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Thread summary:

People who have served in the military, military life, veterans, National Guard or reserve, honor, courage, commitment, navy service, armed services, debt of gratitude, protect nation’s freedom

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Old 07-17-2008, 09:13 AM
Location: The world, where will fate take me this time?
3,162 posts, read 11,315,862 times
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This question is intended for people who have served or are serving, what does this mean for you? could you describe the feeling of being a militar and of military life?

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Old 07-17-2008, 10:58 AM
Location: Va Beach
3,506 posts, read 13,258,559 times
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"A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including my life."
Author Unknown
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:54 PM
Location: West Texas
2,449 posts, read 5,876,943 times
Reputation: 3125
It's funny. I joined the Navy in 1982 because my grades were no where near good enough to get into college, and my best friend was joining the Navy. More of a "what else am I going to do?" mindset. In my first four years, I almost got kicked out for several things (none relating to drugs or anything illegal.. mostly for disrespect and disobeying).

Then... I don't know when or why, something clicked. I re-enlisted, and ended up doing almost 21 years.

I am not going to spew a lot of "it was fun" because it wasn't. I lost friends, have had to order people into places I knew they probably wouldn't come back from etc. No.. I wouldn't say it was fun. But it was definitely rewarding. In my time in the Navy, I have lived in 4 states (Hawaii, Georgia, Virginia, Texas), 4 countries (Japan, Philippines, Spain, Italy) and visited almost 30 (no.. not gonna list them). And in that time, I can truly say that I have discovered that we truly are blessed to be living in America.

Read the different forums here: Religion and Philsophy, Relationships, Politics and Controversy, all of them seem to thrive off a certain amount of hate. People getting rep points based off how good they can "cut" someone down. And as p****d as it makes me sometimes, I realize that THAT was the reason I did what I did. I have been in several countries that didn't even offer the freedom to do that. No voting. No free speech. Not even a guarantee to have something to live in!

What is the military for me? It was a place for me to give back to a country that has struggled for 200 years with an evolving identity. To give people that relish the chance to talk bad to me the right to do so. If you want to be a doctor, you can! But more importantly, it afforded me the honor of working with todays young men and women and influencing those same young individuals on the core values of the Navy, which could work as well as the core values for any military service as the core value of our country: Honor, Courage, Committment.

Our service men and women are there (not here)... there... to ensure that we have the rights we have.. but more importantly make sure we can walk to our market and not worry about that car driving by me blowing up, or that plane flying overhead. And what the most important thing is about all of them... they all volunteered!!
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:51 PM
Location: West Texas
958 posts, read 2,103,787 times
Reputation: 1215
When I was a little boy I knew I would be in the military some day. My dad was in the Army two of his brothers were in the Army along with one sister and one brother in the Marines.
My mom had two brothers who were in the Navy and two uncles who were also in the Navy so it was all around me growing up. I wasn't pressured to enlist I wanted to so after messing around for a year after high school I enlisted in the Navy.

I was in for six years and was proud to serve my country. I took pride in my uniform, never duct colors did my job to the best of my abilities and had a lot of fun along the way. Got to do and see things most people won't. Made friends that are closer to me than most of my family members.

I always thank a veteran for serving and I also take the time to say welcome home to the Vietnam veterans.
To me they are among America's unsung heros and I say this as the son of a Vietnam veteran.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:06 PM
Location: San Antonio
3,536 posts, read 12,114,038 times
Reputation: 6035
To me it is my family. It didn't start out that way. I made friends that I kept in contact with no matter how many thousands of miles away they were. I had supervisors that mentored me in the way that parent would. It is amazing how everyone can work together.

The cliche, "It's a small world" is even more true for the military services. I have moved across the country and gone to the grocery store the first day in a new location, on base, and run into someone I know! Bizare, but expected. When I meet new people that old, "Where have you been stationed" comes up, and we can usually find a place or a person in common. It's really amazing.

It's what you make of it. I go through phases when the National Anthem gives me chills becuase I am so proud. I go through phases where the politics make me want to quit. But I put on my uniform, and it reminds me that I'm part of something bigger than myself.


