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Am I wrong for pushing my son to go into the military because he doesn't know what he wants to do?
Family & Parenting / 10:03 AM - Sunday August 09, 2009

Am I wrong for pushing my son to go into the military because he doesn't know what he wants to do?

Update: August 09, 2009.
I wish I could give kiki a star but unfortunately I have used them all. Someone vote her for a community star.

Update: August 09, 2009.
Let me update you all on a few things about the military. I too was in the army and involved in Desert Storm as well as a few other conflicts. Needless to say I am alive and whole. You can't believe everything you see in the movies, they are hyped up to make you want to pay to see them. Also not everybody in the military is going over it depends on the job you choose. Also my neighborhood is a battleground too. He's done well at surviving that so far.

- Asked by A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Alternative Medicine

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No, it's a helluva lot better than 18-19 year old high school grads bumming around not working or going to college.

- Response by germansquad, A Guy Critical, Male, 18-21, Therapist

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- Response by wallvis, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 66 or older, Retired

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There is no way to know what is the best choice for your son until after the choice has been made and consequences rec'd. However, it is important to remember what it is like to be young and unsure of the world and your place in it. Try helping him to get more information in regard to what he would like to do... and open more doors.. pushing can lead to your responsibility for his potential unhappy life, or worse.. death. Simply support his wondering, offer more choices and help him set a deadline for deciding. Good Luck

- Response by bford7, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Financial / Banking

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Yes, why would you want to do that? He'll make a sorry soldier if he doesn't want to be there and his life may well depend upon it. Go and watch "The Hurt Locker" and see what life is like over there. It may not be quite as awful as you see in the movie where they're defusing bombs but it's no picnic either.

What would you say if he went over to Afghanistan and didn't come home or came home severely injured?

- Response by patresi, An Intellectual Guy, Male, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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At that age my daughters had no idea what they wanted.I would have died if they went into the service.So many are comming back in a box for no good reason.

- Response by frenchkiss49, A Thinker, Female, 66 or older, Tampa, Who Cares?

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It's HIS life. Allow HIM to make that decision. How would you feel life you pushed him into going and something were to happen to him??????????

- Response by barbb, An Alternative Girl, Female, Who Cares?, Other Profession

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I don't mind a young man dying so long as what they are dying for is worthwhile.

My concern is the administration currently sees fit to pick battles which effect our economy rather than our freedom or protecting others rights and for me dying so someone else can get rich just isn't worth dying for.

- Response by justme38271, A Mr. Married Guy, Male, 46-55, Consulting

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You might consider issues of ideology. Uniformed service might be just the thing for your son -- I have one like that, too -- but there's a huge difference between the Marines, for example, and the Coast Guard. Teh Navy has it's culture, as does the Air Force, and some are more well suited to one branch than the other.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend the Army to anyone. And forget the National Guard. They've been too misused for the past eight years.

- Response by pandorasfault, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Teaching

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My mom was in the service and my brother is now. I don't think it's the place for him unless he really wants to be there. You don't know what he'll end up doing and he just might have to go over there. My brother of course picked one of the most dangerous jobs and is leaving in January. I'm terrified that he won't come back. My mom was going over during desert storm too which scared the shit out of me back then. I don't think he should be pushed into a job where he's risking his life if he doesn't want to do it. Why can't he go to school and take his basic classes til he figures out what he wants to do. I would push my kid to do that before I pushed them into the military.

- Response by misskitty420, A Cool Mom, Female, 29-35, Student

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Hey I think it's GREAT that your encouraging your son to join the military. There is nothing at all wrong about that, it is an honor and heroic thing to do. And I would also like to Thank You for serving our country! :) I my self and my boyfriend want to join the Army. I dont want to go to college, and I'm not doing much with my life at the moment and think the military is the best way to go, plus I have always wanted to be in the Army. My mom is very supportive and encourages me to always do better in life than she did. I wish you and your son the best of luck and hope he finds his way! :) P.S. How was boot camp? ;p

- Response by lolabuu, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 29-35, Los Angeles, Who Cares?

