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Military Service Preys On Fragile Minds Of The Youth

Editor’s Note: This column is based solely on the author’s individual opinion and does not reflect the opinions of the Minaret staff nor the University of Tampa.

There is a Swahili proverb that goes, “Bend a fish while it is still wet.”

It is unjust to recruit those who don’t fully comprehend what it means to die for any cause. | beverly&pack/flickr.com

It is unjust to recruit those who don’t fully comprehend what it means to die for any cause. | beverly&pack/flickr.com

It is usually used when referring to children, meaning the best way to teach them is when they are young.
The military seems to have understood this very well.

Although military drafts were banned back in 1973, it is not hard to see instances where military service is heavily persuading and aiming for young people.
The army openly stated that it was looking to attract and recruit more young people.

The military in any country has a function and purpose and it is vital for a country’s stability and security. However, the people who work in the military should do so out of free will and choice.
For the service to be out of free will and voluntary, a person has to be old enough physically and mentally to make such a decision and to understand exactly what they are getting into.

I was perturbed that the minimum education requirement for a person to be recruited into the U.S Army was a high school diploma, while the minimum age requirement was set at 18. Even this requirement has been over looked at times by allowing 17-year-olds to be deployed.At the age of 18, and even with a high school diploma, a person is too young to be recruited into military service.

They are young and still fresh. They are yet to be exposed to the real world, or even college, which is a diluted form of the real world. It is during the 18-25 age bracket that a person develops and tests their beliefs, it is at this time that they explore who they are and what they are about.

It is in college that these beliefs are formed, fully developed and make up a person’s character and personality.
People get to see a greater extent of what they hear about, they get to experiment with the process of making a decision by themselves and dealing with the implication of the decisions they make.

This is clear when observing the choices made by a freshman at college, compared to those of a junior or senior.
As a person is exposed to more, they learn the difference between good and bad and right wrong; it is these that form the basis of what a person chooses to believe in and the path of life they choose to take later in life.

The main problem with trying to recruit people who are young and mostly fresh out of high school is that they are not fully aware of what they are going to do. Some people’s main motivation for wanting to join the army is the allure of adventure and being exposed to guns and actually being able to use them. A young man is willing to lose his life for a cause that he may not even fully understand.

They are told the stories of glory without realizing that dying for a cause is not always good, especially if the cause of the conflict was simply a desire for power.
Dying in war is indeed something, but what difference does it make if others will die in the same way and the purpose for the war is simply to invade a sovereign nation or steal its resources?

Does it really make a difference if after your death nothing changes about the war, and it continues in the way that it has been? Or has your death simply become a statistic in a person’s search for more power and resources? The argument for military service is that it is a service to one’s own country, and if they love their country then they ought to do it.

To a young man or woman who is yet to know and experience the evils of the world, this sounds like a good reason to join the army.
That’s the problem. With young people, it is easy to influence their way of thinking, to convince and persuade them that military service is good.

Even when drafted, it is much easier to persuade a young 18-year-old that they ought to kill someone because it is okay than to convince a 25-year-old that the same act is okay.
Young people are quicker and more aggressive at defending their decision to join the army as opposed to veterans who will tell you the thick of what it really is, without all the puffed up promises of glory.

There is a certain vulnerability that comes with young age, and a fragility that allows them to easily submit to authority even when they are asked to do things that they know by instinct to be wrong.
It is easy to shape young minds to certain ideologies about war, conflict and how it can be dealt with.

This is the concept of bending the fish when it is still fresh.

Camilla Chebet can be reached at cchebet@spartans.ut.edu.

249 Comments on Military Service Preys On Fragile Minds Of The Youth

  1. @John Doe I have protected your 1st Amendment right to say whatever you want to say with little restrictions, because for 29 years I have kept an oath to defend The Constitution against enemies foreign or domestic… That being said you obviously have not experienced much outside of the United States, because if you had you would understand that the freedom to say such stupid things is NOT protected in most other countries, even those that folks of your apparent mindset think are so great, European for example.
    If you don’t want to serve your country that is your prerogative, but attempt to show a little respect for those who do in whatever capacity they chose to do so.
    Most of the folks on here who have taken to bashing the military in general and those who serve specifically do not have the experience to have an informed opinion. Get out, see the world and find out why the United States ends up being the world’s security blanket whether you agree with that or not. There are many solid arguments for pulling back and letting the world fend for themselves, however history would show that approach is folly.
    Just as saying we don’t need police officers in our communities would be silly, saying that we don’t need a strong military to be able to defend our national interests is also silly. Have politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle misused the military? Absolutely. All the way back to the Civil War, again on both sides of that dispute.
    But for those of you who believe: “if we leave them alone, they’ll leave us alone” history would prove you wrong repeatedly. Try that in your neighborhood with the bully/thief who wants your bike or your Iphone… and expand that to the world.
    “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” Clausewitz and it’s hard to defend an argument without at least the threat of a big stick. “Speak softly, and carry a big stick” President Theodore Roosevelt
    It would be desired to keep our ships and planes and tanks and soldiers in port, on the ground and at home, but that, unfortunately children, is NOT the way the real world works.

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  2. Veteran here,

    It’s 100% true that the military is not always glorious or exciting. That said, military service is whatever you make of it. If you enlist into a highly specialized MOS that has little civilian application, don’t use the GI Bill, don’t save for retirement, use the VA home loan, and generally ignore all the advice given to young recruits, then the most you’ll get out of your enlistment are some memories.

    However, if you’re like me and tens of thousands of other veterans, then the military is a great way to move up in life. It comes with many tremendous benefits (and hardships) and opportunities. I received top notch training for a job, got a great mortgage through the VA, go to UT for free, and padded my resumé with tons of qualifications and certifications.

    The military is absolutely not for everyone, but for many of us it’s a major leap of upward mobility that helps us throughout our lives.

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  3. I as a military dependent appreciate this article. It’s not 100% perfect but you should be proud of it. Nice job. The young warriors are outstanding, but you are right about some of the reasons we invade other countries…not always for good reasons. People just need to be aware before they sign up.

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  4. I agree that 18 is almost too young to sign up
    for duty. However, if these young men and women
    are unable to decide what they wish to do in life,
    after high school, and can’t afford a college education,
    I would rather see them join the military than
    end up in prison.

    For those who’ve been raised in less than
    “supportive” environments, the military teaches them
    discipline, as well as establishing pride in themselves
    and their country.

    No one wants to see these young lives sacrificed
    for power, and it’s always a horrible feeling
    when I hear of their tragic deaths. Yet, I can’t help
    but feel that those who enlist are doing something
    so wonderful for their lives. They’re held accountable
    for their actions, and learn to live within strict
    boundaries. I am very proud for and, of ALL
    our young citizens in the services.

    May God watch over them, and keep them
    safe until he calls them home.

    Oh, and yes, my dad retired from the military after 33
    years of exemplary service. I have two siblings
    who have served their country, as well as a young son who will be “out to sea”
    shortly. I would entrust my life to all of them,
    and am very proud indeed.

    Hope this finds EVERYONE who reads it
    grateful to all these young warriors!!!!

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  5. jeremy williams // January 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm //

    I’m in the service, I came from a rough childhood. I signed my name at 18, cushioned with a 20000, sign on bonus. Lied to by a recruiter, threatened through tradoc. With dishonorable discharges if any soldiers wanted out. You know what sane people call that, imprisonment. Imprisonment to young adults, who icons still are on t.v, and are more concerned with girls and money, and or boys and money. The legal age to sign should be 21, when you have at least had a chance to be own your own away from parents. My contract is up in 11 months and I’m glad….the experience has been a nightmare, but I am proud I served. I will not let another 18 year old make a mistake that I did. I will teach them what is the true army not the made up one, that your local recruiter salesman throws in your ear. Recruiting should not be done through lies and deception, you should be givin a way out if you hit tradoc and are like fuck this, not held for months then let go.

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  6. Thiago Queiroz // August 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm //

    A future “stupid” soldier says:
    Jan. 20, 2012 at 8:47 am
    You may not agree with what is happening in politics at this point in time, you may not agree with what soldiers are fighting for, but one thing is still very importnat. No matter how you put it, these soldiers who are fighting for our freedoms deserve our respect and gratitude, not our denouncing. Calling someone who lays their life on the line for their country “stupid” is incredibly narrow minded. So I humbly ask you to get your head out of your a** and show some respect for those fighting for your freedoms.

    ^ wow that is probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. First of all, most soldiers that go fight in these wars do so because there isn’t anything else available to them, so the worst people in society are the ones being deployed. Second, if you’re a soldier then you are a part of the problem, killing people is never ok and neither is killing innocent civilians. They are a part of the system that takes advantage of young people and they know it. Third, you seem like a stupid dimwit jarhead by posting this bullshit.

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  7. A future "stupid" soldier // January 20, 2012 at 8:47 am //

    You may not agree with what is happening in politics at this point in time, you may not agree with what soldiers are fighting for, but one thing is still very importnat. No matter how you put it, these soldiers who are fighting for our freedoms deserve our respect and gratitude, not our denouncing. Calling someone who lays their life on the line for their country “stupid” is incredibly narrow minded. So I humbly ask you to get your head out of your a** and show some respect for those fighting for your freedoms.

