Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Why did you join up?

I suspect that at least half or my regular readers are either active duty, reserve, or retireed military, from various countries (which is why I amde the "how the hell did you find me" joke below).

A few months ago, Kim Dutoit asked, (referring to the men and women serving in Iraq) "where do we find these people", to which a reader responded"we make them" and another responded "we dont find them, they find us".

In the last few days, a lot of the high school and college aged posters on the Nation of Riflemen forums hasve been talking about enlisting, or applying for a comission. I gave them the advice I always give (which I'll post if anyone wants, but like I said, I think most of you already know), and it got me to thinking about this again.

So for my fellow active duty, reserve, guard, and retired service members (did I miss anyone?);
I ask why did you join up?

I've thought this through before, and distilled it down a bit. Sure I wanted fun, adventure, brotherhood, college money, and a challenge, (and I got all of that in spades), but there was something much deeper under all that.

I wanted to serve.

I had (and still have) a deep need to serve my country, and to protect it. I know in my soul that whatever it's faults we live in the greatest nation on earth, that we truly are the last best hope for mankind, and I feel it was and is my duty as a citizen to try and protect it.

It's why I went into the security business when I got out. I knew I still wanted to serve, but I also knew I wouldnt be able to put up with the bullshit of being a cop (or a teacher. or an EMT both of which I was qualified to do as well), so that was the next best thing. I got into the computer side of things because I already had the skills, and the money was good (late 90s especially).

It's also why I still feel guilty that I'm not in the sandbox right now. Yeah my knees are shot and I'm overweight, but you can damn well be sure that if I could pass a PFT, I'd be there right now.