PATRICK SHANNON

    THE GOV’T PROMISED HEALTH CARE FOR ME AND MY FAMILY FOR LIFE AT NO CHARGE. THEY DID NOT KEEP THAT PROMISE.
    THE NAVY’S NEVER ENDING EFFORTS TO ENGAGE IN SOCIAL ENGINEERING AND EQUALITY NO MATTER THE PRICE WAS THE FINAL STRAW. DIVERSITY WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF THE END.
    POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AT THE END OF MY CAREER WAS RAMPANT AND I UNDERSTAND HAS GOTTEN WORSE.
    WOMEN ON SHIPS IS A DISASTER AND GETTING WORSE. SUBMARINES TOO? FORGET IT. THE RATE OF PREGNANCY ON DEPLOYMENT CAUSES SHORTAGES THAT THE MEN MUST MAKE UP FOR THROUGH OVERTIME WITH NO COMPENSATION.
    THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.

  • Billy Gribble

    Not enough choices, this is more complicated. The leadership today cares more about political correctness than doing the right thing by our young warriors.

  • Ron Christopher

    I would not serve again under Barak Obama. Absolutely no way. However, I am retired from the US Army and while there (I retired in Dec 1978) I loved every day, even in Vietnam. I was Ranger Combat Recon from Sep 66 to Sep 67. When we got the orders to not fire until the enemy fired at us I told my men to ignore that order and that they would fire when I told them to fire. It was one of the most stupid orders I received in my 23 years. And today, it has gotten much worse. I would probably be court-martialed in today military because I just did not go on my merry way obeying stupid and unlawful orders. My men always came first. I also put together the first LRRP team of the 1st Cavalry Division on Nov 1, 1966. At the time I was 28 and I had a broken back but I carried on and completed my tour running the jungle. For Obama I would not even bat an eye and the answer is no, I would not serve today. By the way, after Vietnam I was an Army recruiter for two years. I had no problem getting men to enlist.

  • Eileen

    I think it depends on branch of the service. Air Force is definitely the family friendly branch. We were Navy. Deployments just about killed us as a family, especially my firstborn, and left no room for me to establish career.

  • K

    So many pay problems, haven’t seen reimbursements for lots of painful moves and hotel stays, no spouse support at current base, no on base housing available, no language training offered to family, super isolating experience at last two bases: not interested in staying in at all. Barely making ends meat, marriage, and my children are suffering.

  • K

    So many pay problems, lots of painful moves and hotel stays, broken missing household goods, no spousal support at current base, no on base housing available, no language training offered to family, super isolating experience at last two bases: not interested in staying in at all. Barely making ends meat, marriage, and my children are suffering.

  • Lee Bray

    I served from 57 to 77 and would do it again in a minute. Best time of my life had two tours to Europe and 2 to the far East. Spent over 1/2 of my career overseas but I grew up and learned to be responsible for myself and when I married I took responsibility for it and had a great life. I would recommend the service to any young man or woman it will help them learn what it takes to survive.

  • K

    So many pay problems, lots of painful moves and hotel stays, broken missing household goods, no spousal support at current base, no on base housing available, no language training offered to family, super isolating experience at last four bases: not interested in staying in at all. Barely making ends meat. My marriage, and my children are suffering.

  • K

    So many pay problems, too many painful moves, broken missing household goods, no spousal support at current base, no on base housing available, no language training offered to family, super isolating experience at last four bases: not interested in staying in at all. Barely making ends meat. My marriage, and my children are suffering.

  • K

    So many pay problems, too many painful moves, broken missing household goods, no spousal support, no on base housing available, no language training offered to family, super isolating experience at last four bases: not interested in staying in at all. Barely making ends meat. My marriage, and my children are suffering.

  • K

    So many pay problems, too many painful moves, broken missing household goods, no spousal support, no on base housing available, no language training offered to family, super isolating experience at last four bases: not interested in staying in at all. Barely making ends meat. My marriage children are suffering.

  • rtgilbert

    I would go back in a heart beat. I had over 30 years in and yes there were definitely up/downs, but in the long run, it was a great life. The friends I made in the military are still friends today. The military was comprised of my closest friends. I entered the military, because I loved America

  • Patrick

    Stupid survey. Stupid questions. No meaningful results.
    The Proponent needs to learn Statistical Sampling Techniques and Research Structure.
    Lt. Colonel, Retired, 27 years Regular Army.
    Registered Professional Engineer.
    MENSA Member.

  • Manuel

    Spent over 30 years and we have never regreted it. We( I was married aleady) joined in 1976. There were not a lot of beniefits back than. I used to hear the phase ” The Army didn’t issue you a family” . The Army changed during my time.

  • Ms.CW2 Brad Wilson

    I was in New York; Athens, Greece; Germany twice; Alabama; Colorado Springs between 1982 and 1991 with my husband. During the whole time he had affairs on the side. I always worked and brought in income since we could not survive on his salary. All the times we moved I did it by myself with kids until 1987. I tore every muscle in my back because the military required all furniture and goods to be in one room when the packers came. My husband had gone TDY again. When we left Germany to go to Alabama because my husband was going to Warrant Officer training school, worse happened. I was refused by the Army as if I and my children were not alive. My husband went to the East Coast and the kids and I stayed in Alabama. No help from the Army and we had NO pay for 9 weeks. That meant that within 24 hours of arriving there I had to find work and find someone to watch the kids while I worked and find an apartment, pay the rent and utilities, and do something to try to come off of jet lag. Again, we begged the Army for help and they said that we got no help from them. We would have been better off in Germany. 10 foot of snow in New York, Greece was wonderful, Germany was okay, Alabama was a nightmare, Colorado was so-so but most of our help there came from me working. All in all, would I go with him again? Hell NO!! He screwed around in New York, Athens, Germany (where he gave me an STD), Alabama and Colorado. Finally when he got out of the military and we moved to Iowa he continued to be unfaithful, that is where I had finally had enough. He resigned after 14 years and said that I would never get any of HIS retirement. Well, I guess I have given you a wifes side enough. I just wish that the men in the military knew what it was like to be a dependent. Not so good most of the time…

  • Fed up in the West

    “They don’t serve because doing so lines their pockets with cash or because it’s a sweet gig.”