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  8. Realistic // January 20, 2012 at 8:39 am //

    You may not agree with what is happening in politics at this point in time, you may not agree with what soldiers are fighting for, but one thing is still very importnat. No matter how you put it, these soldiers who are fighting for our freedoms deserve our respect and gratitude, not our denouncing. Calling someone who lays their life on the line “stupid” is incredibly narrow minded. So I humbly ask you to “Get you head out of your ass” and show some respect for those fighting for your freedoms.

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  9. The fact remains that the military hasn’t protected us from a major real threat in what like 60 years? They are a huge burden on taxpayers even after they retire. It goes to show they are stupid tools. Get a job! Get an education! Don’t just expect everything to be handed to you! Maybe this article should be retitled: The military preys on the minds of the stupid.

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  10. Social Justice // November 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm //

    … and here we have another mindless rant, courtesy of John Doe. I know it’s pointless to respond to anyone foaming at the mouth, but in the interests of rational dialogue, I will try.

    The word you are misinterpreting, John, is “our.” The military does not (and cannot) fight for the desired freedoms of individuals. The military fights for the interests of the citizens of the United States as a group — including the freedom of self-governance. The freedom of self-governance means that, through the various mechanisms of the three branches of government, we have agreed to a system through which various personal freedoms are either granted or restricted. Your rant ignores this basic truth.

    You froth on about warrantless searches, ignoring (or ignorant of) the fact that warrants have NEVER been required in all circumstances, had to be added to the Constitution as the 4th amendment, and weren’t clearly required by state law enforcement officials until 1961 (Mapp v. Ohio). Warrantless searches are somewhat more common now than a decade ago, but the vast majority of searches still require (and get) warrants.

    Random police checkpoints are as legal as they have ever been. It is lawful for an officer to order a vehicle to stop. It is lawful for an officer to identify any criminal activity in plain view in the vehicle (no seat belt on, open alcohol containers, drugs, weapons, etc.).

    Likewise, there has never been anything illegal about license plate recording or facial recognition software. Public behavior is viewable … and therefore recordable … and always has been.

    In short, you keep blathering on about rights as if they were somehow inherent in the universe, rather than the arbitrary decisions of the society, enacted legislatively, enforced executively, and validated legally. Rights are not absolutes; they are fluid. Rights are not moral imperatives; they are social contracts generated by majority vote or enforcement of existing legal principles. Any and every right in the Constitution can, theoretically, be modified or eliminated (although it seems unlikely, the mechanism to do so is there).

    The sooner you get a clue about it, the better off you (and the rest of us) will be.

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  11. The claim that the US military “fights for our freedom” is a horrible LIE that permeates our society. If “our” military is “fighting for our freedom,” then how come we’re continuing to lose our freedoms and our privacy? Why are we seeing random police checkpoints, mass electronic surveillance (license plate readers, face-recognition systems, etc.), warrantless searches, police brutality that goes unpunished, undeclared wars, gun control, and all the rest? When is the military going to stop these things? If more unconstitutional are passed by Congress and signed by the president, will the military march on Washington and restore the Constitution?

    VERY WELL SAID I WAS JUST THINKING THE SAME THING

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  12. This is such an eye opening article. I really agree with what the author is saying. The military conscripts immature guys as soon as when they are 18 and even younger if they are in junior ROTC. FUCK THE MILITARY!

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  13. Just saying // October 27, 2011 at 8:21 am //

    I joined when I was 19, and would like to think I was morally developed enough and reasonably intelligent enough to know what I was doing. The recruiters did not come looking for me- I went to them. These wars had not started yet, but I felt this urge to serve my country in any capacity I could. I was not forced into it, and no one person preyed on my mind or any other such nonsense.
    I was an infantryman by choice, and was ordered to go fight when the wars kicked off. I had to kill or be killed, and thank God they taught us how to do it. I feel that yes, I have been affected by what I witnessed and had to do, but I am also cognizant enough to recognize this and seek help when needed. Some are not so lucky, and succumb to their issues.
    Militaries have almost always started recruiting young men and women to serve in this capacity. You have to have a certain mentality to do the things you do while in combat, and it takes a lot of training to get to that point. To pull in 30 year olds whom already have their minds made up about what makes the world go round is setting you up for failure. You need instant obedience to orders, and the ability to think and act on a second’s notice. Therefore, starting out young is the best way to go.
    @Baruch.. You stated “It is not joining the military that inhibits or alters moral development, it is being trained to kill, to see other humans as less than human.” The premise is correct, but your understanding of the military and what it is like to be in combat is glaringly deficient. We aren’t just trained to kill. We are trained to complete a mission and if that mission requires us to take a human life, we are taught how to do that. Seeing “humans as less than human” is not what we are taught. Some develop this coping mechanism in order to carry out their mission, but I have never been trained to think this way. It goes back to what I said earlier; instant obedience to orders. If you hesitate an instant when you look down your sights at someone firing on you or your brothers, one or the others will probably die. I know this is a hard concept for anyone who hasn’t served to grasp, but take it from me, it is important.
    You also stated, “If we really want a healthy society we need to make health and well-being a priority. That has to exclude violence, and the horrible two-dimensionalizing of other humans which is often part of the process of training soldiers”.
    So true, we do need “to make health and well-being a priority”. However, politics aside, there will always be a need for a military in our country whether for defense of offense. Violence will never be exempt from society, and as someone who boast so freely about their education and back-round I am sure you know this. Having said this, one would also expect you to realize that it is not military training that is causing the “two-dimensionalizing of other humans”, it is the soldiers themselves who adapt this coping skill. I am a bit unclear as to which “other humans” you are referring to, so I am assuming you mean the enemy.
    Again, I am not surprised you made so many mistakes, because I am fairly certain you have never been in a combat situation yourself. I do not fault you for your incorrect assessments, you are only guessing. If you have never served, you should think twice about making accusations and assumptions. Also, I would like to know your name so I am certain I never end up in your office for treatment.
    You have to understand that the young will always fight the wars of this great country. They will, hopefully, always have the desire to serve their country in whatever capacity they can. This country needs generations of our youth to be willing to stand up to our enemies, and uphold the constitution. Without this, we would not be who we are. You may have been lacking in your desire to serve, but don’t fault others for pursuing their calling. The mental health issues that come after years of being in a hostile environment are expected, and oftentimes understood as part of what you can expect when returning. The way we have to cope with the insanity of war should not be used as ammunition in your obvious contempt towards the military.
    I served in the Marine Corps for 8 years, deployed to Iraq for 2 years of my time, was wounded in 2005, and spent the last 4 years of my service healing from the injury. Now I am in school trying to find other ways I can help my country. I think I have more ground to talk about the affects of war on an individual than you do. You never once mentioned the positive aspects that war can have on an individual. The leadership skills, decision making skills, coping skills- all which are honed in war and can be used effectively when seeking employment after service. Rather than focusing on your perceived, negative aspects of the military, why not try and help turn these mental health issues around and point these men and women toward bigger and better things. We are not all tools.

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  14. Social Justice // October 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm //

    Nope Baruch.

    “Well said” means that a point was made clearly and appropriately. The article doesn’t. Your leap to “perfectly written” is off.

    “Common sense” isn’t. I was talking about logical discourse and evidence based conclusions, not the subjective opinions of anecdotal evidence (no matter how many decades we are talking about).

    Further, you are still making assumptions. I don’t concede (or agree with) the claim that being taught how to use a lethal weapon automatically leads one to devalue life. And even if it DID, we would have to consider whether the comaraderie training in the military actually increases respect for life (don’t leave your buddies behind, how to do your job to save lives, etc.).

    Further, you are again assuming by repeating your idea that being in the military automatically means being exposed to death. It simply isn’t true. Even in war, the majority of our armed forces never go near actual combat.

    And if you read all the messages here, you’ll see I made my opinion on the piece clear long ago. There is nothing surprising about a college student who makes the generalizations of this article. But no matter the point of the article, it is shameful that something written this way went to press. And yes, I disagree with the point of the article. It is long on blame, and short on personal responsibility. It insults legal adults by stating they simply can’t make informed decisions — despite the fact that we would hold them legally culpable for any other decision they might make at the same age (getting pregnant, commiting a crime, taking out a loan, commiting to a university, etc.). It ignores the fact that military recruitment includes real ideals that are, in fact, moral goods (service to your country, for instance).

    But even if I agreed with every negative image of the military, I would still disapprove of the article. It’s badly written, logically shoddy, and shamefully simplistic.

    Likewise, were you the president of the A.P.A., your logic would still be wrong. The pedigree doesn’t make the statement right. Dueling our PhDs is entirely beside the point.

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  15. @Social Justice:

    I didn’t say it was perfectly written. I was responding to the content of the article.

    Perhaps, as you say, human society has never prioritized the common good. Maybe it’s time to do so?

    Of course moral development is an ongoing process, and of course no generalities apply to everyone, however as someone who has studied and practiced in the field of psychology for more than 3 decades, I know that young adulthood is a crucial time for moral development. Heck, it’s common sense!

    It is not joining the military that inhibits or alters moral development, it is being trained to kill, to see other humans as less than human. If you don’t see how that effects moral development then perhaps it is your knowledge of psychology which is lacking.

    Trauma damages people. Being in combat is traumatic. Killing, seeing other killed, hurting others, being wounded; all that effects the psyche. To deny that would be absurd.

