Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New recruits

A lot has been written about the U.S. Army having to grant more waivers to let new soldiers in the all volunteer force. NBC was particularly graphic last night about the new recruits: drug problems, never graduated from high school, felony convictions. I cringe thinking that these are the guys that Mark will be taking into Iraq on his next deployment.

That said, two of my youngest son's friends have signed up for the Army. They are a pair of 19-year-olds with nothing but time on their hands and no sense of the future. They've been hanging around the house the last few days. They already have their GI haircuts and their voices from afar (I can't bring myself to talk to them) are giddy with the sense of an upcoming adventure. Both are high school graduates, so no waiver there. Probably some family issues though.

They report to Ft. Benning soon and both want to go airborne.

God bless them both.


MightyMom said...

my hubby was in the Navy from 70 till 93, through the Carter years when the military was so undercut they were always running on skeletan crews. Also through Vietnam when the military had folks in it who didn't want to be there. And in the (glorious) Reagan years. (in his eyes, anything to do with Reagan was glorious) I've heard enough of his tales to say that there's nothing new under the sun. There were the misfits who had the option of jail or military who some did great, others did not. As well as those who joined cause they couldn't think of anything else to do. some did great, others did not.

I don't know what it is in a person (having never been military) that makes them a good soldier, but I do know that it isn't always readily apparent.

So keep the Faith. These boys may seem like wide eyed yoyos now, but they will soon become men with a much bigger view of the world. (not gonna say they won't still be yoyos though).

You were young once too you know.

ThreeBoysz said...

mightymom: You have shed an entirely new light on this subject. Thank you. I've already adjusted my brain to be more open and understanding. I must admit, I hadn't thought of the possibilities.

MightyMom said...

I was up all day (instead of sleeping) today thinking about this post, my comment and your reply.

It kept running through my head and I realized I have something ELSE to say on the topic.

If those boys are still running around your house, this would be a great opportunity for you to talk with them and share your experiences with them. I don't remember which of the "Dads" it was but one of you said that if your soldier'd known what the deployment was gonna do to Mom and Dad he wouldn't have enlisted. It might help these lads to be educated in that. Also, to know how you support your "alpha male paratrooper" (still chuckling) and a little of how the war has affected you and your family.

They have no insight, but you have a wealth of insight to share...if you can stand the wide-eyed yoyo-ness for a bit.

OK, message delivered...maybe now I can sleep tomorrow!

Airborne dad said...


Thanks. You are right. Maybe we will have a chance to talk during the weekend.