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Old 07-05-2017, 10:09 AM
 
449 posts, read 131,489 times
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Nope, wasn't meant to be in there at all probably. But I had a great run and got more than I deserved out of the military. I didn't like the Marine Corps but loved every single Marine I ever served with.


The guard was sort of like being in the military, glad I'm out of there too.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
17,027 posts, read 10,974,426 times
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The 60s were a different time. Until I got my per-iduction physical notice, I never thought about the military at all. I had gone to college for a year by then, and wasn't real happy there, and while my life in Idaho was happy enough, I was hankering to get out and see the wider world.

I was just 21 by a few weeks when the notice arrived, and I could have gotten several different deferments, but they all would have kept me right where I was. So I began talking to the various recruiters to see what I might get from enlisting.

In 1965, Viet Nam was still a war where only a few Green Berets were fighting, so going to Nam wasn't much on my mind at all. And what I wanted was travel. The more, the better.

My uncle, a WWII Navy vet, said the Navy always gave him 3 hot meals and a dry bed. He was stationed on one of the Pacific islands, so he saw what the Marines and Army got, and his thoughts influenced me into enlisting in the Navy more than anyone else's.
I had a lot of friends who were enlisting in the National Guard as a way of getting out of the draft. But I didn't want to be obligated for so long just to have a lot of free time. To me, it was better to go in full-time and do my time than be a part-timer and stuck in Idaho every summer in a Guard camp.

4 years' time was OK with me. I went in never expecting to stay in, followed my uncle's advice and put in for every test and qual for rank that was offered, reached E4 with a year left to go, was able to buy a new car with the bucks I saved, and got more than I ever anticipated from my years in service.
Got out with an honorable discharge, used my VA benefits to go back to college, and never regretted my choice since.

I don't know how I would feel today if I had chosen any other path, but I doubt I would have ever just waited around to be drafted, and I'm not at all sure I would have been any happier with the other alternatives I had. I like choosing my own destiny, and I always felt fortunate things worked out as I hoped.

I would have done my best if it had been otherwise, and I never held it against anyone who didn't do what I did. The kids who dodged the draft were just the same to me as the kids who went into the military. They all had their own choices to make and all the consequences that came from them.

I think the all-volunteer army is a much better alternative to a draft. But if the war is a just war, I'm sure a draft will be filled with kids who will do their duty exceptionally well. It's only when the war is unjust that our young have problems with fighting.

I have no problems with any national leader who hasn't served in the military, as long as he is reluctant to use our military. I do have trouble with those who have never served and are eager to send others into war, though.

I've never had anything for or against those who chose the military as a profession. I knew a lot of lifers who would have never amounted to much as civilians, but were fine sailors and liked their work and life. There are always going to be people like this, and they are always needed.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Born & Raised DC > Carolinas > Seattle > Denver
8,827 posts, read 4,258,062 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
do you regret it? Do you miss it?
No and no. I did 4 years USAF from '01 - '05 and got out.

Sometimes I missed the camaraderie, but for the most part I enjoyed being on my own again.

I have many friends that are still in and approaching retirement. Sometimes I imagine how cool it would've been to be retired at 39 (I joined at 19) and have a permanent income for life while working another job. But the salaries in my career field in the private sector were too tempting to stay in the service for 20 years.

I'm very appreciative to have been given the opportunity to serve my country, and I take my service very seriously. I was in the military during 9/11 and I've been to the sandbox. It sucked.

Overall I had a great time while in the Air Force. I made a lot of life long friends. But I like having a beard and not having to run 5 miles a day LOL.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:45 PM
 
4,084 posts, read 1,543,772 times
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I only regret not staying in long enough to get the vet pref points, getting a fed job in a hard economy is absolute hell if you dont have those vet pref points.


I hated it so much though that I could not stay in though.
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:56 AM
 
1,187 posts, read 368,239 times
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While on AD, and as a supervisor, I didn't mind my troops "getting out" after their enlistment, but I hated when they just "got out just to get out" without some type of "plan". Most regretted it after being out awhile. I can honestly say IMO, most younger troops get out because they can't get used to the discipline aspect of being in the military.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:23 AM
JRR
 
Location: Algood TN
2,197 posts, read 1,365,338 times
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I served in the US Coast Guard for four years 1967-1971. At the age of 18 and a high school dropout, I was prime draft material. Wasn't a fan of the war in Viet Nam and figured I could find a way to do some good.

About six months before my time was up, there was an opening in Bermuda for my rating. I had liked it when our cutter had stopped there going to and from ocean station. I had just made E-6 and thought long and hard about putting in for the opening. I would have had to extend for 18 months and probably could have spent 3 years total there. But after that, it most likely would have been back to sea duty which I did not care for. So I did my four and out.

But I do sometimes wonder how it would have been to have done the 20 or 26 years and have had that pension all these years. I will say that the four years I did changed me a lot. I went in as a kid and really grew up. Learned how to accept a lot of responsibility.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
6,800 posts, read 5,342,495 times
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4 years enlisted, two years as an officer. Glad I did it but I never looked back.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:44 AM
 
4,084 posts, read 1,543,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRR View Post
I served in the US Coast Guard for four years 1967-1971. At the age of 18 and a high school dropout, I was prime draft material. Wasn't a fan of the war in Viet Nam and figured I could find a way to do some good.

About six months before my time was up, there was an opening in Bermuda for my rating. I had liked it when our cutter had stopped there going to and from ocean station. I had just made E-6 and thought long and hard about putting in for the opening. I would have had to extend for 18 months and probably could have spent 3 years total there. But after that, it most likely would have been back to sea duty which I did not care for. So I did my four and out.

But I do sometimes wonder how it would have been to have done the 20 or 26 years and have had that pension all these years. I will say that the four years I did changed me a lot. I went in as a kid and really grew up. Learned how to accept a lot of responsibility.
No one could have guessed we would have a second world crony economy to the max right now, I know some people working civilian jobs with me who are glad they have their pensions but it was not for free. 20 years is a LONG time to hate life. In hind sight all of us can look back and say man if I had just suffered to the point I wanted to put a noose around my neck getting almost no sex with the wife due to over the top deployments to get that coveted pension to soften the blow of a lay off in a second world economy. Sure some people got to sit in garrison and go home to the wife every night but I could not imagine the stress of all the scuttle butt when deployment orders started coming down the pipe and the rumor mill started.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:06 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
22,997 posts, read 35,211,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsflyer View Post
20 years is a LONG time to hate life.
But I know people who waited 40+ years with nothing in return except Social Security...
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:48 AM
 
1,187 posts, read 368,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
But I know people who waited 40+ years with nothing in return except Social Security...
Exactly!
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