    Seems to me that perhaps you don’t like the message in the article and are therefore seeking to discredit me because I agree with it. That actually says more about you than about the article or me. If you disagree with the article, spell it out.

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  16. Social Justice // October 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm //

    To believe that this is “well said” is to show a complete lack of understanding of grammar, whether you support her point or not.

    To suggest that the morals of our society reflect a goal of “the common good” is to show a complete lack of understanding of either our society, morality or history. That is not, and has never been, the goal of our society.

    To suggest that military recruitment is the same thing as “generations” of 20-somethings ravaged by war is to show you don’t understand the difference between being in the military and being in a war zone.

    To suggest that moral development isn’t done by 17 or 18 is to show that you do not understand psychology. For some it is done by then. For others (and, if you knew psychology, we would say “for most”) a personal moral code will never be fully developed. Even if the development were going to finish up later in life, your suggestion that joining the military would somehow end or prevent that development is nonsensical.

    So, Baruch, we are left with this conclusion: don’t be such a victim of confirmation bias (there’s another one of those psychology principles again). That you like the message does not make it well written, cogent, logically defensible, or rational.

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  17. Camilla, well said! Your observations strike a strong chord for me especially from the point of view of developmental psychology. The fact that the military goes after people who have not fully formed their moral code and identity, and goes after them at a critical point in their process, is unethical and is antithetical to the idea of having a society with a moral code which prioritizes the common good. By creating generations of 20 somethings ravaged by war physically psychologically morally and spiritually, we perpetuate the worst in our culture. If we really want a healthy society we need to make health and well-being a priority. That has to exclude violence, and the horrible two-dimensionalizing of other humans which is often part of the process of training soldiers.

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  18. Just saying // September 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm //

    Where do I start? The military does not “impose tyrannical laws on Americans”. They have nothing to do with domestic laws. On occasion, the National Guard will be used to help out, but at the request of the Governor of that state. Also, us military members are only doing what the US government asks of them. That is their job.

    They sign up to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” according to the oath of enlistment.

    Whether someone likes what the military is doing or not, they are following their orders. Some will never understand what sacrifice is. “For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.” Tim Craft

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  19. Mike Taylor // September 11, 2011 at 11:25 pm //

    The claim that the US military “fights for our freedom” is a horrible LIE that permeates our society. If “our” military is “fighting for our freedom,” then how come we’re continuing to lose our freedoms and our privacy? Why are we seeing random police checkpoints, mass electronic surveillance (license plate readers, face-recognition systems, etc.), warrantless searches, police brutality that goes unpunished, undeclared wars, gun control, and all the rest? When is the military going to stop these things? If more unconstitutional are passed by Congress and signed by the president, will the military march on Washington and restore the Constitution?

    The US military (and police) are actually the greatest THREAT to our freedom. They, and only they, have the power to impose tyrannical laws on Americans. (Our nuclear deterrent and huge, armed population prevents any invasion by a significant foreign power.) The military is nothing more than the US enforcement arm of the political elites. “Our” soldiers invade other countries to impose the will of that elite, which generally involves making big bucks for “defense” contractors. They’ve used their guns against American citizens in the past (read about the Bonus Marchers for one good example), and they’ll do it again if they’re ever ordered to do so. Heck, the National Guard even helped confiscate citizens’ guns in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I suppose they were fighting for the Second Amendment, eh?

    All the insults and vitriol from military personnel and their sycophants cannot substitute for reasoned argument, nor can it change these facts I’ve stated. The US military DOES NOT fight for our freedom.

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  20. UT STUD is probably just trolling, agreed, but the enlistment oath starts with

    “I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States…”

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  21. A Questioner // August 26, 2011 at 9:36 am //

    Soldiers have nothing to do with the Constitution? Really? You seriously believe this? You’re not just trolling? How can you be so ignorant? Genetics?

    What’s your major, UT STUD? Perhaps you should take a history course.

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  22. The only thing that gave me the personal freedoms I enjoy today was the Constitution. Soldiers have nothing to do with that!

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  23. You people are pathetic….you think every young person enlists because he or she has either been playing to much xbox or doesn’t know what they are doing…do you ever think maybe, that we aren’t all 4.0 GPA yes mam no mam, little perfect kids with perfect lives? Some of us aren’t exactly lucky like that… we live in our parent’s shadows and have no identity, no one remembers us, I know for a fact my own friends and family have forgotten my name on more than one occassion. The military is a chance for some of us to make something of ourselves, so that maybe…one day…arragont little pricks such as yourselfs might actually remember us, not only that but maybe even “respect” us………Oh, and one last thing, soldiers don’t enlist thinking, “oh yeh im gonna go fight for my favorite politician” or ” I’m enlisting so i can go get some oil for my country!” they enlist for their own personal reasons wether it be, family, friends, or maybe a lack of them, they may enlist because they enjoy helping others, or maybe, just maybe they enlist because giving their useless lives to the military is better than taking the easy way out and commiting scuicide, further dissappointing people who never believed in,nor cared about them. They don’t need glory or medals…just an honorable death. FUCK YOU

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  24. A Questioner // June 29, 2011 at 11:57 am //

    It’s easy to hide behind anonymnity when spewing hatred.

    But hey, your free speech was bought with the blood of those ‘hitmen’ in costumes. Pray you don’t one day lose it through your self-righteous pacifism.

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  25. John Doe // June 28, 2011 at 11:01 pm //

    Military personnel are nothing better than hitmen wearing a costume with the US flag on it.

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  26. I am embarrassed and disappointed with the behavior of many of you. You should think twice about saying anything that needs the shield of anonymity.

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  27. I am embarrassed disappointed with the behavior of many of you. You should think twice about saying anything that needs the shield of anonymity.

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  28. ahhh… ignorance is bliss

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  29. Great Article // April 14, 2011 at 9:30 am //

    Great Article, it is time people start questioning these sick fantasies and realizing that when you put on a costume and get paid to murder, you are just the same as any other hitman……

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  30. freshman // April 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm //

    what does youth have to do with the author being wrong? douche

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  31. A very well-educated veteran // March 1, 2011 at 8:39 am //

    Although Ms. Chebet is entitled to her opinion, I think it is quite apparent that her own youth and inexperience are demonstrated in this piece. We should recall that we all get the right to vote at 18- so if young people shouldn’t serve in the military, I would argue that they should not vote, either. Deciding who to vote for ‘should’ be a complex decision-making process, evaluating the platforms of each candidate by informing oneself of all the issues at stake. It is laughable to think that most 18-year-olds take the time, or even have the knowledge, to do so. Also, I think it is pretty hilarious to comment that college is a ‘watered-down version of the real world’- get out in the real world then think again about that. College is fantasy land compared to what most Americans live every day!

    OF COURSE the military tries to recruit young people. We need healthy, physically fit individuals to serve; the 18-24 demographic is where we try to find most of these individuals, before the vagaries of life start to break them down. As an aside, it is a sad note that over 3/4 of high school seniors are unfit to serve because they cannot meet physical fitness and height/weight standards. I can tell you from personal experience that the physical fitness standards are pretty darn easy to meet, if you have a basic level of fitness.

    I joined the military at the ripe old age of 26, while still in graduate school. I served as a medical professional and am very proud of that service. When we sign up, all of us are aware that we are VOLUNTEERING to serve, and that we don’t necessarily have to agree with what our leaders tell us to do (although there certainly could be a discourse on how socioeconomic status and available opportunities affect the decision to join the military). We sign up to DO IT, unless it is ‘illegal, immoral, or unethical.’ I served a tour in Iraq, and it didn’t matter what I personally felt about the war. I did my job, took care of Soldiers, and can hold my head up because I did what I signed up to do.

    Like

  32. A Freshman at UT // February 25, 2011 at 10:39 pm //

    We still went there more for the oil than for the “freedom” of its people. Sad but true.

    Like

  33. eddie hoffmann // February 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm //

    I have formed my opinions based on personal experiences and research I have done on my own but would like to expand my knowledge on the subject. I will probably sign up for a class on the Middle East.

    I remember how excited Iraqis were in 2003 when we reached Baghdad. It was like being in a parade! In 2004, the excitement had cooled off, and by 2005-06 it was even chillier. I do not totally understand the politics of the region, but I have heard the stories from some Iraqis describing the abuses they have lived through personally. I would say that just about anything would be better than what they lived through.

    I believe they have a tough road ahead of them, but I also know that they are a strong-willed people and will end up with who they want.

    Like

  34. Dr. Ethan Deneault // February 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm //

    “The people of the Middle East are nothing like the people of America or Europe. They were administered by the British as a colony and therefore gained independence by establishing a kingdom. To think that they would have the same capability* of reaching a transparent and “democratic” form of government is very unrealistic. Their problem has to do with their religious fundamentalism and how it enshrines powerful sometimes despotic heads of state. ”

    This statement is racist at its face. Iraqis are no less capable as a people of developing a modern democratic government than any other people. Just because they are a majority Muslim population does not preclude them from having a functioning non-authoritarian state. If you look at the history of the post-colonial Middle East, the former colonial masters set up puppet governments as they left, or partitioned out nations based on convenience rather than culture. Populist Marxists like Ghadaffi, Islamists like Khomeini or crypto-socialists like Nasser helped to forment popular revolutions much later on. The story of the Middle East is a story of a region’s complete political failure. It’s a story about how strongmen can crush a populace’s spirit, and drive forward religious extremism as a buffer. It’s a story about how Nazi expatriates can shape virulent anti-semitism to be used as a government tool to drive repressions against their populations. It’s a story about the West’s dependence on oil and the political class’s abandonment of the UDHR in favor of cozying up to dictators in the cold war and beyond (for the sake of “stability”).

