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I'm considering a career in the military but my family is strongly against it

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Right now, I am a 20 year old with little to no direction in my life. I have little going for me where I'm at right now. I'm going to college for Mechnical Engineering and I really have no passion for it. I've basically been steered by my family into it and whenever I tell them I want to change majors, they get pissy with me. Recently, I flew down to an Air Force base to watch someone I know graduate, and the events there were so great. You could tell her life was impacted so much by her decision. Before then, she was a lost girl with no direction. Now she's a strong person with a lot of ambition and drive to succeed. It got me thinking about joining myself, and how great it would feel to finally be apart of something big. Like I'm actually making a difference in the world for once.


The only thing holding me back is my family, who are all strongly opposed to the war and the government. Especially my father, who said he would disown me if I ever even considered joining. Part of me wants to just enlist and say screw them all, but to get through this, I'm going to need some backing when the times are tough. I'll need support going through basic training and if I'm ever deployed to war. I know I have the potential to to do great things, but it's so tough when you want something so bad and your family does everything in their power to hold you back.


Has anyone ever been in a situation like this before? If so, how did you handle it? What do you all think I should do?

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I wouldnt know how to handle it!


i am also considering it!


My biggest stopping block is leaving friends and family behind!


im 23 and i still live with my parents! i am sure joining the army would be the best experience in life but im pretty sure it will be hard to leave people behind for so long!

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If you feel ready to enlist and your family is the only thing stopping you, there should be no question. Go and Do it. Enlisting will impact your life in a good way, and if you feel dispassionate about your life as it stands now, enlisting will undoubtedly make it better. I often tell people that you cannot change your family or how they feel about certain things, but they are not the ones who have to live the life they are forcing upon you. Your family may be upset when they find out, some may not speak to you for a while, but there is a certain love within a family that most of the time does not allow that silence to last for long.


You have to do what is right for you, what will improve your life and the way you feel about it. If you are scared that you wont have any support, look to your friends and build a strong support system before you leave. The friends you will make in basic will help you through it, and you will have more support that you think if you ever have to deploy overseas.


All in all I would say to keep your mind on what is best for you and what will improve your well being and quality of life. Your parents and family have lived their lives without your say so, as you should live yours without theirs.

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Do you want to be part of the army, or do you just want to be part of something big?


How much do you know about the realities of Army life?


Sometimes, things look great from the outside, but I'd say, go speak to people who are training, speak to people who are serving. Find out as much about what the day to day stuff as you can, and if it's still what you really want to do, go for it.


You can't live your life for other people.

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If you feel strongly that this is something you want to do, I'd agree with the others, look into it more, make sure that it is something you want, then go for it. Don't end up with regrets. Before you do that though... you're 20, so I'm assuming you're halfway through university. You could always change majors to something that makes you happier and then see how you feel after that?

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Well I can tell you this..


I know/knew 6 people who served.


3 are dead.


2 are so traumatized from killing so many people. They are not the same as they were and they are pretty crazy now.


The other one is doing good. I don't know much about his experience, but he just started a family and seems to be okay, and I think it did motivate him.


If this is really what YOU want to do. Then do it. Don't let anybody stop you.


make sure you know what you are getting into and don't do it for the wrong reasons.


Once you sign that paper there is no going back.

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I only knew one person who was traumatized by being in the military, most said it was the best decision they ever made. My bf served in Vietnam in the Navy. Yes, he saw quite a bit of action. He was the Chaplain's assistant and they often were dropped by helicopter into the worst of the fighting. While he was against the war, he is proud he served his country and the GI bill enabled him to start buying properties after he was discharged. He now owns several properties, went to school for free, and is set for life. He says he owes everything he is today (he is an attorney) to Uncle Sam.

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I don't know why you would want to go fight for such a crap cause, and since your family seems to be fairly knowledgable about the reality of this disgusting war, I'm sure you know better as well.


Get a hobby if you need meaning in your life.

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My boyfriend is in the army. I know he has learned alot and will benefit from in certain aspects, but just as there is with anything, there are down sides. I certainly would not buy in to the advertisements you see for joining, they make it look so great, but you can be sure you will gain a great deal of experience, both good and bad. Experience is what life is all about, right? I would go for it if you feel strongly about it. Despite my distaste with some of the politics that go along with it, I think its a very noble thing to do. You are an adult. Do what you feel is right for you.

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I think that older people who have lived through more and perhaps served themselves know that war is not all glory and as they say, war is hell.


And since we are at war now, there is a really good chance you could be sent into combat and lose your life and or suffer a lifetime of post traumatic stress syndrome or traumatic injury.


It is more likely their concern for you and your future than for political causes that is driving their desire for you not to join.


There are also many who question the war now, that it is neither necessary at this point and that lives are being lost for no good purpose at this point in time.


So it is a complex issue, and you really might want to spend more time educating yourself about what it means to go to war, and perhaps talk to some people who have served and returned from war to get their views on it. It could change your life in a very positive way, but it could also ruin it if you lose your life or receive a terrible physical or mental injury. Many, many people who go to war wish they had never done it, even though they were proud to serve.