    Thank you for dismissing with one sentence anyone who is frustrated with the continual parade of cuts to benefits. For writing off anyone that decides to go into a different career (or into the military!) because it’s a sweet ass job. For blowing off all of us that are stomaching years apart because it’s good for the family to have health benefits, and good for your kids to have access to retirement money so you can pay for their college by working another job after retiring.

    Joining is patriotic, of course! But the rest of the country doesn’t appreciate what our military families have to go through to be here, and it shows. No one wants to work at a job where your employer is known for screwing over their employees. It doesn’t matter if it’s patriotic or not. Our next generations are looking for action in ways everyone can care about. We recycle to keep waste down, we go vegetarian to counter global warming, we train our butts off to qualify for jobs we can’t get into because Baby Boomers aren’t retiring while trying to pay student loans we never could have afforded to schools that used to cost a fraction of the cost…It’s not just the military, it’s a huge anti-establishment movement. Is it any wonder we can’t get youth to sign up when we’re publicly taking away all of the things that made life bearable for military families and retirees and veterans?

    It’s life threatening, it pays terribly (which was supposed to be made up in group paid services like BAH and the commissary, but we all know where that’s headed), you might get kicked out after doing great just because they’re cutting back forces, and even if you manage to survive and retire, no one cares what you were promised, your retirement benefits (paid for putting your life on the line for twenty plus years) could be nixed tomorrow (take a big long look at VA hospital funding). Is anyone really surprised that the next generation just isn’t interested? It’s hardly patriotic when you’re just a drone and no one appreciates the sacrifice enough to thank you properly once you’re out, or even when you’re in. We just cut special forces pay, and you’re wondering why they can’t get new recruits? Come on.

  • jusgitnalong

    Sure, If this were still the ’70s. Definitely NOT now. Our Men and Women now have no true structure to rely upon. The well-being and safety for them is sadly lacking now due to Politics. We need new generation weapons but not at the expense of our servicemen. Redirection of funds BACK to the V.A. needs to be done Soon. It is a sad shame when groups are begging for contributions to help heal our Warriors because we spend on unneeded programs instead of there health, safety and expanded training.

  • Gary

    This poll is way off. As a recent former recruiter and a current section chief I will say that retention and morale are at an all time low of my 13 year career. For every 10 people I lose I may get 1 or 2 new bodies to replace them. We must do something to convince great technicians to stay in and not leave. We must continue to recruit the best and then maintain and retain them. With the OTS programs being so selective we have enlisted so many Airman and they rarely stay in past their contract to either get their commsion or they leave with experience and a security clearance… I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we do need to do something…

  • Hugger

    I never had to go into combat (Vietnam Era) but I feel like THINKING people would not support the ROE that are given to our current heroes. From what I have heard, current Rules of Engagement give our heroes the same chance to live through the BS that President Johnson’s assigning bombing targets and then telling the VC where we would bomb (“to limit collateral damage”) did.

  • Anthony Allen

    I am not sure what has changed with the military but I served 26 yrs in the Marine Corps. Yes I would do it all over again.( 70-96)

  • AcftMech

    In the 50’s & 60’s it was a great experience—Spent time in the Far East & Europe,
    learned a trade & got experience working that trade. Best time of my life. Learned
    to take the good with the bad.

  • Dale Manley

    I would definitely go back and serve again if I could.I enlisted & served on board the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy from 1971- 1975 as an Aviation Boatswain,s Mate.In the beginning it was tough working on the flight deck & being away overseas,but with the support of all of my ship mates we all kept each other safe

  • David S Diaz

    Served from 1962-1990, 5 ships, 12 months Naval Advisory Group Viet Nam. E1-E8, W2-W4, LDO Jg-LT.SWO qualified. The rest shore duty and schools. Those years were the greatest experience in my life. However from what I have seen and and read, you could triple my pay and I would not join todays Navy I see our Navy in decay…..i.e. just count the number of commanders relieved for cause the past 20-25 years and compare it to to the 60’s and 80’s, especially the last 7 years…Political correctness run amuck.. Tired of hearing “thank you for your service from people who have no idea of what the serviceman does and say that to make themselves feel better. The thank you should come in the form of keeping the politicians not using the service for cannon fodder or nation building. Just keep our country safe and kick butt when we have to and come back home…and do it with draftees…spread the hurt around…

  • Greg

    Considered a career in naval air. I was active for 5 years. However at the end of the 70s under the Carter administration moral was as low as it is now. All I can say to the young people now is try and tough it out. You won’t regret staying in and things will hopefully improve in the next couple of years.

  • Charles K. Williams

    Absolutely>>>!!!!. I had a great career, many opportunities and traveled the world while serving my Country. Met and Fellowship with many People that are Friends for Life.

  • Edward Q. hicks

    The US Marine Corps will instill the mental toughness required to face most of the difficult challenges
    one will face in life. I have no regrets and I am proud to have served for 24 yrs. 3 months & 13 days.
    1948-1972.

  • JO in DC

    What people now view as a “sacrifice” isn’t what it used to be, that’s my view. I don’t think everyone has to give the supreme one, laying down your life for another or for your country, but that’s what most people used to do selflessly. Now, everyone thinks about quality of life, housing, buying a second home to rent out, having children that maybe they cannot afford or don’t have the “room” for at that point in life, lots more divorces that put strain on the military member and divorced spouse–male or female. There were always deployments, there were always wars, there were always situations when the money was tight. But, in today’s world, we’ve become selfish and narcissitic. We do not teach our children (not everyone, so spare me if you’re one of the parents or role models who do) the value of a hard day’s work: Everyone I knew when I grew up, no matter their income level, had a job, we all worked! Today, all of my friends’ children don’t have jobs at all, or they have some tiny job working for a family member a few hours a week, and the rest of the time they sit inside and use their phones parents have given them. All my friends say “it’s a different world”, but I think those values have to be taught: service above self, manners, grace, maturity, carrying on a conversation instead of being entertained, working and earning one’s own money before getting a car or computer for yourself, taking care of your home and doing chores not for money but because you live there and life’s not fair…I could go on and on. Military life today is tough in the politically-correct way, because of so many things: The tolerance of others and their lifestyles is supposed to be good, but everyone walks around afraid of offending someone by complimenting them, which is a tough way to handle the workday. The finding a balance today is tough, so we have to watch ourselves and not become too soft about how we bring up the next generation: Life can be fun, but the things worth having in life are worth sacrificing for, so we have to watch that we are bringing up a new generation that knows what that really means, that life is not always fair, that things are not just given to us.

