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View Poll Results: Which made you join?
Money for College 7 8.24%
Benefits (Health, Dental, etc.) 7 8.24%
Skills Training 17 20.00%
Life Skills (Friendships, Discipline, etc.) 13 15.29%
Looking for a challenge, change of pace 19 22.35%
Always wanted to (or) family heritage 18 21.18%
All of the above 11 12.94%
Drafted 6 7.06%
None of the above 23 27.06%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 85. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-15-2012, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,084,936 times
Reputation: 7707

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I didn't exactly join. Neither was I truly drafted, so my story is probably unique.

I'd wanted to be in the service as far back as I can remember, so right out high school, I tried to enlist in the Navy and Army, but was turned down because of a perforated ear drum. So, I knocked around doing this and that for a couple years. Some college, several jobs, two attempts at living in California, but nothing really suited me. There was a war on, my friends had gone and mostly come back, but here I was still outside of it. I tried joining the Army again and the National Guard (Hey..the Guard was better than nothing and I figured I could finagle my way onto Active Duty from there). But, no dice. Still couldn't pass the physical.

In the mean time, the draft board was sending me off for a re-classification physical every 6 months. I was classified 1-Y, in case of national emergency only, but I had to be re-examined every six months until I was 26. I was 20 by then and didn't much like idea of doing it 12 more times.

So, in the summer of 1969, I got an order to take another physical and just didn't go. Next month, another one. Again, I didn't go. Why bother? I still had that hole in my eardrum, right? A third notice came, this time with a threat of induction if I failed to report again.

I called the secretary of the draft board and explained to her that, no, I wasn't a resister or anything like that. It's just that my condition was unchanged, so what's the point? She said the rules were the rules and if I didn't show up, they'd induct me.

"Wait a minute," I said. "If I'm inducted and flunk the physical again, that means you're through with me. I'll never have to do it again, right?"

"Well..yes, that's right."

"Fine. Induct me."

"You're volunteering for induction?"

"That's right. I want to be drafted."

The "Greetings" letter arrived a couple of weeks later. I went off to Oklahoma City fully intending to return home the next day, but had an idea how I could pass the hearing test by cheating.

It worked! I was in the Army....finally!

16 years later, after a tour of duty in Germany as a tanker and in Vietnam with the Infantry, a year or so out, then 12 more years in the Reserves and National Guard, they finally caught up with the fact that I was nearly deaf in one ear and out I went.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,761 posts, read 47,638,140 times
Reputation: 17641
I was fortunate that my highschool shop classes offered an 'Electronics' shop. I attended it 3 years in a row, and I was making a wide assortment of custom projects. The instructor had me lined-up to attend a Bell&Howell private school. Where they would train me and provide job placement. Guaranteeing me a life-long career as an Electronics Engineer.

I was also in Sea Cadets, and each summer I spent 2-weeks on a Navy vessel. One summer I went to Groton Ct, and spent 2-weeks touring subs, and learning navigation skills.

I really liked Star Trek, and it seemed that the closest I would ever get to being on a star ship, was if I went to subs.

I had a real tough decision to make. Both paths were in Electronics. I felt the Navy offered me more adventure.

So in 1976 I enlisted, and I went active in 1977. Six years later, I had came to hate the mismanagement and contradictory policies I saw in the Navy. I got out, used my GI-bill and went to college.

4 years later I sat in a group of engineers and was listening to their tales of: failing job markets; engineering jobs going overseas; and discontent with middle-management corporate bosses. A group of them urged me to re-consider a Naval career.

That was when I decided to re-enlist. The second time in the Navy, I still disliked management. But I stayed with it until I got my pension.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:30 PM
 
7,150 posts, read 8,496,826 times
Reputation: 3806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
pythonis:

I added to the poll:
Drafted
None of the above
Those can be important...


Rich
Huh. Curious: why isn't there a choice in the poll for:
'Love of country'


Not trying to paint myself as a super-patriot ... I didn't join with 'love of country' as my first and foremost reason either ... but I know that some folks do join for that very reason alone.

Just sayin'
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:48 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,195 posts, read 39,081,984 times
Reputation: 28224
Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
Huh. Curious: why isn't there a choice in the poll for:
'Love of country'


Not trying to paint myself as a super-patriot ... I didn't join with 'love of country' as my first and foremost reason either ... but I know that some folks do join for that very reason alone.

