Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tough Question

My best friend and I were talking today about this and I wanted to know your thoughts.

Would you want your son to be in the military? Why or why not?

On one hand I do, it's an honor, you are serving your country. I think it's a very honorable profession.

On the other hand I worry about Sean and how his body is already broken down more than it should be for a man his age, mostly because of his training and his jumps he does. Also I worry now about future deployments. Will we still be fighting a large, ongoing war when my sons are old enough to be in the military? Can I handle that many more years of worry? Selfishly I want to say no.

I'm on the fence though. Ultimately it wouldn't be up to me or Sean. It would be up to my child.

Let's hear your thoughts ladies!


d.a.r. said...

I've talked about this with both my husband and my mother in law (wow, talk about some unique perspective there!). I personally don't care. I mean, I agree with you: it is both an absolutely amazing life full of honor and respect, and I would also worry to death as a mother. Z, on the other hand, is adamantly against it. He doesn't want our children to be living the life he is (obviously he is a bit bitter about his experience, lol). But, he grudgingly agreed that ultimately it is their decision. There is a lot of family lineage that goes along with the whole West Point thing; most cadets are third or fourth generation military. Z was not, and he doesn't want our kids to feel like they HAVE to be because he was. He says a lot of kids he graduated with felt like they had to go to West Point because their brothers, father, grandfather, etc. had and they didn't want to be the black sheep.

So, I think we will push our children to succeed in every single thing they do. If they desire to go the military route we will encourage and support them, but it will never be something we force them or push them into.

Sara said...

I've thought about this before, and I'd say yes I would. I believe that even once in a person's life they should do something for the greater good rather than for one's own self. Watch Lions for Lambs and see what the two young college students did. They suggested that one year after high school should require a person to be in the peace corps or a national mission in the poorest areas of the country.

I believe experiences like the military, peace corps, study abroads (for longer than 1 month) require a person to grow up, be more responsible for themselves than ever before, and see their country and their own self for what they really are, both the bad and good. Many people would be surprised at how strong they really are. Yes, my own child might die or get seriously hurt. But more likely they will learn a lot about themselves and know they've lived beyond what they thought they could. Accomplished more than they believed they could. I want independece and responsibilty for my own child, and an appreciation for his own life learned by serving others for a while. I think that's a risk worth taking.

The military isn't perfect, we all know that. But it sure does teach them a lot.

Sara said...

And I mean yes, that I'd support such a decision. I'd never force my child to join the military. That's stupid.

tootie said...

Yes! I would definitely support my child if he/she wanted to join the military.

I'm grateful that my parents were supportive when I wanted to join (and also when it was time for me to leave the military), and I think it would only be right for me to do the same for our (future) kids.

Caitlin said...

I guess the question is more, would you support them going into the military.

I, personally, would rather have my child do absolutely ANYTHING besides the military. I've seen the crap that Rob went through, I've seen, as you said, his broken body, and while it helped make him into a great person, it's not the only thing that can do that for a person.

Now, if my child said he/she wanted to join the military...while I would be extremely worried/upset about it, I've seen what can happen when you don't support your children and I think it's extremely important to support them. So I would be very proud of my child for accepting such a responsibility. But I would be worried every single second of every single day.

This isn't to say I'll push them away from it, though.

I'm not sure if any of that made sense. Maybe I should just take some shut up juice :)

Caitlin said...

Oh, and I am convinced anyway that the military is genetic/inherited.

Rob's father and grandfather were navy...their family has a pretty looong history of military so I think it was pretty much bred into him. :)
Other people have agreed with me on that, haha.

Caitlin said...

Haha, and by "ANYTHING" I didn't mean selling drugs or anything...just you know, other options after high school. Sorry for all the comments!

The Mrs. said...

I look at it this way, my husbands father was in the military, as was his father, as is he. Right now I have two boys who knows if one day it will be three, chances are, one of them will follow in the family business.

Chance are one of my boys will go in. I will be proud, I will support them, but I will be terrified.

Excellent question, I think about this a lot. I think I'm gonna go post on this now....

thanks for the inspiration. I'll be sure to link this post in there.

Erin said...

That is a really good question! Doug and I have talked about this. I think that I would feel really proud if my child wanted to follow in Doug's footsteps and join the military. However, not being a Mother myself, I think that might change once I have a child and the fear and worry would set in. I have gotten used to Doug deploying and being in danger, but I have heard that when you are a mother, the fear is even worse. Doug says that he would not object either, but would definitely want our kids to know the real deal and the nitty gritty.

Leslie said...

That's a tough one. Since my little man is still so young, I can say right now that I wouldn't want him to join the military. But as he grows into an adult, I honestly think I would support him if he chose to follow his father's footsteps.

reneegrace said...

I don't know... I always thought it would be great... the military lifestyle... I love moving. Then my husband was being pursued to sign up with the air force after his nursing training... As I realized we couldn't go with him when he was deployed, I suddenly wasn't so excited about it! Going into danger as a family, versus just him, or just your son... seems a little different.

Thank you, by the way... to your husband and yourself for your sacrifices...

reneegrace... from "blog around the world"

Sarge Charlie said...

Hi, I stumbled into your blog and thought it to be a very interesting question. If you are interested in the male point of view....
I can trace my military roots to a great grandfather who was killed defending Georgia as Sherman came to town. My grandfather was in WWI, my father was a sailor in WWII, my brother and I are both Vietnam veterans. I encouraged my son to join and serve and his mother convinced him he should not. She was as affected as I was by the way Americans treated me when I came home from Vietnam.

I have pent up anger from my experience but I think things are better today as our young men come home from war. What ever your children decide, and it should be their decision, Americans like me will be proud and thankful for their service. I am retired with 26 years service, I have no regrets.

My son did not join the military but a grandson did, he served in Iraq, he has since died from a overdose of medications taken for PTSD. I am proud of him but very sad about the loss.

~~tonya~~ said...

Left you an award at my blog.....come by and pick it up!!!

Lindsay aka Corn said...

I'm so torn on this subject.

On one hand, I would be so proud of my son or daughter for being so selfless and brave as to fight for their country.

But, as a mother. And someone who has seen the harsh realities of war, I would be terrified. After losing my friend Tom to the Iraq war in 2005 I was a complete mess.

Then *R* came home from Iraq and has had more than his fair share of problems to deal with. Both physically and mentally.

I think that I would support him/her, and perhaps even encourage them depending on the path their life seems to take. It depends on the person.
In the end, I would support them, but make sure that they don't feel as though the military is their only option.

Rela Pantaleon-Manigsaca said...

That is indeed a tough question...

As an immigrant to this country, having a child drafted (of course, that is not being done, at least right now) is one of my "fears".

However, I agree with you that ultimately, it would be the child's decision to be or not to be in the military.