  • Charles

    I awaken every day to hear the news say the draft is now back in force. I was drafted and declaired I would not serve more than my two years. I was drafted 02/67 and retired 06/95. would I do it over yes with a heart beat.
    RETIRED MSG

  • Rox

    The Vet in me says yes; the military spouse to a soon to be retired E8 in me says no. The Navy has changed dramatically and not for the better.
    The over abundance of this PC bologna is enough to make me apologize often to him for even suggesting he stick it out. Don’t get me wrong; I loved MY time in and I felt blessed for MY opportunity to have served but, I hate seeing him defeated daily. He’s such a good man and one heck of a deck plate leader (I get told so repeatedly from junior sailors at functions) but all of the nonsense in the past few years is enough to choke the life out of someone who cares. I will be grateful when all is said and done for his sake and mine. It was never about the money for us and obviously it won’t be when he retires. I’m glad young people have the personal know how on what to expect but wish them luck for the unexpected. Revolving doors, red tape and such.

  • LUCIO LUNA JR.

    Yes 100% Yes – I would do it over again.
    Before I joined the Navy in 1962 I did not know what direction I would take. Thank God that my brother joined the Marine Corp at 17 years of age in 1961 I knew what direction I had to go. The Navy provided me with the formal schooling and hands on training that has stayed with me to this day. The Navy gave me the confidence in myself that I needed to face whatever situation with a can do attitude with no fear of failure that has made me what I am today.

    I am proud to be an American Veteran who had the privilege of serving with best of the best. God Bless America and the mighty military and the spouses that stand proudly behind each one of us.

  • D Hawkings

    you are told from day 2 that if the military wanted you to have a girl friend or wife or family they would issue you one. military is about your commitment and nothing else. Your mother is the single and only exception.

  • Ricky

    I straight up volunteered! I got pulled back and was told they found out I was my mother’s only son. And that I didn’t have to go to Iraq. I said I knew that from the beginning I joined the ARMY to serve my country no matter what. Send me with my brothers! I knew the consequences and now I’m dealing with it but I wouldn’t change a thing and if I could go fight again I would love to!!!

  • Brad Fielding

    Yes I would do it over, My family and I enjoyed the years in the USAF, we enjoyed the travel, and more then anything I enjoyed my job, in the Life Support Career field, oh yes I ran into a few ” Butt Heads” but that is in every life civilian or Military, but yes I would do it over.

    M.B. Fielding
    Ret. USAF

  • Prof. D. S. Parker

    If I was not disabled, I would love too, but I am sorry, I could not take showers with homosexual.
    And it would be very hard to honor a (in my opinion) coward as the Commander and Chief.
    This includes ones that join reserve units and fail to show up.
    Also any who refused to join the military, or lied their ass off to get medals.
    Also any who Burns the Flag of Our COUNTRY.
    The Office has my respect, but respect for the man, has to be earned, and this man has lost anyand all respect . The 1st. Ladies are not, nor has been elected to be the POTUS. But some of them do their best to take over this country. They should sit down and shut up. If they want the job, let them earn it by running for. Trying to take it is treason !

  • Retired Ranger

    There is no way that I would ever consider serving in the modern day military.
    Having served from 1964 to 1989, with 5 tours in Vietnam from 1965-1973 as a LRRP, Ranger and Vietnamese Ranger Advisor, with post Vietnam combat duty in Grenada, Panama and South America, I grew accustomed to being in a military that was, though at times misguided/undermined by civilian political interference, basically used as a force for good around the world, with clearly stated objectives and the necessary tools/equipment, command support and dedicated, competent leadership to get the job done. I am horrified by the shear betrayal, at all levels of our government and military, that seems to be the norm rather than the exception, faced by our service men and women today. In addition to seemingly endless overseas tours of combat zones, once there they are subjected to the most senseless, inane, dangerous and irresponsible rules of engagement ever imposed upon American soldiers. This is partly because they are led by a Commander In Chief whose exhibited incompetence is exceeded only by his supreme ignorance of all things military and partly because those in the military whose job it is to insure the well-being, safety and security of the troops under their command are themselves clueless, incompetent pseudo-politicos, concerned only for themselves and protecting their own careers and that next star, rather than honoring the responsibility that they have to the soldiers under their command. It is an absolute national disgrace that, at a time when this country needs them the most, some of Americas brightest, most patriotic and dedicated young men and women are “led” by these incompetent, self-serving and gutless individuals who seem more concerned with turning the military into a giant politically correct social experiment, forcing them to serve with every classification of deviant, degenerate individual that can be encouraged to enlist, than it is on nurturing, protecting and defending those who have already dedicated themselves to the service of this country . When we’ve come to a point where Army Generals are courts martialing Special Forces NCO’s for striking a terrorist bomber while the Commander In Chief is sending five(5) terrorist commanders back to the battlefield in exchange for a known Army deserter, whose only punishment so far has been his promotion to Sergeant, then we’ve come to a point where every indication is that those entrusted to lead our soldiers have truly lost their way. And, as if the fact that these young men and women must struggle daily just to survive the inane policies set forth for their conduct in very dangerous, deadly overseas locations isn’t enough, back at home a seemingly never ending assault on their pay and allowances, healthcare, retirement benefits and very careers themselves is being constantly waged in the halls of Congress, the Pentagon and even the White House. And if, in addition to all the trials and tribulations one must endure just to survive in the Alice In Wonderland upside down world of todays military isn’t enough to discourage service, then one has only to look ahead to the possibility of ending up in the care of the V.A. after active service, to cause one to re-think the cost vs. benefit offered.
    Unquestionably the most deserving of high praise and superlatives are the ever faithful, loyal, dedicated and silently suffering family members who, in most cases did not have the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not to enter the military lifestyle, but who must carry on in support of their loved ones, despite the fact that they serve at a time when, due mostly to inept planning and demonstrated failure of leadership, their loved ones live in a state of almost constant deployment to a combat zone, spending more time overseas, away from home and family, than any previously involuntarily deployed American soldiers, including those who served in WWI, WWII and Korea for the duration of those conflicts. Why anyone would subject themselves and their families to such an adverse, misguided military lifestyle, dedicating themselves and their loved ones to a life of hardship and sacrifice, for a government and Department of Defense that is seemingly doing everything in it’s power to hinder and thwart a successful chance at a career path is beyond me, but I salute those who continue to serve, despite the adversities, and thank God every day that we have such patriotic and dedicated young men and women who are willing to serve their country despite their countries demonstrated ingratitude for that service. I however, could never bring myself to serve again under these conditions and will certainly do my best to alert any young person that I meet who is considering service in todays military to at least wait until this country has gone through a drastic change of government and military leadership, becoming again a country with clearly defined objectives and the will to accomplish that which we set out to do, with pride and professionalism, accepting nothing short of mission accomplishment in as swift and successful a victory as possible. NO MORE “leading from behind” with senseless rules of engagement which prove more deadly and disastrous to our own troops than they are to the enemy.

