Bounderies

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Bounderies

Post  TheMajesticDreamingAngel on Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:21 pm

okay, I'm... Not normally the kind of person to go, posting my personal issues on a form, but I need a more public opinion on what I should do...

You see, I'm an artist. I like to create beautiful creations if and when I can, such as my icon or maybe a poem or story once in a while. I know becoming a writer has a very slim chance, even more so to become famous like J.K. Rowling or Stevan king, but it is my dream, what I love to do... I want to be a writer, that is my desire. My grades are, heh, not the best in the world I dear say, but certainly not the worst... Due to these lacking grades, my father and his girlfriend have decided to try to convince me to join the military. I thought about it, long and hard, ran it by a good number of friends and my mother and her boyfriend... All of which told me to not go for it, it's not worth it. Besides, I would have to give up my soul, and my life, no? That interferes with my dreams... So I told my father, no, I will not be seeing any recruiter. I've made up my mind, I don't want to join the military. Not even for technical support. However, my father won't have it. He is forcing me to talk to a recruiter, and forcing me to consider it again. Rather, letting me think I have a choice in the matter. His mind is set on me in a green uniform...
So, what should I do? He won't listen to reason... Is there any advise from the forms here? I feel like a... What is it called... I'm not sure, but I feel sort of lousy that I have no where else to turn -not trying to offend anyone, don't take it personally- but to the internet.
I digress. Can anyone, anyone at all, give me a solution?
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Re: Bounderies

Post  Korin-of the-dusk on Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:15 pm

hey, I'll see if I can try to help you with situation as much as I can. I've yet to understand why your father and his lover want you to join the army, have either of them been or have family involved in the army? Of course no one would want to be forced into the army, and unless you drafted by the government, it should be your choice what you want to do with your life. Unfortunately, your Father won't listen, but perhaps the recruiter will listen to your words, just tell him you're not interested, the recruiter should understand, it's your life after all!
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Re: Bounderies

Post  TheMajesticDreamingAngel on Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:21 pm

Korin-of the-dusk wrote:hey, I'll see if I can try to help you with situation as much as I can. I've yet to understand why your father and his lover want you to join the army, have either of them been or have family involved in the army? Of course no one would want to be forced into the army, and unless you drafted by the government, it should be your choice what you want to do with your life. Unfortunately, your Father won't listen, but perhaps the recruiter will listen to your words, just tell him you're not interested, the recruiter should understand, it's your life after all!

If I knew myself for his reasonings I would have explained before. It was a sudden, out of the blue statement. I'm sure the recruiter will understand, but I feel like my father won't give up on trying to control my life. Thank you for the help, either way.
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Re: Bounderies

Post  SiLK on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:16 am

I agree with Korin. Meet the recruiter and explain your situation to them. Just be honest and try not to worry too much.
It has to be your decision, not your father's. Nobody can force you into it without a draft.

That is unfortunate that your father is so bent on you enlisting, though. And because of poor grades?
He seems misguided to me.

But I have a real issue with families that push their kids into enlisting. It's great to be patriotic and serve the country, but it doesn't mean very much unless it is your decision to do so.


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Re: Bounderies

Post  wolf on Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:05 pm

I joined the US Army Reserve when I was 18 just after high school. I delayed my training until after my first. Semester of college, after which I missed two semesters in order to complete my training. I started receiving GI Bill funds shortly thereafter along with drill pay (reservists serve one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer). While I did have a full scholarship, my army pay was enough to support me - rent, food, and utilities. All the while, I never stopped writing, and I never gave up a single one of my dream. In fact, I was able to realize many of my dreams because of the army and my service. In 2006, I was deployed to Iraq, and while I was there, I conceived of my most prized literary idea - who knows if I ever would have come up with it if not for my military experience? After my deployment, I was able to purchase a home and my GI Bill payments drastically increased (twice). Moreover, my experience and my education together got me a full time job that pays quite well - one that can support my writing quite comfortably.

