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Old 04-21-2018, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
7,974 posts, read 6,732,133 times
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You are not enlisting for 20 years. Try one enlistment period and go from there. Myself, I recommend the Air Force or the Navy.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,677 posts, read 4,493,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
You are not enlisting for 20 years. Try one enlistment period and go from there. Myself, I recommend the Air Force or the Navy.







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Old 04-22-2018, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Newport Beach, California
31,508 posts, read 18,468,957 times
Reputation: 12186
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgianW View Post
I'm considering joining the military, but I'm concerned that it'll be a big mistake. I'm from a small town and I'm really close to my family, particularly my grandma. They and my parents are getting up there in age and there's clearly no way that they'd want to travel far as frequently as would be required. If I join, I want to make it into at least a 20 year career.

I don't want to miss out on 20 years with my family just because I want to do something. If I join, it could be my biggest regret. If I don't join, it could be my biggest regret.

Should I sacrifice that dream for a desk job or should l go for it? I feel responsible for taking care of my family, and I can't find a better way to do that.

It would simply break my heart if something happened while I was gone. I don't know if the amount of contact I would have with them would be enough.

I'm beyond conflicted. Any advice would be extremely helpful.
What does your family think about military service? Before my brother joined the Marine Corps, he sat us down and told us his decision. Well, not everybody was supportive, I would be honest with you. But we realized that it was his dream and his decision to make.

If I were you, I'd have a conversation with the family. Maybe they want you to join the military.

My brother's military service makes us very proud. I would not want any other way for him. In my opinion, my brother is one of the best Marine, and he is also very successful in the civilian world after his military service. You will never know what military service can do for you. I say go for it.

Talk to the recruiters from ALL military branches. Don't limit yourself to just one of two branches. You know yourself the best, you know what you want to accomplish in life. Go for it.

Last edited by lilyflower3191981; 04-22-2018 at 11:42 AM..
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:13 PM
 
4,723 posts, read 4,840,969 times
Reputation: 4854
Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
You are not enlisting for 20 years. Try one enlistment period and go from there. Myself, I recommend the Air Force or the Navy.
Correct. Air Force first choice. Better living conditions.

College?

You can go to college while in the military.

BUT keep this in mind. Some state (where you have residence and then enlist) offer free college tuition when you get out. Do a search of those states and see if you have a place you can claim residence from.

In my state free tuition (separate from GI Bill) paid tuition for Associates Degree, 4 year Degree, and Masters Degree. No charge - at any state college or university.

Some states appreciate their veterans in different ways. Also there may be lifetime preference points for many state and federal jobs - if one is a veteran.
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:21 PM
 
37 posts, read 11,949 times
Reputation: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgianW View Post
....I'm from a small town and I'm really close to my family, particularly my grandma & grandpa.

....If I join, it could be my biggest regret. If I don't join, it could be my biggest regret.
.


Parts of your post described me to a "T". You're right that it is a huge choice, even with just family and personal desires in consideration. I chose to not live life having regretted choosing not to serve. I joined the Air Force in 1998 and just rolled over 20 years this month (planning about 5 more).


Do I have regrets? Really, my only regret is missing my family. Absolutely a regret. I've been in for 20 years and it still tears me apart. When my family has a big bbq that everybody goes to...I regret it. Every time I go home and see my parents and how much they have aged...I regret it. When my father had a heart attack while I was deployed and I couldn't go see him...I regretted it. When my brother died of a heroin overdose and I wasn't there...I regretted it. After I joined and had my own family, I missed a lot of THEIR lives with deployments and TDY's...I regretted it.


I think you get the picture...I regret my decision almost every day when I think about the things I've missed back home. It's part of the package. Would I make the same decision again if I had the choice? I'm pretty sure I would. Why?


If I had not joined the military, I would have probably never left my small town. I would have probably ended up with a decent job that I had to commute to and I would have been stuck there my entire life. My only escape would have been the 2 weeks of paid vacation every year (If I was lucky). I'd be bitter and regretting my choice to NOT join. I know this because I didn't come in right out of high school. Even those few short years, I regretted it (and then did it). I would have never seen the 30 other US states that I've been to. I wouldn't have seen the other 10 or so countries that I've been too (not that all were pleasant places). I wouldn't have had the rich life I've had that's been so full of diversity and experience. I wouldn't have met my military "family". I wouldn't have met my wife or had my kids. I wouldn't be retiring in a few more years with a pretty fair retirement plan (joining now will get you a different retirement plan).


My list of negatives is short. I could go on for days about the positives. Nothing will give me back the time that I lost with my family (home) and I'll regret it until the day that I die. I just have to remember that the good outweighs the bad. At least it does for me. It's not an easy choice and it may work out differently for you. Where I have a job I love, you may end up with a job you despise. My job provides me a decent schedule but not all do. Some are knock down, drag out jobs that I wouldn't have survived 4 years in. The fact is though, that the majority of the people that do those jobs have just as much pride about their jobs as I do with mine.


I can't give you any answers that will make it easy. There is no easy. You will regret one or the other. You have to pick one and live with it. The good thing is that you can start with 4 years (in the USAF of course) and see how you feel. The new retirement plan is more like a 401K and if you call it quits, you will walk away with something at least. You may find that four years was enough to satisfy yourself and live without the regret of not serving. You may decide that riding it out is worth living with the family regret. What do you have to lose?


Good luck either way.
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Old 04-26-2018, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
5,892 posts, read 3,164,394 times
Reputation: 11924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm27m View Post
Parts of your post described me to a "T". You're right that it is a huge choice, even with just family and personal desires in consideration. I chose to not live life having regretted choosing not to serve. I joined the Air Force in 1998 and just rolled over 20 years this month (planning about 5 more).


