That's not precisely what they wanted me to say:
Please blog about military careers how they can train you for jobs in civilian life while you get paid and serve your country.And they want a "neutral tone." That shoots my famed black humor all to hell. And besides, tempted as I am to make more jokes such as I attempted above, it's not fair.
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Frankly, while the Army - in particular - is being terribly misused, it has always been a great way to get a good start in American life. All things being equal, a veteran is more equal than others within the employment market. It speaks of competence tested under fire. That is so because it has been proven to be true.
Hardly anyone in the Bush Administration has served in the military. And it shows. Not one of them has ever had to deal with the smoking remains of a mistake. To them, it's only money - not lives, not blood, not pain and hard work. And that is why we Americans prefer leaders who have been tempered in the forge of the military.
There is of course the training you get - and they will shove as much down your throat as they think you will hold still for, especially if they can get you to sign on the line for six years or more. We are not talking just "trades," we are speaking of serious careers that many cannot hope to afford to master any other way. And of course - as your recruiter will be happy to tell you, the Army is a fine and noble career in itself.
Or rather, it is for young men and women of solid character.
The military is NOT the place for people who lack honor and integrity, and alas, we see why that is all too often these days. But - and not just despite what happened to Pat Tillman, but because of it - if you were raised right, if your yes means yes, your no means no and lying makes your stomach clench into a knot; if you would rather die than suffer dishonor, if your integrity demands that you stand ready to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable - you are needed. Right now.
Because there are damn few of you, sad to say. The army needs you - and we need the sort of army YOU will one day command. The best way to avoid war is to study for it, so that none dare attack. That's what I believe the Founders believed in, and while I am anti-this-war, I'm 100% in favor of solid national defense.
Hey, it's your little brothers and sisters, if you need a reason. Be part of it. It is an honor - if the honorable will make it so.