    • Rox

      What a powerful post. Thank you!

      • Retired Ranger

        Thank YOU, Rox. I obviously got a little long winded here but, having given my all, as I did in Vietnam, only to be betrayed by cowardly, weak willed politicians, just about nothing infuriates me more than clueless, misguided “leaders”, including, unfortunately, those IN uniform, who willingly and needlessly endanger/sacrifice the lives of some of our country’s best and brightest young men and women for the sake of nothing more than their own politically correct agendas which, in addition to having virtually destroyed any semblance of mission accomplishment or esprit de corps within our armed forces, has also served to diminish/destroy our country’s prestige and trustworthy standing around the world. It is gauling enough to have to watch as our government’s cowardly, doomed to failure policies have led us to become distrusted and despised by enemy and ally alike, but when we continue to draw “line’s in the sand” which we predictably fail to enforce, thus making us a target for every bully on the block(including Russia, Iran, North Korea and China) who perceives, and so far rightly so, that we are reluctant to commit ourselves to any form of military action, then we have not only betrayed those for whom we serve, but have also betrayed those who serve, by rendering their sacrifices to appear as useless, needless and for no purpose. It is a disgusting, tragic and yes, even treasonous way to utilize our fine men and women in uniform and I pray to God that a much needed change in our military leadership, starting with the Commander In Chief, comes soon enough to avoid irreparable harm to our existence as a respected and when necessary, feared, force for good again. May God bless our wonderful young men and women, and their family’s, who also serve, keeping them safe from harm, both on the battlefield and from within their own government.

  • theobserver

    ‘Poll: Would You Choose the Military Again?’ In a word, no. Not in today’s politically driven, politically correct, freak show atmosphere. The military today is no longer the military, it has become nothing more than a social experiment.

  • Richard

    IF everything turned out the same as it has in the past, heck yes! I was one of the luckiest son of a guns in the world. Because of my Army experiences I landed a GREAT job with the Government as soon as I left the service. They were waiting for me, my First Sgt took me to meet them the day before I ETS’d, he had already briefed them all about me and I started immediately.

  • Ingrid Shotts

    My husband was a proud Soldier, he was a Vietnam Vet, received two Bronze Stars and died last year of Agent Orange. We did not get all the benefits the Soldiers and their families receive now, I don`t think they should complain now, todays Military has a lot more benefits that we had. I am glad about it, but I don`t want to hear their negative views.

  • Guest 001

    I definitely would ship over again if given the opportunity. The Navy won’t talk to me, however. They say that I am too old to be “effective”.
    Bull.
    I am too old only because I know what the Navy **was** and **should** be and what it is no longer.

  • Sgt. Marty

    As a former Infantry NCO who was drafted I relish that two years in my life but to go back into combat I’m not sure I would be willing to go through that again. Physical pain was almost unbearable for such a small famed person. I remember that more than any of the engagements in Nam. Glad I served & wished I had joined the Air Force when I got out of the Army. Hindsight is always better than foresight.

  • SSGT E – USMC

    Amen. It’s evidently clear that the vast majority of Americans, our politicians, POTUS and a large number of those of you commenting on this post clearly have little to no first hand experience/knowledge of what it means to be a Marine and what the Marine Corps represents. It’s really simple. Becoming a Marine requires that you leave your individualism behind and submit to the institution… the traditions, principles and culture of the Corps. And the very mission of the Marine Corps rifle squad is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver and to repel enemy’s assault by fire and close combat. That mission is the only thing that matters. By it’s very nature social engineering is in stark contrast to the Mission and anyone who says differently is a fool and in my eyes an enemy to the best fighting force the world has ever known. Shame on any of you knuckleheads that put your stupid individualism, ideology and fascism before the mission. Good night Chesty wherever you are….turning in his grave I’m sure.

    GOD COUNTRY CORPS,
    A former combat infantryman, Marine and saddened American

  • Spoll

    As a 25 year veteran of two services myself and son of retired Navy and a brother of a 34 year SGM and a father-in-law of currently serving Air Force Pilot….NO I would not do it again and I certainly would discourage anyone from serving under the current administration! Say what you will about George Bush, but we had faith and trust that he had our backs….today, we do not!

  • EJS

    Absolutely. The most memorable period of my life.

  • Alejandro Murphy

    Yes I would. I spend 30 years with so many hardships and for the average date resolving personal problems of others. Military service is for every American of military age, including females. It is a very great adventure only if you serve. Service in Korea, Germany, Italy, Panama, Vietnam (2) and numerous stateside posts. I had many close calls during my service but I always looked at the best side. Money was never any problem as our salaries at the time were very low for what we were doing, but that feeling of serving was always there. I missed the service after I retired, but, as a retiree, I AM STILL SERVING. CSM, E9, RETIRED.

  • Richard Goodspeed

    Two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s (the latter from Princeton!) at government expense, two years with the Royal (British) Navy, 3 kids at government expense (one born in England!), a couple thousand hours piloting helicopters (more fun than any other kind of flying). Retired with nice pension in 1970 (that’s 45years ago!–and counting) and the tools for a fabulous civilian job! If you’d told me that’s what I’d get, I wouldn’t have believed you! Would I do it again? Yeah–only better!

