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Mom & Dad, I've joined the Marines to fight for our country's freedom.

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Philosoraptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:12 AM
Original message
Mom & Dad, I've joined the Marines to fight for our country's freedom.
Imagine if your son or daughter came to you with these words, or to tell you that they are thinking about enlisting. What would you say to them? Would you praise them, beaming with pride? Would you encourage them to sign up and do the patriotic thing, like you did maybe?

Particularly right now, how would you feel if your son said he needed the money to pay off his debts, pay his rent for his family, get a good education and G.I. loans, etc, all while fighting our enemies who attacked us? Can you hear your son or daughter asking this in complete sincerity, or telling you they've already enlisted?

Would you try to dissuade them, tell them the real reasons behind this war, as complicated as it is? Can a young, energetic, patriotic person be talked out of joining the Army? Would it be wrong to do that? Would it be unpatriotic?

It could happen you know, maybe it already has happened. How did you handle it? How did it make you feel as a parent?

Only a parent can really understand such a thing, and millions have had this very conversation with their sons and daughters, maybe you yourself said these things to your own parents way back when things weren't so crazy.

I've been through this. My oldest son came to me during the first bush war with Saddam, and said he wanted to join the Army and fight the evil Saddam who ordered babies thrown out of incubators (never happened) and gassed his own people, (with gas WE sold him)

I talked him out of it, explaining the whole bloody thing in great detail, it took an hour, and I told him I was proud of him, but that if he died for george bush, he'd have died in vain, that he wouldn't really be fighting for his nation, but for super wealthy men who want to conquer America and the world. I actually said this very thing during the first gulf war. Should I be ashamed for doing this?

Now my youngest is 23. He has never come to me with these words, but it could happen. You might have a 12 year old, who might come to you in ten years with these words. Yes, in ten years, or maybe twenty if the neo cons aren't stopped.

We must stop these men, and pretty fucking soon. bush has lied so many young Americans into their graves telling them they are fighting for freedom, democracy, safety, liberty and a lot of other lofty sounding things, and he doesn't give a damn about a single one of them, despite what he says.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. You're a good father.
How many fathers wish they had that scene to do over?
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bigscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. i have been talking
to my 14 year old son for years about how corrupt this administration is and how those brave men and women were placed in harms way for a lie. My father fought in WWII and I would be the first in line to DEFEND my country - but I will be damned if I will let my only son die for * and his cabal of bastards, fighting a war of aggression and killing innocent civilians
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
3. What do you do if it's your nephew and the family is Republican?
My nephew has been making noises about joining the military, just as I feared. He was what--thirteen?--when shrub took us to war. I was afraid then and I'm afraid now, only I've learned that he really is considering joining the military. I'm usually a rationalist, but I have the oddest feeling about this, that if he does join he will die.

Relations in my family are barely at truce level. If I start dissuading my nephew, shit might hit the fan. I really don't know what the right thing to do IS.
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Philosoraptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Went through this very thing recently with my niece who joined the army
My brother home schooled them, he's a born again nutball of course, she told me she was joining, and I bit my tongue out of respect for him and his family.
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stellanoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. You don't need to dissuade him directly.
Edited on Fri Dec-29-06 09:27 AM by stellanoir
I frequently work with high school and college kids. When I meet one who has military aspirations I encourage them to read the "Stars & Stripes" online. It has articles expressing several points of view written by active duty people and veterens. I also encourage them to speak to people who have served in Iraq and visit a military hospital before they sign up.

I cannot tell them not to enlist but encouraging them to be better informed of what they may face seems like the best approach I can offer. We all know of the BS they are told by recruiters.

on edit- You might want to show him Juan Cole's "Top 10 Myths about Iraq" as well. It was posted on December 26th.

http://www.juancole.com/
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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Encourage
him to join the Coast Guard.
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Allenberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
5. I'd encourage him/her to enlist.
Going back five generations, with the exception of my father who was 4F with holes in his ear drums, we've been a military family. The military did alot of things for me. It gave me discipline, OTJ training, a sense of pride, and a sense of giving back to the country. Maybe equally importantly, the benefits I had on duty, as well as the ones I have for being a veteran have been a major help in my life, especially the VA home loan program.

I didn't serve George W. Bush, I served the US Air Force, and for the men and women who wore the uniform before me. The military is bigger than any one man.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. OK, let's break this down:
All fields of work require discipline. Being a bank clerk requires discipline. Being a traffic cop requires discipline. Even being a DJ requires discipline!

And many fields of work give OTJ training. Case in point: I am a computer programming. Software companies HAVE to give OTJ training to their employees or they sink.

Everyone who has a honest profession and becomes good at it can be rightfully proud.

And everyone who works in their field to their best efforts gives back to the country. (It's not like soldiers don't get paid, now, is it?)
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Bigmack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. One word... Infantry.
I got discipline from the Jesuits, On the Job training at every job I've held, my parents instilled in me a sense of pride, and I taught High School for thirty years, so I gave plenty back to the community. Military not needed there.

In return, from the Marine Corps, I learned how to blow shit up, to operate weapons, march in straight lines, and use some of the most colorful language available on earth.

Oversimplified, but you get my drift.

Meaning no offense to the Air Force, but do you really think the grunts on the ground in Iraq are learning all the good stuff you describe in your post?
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bullwinkle428 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
8. My Dad felt the same way about Reagan when I was in the
"prime enlistment" age range in the early 80s, and he happened to be a Korean War veteran (U.S. Army). Absolutely didn't want to see me used as a pawn, either...
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
10. Every young person in my life
Every young person in my life (I'm an old fogey, pushing 50) knows where I stand on the issue of the military, and also knows that if they want to be of service somehow, there are plenty of ways to do it that don't involve carrying a gun and being taught to shoot their fellow human beings: Christian Peacemaker Teams, VISTA, the Peace Corps, Brethren Volunteer Service, and so on. No, they don't have slick, sexy commercials on every program you watch. No, years from now you won't be sipping brandy from giant snifters in some wood-paneled room reminiscing with your buddies about your exploits.

But if you're looking for a life-changing experience that brings you into real contact with the way most of the people you share this planet with really live, there are some greatly preferable alternatives to the military.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
12. Better Join the democratic party to fight for America's Freedom.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
13. It's a non-issue for us
I taught my children, as my father taught me, the TRUE history of America's military adventurism; making the world "safe" for corporate profiteering. I educated them, then we fed the "troops" living in cardboard boxes in the park above the beach. There is NOTHING about the military that could ever appeal to them.

With so many "having skin in the game" it is impossible to discuss how miseducation and ignorance have brought the nation to this precipice. Therein also lies the explanation for why, even in the face of MASSIVE ABUSE by the American "berclass," there is not enough cohesiveness as a people to put a stop to the GENOCIDE and ATROCITIES of those perpetrators.
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