Joining the military is an attractive option for some young people. Maybe you get out of high school, and you’re trying to think of a career path for yourself. You know that your family doesn’t have a ton of money, and you might feel hesitant about taking out some student loans to go to college.
There are several other aspects of joining the military that you should consider, though, before you take the plunge. Let’s talk about them a little bit right now.
If You Injure Yourself, You Might Not Find a Warm Reception Back Home
If you join the military, and they deploy you to a combat zone after you complete your training, that’s dangerous. Even if the US is not engaged in open warfare at the time, you never know when your superiors will send you to a place where the citizenry is actively hostile toward Americans. There might also be insurgents there who would like to see you dead.
You risk life and limb in the military, but if you injure yourself and get an honorable discharge, people might not greet you as a hero when you get back home. Some military members feel like society regards them as pariahs when they return from fighting. It can be hard to readjust to civilian life.
If you’re an older individual and you return from combat with an injury, the VA can probably help you later in your life. You might be able to stay in a VA-run facility, such as a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Some of these places may not take the best care of you, though. If that happens, you might need to file a VA lawsuit.
You Can Make Your Family Proud
On the plus side, if you go into the armed forces, your family might approve of the idea, and they may honor and praise you when you get back. To join the military, you must be courageous. Those closest to you will probably recognize that what you’re doing takes mental fortitude as well as physical toughness.
It’s also possible, though, that your family may disapprove of your decision. Joining the military-industrial complex brings with it some negative connotations for some people. Depending on your family’s political views, they might feel positively or negatively about this career path.
You’ll Be Away from Your Loved Ones
Whether your family approves of you joining the military or not, as long as you’re performing active duty, you will probably be away from them. If you have a spouse or partner, kids, and other close family members, you’ll have to realize that you’re not likely to see them as much as you’d probably like.
That can be hard, especially if you have kids who are growing up while you’re mostly away. You might miss seeing them take their first steps or other important events. That’s part of what military members sacrifice.
You Might Have to Move Around Quite a Bit
If you’re in the military, you also might move around quite a lot so that you can live close to where you’re deployed. If you have a family and you want them to be close to you, they’ll have to move around a lot as well.
Some military families find moving from place to place frequently pretty difficult. If you’ve got a partner or spouse, they might struggle to make friends and find work if they have to keep pulling up stakes and heading to a different city or state. Your kids will also find this to be a challenging lifestyle.
The Military Grants You Educational Opportunities
If you make it through your time in the military, after that, they can probably help you with college if you still want to go. Signing up for military service means they can assist you in paying for higher learning at a well-regarded institution if that’s one of your goals.
Since the military always needs young people who are willing to serve their country, they offer education as an incentive. Someone who is coming from an underprivileged background might go this route for that reason alone.
There are potential negatives and positives if you join the military. Consider each side of the slate carefully before you move forward. The military lifestyle does offer some unique opportunities, but you must also accept the harsh reality that you might have to fight or even die for your country in some instances.