  • Luther

    The way things are today, I don’t think I would fit in. That said those were the best years of my life, had good times and there were bad, but it was a good experience for me. I miss my old friends and wish to know what happened to and where they are today. Thanks for the chance to comment.

    • geoff

      get on face book or people search.

  • karrie

    they don’t do enough for true vet but they do everything for the ones who shouldn’t get anything without lying about everything

  • CWO

    Hard on family , but the rewards are great 20 years retired as CWO with a pension at 38yrs old, seen half the world, meet alot of people had many life experiences, help me to be the man I am today. Military takes care of their own!! some problems.but would do it again gladly.HOOYAH

  • Margaret Turner

    I served in the W.A.V.S in the 50’s/60’s and would do it again if I could The opportunities for women and the fields open are amazing. Wish we had had this training back then. My Husband of 32 years served 22 yrs. and my Survivor benefit plan income has kept me along with Social Security off the welfare roles. Young people may not look at this but years ahead they will realize the benefits and job training for civilian life after retirement is amazing.

  • Bob

    I would do it all over again except not and I repeat not for this Commander in Chief, I have absolutely no respect or honor for this President…..he has completely no concept of the Military or War…..but yes under another Commder in Chief….All Commander in Chiefs should have served at least two years in the U.S. Military, and not be a big chicken crap about it….this is my opinion, it is called freedom of speech, and I base all of this information on over 38 year of U.S. Military experience……

  • GDDougherty

    There is no way in hell I’d ever enlist again with what’s going on in our country. The Veterans are treated like shit, we have a President that has no clue how to utilize our Military, and as Secretary of Defense that is no more than Obama’s personal hand puppet. Our veterans benefits have been stripped, the military has become way to politically correct, and everything is micromanaged. In a time when we should be building our Military, our President is decimatiing it. No thanks, not my cup of tea.

  • LOfromMO

    No, not anymore. I did 22 years. However, back then (1963 to 1987) a military member got paid for putting his/her life on the line. Today, getting a 1.3 percent pay raise every 2 or 3 years is an insult. Packing up family every 3 or 4 years for a move to another house in another state; working 10-12 hours a day (no overtime pay in the military), convincing kids that they will be fine in a new school (every 3 or 4 years), and paying as much for medical, groceries, and living expenses as “civilians” do, while being shot at by enemies on a battlefield isn’t a good recruiting effort.

  • wraithe

    If I could go back to 1984, yes, I’d do it again. Better yet, back to 1978 when I graduated high school, even better, could get ahead of the Bush/Clinton down size, errr, right sizing of the military. A better question would be, “Would you join today if you were 18, or 22?” I honestly don’t think I would. Especially after watching SECDEF Carter today. He made Congressman Hank Johnson (The island of Guam is going to capsize and tip over, youtube it, it’s amazing) look intelligent. ETC(SS) USN Ret.

  • Ralph

    I loved the Navy and still do. I would do it again if they issued me a walker-FREE. But of course they would take that benefit away too. I wonder why there are no responses, or maybe I missed them, from Wounded Warriors. I think it is disgraceful that our disabled Veterans have to rely on an outside organization to get on with their lives after their service. Maybe Congress and the President would feel differently if there was a requirement for them, their spouse or one of the children had to serve in the Military before qualifying for election.

  • Patrick Sainz

    I Would do it in a heartbeat. Joined but never saw any war time. But I joined knowing that we could go to war at any time, so I was prepared for that time. I love the service and the people or should I say brothers that I met during my service time. At this time and day I wish I had never of gotten out. I had gotten a good job offer from oil field industries, so there I went. It didn’t last long, I should of gone back in but my dumb butt didn’t and regret it to this day. So yes deffiently.

  • Ted Barnes

    I spent 26 years helping defend this great nation of ours, and I would do it again. The Great Military I left, has been down grated by this so called President. We need someone to lead us out of the darkness back to the greatness that once was our military.

  • Tom Garcia

    I would do it again in 1955. Today, No.

  • MSG Concepcion

    I enlisted when President Reagen was the Commander and Chief and it was Honor to serve for him. When I was MEB for injuries in OIF in 2012 under Obama I was just happy to survive my last tour, I didn’t feel he cared for the troops. The Military shouldn’t be PC, It should be HONORABLE.

  • Lester

    I would love to be a sailor again. I miss ships and the sea and all that goes with it. Sadly, I’m not so sure I want to be in the navy again. The changes I’ve seen have me worried. Things are too PC. Evil liberals in government who have no clue about the military are shoving social experiments on the armed forces. If left unchecked, the best military in the world will be no more.

  • steve

    I would in a heart beat. I first went in when pay was about 136 dollars a month, not much but hey, it got me away from home. Spent 2 tours in Korea(didn’t get sent to Viet Nam), didn’t like it much, but looking back, it wasn’t bad. Only war I was actually in was Desert Storm. I didn’t mind going, heck I liked to run my car and boat. Were mistakes made, you bet. But foresight is always worse than hindsight. It was a heck of a good experience when we got home. The Nam Vets in my unit couldn’t believe it. I was in and out of the Army from the early 70s until the late 90s. It really changed in that period, but for the most part, comradery was always there. Went in as E-1 and finally retired as an old O-3. Being an officer was better for me than as an EM, but I had much, much better friends who I would have trusted with my life as an EM. Officers were all worried about their OERs. There were good ones, but many bad ones who only worried about their own advancement. Maybe thats why I only made 0-3. But in a nut shell I would do it again in a heartbeat. The military gave me a job and adventure when I needed both, free college degree, allowed me to have half a dozen homes throughout my life, helped me with a civilian job, and gives me a small pension. I hope my grandson will join when he graduates, but most of the new generation seem to really have negative thoughts on the military. I hope things change when we get a new Commander in Chief; for the better. We need good leadership from the top down. But it really seems to be the ME generation, the facebook generation is only worried about themselves and whats around them, not much perspective or opinion on the world or the troubles of the world if it doesn’t personally affect them. So yes, yes again I would join up. I love this country and especially those who serve it in the US Military in all branches. They are needed now as before, just wish the so called leaders of the USA could see it too.