The army was most definitely not for me. I would never re-enlist, and I am glad that my service is (mostly) over. But if I had it to do over again, I would absolutely do it. I did it because I wanted to. If you genuinely do not want to join the military, you will not be able to complete the required training. But if the only reason you don't want to do it is because you think you'll have to give up your dreams, my advice is this: if you don't know 100% how you are going to achieve your dream in the next four years, the military (it doesn't have to be the army) could very well be a pathway that leads you much more quickly to achieving your dreams than you ever thought possible. When you speak to the recruiter, do not accept anything from him that you are not fully comfortable with. Research the kind of military jobs you think might be fun or interesting or that might contribute to realizing your dreams. Ask for what you want, and do not settle for anything less. If you find that you don't want anything the military has to offer, then no one can make you sign the dotted line.

If your father won't accept your choices, present your plans to him for exactly what you're going to do to become what it is that you want to be. Show him how you're going to do it. If you don't know how yet, research it and find out. I think your father must feel that you have no plans or aspirations that can support you. Show him that he's wrong. If you have any questions at all about my service and what to expect in the military, feel free to ask.
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Re: Bounderies

Post  TheMajesticDreamingAngel on Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:34 pm

SiLK wrote:I agree with Korin. Meet the recruiter and explain your situation to them. Just be honest and try not to worry too much.
It has to be your decision, not your father's. Nobody can force you into it without a draft.

That is unfortunate that your father is so bent on you enlisting, though. And because of poor grades?
He seems misguided to me.

But I have a real issue with families that push their kids into enlisting. It's great to be patriotic and serve the country, but it doesn't mean very much unless it is your decision to do so.

Yes, I think I will just explain to the recruiter about it, and I'm pretty set on not joining.

Well, it's more so that, I suppose he just wants me to do better than him economically. In all honestly, I don't care how rich or poor I am, I just was to be happy. Joining the military is, not so much going to ruin my dream, but, get in the way of it. I'm not so sure, honestly.

That is very true.



wolf wrote:I joined the US Army Reserve when I was 18 just after high school. I delayed my training until after my first. Semester of college, after which I missed two semesters in order to complete my training. I started receiving GI Bill funds shortly thereafter along with drill pay (reservists serve one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer). While I did have a full scholarship, my army pay was enough to support me - rent, food, and utilities. All the while, I never stopped writing, and I never gave up a single one of my dream. In fact, I was able to realize many of my dreams because of the army and my service. In 2006, I was deployed to Iraq, and while I was there, I conceived of my most prized literary idea - who knows if I ever would have come up with it if not for my military experience? After my deployment, I was able to purchase a home and my GI Bill payments drastically increased (twice). Moreover, my experience and my education together got me a full time job that pays quite well - one that can support my writing quite comfortably.

The army was most definitely not for me. I would never re-enlist, and I am glad that my service is (mostly) over. But if I had it to do over again, I would absolutely do it. I did it because I wanted to. If you genuinely do not want to join the military, you will not be able to complete the required training. But if the only reason you don't want to do it is because you think you'll have to give up your dreams, my advice is this: if you don't know 100% how you are going to achieve your dream in the next four years, the military (it doesn't have to be the army) could very well be a pathway that leads you much more quickly to achieving your dreams than you ever thought possible. When you speak to the recruiter, do not accept anything from him that you are not fully comfortable with. Research the kind of military jobs you think might be fun or interesting or that might contribute to realizing your dreams. Ask for what you want, and do not settle for anything less. If you find that you don't want anything the military has to offer, then no one can make you sign the dotted line.

If your father won't accept your choices, present your plans to him for exactly what you're going to do to become what it is that you want to be. Show him how you're going to do it. If you don't know how yet, research it and find out. I think your father must feel that you have no plans or aspirations that can support you. Show him that he's wrong. If you have any questions at all about my service and what to expect in the military, feel free to ask.

