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Old 04-20-2018, 03:22 PM
 
2 posts, read 623 times
Reputation: 15

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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.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
1,032 posts, read 197,857 times
Reputation: 1564
Joining the military is NEVER a mistake. You'll have plenty of chances/leave/time off the visit your parents and grandparents as often as you can.

As far as making it a 20 year career, everyone says that before they join or when they first join. You don't know yet so don't think about 20 years. You won't regret joining, you will regret not joining. Becasue the military benefits will help you rise up the social ladder. GI bill will pay for your education, VA loan will get you a house, free healthcare, dental, optometry, etc. will make sure you're good to go at all times

As far as a desk job, you could be working a desk job in the military so I'm not sure what you mean by that. If you want to take care of your family, this is the fastest and easiest way to do it. The fact you will probably wait 6-10 months in the delayed entry program means you need to see a recruiter now.

You can't control what will happen to your family whether you're there or not. It's tragic, I've had family pass away while I was in foreign countries but you have to live your own life, make your own money, and be your own man.


How old are you and what branch are you interested in?
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:45 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,036 posts, read 8,722,418 times
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You will get about 150 days off a year, at least we do in the Air Force, and you can travel. I have had every weekend off for the last nearly two decades, and those that have to work on weekends often get alternate days off. We get 8 federal holidays off, usually creating long weekends. We get additional "family days" off which are freebies, and you get 30 days of vacation every year. Most of us don't use all of our vacation days and save them up like "Roll over minutes." I know many people with 50 or 60 vacation days. You will have phone, skype, etc. Depending on where you are from, you can try to get stationed as close as possible.

Good luck!
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:52 PM
 
2 posts, read 623 times
Reputation: 15
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.
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Alaska
134 posts, read 51,699 times
Reputation: 533
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.
So you are 17 years old, concerned about caring for your family and want to serve your country.


Good for you!!


If I was a recruiter I would drive out to your house and try to sign you up.




I enlisted in the Marines in 1981 I didn't tell my parents until just before I shipped out, I felt like they considered Military service as maybe a step up from incarceration, they were not happy but they came around... a lot!!


Stationed in Hawaii, Southern California, Coastal Carolina and Okinawa, my parents were out to visit and get some beach time at each duty station (well not Okinawa).


Good Luck with your decision.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:31 PM
 
11,685 posts, read 11,220,757 times
Reputation: 15480
You will have no idea if you will do 20 or not, I met many, many who wanted to do 20, yet got out after the first or second enlistment. I also met many who had no intention of making it a career, and ended up making it one.

You receive 30 days a year of leave, does not mean you can take it all, but you will get leave at some point.

As for the family thing, I would not hang around just for the sake of family.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
28,986 posts, read 45,892,025 times
Reputation: 16290
In my mind, a young adult needs to stretch his wings and leave the nest.

Serving in the military is not a bad way to do that.

The ASVAB will generally link you with a trade that will suit you. Servicemembers often forget that while they are working in a trade, they need to get the civilian certifications for that trade. So if you leave the military you may continue working in that trade.

I agree with others that while it sounds very noble of you to want to serve for 20-years, that is not a reasonable goal at this point. Most servicemembers at 4 or 6 years simply do not want to stay in any longer. [that is why the re-enlistment bonuses are so high for those in the 4 to 12 year category].

I got out at 6 years and went to college. For me, I finished college and began talking to employers, before I was able to make the commitment to staying on Active Duty for 20-years.
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,561 posts, read 4,153,859 times
Reputation: 5650
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.
Join the army. More jobs, better chow, cleaner rooms, and they even take care of you like your mom.


LOL Honestly I love it. Join the army. You get to pick what you want to do. My nephew just completed his advance individual training AIT. He now has a $20k deposit in his bank account. He is heading for Hawaii for the next 3 years. He will get another $20k over the next 4 years. Can't complain about that. He is in the best shape of his life. He is very happy at what he is doing. There are things that suck but there are some awesome things that you get to do. Enjoy whatever you choose. If you don't you can change in on your next enlistment or you can pick where you want to go on your first re-enlistment.

I will admit I am a bit biased but I didn't lie to you except for some of the first line. Better chow? sometimes, cleaner rooms? only cause you clean them yourself, taking care of you like your mom? well not exactly but we do pay attention to our younger soldiers as the grow and learn.

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Old 04-21-2018, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
906 posts, read 317,269 times
Reputation: 2101
As a veteran I was able to buy my first house with a low cost, no down, VA loan. I obtained two college degrees thanks to GI education benefits and now, in my old age, the VA takes care of all of my medical needs. And I got all that for just doing two years during the Viet Nam era.


As for being away from family for long periods that could happen for a lot of reasons even without joining the military.
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:46 PM
 
749 posts, read 313,253 times
Reputation: 1932
Learn as much as you can about all branches and perspective careers. There are some awesome job fields to get into. Find something you love and would be excited and motivated for and couldn't wait to do. There are so many variables. The more effort and ownership you put into the process the more pleased you will be with the results. Take the time and do some research and learn what you want.
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