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I don't think it's 'wrong' to push him into the military but I do think that you should give him as much information about it as possible and let him make the decision on which branch he would like to become a part's only wrong if you are pushing him in this direction because it's something you 'want' him to do and not something that he's talked to you about because sometimes, pushing our children into something we want as opposed to what they might want can end up causing them to make choices they may not have made if we hadn't 'offered' them...:D

- Response by fastball, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45, Edmonton, Self-Employed

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Thank you for asking this, I was hoping my nomadic neice would consider it too; Although I do not want to see her in the field, I think the military would help her mature and give her a better foundation for working and taking care of herself than she has now.

- Response by ruffian, A Sportif, Female, 36-45

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You should do all you can to encourage him and leave the final choice to him. Yes, in today's military there are risks. He has to be mindful of them.

As a successful business owner I would rarely hire anyone who had not served in the military. It wasn't because I did. It was because of the training they receive, the respect they learn, and the responsibility they learn to shoulder. You could clearly see the difference between those who served and those who did not.

The ex-military know they have to be where they say they will be, when they say they will be. To do otherwise is to show disrespect and to lose respect for themselves. The military today also has a lot of opportunities that will be paid for by the government.

If he doesn't know what he wants to do, and looks favorably upon the military, it is a great option. I can only wish my own son had done so. Good luck.


- Response by kincaidrfd, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65, Self-Employed

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Okay so to all of you who said, "No", what about my son? He's tried college for a year, BARELY passed,in fact flunked two classes and now he's sitting around the house playing WOW and sort of looking for a job and sort of working a few hours a week. What then? I don't want to be responsible for his military decision that might kill him or have him hate me but he's going to be 20 soon, what else can I do? I can't kick him out.

- Response by mhlmom, A Cool Mom, Female, 46-55

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Yes, he needs to decide what he wants, not you.
Some people need longer to decide, so let him be.
If you push him into anyhing then he will always blame you for being miserable in a career that YOU chose for him.
That's what happened to my mother.
So just mind your own business on this one. It's his life.

- Response by marycherry, A Creative, Female, 36-45, Fitness

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I would never want anyone to carry a gun, or be killed by one. I also can decide about my life but I don't know why anyone would "push" anyone.
I also wish you jerk me so I make sure we stand at completely two different angles of this life.

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Other Profession

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I wouldn't say you're wrong, but is it a good idea? Absolutely not. If I had a son/daughter who didn't know what he/she wanted to do I would let them figure it out on their own. This is a time when they need to decide this important decision for themself. He should decide for himself. Or think about it this way- is the military good for everyone?

- Response by A Trendsetter, Female, 26-28, Student

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Don't do that to him. The military is a brutal place.

I am not biased by the movies, I am biased by my studies of the regimentation and the programming process that goes on in boot camp and in the armed forces in some way (in every branch). From what I have read, the routine of boot camp is to create a brainless, unthinking nazi that does what he's ordered to do.

Sure, people who think fascism is a good thing (e.g. the conservative right wing in America now) will encourage you to send your child to them to be (ideally) turned into something that is only really good for canon fodder. But it's not a good idea for anyone who loves things that are higher than obeying orders when they are meaningless at best and constitute crimes at worst.

Of course your son may be a person of inner integrity and may resist this assault on his person; the assault may make him a stronger person. But you don't know that this will be the case. I would not put a young person who may not have formed his identity thoroughly yet into this sort of garbage. Please. Don't do it.

I suggest that you let him go to college, insist that he think about things, or even insist that he keep a job or you're throwing him out. But don't send him to the military. In all likelihood, if you send your son to the military, it will send you back a stranger that you may dislike more than you dislike your son's current lack of direction.

- Response by electragold21, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, New York, Teaching

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Let him explore his options. If you're going to encourage anything, encourage him to do something productive with his life. The military's purpose is to kill people and destroy property. There is nothing honorable nor noble about that. The military is not the bastion of virtue that it is made out to be. It is just one big celebration of death and destruction. I would never encourage my kids to join the military.

- Response by jophus, A Rebel, Male, 29-35, Artist / Musician / Writer

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Yes! You are completely out of line!

- Response by chinaphone, A Career Woman, Female, 29-35, Guangdong, Who Cares?

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Yes! You are completely out of line! Let your son make his own choice. The military is a dangerous and psychologically intense job and you have NO right to make that decision/commitment on behalf of your son.

- Response by linz213, Female, 26-28, Calgary, Medical / Dental

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