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I am in the Air Force at the moment. I dont see anything wrong with it especially since you need direction in your life. I think you should join. get into a career field that will set you up nicely on the outside. you want to be safe and not experience first hand killing then join the Air Force. as for me I am crossing over to the Army. I want to fly helicopters so i will do the warrant officer program. i like action!

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I attended community college ( before I graduated) with some students who were part time community college students who had been/ were in the Army or had been ( think just the army). Two of them anyway had been to Iraq ( this was before 2006) and they came back fine, they were slightly older than me ( mid 20s). They didn't talk about it much though, like when the class got to talking about wars in literature, as we were discussing the Vietnam War in one story, or when in one off topic class, the instructor was talking about Iraq, etc.


They seemed to have survived the experience fine. I was just surprised that they wouldn't discuss it alot, but they didn't speak up anyway much. They still believed it was the right choice for them, they were still in the Army, and one had to miss class in account of going somewhere, like in South America, for a few weeks anyway. They didn't seem affected by it- spoke of Iraq like it was the next town over, like it was nothing. I was about 20 and never having been out of a few states was impressed that these people just a bit older than me had been there and come back, apparently fine. I guess if it was me, I'd respond more emotionally, but they didn't, not one way or the other.


One of the instructors was supportive of Iraq, one was not. But even with the one who was supportive, and she said so, they didn't seem to think they had done something great for their country..but they didn't seem affected by it, either. You wouldn't have known the difference between them, and me. I watched them closely, wondering how that experience would change your life, and if it would. I knew many students who had in the Army, or were still, and took semesters off and stuff like that. One girl who I sat next to in class one autumn was in community college, and she wasn't coming back for the next semester- she had joined the air force, instead ( although I'm sure she was planning to come back). It is interesting to be in class with students who have been to Iraq, and to be discussing say Vietnam in Literature, etc, or off topic instructors that prefer to talk politics rather than teach. Anyway, I would do what you feel is best- if you want it, go for it. You have the motivation if you want it, and you will need the motivation. From knowing those students, they certainly seemed very unemotional, about being sent there- you would have thought it was the next town- they weren

t affected. Some people support the war, some don't, but that's why we have a military, to fight wars, not to not fight. I personally am not supportive of it at this point, nor actually was from the beginning ( glad they got Hussein though- I did support that part, and some of it), but I would still say, if you feel it is the right choice, then go for it. Your family doesn't always know what's best for you.The miltary can be good for some people, and some people get killed/traumatized, but the students I saw were not, and had been to Iraq. Then again, there was an older guy who had been in some branch of the Armed services prior to Iraq, hadn't been there, and he had severe anxiety, so bad he had to see a counselor and had alot of anxiety about the class ( math) had to take tests in a separate room. He blamed his anxiety on his stint in the armed services- but he hadn't been to Iraq. Other than that, he was fine. Sorry so long, just thought I'd share my experience of being around fellow students who had been there.

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I would only consider joining if they were going to teach me a transferable skill, such as a becoming a qualified electrician or mechanic, or sponsorship or employment through an engineering degree.


I don't know exactly what you're coming from but in certain situation that I don't think apply to you joining the armed forces is a good idea. However I can tell you I wish my parents had forced me to do an engineering degree. Maybe what you need to do is go out and work in the boring world- maybe get a job in retail or something or drive trucks then when you get home read through some of the engineering job advertisements, and think about 9-5 with a high salary I believe you might change your mind. Just an idea because I don't know your full story.


Military does = good in my opinion if you can get a 'career' out of it.

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Hey, I just finished my first year of college after 4 years in the Army. It was definitely one of the best decisions I ever made. First off, it got me in shape and just the way I carry myself is world's different from before I went in. I'm still a quiet guy, but confidence wise I am far beyond what I was. I know whatever I go through I will make it.


Secondly, going to school for the first time is actually enjoyable. I like going to class and learning where as after High School it was the last thing I wanted to do. The results I'm getting now are dramatically different from the way I finished High School. I look at all these college kids screwing around ditching class and it just blows my mind. I find that the former military guys tend to be much more focused and oriented on what they want. Plus the GI Bill; I actually have scholarships paying for school so all that money goes straight to my pocket.


As far as being in the military there are definitely times when you might get that lonely, homesick feeling. I spent 3 out of my 4 years overseas with 2 years in Korea and one in the Middle East. I was fortunate not to see combat - some people are dramatically affected by that while others are not. The biggest thing I can say is don't join the military, especially nowadays, and expect not to go to Iraq or Afghanistan. Of course, this all depends on your job, too. Infantry is far different from something else. Also, the whole time you are surrounded by people going through the same thing and these people turn into your friends for life. If you do pick certain career fields there is definitely big money out there afterwards. I passed it up for school, but I keep the reserves going on the back burner just to keep all those other doors open.


Also, this is a job that can dictate your life seemingly 24/7 at times, but other times you put in a couple hours and just call it a day. It depends a lot where you get stationed at. Other benefits include all your medical, dental, money for housing, money for food, a yearly allowance for uniforms. It was nice being a single guy, no bills, no concern about housing or food, and then getting that paycheck twice a month straight into my pocket.


Both my brothers were military and have had a lot of success, and I keep trying to get my buddy to join. It's not for everyone, and it is a few years of your life, but I think it's definitely worth it.

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