    I’m sure if you took a history of the Middle East course, you’ll learn it all.

    May I also remind you that there were 13 regions administered by the British as colonies, and they became the USA? May I remind you of the very large democratic nation of India, administered under the Raj? Democracy is messy business to get started, but is far superior that being held under the jackbooted heel of a dictator.

    You, Mr. Freshman, have a lot to learn.

    Like

  35. A Freshman at UT // February 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm //

    To each his own. However, I remember reading about this one country that had some different “protests” and “violence between factions” and they ended up being the super power known today as the United States of America. The people of the US fought to earn their freedom- Iraqis will need to do the same. It is much more complex than what you have stated, and I would gladly explain some things to you if you would like.

    Eddie- You’re comparing apples to oranges here. The people of the Middle East are nothing like the people of America or Europe. They were administered by the British as a colony and therefore gained independence by establishing a kingdom. To think that they would have the same capability* of reaching a transparent and “democratic” form of government is very unrealistic. Their problem has to do with their religious fundamentalism and how it enshrines powerful sometimes despotic heads of state. Only now are we beginning to see more reform through protests but it doesn’t guarantee that Iraq will ever be like the United States.

    Like

  36. eddie hoffmann // February 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm //

    @Freshman….

    To each his own. However, I remember reading about this one country that had some different “protests” and “violence between factions” and they ended up being the super power known today as the United States of America. The people of the US fought to earn their freedom- Iraqis will need to do the same. It is much more complex than what you have stated, and I would gladly explain some things to you if you would like.

    Like

  37. A Freshman at UT // February 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm //

    @eddie hoffmann
    everyone knows we went to Iraq for oil. The new pipelines and new infrastructure leading OUT of the country prove it. Now I hate to say this but with all of the protests and violence between factions going on now, Iraq was better off under Saddam Hussein.

    Like

  38. eddie hoffmann // February 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm //

    I think many people are missing the point. Just because Camilla says they are dying without a cause doesn’t mean those dying believe it. She has her view on it based on her viewpoint from the outside- we have ours from out viewpoint from the inside.

    I agree that it would be horrible to live my life and die for no reason or because someone ordered me to. However, not once did I think that if I died in Iraq I would be dying for no reason. I believed in the mission of helping the people of Iraq, and in turn keeping my men alive. If nothing else came of my death other than I died to keep my men alive- that is enough for me.

    Her claims that they died “in a person’s search for more power and resources” is baseless and nothing more than opinion. It should be taken as only her opinion and not fact. She has nothing to back up the claims. The fact is that we did many great things in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whether you agree or not is irrelevant because the evidence is clear. While every death may not make a difference, the deaths are an unfortunate price we pay to get the job done.

    I challenge you to look at the positive things that have been accomplished rather than focusing on the negative. If you have a hard time with the research, contact me and I will help.

    Like

  39. Thiago Queiroz // February 13, 2011 at 2:04 am //

    @ Mad Spartan in reply to your:

    “Thiago you are from Brazil, if you have issues with this country you may leave at anytime no one forced you to come here. Which begs the question why are you here in America learning?”

    LETS GO XENOPHOBIA! Apparently only American citizens can have and/or express an opinion in anything related to the US. My points:

    1. I have NO ISSUES WHATSOEVER with this country. Never did I say that, and I have no idea where u got that from, as it surely did not come from my first post.

    2. In answer to ur possibly rhetorical question, Im here because I think studying abroad is an EXCELLENT opportunity that any student should engage in if given the chance. Studying abroad is one of the things that opens ur mind up to different perspectives, and allows you to form new opinions and understandings on cultures different than your own. If I wasnt in the US and was instead in Europe, or Africa, or Asia, I would surely still be voicing my opinion. If you ever go study in Brazil, I strongly encourage you to do the same. Going with the flow JUST because its easier makes you a conforming, personality-less individual.

    If there is one part that I strongly did agree with the article was the following:

    “Does it really make a difference if after your death nothing changes about the war, and it continues in the way that it has been? Or has your death simply become a statistic in a person’s search for more power and resources? The argument for military service is that it is a service to one’s own country, and if they love their country then they ought to do it.”

    I do strongly believe that people should act based on what they feel is right and because they feel like its the right thing to do. I think life is too valuable to be lived and suddenly die because “you were ordered to”. If I ever sacrifice my life for the greater good, I promise you It’ll be because of a cause I STRONGLY believe in, and not because some person I dont even know personally told me to go and die, because THEY feel like its the right thing to do. I treasure my life way too much to give it up based on someone else’s opinion or perspective on something.

    So yeah, Im sorry if by me disagreeing with you and actually seeing sense in many of Camilla’s points makes you want to kick me out of your country. If its not youre way of thinking, than the person is either foreign or dumb, which in both cases dont deserve a right to their own opinions.

    I have helped more people in my time here in the US as a non-citizen than you surely ever will as a citizen. As you probably know me because you know Im Brazilian, then you might also know about the things Ive been engaged in for the past 3 years while in the US, and what I do every weekend at my job while youre probably going out and getting drunk.

    I think the least I deserve is an opinion.

    Like

  40. Freshman:

    I will admit that it is entirely possible that someone brought up in Kenya has faced enough of poverty and the issues that can come with being born female in sub Saharan Africa to have come up against some hard limits. I clearly state that the time comes even to most civilians. No one gets out of life unscathed. Wisdom comes from life experience. And you get a lot of that in a very compressed amount of time serving overseas in dangerous places.

    Although it’s possible that the author of this article has experienced her limits, I do not think you understand what I mean by limits. I am not talking merely of hardship. I am talking of a precipice beyond hope. An absolute abyss, with nothing to shield you from the darkness. An experience which shows you that all your strength amounts to precisely nothing. I’ve taken a stab at describing what I mean here, but there really aren’t words for it and the only way to get through it is to endure it. I would not wish it on anyone, not unless in God’s mercy it really is good for a person, and then I’d leave it up to him.

    Like

  41. eddie hoffmann // February 10, 2011 at 10:47 pm //

    @Freshman….

    I wouldn’t exactly call it “intellectually stimulating”. Also, you cannot generalize the military as an “oppressive giant”. The military does what the President and congress tells it to- nothing more. Our nation is not run by the military, nor does the military run itself. Therefore, to label it as “oppressive” does not add up.

    I agree that Camilla has more than likely seen many things in her upbringing that have pushed her limits. However, I cannot imagine these things have given her any clear insight into how the military works. It was simply her opinion. I have no problem with that.

    In fact, I would not have even commented on her commentary in the first place if she hadn’t been so careless in her choice of words in regards to those who have died in combat. Her insinuation that these brave men and women have died in vain is both hurtful and borderline hate speech. If she had left out this whole paragraph:

    “They are told the stories of glory without realizing that dying for a cause is not always good, especially if the cause of the conflict was simply a desire for power.
    Dying in war is indeed something, but what difference does it make if others will die in the same way and the purpose for the war is simply to invade a sovereign nation or steal its resources?”

    I would have just shaken my head and moved on. Unfortunately, she unwisely included it and soured the rest of the commentary. I can take a lot of BS from people who don’t agree with the military or feel the need to attack me because I have served, but I draw the line at hate speeches directed toward my fallen brothers and sisters. She may as well go stand outside a cemetery with Westboro Baptist Church and picket a fallen service-member’s funeral.

    It hurt me to read these words and see them in the school paper. If I wasn’t of a sound mind, I would probably have done something irrational. If she knows what it is like to face all these “limits” as you infer, then she should have been more sympathetic to those who paid with their lives- the ultimate limit.

    Leave the politics out of it. Had politics not been involved from the beginning, we would probably have been finished with these wars by now. As I said before: when you are deployed and bad things happen you aren’t thinking about the President or Congress or whether you are able to make rational decisions- you are thinking about the warriors to your left and your right and you just act. If you want to point fingers then point them at the shot-callers, not the ones taking the orders.

    Like

  42. A Freshman at UT // February 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm //

    To my fellow Veterans: the article is just something written by someone who is very young, very ill informed, and possibly subconsciously scared by the whole prospect of putting herself in the boots of a young recruit. She states that the ages of 18-25 are for figuring out who you are and what you are about. How can this young woman know that you discover far more quickly the limits of your strength and what makes you tick on a combat deployment than you ever could back safe at home? The limits we come up against are limits some civilians never approach (though for most the time comes sooner or later: with a cancer diagnosis or the loss of a loved one or a catastrophic natural disaster.)

    @Ruth

    Or maybe she’s a very bright young international lady, who upon seeing how the US military is an oppressive giant, has enlightened us with intellectually stimulating food for thought. I am sure she has had her share of “reaching limits” or so you say life crises than most military enlistees given her Kenyan upbringing. The fact of the matter is, you are being judgmental, not everyone needs to have a military background to have faced personal or external limits.

