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Old 11-30-2023, 11:14 PM
 
Location: The Sunshine State of Mind
2,378 posts, read 1,480,417 times
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Did serving make a huge difference in your life? Was your time in uniform a net negative?

When I was in, I met a lot of people that came from humble backgrounds. Going in the service provided them with training and a paycheck. It enabled them to achieve a level of success that they felt would have been unobtainable had they never left home.

Conversely, many folks joined up and it turned out to be a disaster for a multitude of reasons.

Uniformed service, it's not for everyone.
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Old 12-01-2023, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
23,377 posts, read 13,638,462 times
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Huge difference? Probably more accurate that my life would be vastly different without it.

Nutshell wise, I came out with a lot.....but friendships wasn't one of them. The Comraderie, there or not when I was in, did not follow me once I left the service.
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Old 12-01-2023, 09:48 AM
 
Location: San Diego CA
8,372 posts, read 6,740,843 times
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Well I got a free college education that helped me find a decent paying job. Also taught me discipline during those up and down times in civilian. And my wife who I met during two years spent in SE Asia as a Marine during the Vietnam War.
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Old 12-01-2023, 09:59 AM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
25,322 posts, read 16,958,731 times
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A difference?
It became the foundation for the rest of my life. I went in at 17, right out of high school. Navy. For me, it was a perfect fit. I was a little better at military stuff than most kids and I excelled. Went to the best schools; got the best duty.
Friends I made in those years, so long ago, remain friends today - over 50 years later. Training I received in 1962 became the foundation for a sales career that I began in 1971.


Tough?.... You bet. But I would do every minute of it all over again.
One of my very best friends from the service in 1970 died, just last month.
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Old 12-01-2023, 11:50 AM
 
4,497 posts, read 4,992,137 times
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I joined the Army in 1960 3 days after graduating high at 17. Didn't have a clue what I was going to do for a living. After basic, I went to Heavy Equipment School in Ft. Belvior, VA. Was in the top ten of my class so they sent me to Advanced School. After that ended up in Germany but there were already too many with the same MOS so they didn't know where to put me. I never worked one day in my MOS but passed the test for P1 pay. So I got a raise for a job I never did. Never really had a job. Use to go to the motor pool and hang around all day. Do odd errands etc. Got transferred back and forth between Munich and Augsburg , still no job. Then when the Berlin wall went up, they made me a driver for a Captain. Our job was to run around Germany and find parts for the Heavy Equipment that they needed in a hurry. It was a dream job ! Sat in an office doing minimal bookwork until Capt. had to hit the road. Then off we'd go to find the parts we needed. We dealt with German manufacturers exclusively. Capt. spoke perfect German. We'd stop for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a few beers it was great. Did that for a about a year and a half. So I can't say that I enjoyed the military but it was something to do. After I got out I worked several jobs and ended up being an electrician and owning my own company. I was lucky in that I was in and out just before Viet Nam. In 63 they were looking for volunteers to go there and learn to fly a helicopter to "carry Viet Nam troops about", no mention of the war they had planned.

Last edited by Nodpete; 12-01-2023 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 12-01-2023, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Hawaii/Alabama
2,265 posts, read 4,094,737 times
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The Army was so different from the life I knew before joining. I learned how to be independent and to trust that I was truly a capable person.

I met my DH in OSUT (1985) and we've been together ever since. It was wonderful to live in a different Country and to get to know how to drive in very different weather (and who knew that in Frankfurt summer lasted for less than 3 weeks?).

I got out, but DH Retired at 23 years. We raised our two kids as Army brats and it allowed them to go into various situations and be self-confident.

I have friendships that are almost 40 years in the making. Even as a spouse I have volunteered for ACS & the Red Cross and the FRG and have been a liason for trainees and their loved ones.

I think that my choice to join the Army helped to ensure that I was not just another silly, vain and vapid woman. I made the decision to get away from an abusive relationship and it turned out to be one of the best things in my life. I was supported and in turn helped to support Soldiers and their families.

Hooah!
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Old 12-01-2023, 02:11 PM
 
5,655 posts, read 3,483,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monello View Post
Did serving make a huge difference in your life? Was your time in uniform a net negative?

When I was in, I met a lot of people that came from humble backgrounds. Going in the service provided them with training and a paycheck. It enabled them to achieve a level of success that they felt would have been unobtainable had they never left home.

Conversely, many folks joined up and it turned out to be a disaster for a multitude of reasons.

Uniformed service, it's not for everyone.
Well, it certainly made a difference in my life because it was a two-year interruption to my obtaining a college degree in engineering which is the field I eventually used for employment to sustain the rest of my life. After completing my military service, I returned to college and completed my degree.

The interruption definitely made it harder for me to resume/continue my education since many of the classes build upon what you learned in the previous classes. After two years of not even seeing a college textbook, you don't just immediately pick up where you left off. I would estimate that it took me nearly a year to get back "up to speed" once I resumed my studies after the military. My ability to concentrate was definitely adversely affected for quite a while.

I won't say that everything about the military was a negative since we can learn positive things even from negative experiences. Overall, for me, it was a negative experience. That said, I'm proud to say that when my country called me to serve, I went and served and did my best which was quite good considering that I made E-5 in about 14 months.
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Old 12-01-2023, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Colorado
3,989 posts, read 2,666,060 times
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Pros: Helped instill a sense of discipline, and gave me job skill that has turned out largely well.

Con: PTSD.


Overall, I'd say the effects probably balance out. Therapy and medication helps to tip it over to 'more positive than negative'.


Neither a positive nor a negative: It changed me from a night owl into an early bird. Nowadays, I think if I sleep past 6:30 a.m., I've wasted the day.
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Old 12-01-2023, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
37,210 posts, read 60,920,437 times
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For me, it was a great experience.

Many parts of my career were HORRIBLE!

I lived in different places where I would have never gone by myself.

It gave me the income to begin buying apartment buildings.

It paid for four years of college. Now that I am a retiree, it continues to provide me with a paycheck and healthcare coverage.
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Old 12-02-2023, 06:11 AM
 
689 posts, read 365,112 times
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I had tough jobs at tough locations, but I was still motivated to serve because I loved the idea of serving the country. Fighting through those tough jobs/locations increased my confidence to achieve. The impact to my life was significant, its everything to me. I don't know who I would have become without the military.
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