You are in the military? Maybe then you can tell me first hand the details of it, besides what you have told me already. If my father wants me to look into it, then I will, however my mind is more over on the side of not enlisting. I am not really physically suited for the military, but I suppose that doesn't exactly give me a good reason to stay out.
Although what you say is absolutely true, and it may in fact make one of my stories more accurate -having to do with war and such- I am still very against it. I know the military grants are hard to ignore, but non-the less, I can't possibly see the use of me being in the army. My father refuses for me to be on the line of fire, which is more so controlling my life again... So that is out.
I really don't have a major reason to stay out of the military, which is why my father yells at me everytime I bring it up. Still, whatever the case, I just don't want to join, even more so at the moment.

Thank you for your help, though.


Last edited by SiLK on Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Merged two posts - Please don't double post!)
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Re: Bounderies

Post  wolf on Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:11 am

There's far more to the military than just the line of fire. You can use the military to learn a foreign language and to gain other marketable skills or certifications - like a security clearance - that can help you get ahead in the civilian world. As for first-hand experience, mine went something like this:

Basic training was hard, sure. But it was nowhere near as hard as I had always expected it would be. It's not like the movies - especially not like the movies about WWII and Vietnam. I weighed 245 lbs when I decided to join the army. I lost 20 lbs before I joined just to be allowed in, and then I lost another 35 lbs during training. I did the work, I learned the skills. Basic training itself, for the army, was 9 weeks long when I joined. It might sound like a long time, and it might even feel like a long time while you're there, but it's really not that long. I spent my basic training at Fort Jackson, SC during the winter. Not that bad a time.

My advanced individual training (AIT) was 16 weeks. Most of that was classroom time. I became an intelligence analyst. Hardly the definition of a front-line experience. While I did change my job to something a little more front-line (but still fairly office oriented as well) before I went to Iraq, that doesn't mean that you have to. No one can make you - you have a contract. I spent my AIT at Fort Huachuca, AZ primarily during the spring and for the first half or so of summer. It was hot, but we were in class during the hottest part of every day. In AIT, you can gain phase, which means more privileges, and eventually, you can go off post by yourself, have a cell phone, and keep electronics like video game systems and laptops in your room. When you go to the Defense Language Institute (DLI), it could take up to a year or more to learn your language, and that time counts toward your total service obligation as does any and all of your training. When I was in AIT, we still had drill sergeants, but from what I understand, that's no longer the case. The air force also does not have drill instructors during "tech school," which is the air force equivalent of AIT.

Once you graduate from AIT, you're considered "permanent party." The wording is a little different in air force, but it means the same thing. It means you're done with training and you have all of the privileges of your rank. If you're a reservist, like I am, it means you just get to go home and go back to drilling once a month. You get all of the training, all of the experience, all of the respect, most of the financial aid, but you live at home. I did a bit more training during the summer - when I changed my job - in 2005, but until I was deployed, I never missed school for the army. In 2006, I learned that I was going to be deployed.

I went to Fort Lewis, WA for a bit of pre-deployment and readiness training because the unit I was deployed with was made up of extra soldiers from many different units. We trained together for three months, and then we deployed to Iraq. We were in Kuwait for about two weeks, and then we flew to Baghdad. I spent a pretty good amount of time "outside the wire," that is off post and among the locals, for the first three months, going out about three to four times a week. Then, for the rest of the tour, I only went out about one to two times a week. I was there for the rest of the year, and then I came home - first to Fort Lewis, and then back to Texas, where I live. This was the hardest part of my service, but it was not impossible. I still found time to read, to write, and even to play video games. I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in one sitting in my bed in Baghdad just before I came home! I had my laptop and a connection to the internet in my room - and for a good part of the tour, I even had my own room, because my room mate went AWOL when he was on leave.

Now that this is all over for me - I'm in the "IRR," the individual ready reserve, which is where reservists spend the last two years of their eight years of service. Soldiers in the IRR can still be called up (but I haven't been!), but they don't have to drill any more. So, if you're a reservist, you'll drill for six years, and then you'll be inactive for two, and then you're done. When I got home from Iraq, I bought a house, and the army is paying for my master's degree now that my undergrad scholarship ran out.

If you have any other more specific questions about what the army is like, I'll try to answer them! I just don't know what else you might want to know. Whatever you ask, I'll give you the honest truth.
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