    Like

  43. Dear United States Marine Corps,
    Firstly I would like to take the time to thank you for giving me some excellent NCOs when I first joined the fleet, their dedication to training me and ensuring that I never forgot what it meant to be a Marine still carries with me to this day. I joined the corps at the ripe old age of 21 ? (guess that goes against the article) I was in college when I decided that it is time to give my time to the country. While at times it was not easy being in the corps, by striving to keep true to the corps values and in the works of chesty puller striving to keep the term “Marine to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.” Got me through, although I am no longer on active duty the characteristics of never quitting, can do attitude and team work has allowed me to excel in my civilian career and achieve a 4.0gpa in school. While I find the civilian world and how things are done a bit strange, I know that I will adapt to it and continue to be an example for other to emulate. Thank you for your time, remember to keep up the good work,
    Regards and Simper Fidelis,

    Like

  44. Eddie hoffmann // February 9, 2011 at 10:09 pm //

    True. Very well put. I’m over the whole thing, personally.

    Like

  45. To my fellow Veterans: the article is just something written by someone who is very young, very ill informed, and possibly subconsciously scared by the whole prospect of putting herself in the boots of a young recruit. She states that the ages of 18-25 are for figuring out who you are and what you are about. How can this young woman know that you discover far more quickly the limits of your strength and what makes you tick on a combat deployment than you ever could back safe at home? The limits we come up against are limits some civilians never approach (though for most the time comes sooner or later: with a cancer diagnosis or the loss of a loved one or a catastrophic natural disaster.)

    She states that nobody at the age of 18 is fully aware of what it is to die for a cause. I’m not sure that very many 40 or 50 year olds are fully aware of what that means either. However, we don’t fight for some abstract cause. We fight for each other. We do what we do to ensure that everybody possible comes home again, and not in a casket. And THAT’S what those of our brothers and even sisters who were killed in action died for. Death is a waste of human potential. But to lay down your life for another is not a waste. It is the highest demonstration of selfless love.

    It will take this young author several decades of civilian experience to come to understand this truth, if she ever gets there. May her path be less hard than some of ours have been.

    She is right that Veterans tend to be less about the glory of war than new recruits. But the glory of war has always largely been the luxury of armchair soldiers, be they 17 or 75.

    Like

  46. Eddie hoffmann // February 9, 2011 at 11:31 am //

    PS. LOL at Internet crusader. You clearly don’t know me. I don’t think I am better than anyone either. Thanks

    Like

  47. Eddie hoffmann // February 9, 2011 at 11:22 am //

    Rob-

    We won’t go into whether I need therapy or not. Suffice it to say I get what I need. My comment about needing having balls enough to serve was said in the heat of the moment and I apologize. My rank at retirement was due to the fact that 4 years into my enlistment I was hit with an IED and suffered nerve damage that subsequently took away my ability to run. The marine corps won’t promote you I you can not run.
    I too have an opinion- a “vote”a and suggesting I need therapy for voicing mine undermines your point. As I said before- we all have an opinion and a right to express it. We shouldn’t bash those that do- but we are all guilty of it. Mine is no more important- but I will give it. I will also defend my opinion. It is my right. Thank you for yours.
    I’m sorry you don’t have pride in your service or in those you served with. I do. When someone challenges that I react. Whether right or wrong- it is my opinion. My vote.

    Like

  48. Wow. Some of you people leaving comments are clearly mentally unbalanced. Some of you in your attacks are making the military look bad by association.

    Eddie and Paul, you two need therapy. Any reasonable person reading your comments will leave thinking less of those who’d served given your scrambled minds at work. People who don’t serve are don’t have any “balls”, Eddie? What the hell are you even talking about? For a person who served for 9 years and was only a corporal, you seem to take the internet crusader mantle to heart.

    Here’s the reality: we did our job and we were paid for it. This notion of self-importance where military is better than society is delusional fantasy used to make you feel better about your life. Again, in reality it’s the doctors who save lives, the police and military and firemen who serve and protect, the lawyers and judges who enforce law, as well as the working mothers and fathers putting food on the table for their kids who all make society work. In that group are the professors and teachers who educate and make our country a brighter place and the world’s economic leader that it is today.

    Camilla is just as American, just as important as anyone leaving comments, whether we agree with her or not. She still has her voice, one vote to express her opinion, just as anyone else. It’s not like the military where everyone is expected to follow orders and become subservient to those orders, in a free-thinking society – in reality – is people will all have different views of how they see the world.

    R

    Like

  49. A Freshman at UT // February 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm //

    I never asked for you name nor do you need mine.

    Like

  50. Nice Try though. // February 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm //

    @A Freshman at UT

    I find it funny that you say we’re safe within our borders because I seem to recall on 9/11, millions of people were extremely unsafe. You have a lot to learn and that’s okay because the name says it all. Stay in school!

    Like

  51. eddie hoffmann // February 8, 2011 at 12:31 am //

    Now he shows his true intelligence level. I said come out with who you are. Your name. You have mine.

    Like

  52. I completely agree with this ‘impersonator of Austin’

    What makes us unsafe when we are a sovereign nation and have been for more than 100 years. what threat is there to our country’s freedom of independence and Constitution rights? I would say their is no threat unless we create one.

    here are some facts to back up the above statements.

    The last time America was ever invaded was in 1812-1815 by the British army. Since then it has NEVER been invaded by a foreign army force. how many invasions has America been involved in?
    http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

    This is an academic paper with dates, explanations of details of invasions America has been in. They are about 100 countries in which America invaded between 1800 to 2010.

    Yes, America has been a victim of attacks and there is a need for protection against those but how is invasions of other countries protecting barriers of America against attacks. Aren’t these invasions only making America a target?

    Secondly, Constitutional rights have been in place since 1788 when they came into effect. Constitutional rights are Unalienable hence cannot be taken away from anyone by any one. The only threats to constitution rights can only occur internally. No foreign country can deny America of these rights. No one can expect America itself.

    There are countries that have undergone invasions and colonialism and do not have their military invading other nations but if they did they would have every reason to claim that it was to protect their barriers but do they? not many. out of the 100 countries invaded by America, many have made peace with America and trades with it in one way or another.

    Additionally, no one is talking badly about troops who died for America no one is personally insulting troops. the author is only questioning well known controversial causes. also, why aren’t those controversial causes being addressed by all these people who claim to be passionate about serving, why wont they talk about the issue of resources and invasions?

    Like

  53. A Freshman at UT // February 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm //

    I am so glad someone else wrote what I’ve been thinking ever since starting college. The military has always been so misguided by their own superiors and society its actually amusing. They do not fight for freedom, we have no freedom in the United States. They do not fight for our safety, we are safe and secure behind our borders already. They do not die for our country nor do they defend our freedom of free speech. The only reason that people in general play along with these notions is because no one wants to tell a soldier’s kid that he died in vain for politicians or for corporate special interest groups. Snap out of it, stop pretending to be something that you aren’t and stop wanting recognition for things you haven’t earned.

    Like

  54. eddie hoffmann // February 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm //

    Austin-

    Apparently it is the same person who was under the name “A Freshman at UT”. Knowing that now, I realize I wasted a lot of time on a kid who will never understand. Ironic that the author of this commentary says that 18 year olds have fragile minds, yet this guy thinks he knows everything and I would imagine it would be hard to “prey” on him.

    His use of the “N” word is evidence that he is indeed of superior intelligence and therefor belongs in a university of high caliber such as UT. He also thinks “The only thing making MY LIFE SECURE is the company I work for and the police”. Everyone knows the police are local- they aren’t going to stop an invading military. Besides, police are mostly reactive. They will “SECURE” your body after you have taken multiple rounds to the cranium. (by cranium i mean skull)

    @UT Freshman- post a comment with your real name. You have that right- why not exercise it? You hide behind the anonymity of the internet while you say all your hateful rhetoric. Why not come out and stand behind it?

    @Austin- Sorry for the misunderstanding

    Like

  55. Austin Ashby // February 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm //

    No worries! I didn’t know about the boxes until the ex-editor of the Minaret told me about it. No harm done. 🙂

    Like

  56. eddie hoffmann // February 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm //

    wow- well I still stand by my post, just not the name they are directed to. Sorry someone did all that. I’ll pay attention to the boxes next time. Some people are afraid to express themselves- and that is fine.

    Like

  57. Austin Ashby // February 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm //

    Eddie Hoffman, I did not write that post, someone is posing as me for defending Camilla’s rights of expressing her opinion. Whoever is impersonated me is acting like a child (or a troll in pure internet slang).

    I respect the military, the troops fight for my freedom (and my right of free speech). I appreciate the sacrifice the troops and their families make for our country.

    P.S. Look at the box next time, it shows if the same person is posting a comment or if it’s an impostor.

    Like

  58. eddie hoffmann // February 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm //

    The amount of hate that is being spewed out in the comments on here is disheartening. I did not realize there was so much hate and ignorance at this school. Replace “military” with homosexuality, any race, religion, or person of high esteem in these comments or this article and we would be having riots. At a time when hate and violence is all over the news and in our own backyard, we need to learn to express our opinions in a more civil manner. We are all guilty of getting carried away when defending something we are passionate about, but we need to take a step back and realize the impact of our words.

