Showing posts from January, 2019

Deciding to join the military

I didn’t always know I wanted to join the military. The military seemed to me like this distant, untouchable world that I would never understand. People in it talked about “branches” and “units” and “MOS”s, none of which I knew anything about. (And still kind of don't.)
But at the same time, the military has always had a certain draw for me. The very first time I thought about joining the military was in high school. I think the adventure and the challenge of it appealed to me. But I had a couple major hang-ups about it, and I was too shy to talk to a recruiter.
One semester teaching abroad, 18 months serving a religious mission, and two years of college later, I began to once again think seriously about joining the military. I had participated in a couple ROTC training exercises at college just for fun, and loved them. I had also heard that the military could help pay for your schooling; which for a while there, seemed like the only way I could afford to continue college.
So I start…

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“I guess I’ve just never known a woman who wanted to do these things that men do in the Army, and I’m having a hard time understanding it.”
This is a sentence my grandma said to me today. This is a sentence that many different people, in many different ways, have said to me over the past few weeks. Some less tactfully than Grandma. (Truthfully, even Grandma has come a long way to be able to say that sentence so calmly and tactfully.)
I have been meeting with an Army recruiter lately. It has caused a lot of excitement in my circle of acquaintances. Not the sort of excitement you would expect for someone deciding to serve their country. Mostly the kind of excitement that ends in yelling and/or tears.

Contrary to what people think (that I will be the only girl in a place full of ex-conmen and rapists), the military has a tight screening process that leaves it full of decent, respectable people. And more and more of them are women! At least if the people I have seen in the recruiting office …