Do I have regrets? Really, my only regret is missing my family. Absolutely a regret. I've been in for 20 years and it still tears me apart. When my family has a big bbq that everybody goes to...I regret it. Every time I go home and see my parents and how much they have aged...I regret it. When my father had a heart attack while I was deployed and I couldn't go see him...I regretted it. When my brother died of a heroin overdose and I wasn't there...I regretted it. After I joined and had my own family, I missed a lot of THEIR lives with deployments and TDY's...I regretted it.


I think you get the picture...I regret my decision almost every day when I think about the things I've missed back home. It's part of the package. Would I make the same decision again if I had the choice? I'm pretty sure I would. Why?


If I had not joined the military, I would have probably never left my small town. I would have probably ended up with a decent job that I had to commute to and I would have been stuck there my entire life. My only escape would have been the 2 weeks of paid vacation every year (If I was lucky). I'd be bitter and regretting my choice to NOT join. I know this because I didn't come in right out of high school. Even those few short years, I regretted it (and then did it). I would have never seen the 30 other US states that I've been to. I wouldn't have seen the other 10 or so countries that I've been too (not that all were pleasant places). I wouldn't have had the rich life I've had that's been so full of diversity and experience. I wouldn't have met my military "family". I wouldn't have met my wife or had my kids. I wouldn't be retiring in a few more years with a pretty fair retirement plan (joining now will get you a different retirement plan).


My list of negatives is short. I could go on for days about the positives. Nothing will give me back the time that I lost with my family (home) and I'll regret it until the day that I die. I just have to remember that the good outweighs the bad. At least it does for me. It's not an easy choice and it may work out differently for you. Where I have a job I love, you may end up with a job you despise. My job provides me a decent schedule but not all do. Some are knock down, drag out jobs that I wouldn't have survived 4 years in. The fact is though, that the majority of the people that do those jobs have just as much pride about their jobs as I do with mine.


I can't give you any answers that will make it easy. There is no easy. You will regret one or the other. You have to pick one and live with it. The good thing is that you can start with 4 years (in the USAF of course) and see how you feel. The new retirement plan is more like a 401K and if you call it quits, you will walk away with something at least. You may find that four years was enough to satisfy yourself and live without the regret of not serving. You may decide that riding it out is worth living with the family regret. What do you have to lose?


Good luck either way.
This is why you do one enlistment on active duty and then go Guard or Reserves. I actually did two enlistments totaling six years and then did almost 26 years in the Guard. So I got to serve most of my time in my hometown and I still get a military pension, as well as a civilian pension. Best of both worlds.
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Old 04-26-2018, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,409,007 times
Reputation: 48621
Your choices really likely are much more broad than "the military or a desk job" (and, p.s., there are plenty of desk jobs in the military, too).
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:39 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,149 posts, read 38,928,795 times
Reputation: 28129
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgianW View Post
I'm considering joining the military, but I'm concerned that it'll be a big mistake. I'm from a small town and I'm really close to my family, particularly my grandma. They and my parents are getting up there in age and there's clearly no way that they'd want to travel far as frequently as would be required. If I join, I want to make it into at least a 20 year career.

I don't want to miss out on 20 years with my family just because I want to do something. If I join, it could be my biggest regret. If I don't join, it could be my biggest regret.

Should I sacrifice that dream for a desk job or should l go for it? I feel responsible for taking care of my family, and I can't find a better way to do that.

It would simply break my heart if something happened while I was gone. I don't know if the amount of contact I would have with them would be enough.

I'm beyond conflicted. Any advice would be extremely helpful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgianW View Post
I'm 17, and I was thinking about the army since both my father and grandfather enlisted. Still, there's lots of options to consider.

There comes a time in life where you will have to start making decisions, rather that sitting around fretting about what might happen.

Many people are close to their family, not just you. But I guess I was lucky, the draft took care of that, I was drafted 3 May 1968... No choice, no decisions.

I did have a "desk job" for a while, taken off my job because of a medical issue, it helped me see what was available in the Army, I actually enjoyed working in the Orderly Room running errands, being the "Duty Driver", etc, etc, etc... My original MOS was 16E (Army Hawk Fire Control Crewmember) which was quite exciting for a while, then the 24 hours on duty and 24 hours off duty, got tiring...

Family separations were difficult at times, but many learned to deal with it and many made the military part of their family. I still stay in touch with some soldiers and their families which I knew over 30 years ago.

I stayed in the Army after researching a lot of MOS's.

My parents passed away while I was in the military. I was returned to the US from South Korea on emergency leave to be briefly with the family once... Thanks to the American Red Cross for helping me to get back to the US when we had an issue with our son.

When we were stationed in Germany a lot of family came to visit us. My mother, then my sister and her husband, then my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law.

After 22 years of active duty I retired from the Army. I declined promotion to W3. It was time for me to move on and I was offered a very good paying job, My wife continued her career with the United States federal civil service, and I followed her around while she established her career...

We would do it all again, some things with minor changes. Instead of extending 6 months in Germany, I would have extended 12 months, as it offered a different duty assignment. I would have made my 12 month unaccompanied tour in South Korea an 18 month accompanied tour so I could take my family...

GeorgianW. Now it is your turn to make a big decision. Good luck to you!

The military is not for everyone. Many have paid the ultimate price...
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:01 PM
 
2,190 posts, read 6,777,835 times
Reputation: 1281
Which sounds better, the Coast Guard or the Air Force? Which ever you choose you can't go wrong...
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