    Just because one may have a problem with the government- don’t take it out on the military. They do what they do because they are ordered to do so. They volunteered to do whatever the President and the nation deemed it necessary to do in the defense of our nation and it’s interests. If you don’t like what they are doing- bash your president. He is up there on high making the decisions anyway.

    If you don’t like an article or comment someone has posted, don’t be so hateful in the defense of your beliefs that you ultimately lower yourself to the level of making threats or making them less of a human. They are your equal- they just have different opinions. We HAVE to have an open dialogue about such topics as politics and our opinions or we will revert back to the post civil rights era level of equality. I am no less of a person because I served in the military than you are because you did not.

    I don’t hate you because you did not join the military- why hate me based on the fact that I did? If we spent more time getting to know one another and understanding where each other came from we would see less comments such as these. We have our freedoms and our rights in this country, but why abuse them in such a way that they bring hurt and pain to others?

    Do not base your opinion of the military on the few people you have met who have served. ROTC on campus is nowhere near representative of what you will find in the “real military”. The majority of them are respectable, mature, and honorable in there actions- but there are always a few who will not exude these qualities. Besides, the large part of them are in the same 18-22 year old age bracket as the average student on campus. Just remember that for the most part they haven’t served a day in the military more than the average person- they are learning how.

    I find it ironic that I have never started an argument, belittled an individual who hasn’t served, or rubbed my experiences in anyones face- but I have had my service bashed constantly since I stepped foot on campus. For the most part, veterans want to be left alone to study and live out there lives as a normal student would. For some reason, as soon as someone finds out they served or someone mentions the military, everyone gets hostile. While the school who has been so welcoming to veterans, the student body has been anything but.

    We would like to change that. I challenge you to approach me on campus if you see me and enter a civilized dialogue with me on the differences of our opinions. You may learn something and who knows what I may take away from the experience. We also have meetings of the Student Veterans Organization on campus the first Thursday of every month. If you would like to learn a bit more about the military or what the average veteran/service member is like come join us. For info contact veterans@ut.edu or check out our facebook page.

    Like

  59. eddie hoffmann // February 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm //

    Seriously? Austin- were you denied entrance into the military? Have your girlfriend stolen by someone in the military? You need to get checked out.

    Why do you think we are safe within our borders? Why do you think we have the freedoms we have?

    Your assertion that we have no freedoms in the US seems a bit unfounded and I challenge you to back up your claims. If it is just your opinion- so be it. I feel sorry for you. You live in a world where everyone is against you and you must feel that no matter what- you are not good enough. You must wake up every day afraid that if you speak your mind you will be shot or hung out in the street. I do not envy you. This would be a horrible way to live.

    I, on the other hand, go about my daily life saying what I want about whatever topic I choose. Sometimes I even comment on articles in the school paper without the fear of reprisal. I have even been known to speak my mind in a classroom- even if the professor is against what I am saying. I even voted this year- and no one harassed me the whole time. I invite you to live in my world- a world of freedoms that were afforded me by those who have the balls to volunteer to ensure they remain in place.

    You have a delusional view of the country you call home. You should count it a privilege to live here, enjoying the freedoms you take for granted. Whether you recognize them or not- they exist. Whether you want to admit it or not- people died for them and continue to sacrifice for them. Just because you choose not to acknowledge the freedoms you have or choose not to recognize those who have sacrificed and died for those freedoms does not mean they are all non-existent.

    Members of the military only do that which the president sees as necessary. If they are asked to deploy- they do. You have no idea what it is like in the military or what it means to sacrifice for anything apparently. Do you really think that our security within our borders has nothing to do with a strong military? i propose that without it we would not be as secure as we are.

    I am not going to waste much more time in a response. I recognize your comment as your opinion- however misguided and self-serving it may be. Whatever your reasons for your opinion, you have the right to one. Not sure who you credit with giving you your right to one, but it is indisputable that it exists. Thank you for commenting and once again making me proud to have served. It is just further proof that those lives you so eloquently minimized were not lost in vain- but had a purpose.

    We should meet sometime- it would be interesting. What say you?

    Like

  60. Austin Ashby // February 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm //

    I am so glad someone else wrote what I’ve been thinking ever since starting college. The military has always been so misguided by their own superiors and society its actually amusing. They do not fight for freedom, we have no freedom in the United States. They do not fight for our safety, we are safe and secure behind our borders already. They do not die for our country nor do they defend our freedom of free speech. The only reason that people in general play along with these notions is because no one wants to tell a soldier’s kid that he died in vain for politicians or for corporate special interest groups. Snap out of it, stop pretending to be something that you aren’t and stop wanting recognition for things you haven’t earned.

    Like

  61. Paul Bredesen // February 7, 2011 at 2:57 am //

    Amen Hoffman. I don’t know how I stumbled upon this, but I’m glad that the randomness of the internet led me too this “interesting” op-ed. Having served with you I’m sure you know I share your opinion, and I am only commenting to say that I’m glad it was done in a tactful, respectable way (even though the article itself was not). A person ripping the author apart usually makes that person look worse than the author in question. Putting the author in his/her place with some semblance of tact is usually the best way to go.

    Considering that I made the decision to be in the military in kindergarten (I have the crudely drawn artwork to back that up), I find this article insulting and the author misinformed; it seems as though she has yet to go through the very process of maturation that she mentions in her article. I also enjoy the author’s hidden contradicting opinions: Apparently, adolescents can be tricked into joining the military because, “With young people, it is easy to influence their way of thinking, to convince and persuade them that military service is good.” But now I’m left to wonder, who does this convincing? Well, recruiters of course. But are recruiters typically 18-year-old who are wet behind the ears? No. Recruiters are typically in the same group of what the author calls, “veterans who will tell you the thick of what it really is, without all the puffed up promises of glory.” So Camilla, you’re saying that the very people who ‘prey’ on these adolescents are actually the ones with the best ability to explain to them about what they’re potentially getting themselves into…funny.

    I am definitely on the side of the fence that encourages free speech, and since I have (hopefully) tactfully expressed my opinion, I will now follow it up with what I previously described as a bad way to go about responding to articles such as yours: your writing sucks, and I hope when you die comfortably in your bed later in life due to a lifetime of hippie bullshit and auto-erotic asphyxiation, you make it to heaven and are comforted by the sight of my dead friends guarding the pearly gates and flipping you the bird.

    Like

  62. Eddie Hoffmann // February 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm //

    Agreed. Her opinion is just as important as anyone else’s. It reminds us of why this nation is so great. The right to express our opinions, whether shared by the majority or not, is one of the most important rights we are entitled to. Let’s keep that in mind when we decide to comment on someone else’s opinions.

    Like

  63. Austin Ashby // February 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm //

    Yes, this is not a well-written article but calm down! It’s a just her opinion. Don’t flay her alive! Everyone is entitled to their opinions, even when they have a difficult time backing it up. I’ll agree that I rolled my eyes on more than one occasions while reading her . Yet, this is just an (poorly written) article.

    I am more pissed off by the editor’s note. An editor should stand by their writers (especially when they publish their articles), not abandon them because there is some heat. I understand that the Minaret does not want people to think they hate the military too. However, anyone who has half a brain should be able to comprehend the word “commentary.” The editor’s note was a douche move. Glad to see the lord is willing to protect his thanes.

    Like

  64. Eddie Hoffmann // February 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm //

    PS. Learn to cite your sources and how to properly construct sentences and paragraphs. It will go a long way for your future as a columnist. At least then they could only bash its content- not its structure.

    Like

  65. Eddie Hoffmann // February 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm //

    I partially understand the title of the commentary- but my endorsement ends there. As a retired United States Marine, I have fought and shed blood for the rights that the author enjoys. While she may never fully appreciate these rights, she has every right to use them as she sees fit. In fact, we all do. Whether she chooses to “abuse” them or take advantage of them to express her opinions- they are still her rights. How ironic those who have died and sacrificed to ensure her rights remain in place are now the target of her anger or lack of understanding.

    The fact is- she has every right to write her opinion and let it be known. The Minaret has every right to print the commentary- whether we agree with it or not. The rights of the people of the United States of America are to be enjoyed by every citizen- and the military has had a big part in ensuring that these rights remain in place. Like it or not- people have bled and died, sometimes surrendering the very rights you enjoy, to FREELY lay down their lives for a cause that they believe in: freedom for all. Freedom for all- payed for by few.

    “It is not for us to ask why- only for us to do or die”.

    I served 9 years in the Marine Corps- two of it in Iraq. I have lost friends, brothers, and those under my care. I have been inches from death, and survived to tell my story. Many of our brothers and sisters in arms cannot make these claims- and now we as veterans are their voice.

    I know for a fact if Cpl. Jason Dunham- US Marine and posthumous Medal of Honor recipient- could comment from the grave he would say “your welcome”. Though you would not humble yourself for a minute to thank him for his sacrifices- he would forgive you and continue to sacrifice. I know this because I served under him when he was killed- and he saved my life. He enlisted in the Marine Corps of his own FREE WILL at 18, removed his Kevlar helmet placing it over a grenade and lying on top of it under his own FREE WILL, and died of his own FREE WILL so that we could live. He never asked, “Why should I”. He just did it.

