Join the Army and Be All That You Can Be

Government support of returning Iraq and Afghan war veterans:

Historically, soldiers typically did one tour and were rotated back home. Some Iraq troops are returning to the front three or four times, for long stretches

Soldiers who discharged early because of battlefield injuries are required to repay enlistment bonuses

The longest-serving National Guard unit were sent home after 729 days of combat in Iraq – one day shy of the 730 that the soldiers needed to qualify for education benefits

The typical soldier is required to file 22 documents with eight different commands to enter and exit the medical processing world, according to government investigators

20,000 cases of brain trauma were omitted from the official tally of troops injured in Iraq

22,000 veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress were denied medical benefits by being discharged for having enlisted with “pre-existing personality disorders”

The U.S. Army reported that the rate of suicide among soldiers in 2007 was the highest since the Army started counting in 1980. Double the amount since 2001.

MagnetMan, what do you cite as your source for the info you have posted?

Mostly articles in Rollng Stone Mag. (See issues 1042 and 1043.) Couple were official reports from US Army.
They checked out with other resources in the internet.

Made our blood boil.

but government health care for the rest of the population will be perfect!

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Probably not, but a system that is not specifically designed to deny care whenever possible is more likely to help more people.

I’m currently receiving free healthcare from the VA, and my impression is that the system is very efficient, and when competent personnel are encountered the care is very good.

Prejudging a non-existent system is pointless.

If France et al can have universal healthcare, I don’t see why the US can’t have a much better system, since we can observe all the deficiencies of the other existing systems. Aren’t we just better?

Lmao, such a great idea!!! It works so well with our soldiers, imagine how good it will be for the rest of the country!

I nearly joined the RAF: to be all that I could be, but decided not to at the last minute - I wonder where I’d be now if I had?

I would have started as an officer, and I was going to go into intelligence/that side of things… It would have been fun/interesting, I’m sure, but I have no regrets about not joining…

Douglas Bader, Battle of Britain ace. my boyhood hero. Intelligence? Looking for spies or interogating them? :astonished:


…strategic and planning: which is what I’m good at :sunglasses: I was told it’s part of the intelligence division, and I would have loved to be able to get stuck in, but I didn’t want the RAF to own me for 3 years: for what if I didn’t like it, was getting bullied, was getting sexually harrassed - I guess I was thinking ahead too much! #-o

Possibly planning too far ahead on that date you’re strategizing on. Gotta get in the here and now, kid. :smiley:

:laughing: yeah, probably!

I think I am now, after 38 years of thinking constantly in the context of the future #-o for what purpose I do not know, but I’m sure there’s a purpose to it, or why else would my psyche have been there…

When my oldest sister was 16 she was dating a French guy across the street, and he (approaching 18) had to do his national service in the French Foreign Legion - he cried for months and months: until the day came when he had to go, and by then he was practically balling! but off he had to go: crying all the while…

A year later he came back, but this time he cried because he had to leave the friends he had made in the French Legion - man cried on the way there / man cried on the way back! :laughing: My sister didn’t want to go back out with him, as she didn’t like his crying side… hahaha!

Foreig Legion? I thought they buried it in the Sahara after France was kicked out of Alegeria. Who’s foreign in it now?

They still have National Service in France, but it’s open to other nationalities too, I think - I just like reiterating that story as many times as I can, as it’s hilarious! :wink:

We can all strive to be the best we can be, as citizens - we all have a duty to do so, but I don’t think many contribute to the bigger cause…

Being in the military is hard, being in the military during a war is even harder, being in the military during an unpopular war which has been mismanaged by the powers that be really fucking sucks.

I was in the Army from 94 to 02 and I missed out on the current shenanigans, while I was in our gripe was that every time they put a dead child on CNN we went and shot at people.

I have recieved VA care, it is top notch. However the system is far overtaxed and it is a great place to go get money and benefits if you are a shithead. Whenever the VA tries to police up it’s programs it gets knocked for screwing veterans.

For every Infantryman (or tanker, cannon cocker, engineer, ect ect) in combat there are an average of 9 support troops. While I agree that their contribution is vital to the war effort, sitting in the mail room on a large FSB is not at all equivilant to getting in spitting distance of the enemy. This has changed somewhat in Iraq/Afghanistan because the enemy knows to attack our support train and that should be taken into acount. Still there are alot of ‘fucked up vets’ walking around drawing bennies and many of them have never heard a shot fired in anger.

The Military is not there to provide work for aimless youth, it is not there to provide college money for the poor, it is not there to provide a means for social advancement. The military exists to fight wars. Many people entering the military don’t understand this and end up badly disapointed when they discover this fact the hard way. War sucks and it is hard on human beings, but there ARE people who are built for it. The Army (I can’t speak for the other services) has long tried to cast itself as just another employer doing just another job and it has suffered for it. More importantly alot of kids who just joined for the college money suffered for it.

There will always be warriors in society, the military needs to adjust it’s structure, recruiting, and policies in order to make sure that is what it is composed of. I sat in a room full of two hundred teenagers at Ft Benning and we all broke into smiles when a grizzly old Sgt Major explained that from now on our job was to kill people and break things. All of us probably recieved the same shock when we got to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq or Afghanistan and learned what that actually meant but at least they warned us ahead of time.

You shoot straight from the shoulder, soldier.
The military exists to protect a nation.
The best protection is good neighborliness.
The money spent on the miltary should go towards helping them find their feer.
Sending our military to fight wars beyond our borders are the result of failed international diplomacy.
Poor neighborliness in other words.
Sending the warriors in never solves anything, just breeds more wars.
Vietnam amd Iraq is proving that the day of the warrior is done.
WMD is a direct warning that the day of war is done

I am kind of curious if they can tie the higher suicide rate with the softer boot camp training. My family has been military for several generations and I am informed that the training has changed. It is less traumatizing less harsh and easier to get through. The vets in my family were discussing this possibility. Perhaps the training is not preparing them for the realities of war anymore? has anyone else thought about this?

Training depends on where you go and what your job is. Infantryman in the Army go to Ft Benning and only infantry trains there. When I went in 94 it was straight out of an old war movie, some friends who recently went seemed to have undergone the same stuff.

Other combat arms do the same segregated training, Armor at Knox, Artillery at Sill ect ect. The rest go to Ft Jackson and for the most part the stories I have heared from “Relaxin’ Jackson” don’t resemble the experiences I had at Benning.

The real training you get is at your unit, and more importantly it is your unit who provides the close supervision and care you need to transition from war to peace.

The other problem is that it is extrodinarily difficult to transition out of the military. You go from being a member of a very close knit family with a deadly serious group purpose to essentially being alone with nothing to do. Throw some combat stress in the equation and add the fact that not only do most people have no fucking clue what you are feeling but most actively misunderstand you and seem dead set on saying the stupidest shit possible in your presence…War is hell but coming home sucks the sweat from a dead man’s balls.

Yea the transition is the worst part. Perhaps soldiers would be better off with a few weeks of civilian acclimation before being discharged?

I think they are winding guys down from combat a little better now then they were before. I literally went from beating the hell out of a guy in Kosovo and ten hours later I was back home with my family in Germany.

In WWII it took about a month to rotate home. Now you can be on a plane and be home in a day. There is no decompression time and frankly the Military is woefully unrealistic about how it’s troops function. Frankly the best thing in the world would be to provide a unit with some tents, several kegs of beer, alot of pornography and drop the whole mess somewhere in the desert far away from anything that you don’t want destroyed. Pick them up in about two weeks and I think they will be ready to go home.