my family–on both sides–has a strong military tradition. tho, i don’t think any of us individually joined out of ‘tradition’, we were just making the best decisions we could relative to our contexts. i happened to turn of lot of my technical training into a 13yr (and counting) career that keeps me challenged, motivated and inspired as well as allows me to contribute to all of our existence. i’ve helped design schools, homes, hospitals, churches, office buildings, etc… and id never talk ill of my time in. i landed my first job ‘out’ because despite others’ resume experience i could talk the software. i learned this particular software in the AF, and my supervisor appreciated my interest in it and would encourage me to learn it more and more. plus the guy i was replacing (at my duty station) moved literally across the hall, so he was available for questions on things he had been developing for almost two years. so when i sat down for an interview outside of the AF, the interviewer began asking me troubleshooting questions and very, very technical things. i was answering back casually, usually with techniques i had developed on my own. he confessed to me afterwards that he used to teach the software and that he had never had such a rich conversation regarding it before. i got the job because i demonstrated an ability to learn (me) coupled with the software language i needed to speak (AF). every job after that has been me, mostly, hehe, but clearly the training i received was extremely valuable.
“the military doesn’t provide these things because it is a compassionate organization… these are investments in their employees–their property.”
i still keep in touch with some AF vets. my best friends from high school all joined something. only Army is still in. Regarding most of the people that i am still friends with or acquaintance, who also served and are out, do a variation of their career field for a living as a civilian – cut-to-the-chase – i just wish there were a way i could have received that level of training while being able to maintain a heathy standard of living for my young family and not go into piles of debt and not potentially constantly put my life at risk. now, i never saw violence or conflict, and depending on some situations, even in wartime it would have been mostly unnecessary for me personally to wield a weapon. my wartime job had more to do with repairing and maintenance of facilities buildings/tent cities/runways. but the threat was always there. as a side, i never knowingly had my photo taken while holding a weapon (and i can shoot very well thank you very much), and i even ‘volunteered’ to augment/work for the cops several weeks a year, so i had received piles of that sort of training too. but all the benefits the military provides: housing, shelter, training, food, heath, financial, hell even legal are essential. this is a very empowering frame of mind: to house and feed my family without worrying about my hours getting cut or lay-offs and/or without worrying about working and going to school at nite.
the military doesn’t provide these things because it is a compassionate organization… these are investments in their employees–their property. which, at one point is a glib way to look at it, but its also very practical. if a militarized organization can make sense of providing guaranteed minimum access to across the board life encompassing benefits as a practice, why shouldn’t a supposed compassionate republic?