  • ksb1

    I can’t respond. Three answers, all with your reasons attached. Come on Amy…

  • Anthony Bennett

    WOW how the Army has changed since I was active duty. It’s turned into a 3 ring circus. Flag officers charged with sexual misconduct, Officers being gang raped and no one held accountable at the while the victim being handed her hat for what? Being a rape victim? The brass making up lies and fake hero’s dishonoring fallen soldier and those who served with distinction.(Jessica Lynch debunked the “official” story of her capture), (The “official” report of the death of Pat Tillman totally dishonored his memory with lies and cover ups.) SFC Martland being kicked out of the Army for beating down a vile, useless, pathetic, unapologetic child rapist. The HONOR that once belonged to our fine institution is so tarnished that I would personally have many issues with being a part of it again. With the political-ism of the armed forces, I think anyone with high moral standards would at a grave disadvantage in the military of today.

  • Ronn

    I served our military for twenty three years. Don’t know if I would do it again or not. This is not the same United States that I fought for. Now we seem to get involved in a war and then when we start taking casualties we pull out and let the enemy take over.

  • SARGE

    I spent 30 years in the U.S. ARMY and loved every minute of it. Got a fabulous education from the infantry, the combat engineers and being a recruiter got a college education , met some fabulous people. Sure its hard but life is hard no matter what you do. But how great IS IT TO PUT ON THAT UNIFORM AND EVERY DAY SERVE YOUR FLAG . The military isn’t for everybody but for those of us that made it a career I salute you and SEMPER FI to your branch your brothers and your flag. HOME OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

  • Lawrence P. Goodwin

    YBYA I would. Most valuable of all the defining experiences of my life. No. It was NOT easy, sometimes life threatening, not that often fun, & sometimes CS, but those people, & that experience are a fundamental part of who I am these 5 decades later. There is something of irreplaceable value to being an important part of something so huge, focused, & functional.
    I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this life.

  • Jack

    USN 31 years going from E1 to W3. Where do I sign up!!

  • Retired Officer

    Then 1967+ 20 years. But not now and not for my kids & grandkids unless the world makes it necessary which I’m afraid is where we all are headed.

  • Robert Clark

    Between Active Service and Reserve, I spent more than twenty years. I did this for the retirement and health care benefits. However, as these benefits are continually eroded it becomes more questionable as to whether they would be worth the effort. As the military becomes more a place for social experimentation for what ever is politically correct at the moment ( same sex marriage, women in combat, transgender openly serving, etc.) and our so-called leaders concerned more about their next promotion than the good of the service I would have grave doubts about any young person subjecting themselves to that type of environment. I would certainly advise my children to think long and hard before making such a commitment.

    • guest

      Spot on

  • Master Sergeant

    I am glad that I served when I did in the military; it is now becoming a social experiment in the name of fairness. The standards are being lowered to allow people who have no business serving in certain occupations that I am not sure if we went to war again that we could win. As I watch and see what is happening to my beloved Corps I am ever so grateful that I served from the early 1980’s through the first part of 2001. As some of our politicians tell it, our military is to kill and to destroy and I am afraid that we are going to lose that edge. While I am glad that I served, the one thing that I wish that they would get right is the VA. The VA is becoming an adversary instead of an advocate for our returning military members, try getting something done at the VA for something that is service connected and see how long it takes, just a tragedy of what is happening at the VA.

  • Howard L

    I would serve again if I could go back in time, but with the idiots running this country, beginning with the Commander In chief, it is a definite no and I would not encourage my children or grandchildren to join. Retered USAF MSGT

  • ’68-71 Army medic

    I have a family legacy for military that goes back to the Civil War. I enlisted at 16 and I don’t regret my war experience one bit, however I have been fighting the VA every step of the way for the last 44 (now 64) years, for my continuing medical maladies. I would recommend and serve again myself in combat again, but not until the red-headed-bastard-step-child (VA) is fixed for us and the next generation to become the 1%.

    It does not surprise me that enlistments are down. The future possible 1% is smarter and paying attention to their preceding 1% and saying “hell no.” This bodes terribly wrong for our countries future

  • Lawrence Regan

    I should have stayed in. Served in the USCG ’69 to ’73. Went to Vietnam, exposed to Agent Orange, got lung cancer from it. But I am still proud that I served. Electronics Training in the CG was great and helped carry me into my career.

  • DON CORCORAN

    THE NAVY WAS GOOD BUT THE OFFICERS DO NOT FOLLOW THE RULES. I PUT IN FOR THE TEST FOR 3RD CLASS MM AND WAS TURNED DOWN BECAUSE I WAS NOT ON BOARD MY SHIP( DD 804) LONG ENOUGH . THE RULES SAY TIME IN RANK NOT ON BOARD SHIP BUT I WAS NOT GIVEN THE TEST SO WHY HAVE RULES WHEN A OFFICER CAN OVER RIDE THEM . WONDER HOW MANY OTHERS HAD THIS HAPPEN TO THEM .

  • 1isnone2isone

    IN A HEART BEAT!!! I learned more in those eight years than in any span of time as a ‘civie’. I Learned respect and learned to respect Me.

    And YES! I would want all Americans to Have The Opportunity to take the chance to SERVE.

  • Ed Montpas

    Joined back in 1962 before our politicians decided that social engineering was more important than having an effective military.

  • Retired Chief

    There is not enough choices in the poll. I served for over 22 years in the Navy and would have served for 30 years or more had the military not changed starting in the 70’s. As a senior enlisted, neither me nor any other senior enlisted had any authority left. We could no longer control the people under us because of Human Rights movements. My experience was that the dope-heads were controlling what we could or could not do or say to our subordinates.
    As to why people join the military; more than half join because they could not get a job in civilian life or were in trouble and had to join. There is not the degree of patriotism in the military most people think there is. Granted, military people are treated much differently today by civilians than in the 70’s but that doesn’t change why people join. All that plus 10 years of continuous war, I would not join today.

  • Don Neverovich

    No. The sacrifice was while on active not after retirement. I served from 1953 until 1977.