    Camilla-

    I was 19 when I enlisted in June of 2001. When the events of September 11, 2001 took place I was sent to Boot Camp early. I went through the invasion of Iraq. I was there in 2004 during some of the worst months of combat. I was in Ramadi in 2005 helping to ensure that the Iraqis could participate in an election without being pressured and threatened. I was hit by an IED that was inches from killing me, leaving me with nerve damage that prevents me from running and a brain injury that makes every day activities a challenge. I have held dying Marines in my arms- and sent home 43 of my friends and brothers in flag draped caskets. I say all this to show you what I have personally sacrificed for your freedoms. I have done all this of my OWN FREE WILL.

    I am out now, but I will never forget what I have done or what those heroes have done. Those lives that you feel were lost in vain were lost to keep me alive. They were lost while you were in middle school forming your opinions. They were lost so that you could sit in high school looking forward to going to college and figuring out what the “real world” was like. They were lost for the Marines, sailors, soldiers, and airmen around them- that they could live and return home to their families.

    You have probably never had to sacrifice nor will you ever have to. Just keep in mind that the very reason you will never have to sacrifice in the ways we have- and those before us- is due to those very individuals who you think so low of.

    All that being said, thank you for exercising your rights. Thank you for taking advantage of the rights and freedoms that I fought so hard for. Every time I see something like this- something demeaning to the military- it makes me proud to have served. It makes me proud to know what “THE REAL WORLD” is like. To know what it costs to have these freedoms we enjoy. To have seen how horrible it would be to not have these freedoms.

    We do not always agree with what the military and our leaders want us to do- but we do it anyway. We do it of our own FREE WILL. I did not have a recruiter preying on me- I preyed on them. I saw them outside smoking a cigarette in his Dress Blue Deltas, tattoos all up and down his arms, and knew that was what I wanted.

    I will conclude with this. Sorry so long winded- I was just a bit perturbed. I hope you continue exercising your rights. We are a free nation and whether you want to admit it or not, it is a fact that those rights and freedoms are defended by our military. We would unconditionally, without question, with enthusiasm and of our own free will- take a bullet for you. To ensure that you may continue to write this garbage. To ensure that you have all the rights we sign away when we sign that contract. We would rather die than live in a nation that would restrict your expression of your opinions. We would do this because we love our country, it’s people, our families, appreciate the sacrifices of others and those before us and want to do our part to carry on their mission.

    To those bashing the author:

    Tone it down a bit. Remember that we do what we do/done for people like her as well as those who support us. I understand the anger and frustration- but our brothers and sister died for her right to give her opinion. Thank you others for a support- we need it. Let us all use this article as an example of why we fought.

    I’ll leave you with this:

    From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.
    –Thomas Jefferson–

    Cpl. Eddie Hoffmann
    USMC, Ret.
    Student Veterans Organization Historian

    “The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!”
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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  66. First of all, my husband, my brother, and my brother-in-law all were sworn into the military at the age of 17. They were all fully aware of the consequences and what the outcome could possibly be. My husband is 19 years old and he is overseas in Afghanistan right now, fighting for our country, the country that you live in. He wanted to be in the military when he was 10 years old, he always knew thats what he wanted to do. You would not have the freedom to write this or the freedom to do a lot of things if it wasn’t for the military. My brothers are still 18 and they will also be going over seas and they are proud of what they are doing. I’m so proud of them. The military has helped them all grow up immensely. These years that people need to have “for their brains to fully develop” is ridiculous. You join the military and see how fast you grow up and see what it does to help you. And after they all get finished with their contracts, the military will pay for their college, so they’ll have military experience and a college degree and they will surpass you out in the world because of what the military has taught them. Hoo-Ah!!!

    Like

  67. Proud American Girl // February 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm //

    @ Freshman at UT

    You call this a disturbing fact??? I’m pretty sure it’s called a “disturbing” opinion. Nothing about this article is factual.

    Like

  68. Proud American Girl // February 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm //

    I wasn’t saying the article was degrading, I was saying that I wasn’t degrading anyone for their choice and there were many degrading comments on this page.

    Like

  69. In place of this article above I have written a letter explaining my feeling.

    Dear United States Marine Corps,

    When I enlisted after one year of college I did not have much going for me I was lazy, had no work ethic, and had no idea what it meant to be a productive member of society. After only four short years of service you turned me around and set me up for success in all my future endeavors. While I was a Marine I learned how to be a leader as well as how to effectively work in a team. I also learned how to function and focus in a high stress environment which will no doubt help me in my future career. Along with being taught self discipline, time management, and what it means to have a true work ethic. All these things I learned have definitely helped me in college where I carry 3.96 G.P.A. and am in my final semester as a pre-med student. Next year I will be starting medical school at Washington University of St. Louis one of the best medical programs in the country. So to you Marine Corps thank you for not only giving me the opportunity to serve my country but also making me the man I am today.

    Semper Fi,
    T

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  70. The Anti-Hero // February 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm //

    “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death for your right to say it.”

    It’s almost sad to know that I would willingly take a round for you regardless of your opinion if it were to come down to it. And I would do so of my own FREE WILL. It’s just something the average person will never understand.

    Say what you will now, but when World War III comes around – and it most certainly will – you will be hoping and praying my guys will be there for you. But, for now, enjoy your what in my eyes can only be described as “luxurious” lifestyle. I went to college, I chose to serve, and I will forever be there for you.

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  71. The “editor’ can post all the disclaimers he or she wants. Until this clueless female writes a not of apology to all of those both AD and Vets, as well as the families she offended with her clueless, poorly, excuse me NO researched Op-Ed article. The general appearance is that the School back her and has the same opinion.

    I spoke Friday with both Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio’s offices about finding a way to remove UT from the list of approved schools for AD and Veteran funding. The ONLY way to get this school to notice and understand that this kind of behavior is not condoned by the taxpayers. It to hit them in the pocketbook.

    A simple note of apology is all this person needs to write.. but has she… no because she thinks she is right. She wrote an opnion based on absulutely nothing.. no facts, no interviews, noting but her clueless opinion. She typifies college students today.. NO idea and they don’t want one.

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  72. Does it not prove the author’s point if the 95% of the commenters leaving insulting comments are in fact in that age bracket and are affiliated or in the military themselves? aren’t they contracting themselves by calling the author all sorts of things yet they themselves display those insulting traits they throw out.

    Bias Much?

    All you insulting commenters are doing is making her that much important her and her views since they cause you to fail to use reason and judgement when reading the article and instead apply common insults that add no value to your comments.

    many of the claims you imply are being made by the author are not even evidenced in the article, their is no military hating, no slander, no personal vendetta. nothing just a view. all the rest of the insults and offense you claim the author makes may just may your own views and maybe fear of some truth in the article.

    why are many of you quick to be insulting even personally when the article is objective and not subjective to any one person?

    If you all wish to be respected, respect yourself by watching closely what you say so you many not be perceived as empty cans just making noise instead of sense.

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  73. David T Moore (look me up) // February 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm //

    I don’t hate one damn thing about America. However, MY country, deserves better than you exploiting it’s rights. I wish I could understand what it’s like to be free and able to go how I please without knowing why or how.

    I hope I never meet you on campus.

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  74. Johnny Depp // February 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm //

    @Rob

    I know more than you think, this “op-ed” MAY be some of the writers beliefs and a non reflection of UT/Minaret staff, I call bullshit. A piece is edited many times before printing and publishing, commentary or not. Any journalism student knows that. Anyone who has written a published work before knows that. The piece is inappropriate at a time of war, as is the photograph.

    I also happened to go to UT, and I know all about the BS the administration slash PR dept spits out. It isn’t surprising they would leave a student writer hanging once controversy ensues. So don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t know me. Pick up a paper, try to find an article as poorly edited, and glaringly offensive to our soldiers as this one.

    No involvement my ass.

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  75. FirefightinMarine // February 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm //

    @FRESHMAN FROM UT
    THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO THE FOLLOWING POST.

    @Marine says:
    Who said the author was from Zimbabwe. Who can even be sure shes from Africa? Or that shes a female. You’re just like a typical Marine, fucking tool. Your only comeback is to have the author spend some time in Afghanistan but that won’t change anything. Most people know how it is in Afghanistan anyway through documentaries anyway. And most people don’t give a damn about dying soldiers there too.
    AH! So you watched a documentary and some CNN and maybe read some blogs on the internet and now you “know” what it is like in Afghanistan. You are very mistaken, unless you go, you have no clue about what goes on in Afghanistan. And no one gives a damn about soldiers dying? Well last time I checked, their families still cared. Oh and doesnt the common person pay for their salaries through their taxes. So in essence those in the military work for you, so some of your employees just died, shouldnt you care too?

    @ cas says:
    Honestly, I feel very sorry for you, 20 years of your life WASTED, you’re probably lucky to even be alive, what were you thinking?
    So what if the author is allegedly from Kenya. She has a better grasp of what goes on in the US than you apparently do.
    Hmmm what was he thinking. Maybe he was thinking of something a little bigger than himself for once. Something you obviously need a lesson in

    @Miss America
    Feb. 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm
    Who says the military makes MY LIFE SECURE? The only thing making MY LIFE SECURE is the company I work for and the police. THATS IT. Alright fine, get rid of the military completely and leave us completely defenseless, see how long those police forces last.

    @family
    Who gives a —- if you have family members in Iraq. Also, since when is the military the main reason we have freedom of speech? I don’t remember our nation’s founding philosophies being entwined with the military (God Forbid.)
    When is the military the main reason? Always, because who the hell will defend that right if it is ever threatened. I doubt you will. Freeloader.