[SIZE=3]You stay up for 16 hours[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He stays up for days on end.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You take a warm shower to help you wake up.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He goes days or weeks without running water.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You complain of a "headache", and call in sick.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He gets shot at as others are hit, and keeps moving forward.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up with your friends.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You make sure you're cell phone is in your pocket.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] He[/SIZE][SIZE=3] knows he may not see some of his buddies again.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He patrols the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You complain about how hot it is.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He doesn't get to eat today.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You go to the mall and get your hair redone.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You roll your eyes as a baby cries.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You see only what the media wants you to see.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He sees the broken bodies lying around him.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He does exactly what he is told.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You stay at home and watch TV.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He tries to sleep but gets woken by mortars and helicopters all night long.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You sit there and judge him, saying the world is probably a worse place because of men like him.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]If only there were more men like him[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]You lose your car keys, and complain about having a horrible day.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]He loses an arm, and wonders what tomorrow will bring.[/SIZE]
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:13 PM
Location: San Antonio
3,536 posts, read 12,114,038 times
Reputation: 6035
Chief Master Sergeant sat behind his desk, just down the hall from his
commander's office at Ennee AFB, America. As the Chief started on a
second cup of coffee and finished the last of the morning messages, the
commander stepped into the office. "Chief," the Colonel said, "I hate
to ask you this, but you are needed in Southwest Asia in six days for a
90-day rotation. Can you go?" With no voiced emotion and without
looking up, the Chief replied, "Ma'am, I put on my uniform this
The Colonel, somewhat taken a-back, thought to herself, "The Chief
doesn't usually talk in riddles. Has this veteran of 24 years gone off
of the deep end?" The wise old protector of the enlisted corps smiled
and began to explain. "Ma'am, I made a promise to myself more than 20
years ago, that I would only put this uniform on as long as I'm
available for duty. You see, while it is obvious to most Air Force
[members, it seems to completely escape others. 'Available for duty'
means more than the desire to negotiate and select the premium
assignments or choicest TDY's. It requires us to go any place in the
world the president or officers appointed over us determines, at any
given time. This doesn't mean we shouldn't want or receive our
preferences. It does mean we'll go when and where we are needed and
When it comes to defining service to our country, the answer is
just that simple. In today's world of 'What can you do for me?' it's
very easy to lose sight of what 'service to country' is all about.
Service goes far beyond the individual; it affects the well-being of our
nation. Sitting in comfortable surroundings, at your dream base in
CONUS, it's easy to forget the sacrifices we agreed to endure in service
to our country. Sitting in Saudi, Italy, Bosnia, or maybe Korea, the
[sacrifices become much clearer. The bottom line today is that we are an
all-volunteer force, and though our force has been reduced by 30 percent
in the last five years, it remains a highly mobilized
continually-tasked 'corporation.' Everyone is vital to its continued
The Chief continued by saying, "The Air Force will go on tomorrow with
or without any single one of us; however, the efficiency of any one of
its specific units may be adversely effected by the loss of only a few
All of us have the responsibility to report our availability for duty
If someone has a family problem or special circumstances that precludes
them from being available, they need to report it immediately and
especially prior to being deployed. If any member does not deploy when
called upon, another member must fill that slot. So, any time someone
cannot or will not deploy, the ripple effect is felt throughout the Air
Force. Everyone's family would like them to be home for the holidays. I
can't think of a single person who would intentionally miss their
child's graduation. And we're all aware of the pain of losing a loved
one and know how the grief can be compounded by not being at their side
in the final moments. Yes, we are all continually asked to make
sacrifices. Yet some seem to forget that we are serving our nation, and
that we are all volunteers. Who said it was going to be easy? The
leadership of our country depends upon us for being good and true to our
word. Every day, each of us needs to look into the mirror before
getting into uniform and ask, 'Am I available for duty?' If the answer
is "No," then we need to notify our supervisor, first sergeant, or commander about it and if our
non-availability is temporary or permanent. Then the toughest question
must be asked--should that person resign, separate, or retire? There
are no gray areas. Everyone must decide for themselves."
Finally the Chief looked at his commander, and said, "Ma'am, as I said
earlier, I put on my uniform today, and I'm available for duty. Do you
still need a 'yes' or 'no' answer to your question?"
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:51 PM
1,320 posts, read 4,620,199 times
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I served in the U.S. Air Force from 1976 to 1980 and was proud to serve my country. Had it not been for my ex-wife who did not want me to re-enlist, I probably would have made it a career. I enjoyed my military life and was proud to wear the uniform. I highly respect all former and current members of the armed services. We all owe them a debt of gratitude. They put their lives on the line to protect our freedom. My thoughts and prayers will be with them always.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:02 PM
Location: Living in Paradise
5,701 posts, read 23,887,605 times
Reputation: 3062
I served for 22 years in the USAF, the first job and the best. What you find in the military is a family that welcomes you without discrimination and you are always in the family regarless of location.

What is it for me: is everything and now as a GOV contractor the values/skills gained continue to be part of my every day.

Would I do it again, Yes, serving our great country is the best example of commitment, pride, and hope.http://bestsmileys.com/army/11.gif (broken link)
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:49 PM
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Reputation: 10003
Wonderful posts, everyone! Military service is all of that and so much more! For me, launching an F-4E Phantom II fighter jet was an awesome experience. Most of us who maintained the F-4 had a love/hate relationship with it. I truly believe maintenance was an afterthought when it was being designed. But, man, was it an awesome jet! Now, today's fighters are FAR easier to service and repair. But I'm sure glad I was in the USAF when it flew the Phantom II!
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:07 AM
13,639 posts, read 24,146,673 times
Reputation: 18577
Being in the military gave me a whole new perspective of patriotism, and taught me not to take my freedom for granted..It made me grow up fast, accept responsibility for my own actions, and to respect those in charge.
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