Just sayin'
I did not create this poll....
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:05 PM
 
7,150 posts, read 8,496,826 times
Reputation: 3806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
I did not create this poll....
I understand that, and my question wasn't directed specifically at you, although I noted, however, that you added a couple categories. Wonder how others feel about the category: 'Love of country'
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:14 PM
 
13,808 posts, read 16,367,661 times
Reputation: 10574
Very interesting stories!
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:51 PM
 
396 posts, read 921,198 times
Reputation: 233
My reasoning when I was deciding whether to join the military or not was that I am a beneficiary of the sacrifices that other patriots have made, and I wanted to do my share to defend the freedoms, rights and privileges that I enjoy as a U.S. citizen.

My first choice was U.S. Air Force Academy, but I was first put off by the recruiter's lack of interest and second by the gung-ho attitude I saw portrayed from the Academy.

I had not intended to join the U.S. Navy, but I stopped by the recruiter's office, just because my Dad had been in the Navy and it was part of my childhood. I wasn't all that interested, until the recruiter first pointed out that the best astronauts (back when I hoped to become an astronaut) were Navy pilots and then when he pointed out that only the Navy has a nuclear power program.

The Navy's nuclear power program looked like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, even though I felt that my chances of succeeding in it were not very good. I decided to take the risk and signed up as a nuclear propulsion candidate in the U.S. Navy.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:53 PM
 
396 posts, read 921,198 times
Reputation: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
I didn't exactly join. Neither was I truly drafted, so my story is probably unique.

I'd wanted to be in the service as far back as I can remember, so right out high school, I tried to enlist in the Navy and Army, but was turned down because of a perforated ear drum. So, I knocked around doing this and that for a couple years. Some college, several jobs, two attempts at living in California, but nothing really suited me. There was a war on, my friends had gone and mostly come back, but here I was still outside of it. I tried joining the Army again and the National Guard (Hey..the Guard was better than nothing and I figured I could finagle my way onto Active Duty from there). But, no dice. Still couldn't pass the physical.

In the mean time, the draft board was sending me off for a re-classification physical every 6 months. I was classified 1-Y, in case of national emergency only, but I had to be re-examined every six months until I was 26. I was 20 by then and didn't much like idea of doing it 12 more times.

So, in the summer of 1969, I got an order to take another physical and just didn't go. Next month, another one. Again, I didn't go. Why bother? I still had that hole in my eardrum, right? A third notice came, this time with a threat of induction if I failed to report again.

I called the secretary of the draft board and explained to her that, no, I wasn't a resister or anything like that. It's just that my condition was unchanged, so what's the point? She said the rules were the rules and if I didn't show up, they'd induct me.

"Wait a minute," I said. "If I'm inducted and flunk the physical again, that means you're through with me. I'll never have to do it again, right?"

"Well..yes, that's right."

"Fine. Induct me."

"You're volunteering for induction?"

"That's right. I want to be drafted."

The "Greetings" letter arrived a couple of weeks later. I went off to Oklahoma City fully intending to return home the next day, but had an idea how I could pass the hearing test by cheating.

It worked! I was in the Army....finally!

16 years later, after a tour of duty in Germany as a tanker and in Vietnam with the Infantry, a year or so out, then 12 more years in the Reserves and National Guard, they finally caught up with the fact that I was nearly deaf in one ear and out I went.
That is hilarious! So "Catch-22"!
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Tioga County
513 posts, read 1,859,300 times
Reputation: 490
....Family tradition...funny thing...I've spent more time in the military than any relation..everyone wounded or injured on active duty..except me...everyone in a war zone(while a shootin' match was goin' on)..except....yep..me(got there late...as usual)
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:52 PM
 
Location: VA
1,197 posts, read 1,562,553 times
Reputation: 1059
My reasons are simple really...
-Money to finish my degree
-Health Benefits like for example Lasik surgery fully paid for on the Army's dime, god I've never been so glad to be rid of glasses
-Looks great on a resume since I'm trying to start up a career with the Federal Government
-I admit that I wanted to experience a deployment to Afghanistan, a unique experience to say the least.....
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