The New York Times reported this in today's edition "More Joining American Military as Jobs Dwindle"
In 2008, all branches of the military met their recruitment goals and according to the article, 2009 may pull in even stronger numbers. The article discusses the growing trend that is sweeping our nation - unemployed, joined the service.
While the service may seem like a good option for some, it is not the lifestyle for everyone and most importantly it is not a decision that should be rushed into. The trend many years before, that I remember, dealt with high school graduates. Just graduated and have no clue what to do? Join the military.
As a military brat, I have a mixed feelings when it comes to that situation and the new trend. On a positive note, I understand the pull and am glad that people who never considered joining the military have discovered that it is a fantastic opportunity. I'm glad to see recruitment numbers soar and I'm glad that all branches of the service are gaining new waves of incredible Americans.
On the flip side, the US military is phenomenal and should be an option that one takes with respect and patriotism, not as any easy way to solve ones problems. Most of the people I know of, who have taken that route, end up hating the military. This is an unfortunate situation, both for the military branch of service and the individual. After all, the individual chose the military. The military did not choose the individual.
Most importantly, as a military brat who's father still serves, I'd rather know that the people working beside my father are there because they really want to be - not because it was the only alternative. Because when they find out that they're going to be deployed and its something they're against or not willing to do, there is no alternative. And the men and women who serve beside them will want to know that their heart is in it and that they've got their backs.
Don't mistake what I'm saying above as negativity - I'm purely expressing my opinions because I've seen split second decisions to join make people hate their lives. And obviously I'm protective of my military community, because, to my very core, I love the military and it will always be a part of me. Deciding NOT to join the service was the hardest decision I ever had to make; after all I've only known a military lifestyle and it has made me who I am today.
So to all those who are considering joining - I encourage you to listen to everyone (recruiters, military families, prior military members) but most of all listen to your heart. Only that will tell you if this path is right for you.