Military recruitment for war or scholarship?
This is something that I’ve been mulling over in my mind since the beginning of the Iraq invasion, and I’m just now putting it into words. I noticed (and continue to notice) that a lot of enlisted soldiers didn’t like the idea that they were being sent into action. I wouldn’t either, but that is why I did not enlist.
I understand that there are many incentives for enlisting these days. Scholarships, benefits, even cash rewards. I wonder if all these are designed to distract the recruited from the reality of the position. Just watch the commercials on TV; they look like video games or G.I. Joe cartoons more than they resemble actual combat. As a natural result, many soldiers and families of soldiers commented that they / their son / their daughter only enlisted for a scholarship or other incentive, and didn’t expect to go to war. By the tone of these statements, I feel that they don’t think they deserve to go to war, perhaps because they didn’t anticipate it. Does this seem inconsistent to anyone else? Are the armed services recruiting campaigns to blame for the deceit?
It’s likely, however, that this represents the minority of the armed forces. For the many other soldiers and families of soldiers that I have not seen on the news, I will assume that they are proud to serve and that their sacrifice comes without regret or grudge. I certainly don’t deserve to be counted above any of them because I refused to volunteer. Most importantly, I’m grateful that such citizens make the ultimate offering for the good of all.