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Old 01-07-2014, 01:44 PM   #1
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Military Questions

Got a few questions for you guys / girls that have served or are serving.
My nephew who is about to finish his 4th year and final year of the ARMY gave me some advice about the service and what it's like..

I am considering joining but I'm still on the fence about it due to the fact that I'm married with 2 children.

1. Is it worth it?
2. How much do recruiters really lie to get u to sign?
3. What are the biggest Pro's and Con's.

I am just tired of constantly looking for better paying jobs here and the struggle it is for my fam.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:10 PM   #2
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Re: Military Questions

I work with wounded warriors and I think the biggest con (that I've seen) is that these folks are left waiting and waiting and waiting for their ratings, medboards and basically discharge pay. Which is why they end up with us (we provide temporary housing for wounded warriors and their families).

So.. don't get injured. :P

Otherwise, the pro that I can see is these guys don't regret for one second serving their country, despite the fact they've lost limbs and I know they've met career networking folks, brothers and mentors for life.

Really you HAVE to be dedicated and understand that things can go wrong. Sometimes guys get completely destroyed in just the training part of joining (someone was once injured when their Humvee rolled during a training drill) and never make it to active duty.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:13 PM   #3
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Re: Military Questions

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Originally Posted by skinsfaninok View Post
Got a few questions for you guys / girls that have served or are serving.
My nephew who is about to finish his 4th year and final year of the ARMY gave me some advice about the service and what it's like..

I am considering joining but I'm still on the fence about it due to the fact that I'm married with 2 children.

1. Is it worth it?
2. How much do recruiters really lie to get u to sign?
3. What are the biggest Pro's and Con's.

I am just tired of constantly looking for better paying jobs here and the struggle it is for my fam.

I never served but I have 2 daughters married to military men ,1 Army .1 Marine . The guys both love it ...and they are good at it but as a father and grandfather I will tell you it's a tuff life . You move and have no control over where you go or really what you do till you have been in a while .Recruiters don't lie but there is a fine line between lying and just not giving you the whole truth .When you pick your MOS does he tell you what you want to hear or the truth .Also our present government and I mean both parties are not very caring of military families as of late ,when the government shut down they had to pass a special law to pay the military and unless you move up the ranks the pay for a family man isn't that great it is hard work .You will be separated from your family ,can you take that , can they ?I think it's a good life if you are willing to work .
Marine son in law will leave on a unaccompanied tour of 1 year to Japan
it's his first assignment after re-enlisting (has 12 years now) and he has been station in Okinawa and Egypt ,they have lived in Cherry Point , NC Camp Pendleton CA, and Quantico VA .Army son in-law is a member of the 82nd airborne Fort Bragg NC ,is on call for 18 months and not allowed more than 150 miles from base when called from the time he reports he will have what they call "boots on the ground " in 24 hours anywhere in the world .He has served two tours in Afghanistan already and they tried to give him a third before he even finish the second and they stopped it .Ft Bragg NC, Fort Lenard Wood MO and back to Bragg .Both have their degrees and one daughter got hers through the military .It has it's ups and downs and as a Dad I get worried but it is their life . Don't know if it helps or not just a different view .
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:15 PM   #4
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Re: Military Questions

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I work with wounded warriors .

Can I for one say Thank you for what you do .
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:16 PM   #5
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Re: Military Questions