  • mona

    Not under this administration I wouldn’t….i don’t encourage any young person to join this military under this president. he hates our military….. if that isn’t obvious to most of you then you need to pull your head out of your back side and listen and pay attention.
    These kids overseas have no rule of law for fighting…. its again another Vietnam. All political. And this president doesn’t have a clue what the hell is going on except on the golf course. He hates the military. We need our young here in America not in some foreign country fighting for NOTHING. Especially now since he wants to bring thousands of refugees in to this country.

  • Abran

    The army was the best thing that happened to me. I was in from1968 thru 1992. was made to retired because I didn’t make E-9. I only had one MOS the whole time. 11B Infantryman. There were some hard times but there were alot more good times. It was an honor, and a privilege to have served. wolfhound

  • Michael D. Kemp, PhD

    Absolutely!!!!
    I would not be who I am today if not for the Navy. Served in Vietnam, attended many specialty service schools, advanced up through the Enlisted ranks, and earned many college degrees during my 23 years of active duty (2 AS, BS, 2 MS, and a PhD). Served aboard and decommissioned the USS Hancock (CVA-19) and USS Oriskany (CVA-34). Have over 3,000 hours of flight time in the EC-130Q TACAMO aircraft. Transitioned the E-6A from Hawaii to Tinker AFB. The Navy took a young farm boy out of Ohio and showed him the world. Always made the best of any duty assignment. Many good memories!
    I’m proud to say “I served in the Navy”!
    Dr. Michael D. Kemp, PhD

  • Jerry

    Absolutely, The members of the military are members of the greatest family, albeit a very large one, in the world. Even in the civillian world when you run into a member of the military, branch does not matter, it’s like finding one of you long lost relatives Everytime I go back on a military base it is like going home to visit with family.

  • AF SMsgt Ret

    I entered to get an education and training that I would not have gotten if I’d stayed home. I stayed because of the opportunities. I no longer trust our leaders to do what is best for our military and our country. Under the current way our government is taking from the military what they earned, while our “representatives” increase their benefits, I wouldn’t encourage anybody to make a career if the military. There’s no future in it. Take a short enlistment, get what education you can get and then get out while you still have a future!

  • John P

    I’m second generation retired military. While the military while My father and I served was hard it also had it’s benifits but I don’t know if I would do it again. No matter how much dedication you have there comes a time when the sacrifice become off balanced.
    The trust between the government and the military uphold it’s part of our contract (at the time of enlistment) has erroded. Military personal have held up their part but the goverment continually changes the benifits we agreed to when we enlisted. In the 26 years I served they changed the retirement system 3 times. This had to do with budgets were the money saved went to social programs that contribute nothing to society and the medical benifits keep eroding.
    Even within the military the focus on knowing your job to get promoted has becom less of a factor than education, extra off duty participation in the form of lower performance ratings.
    This all comes from politicians who have no clue of the daily sacrifices our families endure yet do not care (except lip service) about us or our families.

  • MacLoren

    I joined the military in 1966. I was hard work, but I loved it. I didn’t re-enlist because the GI-bill paid just as much for four years as the next enlistment would so I sat out the red-enlistment for a year. I found though, as a member of the IRR that I might as well drill and augment my income on weekends. That’s a fabulous opportunity and one I never regretted taking. With a down-turn in the local economy in 1976 I went active duty again and found a changed military in the ‘volunteer’ military. I retired as a reservist in 1995 and wondered whether the sacrifice was worth it. Although even as a reservist, there is a cost in time away from one’s family, my family still has been rewarded. My eldest son is a Marine LtCol and has worked hard at what he does. My youngest son is not in the military but appreciates the freedoms this country grants and knows the value of hard work and dedication. I firmly believe that the draft should be re-instated with a lessor active-duty term. Other nations’ militaries are doing this with a great deal of success. It teaches a young man a high degree of discipline and strength. Something no young man will learn staying at home with his parents. The confidence and skills I learned just getting out of my small midwest town in 1966 was a game changer and I truly would wish that experience for any and all young men. It defines becoming a Man.

  • Sumo

    As a Service connected Disabled Veteran I would gladly defend America & it’s way of life with Donald Trump as our leader, but never with the looser we have now.

  • ArptOpns

    When I joined the Army in 1971 I did so for two reasons. One to leave home and the second to earn some money so I could marry my high school sweat heart. Well, I left home but did not get married. At 17 years old the Army was an adventure and I did enjoy it. So I stayed for 21 years. I decided to retire because it stopped being an enjoyment to serve. Too much bull. Mind you we had some bull but the bull started to become to much. I decided to retire because it wasn’t fun anymore. I coined the phrase, “I loved my work but hated my job”. Now with all the changes like gays out of the closets, women working with men and not being able to stand up for what is right (The Green Beret SFC being discharged), and who knows what else now days I probably would not stay as long as I did.
    I joined in 1971 for 138 bucks a month. Then Nixon gave us a pay raise and stopped the draft. We got something called the New All Volunteer Force (VOLAR) and 270 bucks a month. I didn’t know what to do with all that money. I can’t tell you all to join the services, I do not know what it really is like anymore. I’m sorry to say that but it is how I feel now. BTW: My daughter and both son in laws are in the services and serving with honor and pride. I am proud of all of them and I can only hope for the best for our country.

  • Al Conetto

    Would I do it all over again? Well, let’s see. Fours years in ROTC, six years in the Army, 17 months in Vietnam as a platoon leader, company commander, and 2 staff positions, PTSD and four marriages. The answer is “Hell yes!” I became a man in the Army and gained confidence in my abilities. The only thing I would change is that I would have stayed in for 20+ years.

  • Frank (Gonzo)

    I would serve my country all over again. I still do in a way maybe not by military but through the training and discipline the Army thought me. I would definitely do it all over again, I miss my brothers in arms. Through thick or thin, I always knew they had my six. They were the best years of my life just wished I stayed in longer and retired.

