[lit-ideas] Dumb soldiers?

  • From: "Andreas Ramos" <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2006 13:09:00 -0800

Sen. Kerry implied that only dumb people join the Army. Lawrence says nobody is so dumb as to not realize they'll be in combat and get shot at.

There was an article in Harpers last year about soldiers who went AWOL. The journalist talked with a bunch of them.

From the Harper's article, well, yes, people join the Army but don't realize that 1) they must get out of bed at 5 am 2) they must obey orders 3) they can't discuss or ignore orders and 4) they'll get shot at.

To most of us, this sounds pretty funny. What did they think they were joining? The cub scouts?

But with the "adventure advertising", the general lack of information about life (too much TV), and the false presentation of the military on TV (M.A.S.H, all the Army comedy shows, etc.), many kids have the idea that the Army is a frat house.

And then there's those who enlist to get training, get a job, and so on. They really never expected to "be shot at". They just want to be an electrician. Suddenly, they're in war zone.

The answer isn't "you made a choice, so shut up." It's not good to have a military with reluctant soldiers.

Perhaps there should a chance after boot camp to reconsider and be allowed to quit, or be moved into a non-combat position with civilian conditions (wake up at normal hours, etc.)


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