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I never served but I have 2 daughters married to military men ,1 Army .1 Marine . The guys both love it ...and they are good at it but as a father and grandfather I will tell you it's a tuff life . You move and have no control over where you go or really what you do till you have been in a while .Recruiters don't lie but there is a fine line between lying and just not giving you the whole truth .When you pick your MOS does he tell you what you want to hear or the truth .Also our present government and I mean both parties are not very caring of military families as of late ,when the government shut down they had to pass a special law to pay the military and unless you move up the ranks the pay for a family man is that great it is hard work .You will be separated from your family ,can you take that , can they ?I think it's a good life if you are willing to work .
Marine son in law will leave on a unaccompanied tour of 1 year to Japan
it's his first assignment after re-enlisting (has 12 years now) and he has been station in Okinawa and Egypt ,they have lived in Cherry Point , NC Camp Pendleton CA, and Quantico VA .Army son in-law is a member of the 82nd airborne Fort Bragg NC ,is on call for 18 months and not allowed more than 150 miles from base when called from the time he reports he will have what they call "boots on the ground " in 24 hours anywhere in the world .He has served two tours in Afghanistan already and they tried to give him a third before he even finish the second and they stopped it .Ft Bragg NC, Fort Lenard Wood MO and back to Bragg .Both have their degrees and one daughter got hers through the military .It has it's ups and downs and as a Dad I get worried but it is their life . Don't know if it helps or not just a different view .
Yeah that's the other thing, the moving. I know a family that in a short span of years (about 3), lived in Germany, North Carolina, New York and Maryland. If you have school aged kids that can be extremely difficult on them because it doesn't give them a chance to form bonds and lay down roots anywhere. As soon as they make friends, they have to leave.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:13 PM   #6
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Good answers rave and Giantone, I've spoken to an AF rec and an Army and I feel like the AF was more family friendly but it's also more competitive to get in is what I gathered anyway. It's a very hard decision, my aunt and grandma who are very close to me feel like its a bad idea since I am married and have 2 kids (4) and (2) years old. They want me and my family to move to NY and start a new life tgere instead. My wife is on the fence about it , she understands the pros and cons and on one side I'd love to be apart of a team again, and be serving my country, and on the flip side I would also hate to have my wife alone for long periods of time raising our kids. What do you guys think? Would it be worth it for someone in my shoes.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by skinsfaninok View Post
Good answers rave and Giantone, I've spoken to an AF rec and an Army and I feel like the AF was more family friendly but it's also more competitive to get in is what I gathered anyway. It's a very hard decision, my aunt and grandma who are very close to me feel like its a bad idea since I am married and have 2 kids (4) and (2) years old. They want me and my family to move to NY and start a new life tgere instead. My wife is on the fence about it , she understands the pros and cons and on one side I'd love to be apart of a team again, and be serving my country, and on the flip side I would also hate to have my wife alone for long periods of time raising our kids. What do you guys think? Would it be worth it for someone in my shoes.
I was in the Army, met my wife while stationed in Germany, served five years of non combat duty. I would strongly advise you against joining at this point in your life for several reasons.
1 I saw many marriages end due to the long separations required by the military.
2 no matter what a recruiter will tell you there are no sympathies for separated families. That is a huge part of military life
3 even slim the risk of the loss of your life is a huge sacrifice to put before your children, going in knowing you could leave a 2 yo and 4yo fatherless in less than a year ought to be enough reason not to
4 short of full family backing (I mean 110 percent) there will be a lot of second guessing and bitterness when your second unaccompanied (no wife no kids no no one except local ladies) kicks in.

Single young dumb and full of ... go for it, married 2 kids, other opportunities (exciting or not) don't do it. I almost guarantee you will regret it.

If you choose to go anyway, my next statement would be to go in to the air force, although its still going to take you away, they do try to give you more normalized hours, my experience with the army as a mil. police was that there was little to no effort for giving family time value, it was almost looked at with disdain.

That's my thoughts, no disrespect to current serving soldiers meant by it.

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Old 01-07-2014, 07:58 PM   #8
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I was in the Army, met my wife while stationed in Germany, served five years of non combat duty. I would strongly advise you against joining at this point in your life for several reasons.
1 I saw many marriages end due to the long separations required by the military.
2 no matter what a recruiter will tell you there are no sympathies for separated families. That is a huge part of military life
3 even slim the risk of the loss of your life is a huge sacrifice to put before your children, going in knowing you could leave a 2 yo and 4yo fatherless in less than a year ought to be enough reason not to
4 short of full family backing (I mean 110 percent) there will be a lot of second guessing and bitterness when your second unaccompanied (no wife no kids no no one except local ladies) kicks in.

Single young dumb and full of ... go for it, married 2 kids, other opportunities (exciting or not) don't do it. I almost guarantee you will regret it.

If you choose to go anyway, my next statement would be to go in to the air force, although its still going to take you away, they do try to give you more normalized hours, my experience with the army as a mil. police was that there was little to no effort for giving family time value, it was almost looked at with disdain.