  • Jim Coster

    my father was a Marine in WWII, managed to survive the island hopping campaigns and ended up guarding the Enola Gay before it took off from Tinian on its bombing run. my older brother went to vietnam as a Marine and at the end of his first tour, extended for another year. i joined the Marines after college and did 18 years in the Reserves having a wonderful experience. right before retirement, i did a lat transfer to the Army accepting a Direct Commission as a JAG and was promptly sent to iraq. i left with a Purple Heart. all my life, i LOVED the military. during my time in the Marines, i didn’t even care about promotions because i just loved “being a Marine.” with all that said, knowing today’s military and today’s America, I WOULD NOT DO THE MILITARY AGAIN NOR DO I EVER RECOMMEND SERVICE TO YOUNG PEOPLE. in 20 years, i had many opportunities to die as a soldier – many in iraq. i always felt proud to be a soldier and proud to “give my life” for my country. but i wouldn’t die for the military we now have nor for the country we now have. i wouldn’t die for the perverted gays in san francisco and the ones now running the military; i wouldn’t die for the greedy corporate barrons in New York City; i wouldn’t die for mr. obama; i wouldn’t die for the atheists taking over the military and our government; i wouldn’t die for the millions of “progressive” liberals all over our country who get up every day hating the United States. no, i would not serve again nor would i encourage a young person to serve. and you cannot appreciate how sad i am to make that statement and to have adopted that view.

    • Guest

      Wow, yeah, I’d be terribly sad too if I woke up one day and was suddenly a homophobic, military-hating, unpatriotic bigot. My sympathies.

  • Cornel Bennett

    Under the circumstances that prevailed on my decision to join the military, “yes” I would gladly be back in uniform.

    I am a (Viet-Nam)Era veteran, although I did not go to (Viet-Nam), that was the initial plan I expected when joining, life predicted differently for me, I have no regrets, the military has presented a “stable” foundation for me after serving (21)years>I salute all who have “served” before and after “me”>To stay “free”, we must continue to be “strong”!

    USARMY(Ret)SFC Bennett

  • dick

    Yes! I picked the USAF in 1958 after High School graduation, and was Honorably discharged in 1963 after six years of honorable service. Best decision I ever made. Did it then, and would do it again in a New York minute!!

  • Guest

    Our military today is a joke. The moral structure has been decimated to the point we are the laughing stock of the world. The repeal of the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy and the welcoming of homosexual individuals is a detriment to the overall effectiveness of a strong defense. When a soldier is booted out of the military for standing up for what is morally right the action is a direct reflection on the society of America as a whole. I pray for the men and women in our military who have no control over the deemed politically correct policies that have been crammed down their throats. I pray for their safety and that our commanders will show some backbone and say enough is enough.

    • Guest

      Other countries have allowed homosexual and transgendered troops- and females, and non-whites, and non-Christians- to serve openly for decades. Are they laughing stocks too?

  • obra scott

    Yes, best move I ever made. Got to see the world and meet the girl of my dreams.

  • Elbe

    It seemed alright in theory but to live it NO. I was in VIETNAM and saw incidents were lives were wasted by stupidity and personal gain by those giving orders.

    Also, men wearing all their ribbions is like posting their resume on your chest with most of the ribbons meaning nothing. The only ribbons I am impressed are Purple Heart, Bronze with Valor and higher. All of the other are junk. There are more TOY SOLDIERS out there than real soldiers. Really get annoyed by those pretending to be heroes that never were anywhere near the real action.

  • Squad Leader Knight

    I volunteered at a time when many we’re running for Canada. I was raised a patriot and volunteered as one. I gave it my all and then some. When I came home, I sustained severe spinal column and spinal cord injuries. For over 3 decades the government and the VA avoided any support at all. I had to get a great job with benefits to get the medical attention I needed. I’m now permanently disabled and having severe challenges just to stay alive. If I knew then what I know now regarding the governmental support I’ve dealt with, I’d never volunteered at all.

  • C Henley, USA Ret

    I firmly believe rules need to be changed to the point that before a political can obtain the Presidency, and thus become the Commander-in-Chief, or even run for a congressional seat, he/she must have served our Nation and the American people by having successfully completed at least one tour of duty in the Military — only then will the C-in-C come close to understanding what service members and their families go thru, the difficulties our military undergo serving and protecting the Nation, the difficulties they face with inadequate pay, continuous hardships caused by back-to-back unaccompanied tours of duty, etc., and will, only then, be able to grasp what “true patriotism” and what “sacrifice for the greater good of the Nation” really means. Today, so few presidents, as well as members of Congress, have ever felt military service to be necessary prerequisite to obtain a plush congressional job or serve as POTUS. Thus, how can they even come close to grasping the difficulties the members of our military services face with repeated and back to back hardship tours either overseas or in a combat deployment. Less than 18% of sitting members of Congress ever felt it an obligation to serve the Nation and the American people by serving in the Nation’s military, yet they quibble constantly over the meager pay drawn by our military members; and when they do manage to visit our troops, in CONUS or OCONUS, they do so primarily to be able to say “they have listened to our service members and understand the difficulties they are experiencing and what their needs are.” Yet, they conclude such visits with little to no real concerns for or understanding of what our military troops are experiencing, their military needs and/or the needs of their families, and turn their attention to personal matters (e.g., shopping for souvenirs for self, staff, their families, and leave with no true plans to heed the findings of their trip and initiate congressional actions to make requisite changes — but they give themselves credit for “visiting and listening to the needs of our troops.” Having worked with Congress both in uniform for 5 years, then as a DoD civilian in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for 21 additional years, I sadly state that Congress dismisses themselves from the real issues about which they are informed taking few, if any, requisite actions needed to remedy GI and military issues; but, their monthly or quarterly newsletters to their constituents state differently, usually bragging on our troops to the public, but that routinely sums the extent of their actions taken. Sad, but these are the facts. So, in whom do you put your trust to make necessary changes to improve situations — my answer is “yourself.”

    • Will

      A serious “HELL YEAH!” and a high 5 to that!

  • Mamerto Perez

    Sure, I would doing it again. I enjoy the military life. The Army gave me a wife, kids and education.

  • Crimson Rider

    I am a school teacher and currently in the Air Guard. Volunteered after graduating college for an 11 year hitch with the USMC. Life for me never was about the money. Serving your country just like teaching high school kids U.S. History has to be a calling or at least it was for me. I wanted to live my life that superseded that of the outside world and the military gave me that environment. I knew I wanted to give back what had been given to me, and I also knew that if I was not in a structured environment I would be wild as a buck. I think all comes down to how you want to be remembered in life and being apart of something greater than yourself.