PERKS OF BEING IN THE MILITARY
I've served in the US Army for 13 years but am probably not what most would consider the typical Soldier. If there was a vote in high school for Least Likely to Join the Military, I probably would've won. I work a desk job that probably closely resembles most corporate positions. Regardless, it's been over a decade and I don't regret my decision.
- •Going places I never would've imagined.Germany, Kuwait, Hawaii, and who knows where else in the future.
- •Moving every three years keeps things interesting/adventurous.You know that urge you have sometimes to travel or move to a different part of the country just to make a change? But all of the logistics of your wanderlust make you change your mind? Now imagine that moving is mandatory and your destination is a complete crapshoot. It keeps things exciting and definitely feels like a family adventure.
- •The financial benefits are redic.Housing allowance, subsistence allowance, tuition assistance (for yourself or dependents), life insurance, health insurance, savings programs... It's pretty remarkable. We had a baby and it cost us $0. And that doesn't even touch any of the other benefits (military discounts, access to special programs, commissary, etc).
- •Never have to figure out what to wear everyday.I am fashionably inept (just ask my wife) so this is actually a big deal.
- •Firing a rifle is part of my job description.I'm no gun nut, but there's no denying that there's something fun about shooting a weapon. Now I can do that regularly without having to own a firearm myself!
- •Fitness requirements have kept me more in shape than if I wasn't in.Hard to admit but certainly true.
- •The good leaders are OUTSTANDING.Leadership is so ingrained in the military culture that when you have a good leader that really gets it they are phenomenal. Their example has inspired me to be more of a leader than I ever thought possible.
- •The "real" Soldier stuff can be fun.Let's be honest. I have a desk job. I don't do the normal Soldier stuff often. So when I do get a chance to go to the field, fire my weapon, sleep in a tent, or work on hand-to-hand combat, it's exciting.
- •I am a rule follower. There are a crap ton of rules to follow.If there's ever a question about what to do or how to act in a certain situation, there's a really good chance that the answer can be found in a regulation somewhere. And for a perpetual rule-follower that is extremely gratifying.
- •The military understands community.Military life can be quite demanding and most families understand that intrinsically. There's an art to the way families rally behind anyone who needs help. You don't feel bad about asking for help because you know in a month you will be reciprocating. It's beautiful and something the Church could learn a lot from.
- •I am proud to serve my country.This can be diluted sometimes by over-sentimental nationalism. But the bottom line is that I am very grateful to be born in America and am glad to give back in some small way.