That's my thoughts, no disrespect to current serving soldiers meant by it.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
Excellent response man , thank you for your service BTW and thanks for the heads up first hand advice. My nephew as I stated is in but he joined at age 20 and has no kids or wife its a different ballgame obviously. I'm still anxious for others responses as well, I have came to my friends on WP to help me in the decision, like I said I'd love to serve my country but I also don't want to ruin my family or a marriage either.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:31 PM   #9
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Re: Military Questions

you might consider the guard, since that can be part/full time, doesn't require moving (assuming you can commute to the nearest base) and will actually tell you what you'll be doing instead of giving you a random job. (if you go active, get your job gauranteed... if they won't do it, check with other recruiters, most will if you want a job that requires you to pass a test like the edpt or language aptitude).

as far as recruiters and lying, it depends on who you're talking to and whether you ask the right questions. they've been in a while, so they tend to forget some of the issues etc from when they first joined a million years ago.

i didn't join to travel and ended up in something like 48 states and 30 countries. the risk of loss of life is basically nil for an awful lot of jobs. infantry, mps, and ied (bomb disposal) are some of the higher risk options (obviously). but intel? maintenance? tankers? not so much.

i was USAF, they do take better care of their people (that aren't aircraft maintenance :P). as long as you do your VA stuff BEFORE you leave, you'll get your rating pretty much the day you get out. if you wait, you get stuck in a line behind everyone else that's filed and waiting post-separation, and, well... good luck.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:39 PM   #10
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you might consider the guard, since that can be part/full time, doesn't require moving (assuming you can commute to the nearest base) and will actually tell you what you'll be doing instead of giving you a random job. (if you go active, get your job gauranteed... if they won't do it, check with other recruiters, most will if you want a job that requires you to pass a test like the edpt or language aptitude).

as far as recruiters and lying, it depends on who you're talking to and whether you ask the right questions. they've been in a while, so they tend to forget some of the issues etc from when they first joined a million years ago.

i didn't join to travel and ended up in something like 48 states and 30 countries. the risk of loss of life is basically nil for an awful lot of jobs. infantry, mps, and ied (bomb disposal) are some of the higher risk options (obviously). but intel? maintenance? tankers? not so much.

i was USAF, they do take better care of their people (that aren't aircraft maintenance :P). as long as you do your VA stuff BEFORE you leave, you'll get your rating pretty much the day you get out. if you wait, you get stuck in a line behind everyone else that's filed and waiting post-separation, and, well... good luck.
That's awesome man , how long.were u in? And thanks for.serving and for the advice. I've thought about the guard as well
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:46 PM   #11
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Re: Military Questions

For a family man, if you do decide to join the military, the USAF would be more beneficial. Their tours of duty in combat theaters of operation are half as long as the Army's. I've watched two AF units come and go during my current deployment and realized I may have made the wrong decision years ago (I'm Army).
A lot of good advice from the guys here, but I will put one caveat to what That Guy said. It has become increasingly more difficult to transfer from National Guard to an active component, and with budget cutbacks it will only get tougher. You will need the buy in from your wife, because as always it's "you and she versus the world".
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:50 PM   #12
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Thanks buckskin, appreciate your service as well. The rec told me today that jobs are getting harder to come by especially jobs that don't require combat, honestly I was a bit disappointed in his attitude, he didn't seem like he really tried to get to know me like the AF did
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:09 PM   #13
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Re: Military Questions

I joined the AF in 1995 at age 20. Best life decision I have ever made. The lifestyle and structure was exactly what I needed to get myself on the right track. I did not re-enlist after 4 years, which was a regrettable decision for a time. You can make it with a family but your wife has got to be on board with the lifestyle of a military wife. I know plenty of families that struggle but just as many that are good to go. I wouldn't join if you are going to be bitterly disappointed about not getting to serve at a base near your current home (or Hawaii). You might, you might not. The needs of the US Government come first.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:46 AM   #14
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Thanks 724. It seems like the AF is the way to go from the responses so far. Now would u think AF reserve would be better for.someone like me?
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:30 AM   #15
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Re: Military Questions

I work hand and hand with the army every day. they work hard and long hours in this is in a office enivorment.

IF you are doing it for a pay check don't do it. The people who do it and stick with it do becasue they want to completely server their country.

Wheter they realize it or not they put the army above their family and that is what is expected.

I say go learn a trade plumbing, electrical, etc... it will take some hard work juggling work and schooling but in the long run you will profit and your family.

Big money in diesel truck repair.
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