    @army mom says:
    Learn how to write in English? The ROTC program attracts white trash, niggers otherwise under qualified students. UT needs to get rid of the program so that individuals like your family members can stop being an eyesore.
    Ah okay so the right to an education beyond high school is only for the rich is that it? You are a disgrace, these people may not be the smartest but they are getting it the only way they can, and in return for four years of college they are giving up the next four years after college to serve OUR country. What are your plans for after college, here let me maybe get a head start for you “I’ll have a large fry, medium coke, and a double cheeseburger” did you get all that?

    @Proud American
    The author isn’t degrading anyone’s career choice, she is simply bringing to light a disturbing fact.
    How is it a fact? If her statement that those freshly out of high school arent mentally developed enough to join the military then her statement also applys to college, if they arent sound minded enough to choose the military how they sound minded enough to choose college?

    @Blonde says:
    Do you give good head?
    Wow…you just proved your entire intelligence factor with that last statement. Bravo.

    So while I was in the military I travelled to South Carolina, North Carolina, lived in California, travelled to Iraq, Kuwait, Djibouti, Haiti, Cuba, Australia, Okinawa, Georgia (the country not the state) and South Korea. I got to experience many different cultures, make life long friends, advance in a promising career, and further my education. And all on YOUR dime as well, thanks by the way!
    So tell me…in your four years of college, are you going to visit all the same places I did, experience everything I got to experience, make life or death decisions and never have to spend a cent of your own dime for your travels. Let me know if it works out for ya, if not, remember my order for when I come through the drive through.

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  76. Will someone PLEASE take the picture of the WW2 era Veteran’s tombstone off of this article!? I have asked several times to no avail. This guy fought for his country and deserves a little more respect than what Ms. Chebet has reduced him to. Am I the only one who finds this inappropriate?

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  77. Hoffymann07 // February 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm //

    I think it is simple to see the real motivation behind this piece (and boy what a “piece” it is!).To use the military as a base of attack to promote liberal agenda and politics is low and degrading. Not to the military, but to yourself. It sounds to me that whomever wrote this was the fish being bent! It unfortunately had no amount of personal worth or original ideas, but was dripping with anti War in Iraq leftist lingo. Instead of a “thank you” for the freedom that was fought for so you would be even able to write this, you instead under the auspice of “protecting the fragile minds of the youth”, slap them in the face. I’m terribly sorry that you wasted your time writing this, and everyone elses for reading it.

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  78. @ Johnny Depp:

    Re: what you’d said: (“As controversial as this article is, UT/The Minaret would make sure to put an editors note to cover their asses. Shameless”).

    Do you even know what you’re talking about? It’s an op-ed, it’s an opinion piece which is common in the free press. Pick up a newspaper, you’ll find it in one. The opinions expressed in them in no way represent the paper itself. It’s only a person sharing ideas, which is healthy no matter how you feel about them. What she says doesn’t reflect poorly on UT/The Minaret. Quite the contrary, it should be commended for allowing the freedom to give people a platform to share their ideas and raise healthy debate and discussion.

    R

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  79. SVO REP Eddie // February 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm //

    Expect a “commentary” in response to this trash- if not something more. We will need some time in order to do some research so we don’t sound as ignorant as this ingrate.

    That being said, thank you for all the support on here.

    Student Veterans Organization.

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  80. @ Blonde,

    BTW, I called you misinformed and ignorant, because you are. You are a young girl who thinks everything is solved by the peace corp , doctors without borders, and love. You don’t have any life experience. One can only hope with life experience, you will be exposed to people who call you on your misinformation and ignorance- and make you think outside the box.

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  81. E3C Marine // February 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm //

    Ms. Chebet

    “They are young and still fresh. They are yet to be exposed to the real world, or even college, which is a diluted form of the real world. It is during the 18-25 age bracket that a person develops and tests their beliefs, it is at this time that they explore who they are and what they are about.”

    So, first off, you are saying the military isn’t the real world? Higher-ups lying to get ahead while stepping on the little guys? Crime? Post Offices? Internet? A job that seems cool at first that slowly sucks more with each passing day? The chance to further your education?

    Secondly, the assumption that it is morally wrong to “deny” an 18 year old the chance to be exposed to what YOU think is the real world is very arrogant. Thank the military we all live in a country where we have the right to choose what we expose our minds too.

    Thirdly, I joined the Marines when I was 19. Most of what I stand for was learned from my service in. I learned about sharing your last MRE with the dumb ass who forgot all/part of his, about keeping your cool during a firefight, about being able to lead by example, about doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, and most importantly, I learned about the real world.

    I’ve also emailed you a copy of this statement.

    Now, for the part I didn’t put in the paper.

    How old are you? College age, obviously working for the student-run paper. I’m going to go with 18-25. What’s your exposure to the “real world”? Working as a waitress while paying tuition (at least in part) and going to school to write hateful articles in a newspaper I’ve never heard of?

    When did you complete your “exposure” to the real world? What do you really know about sheer terror, loneliness, adrenaline rushes, Dear John letters, watching people die, killing, the list goes on??

    If the mean streets of Miami have provided you with a distant ringing of a gunshot, and you watched NCIS once after breaking up with the boyfriend equals “exposure”, then I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

    To the newspaper, this article is an atrocity and the writer a communist. 98% of it is hateful opinionated junk. Sadly, The Minaret’s name is now forever entwined with a liberal and military hating aura.

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  82. >Do you truly believe that the trillions of dollars and resources the United States uses for all its military operations could not be allocated to exclusively train people to help in those humanitarian operations you mention ?

    Yes, but again you would have to have a standing force.. And there are already those “humanitarian” groups in place, and many require protection from who else? The military!

    >Not to mention that those humanitarian operations you talk about failed majorly during hurricane Katrina

    Again, you should your ignorance..The military were instrumental in getting Katrina under control AFTER they were called in.. The military cannot march in. The state GOVERNOR must call the guard for an instate disaster.. Any outside intervention must be requested by the Governor to the President. Please research the leadership response of Katrina, and also look into Posse Comitatus. Then come back and argue humanitarian missions, and Katrina.

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  83. @Travis

    Haha yeah, he clearly is on the right track. I didn’t know there were people that were honestly that stupid and disrespectful. I don’t really care what your beliefs about war are..Just as long as you support the troops. They’re just doing their job.

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  84. an army guy // February 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm //

    @ A Freshman at UT

    Dear dumbass,
    The national guard is part of the military, they are all DOD, which to spell it out for you is department of defense. so just like the author you are truly not informed of the facts, but im guessing the reason for that is you are still young and your mommy still wipes your ass because your balls have yet to drop so you dont know the real world yet…it will come dont you worry…you lose yet again

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  85. Travis,
    I’m not blaming anyone. I’m just saying one cannot use the military as necessary for humanitarian purposes for an argument when clearly there are other alternatives. Especially with the magnitude of resources that are used.

    On another amusing note, I just picked up a hard copy of the paper from UT. Interestingly enough, the Editor’s Note that appears here right before the article does not exist. Hmmmmmmm…..

    Like

  86. Johnny Depp // February 4, 2011 at 11:51 am //

    As controversial as this article is, UT/The Minaret would make sure to put an editors note to cover their asses. Shameless

    Like

  87. @family

    Well, if you buy the authors argument, he’ll mature before he’s a senior, lols. He’s only a freshman now.

    Like

  88. PS your ignorance and stupidity was proved when you said the National Guard as if it wasn’t part of the military. It is. Do your research before you trash talk idiot.

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  89. @Blonde

    Don’t blame the military because of it’s lack of a timely response to Hurricane Katrina. Blame your leaders at the higher positions for not sending relief faster. The military can not act unless they are ordered to do so.

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  90. @ Freshman at UT

    You are probably the most disrespectful, ignorant person I have ever heard of. Let’s go drop you somewhere in Iraq or Afghanistan and see how you do. Maybe then you’ll be thankful for what people like my family members and everyone else’s are doing when you’re begging to leave. Have a little respect for the people fighting for you. I never said the military created our right to freedom of speech. But they maintain it. You wanna live in a country that doesn’t give you any freedom? Be my guest and move there.
    I don’t know where you learned such disrespect but you really could use a new attitude. Or just getting your a** kicked.

    Like

  91. Mac said: “Third, Academia is not an end all, nor is it the real world which is why I am not pursuing a PhD. The more “elite” the University the more it is filled with Upper/Upper Middle class individuals who know nothing of the “real” world. Most have never worked a blue collar job and seen the values and stresses of a single mother living on $10 desperately trying to put food on the table.”

    In what world are you living where reality ends on academic grounds? Think for a moment: not pursuing your PhD means you’re only harming yourself in terms of higher education. It’s the desired goal for the jobs who like the military are true heroes (doctors, attorneys) in making society work. You seem resentful (an egoistic response to injustice) over the higher class who you refer to as ignorant of the “real world” – your definition I’m sure meaning lower class struggles. Well, so what? You think the ones who are looking to solve poverty are people who dropped out of college? Even our president was solving these problems after college, in an area of Chicago that’s as depressed as any other in the nation. What you’re saying is just silly, it’s wonky. Get over the class prejudice, higher education (if you’re an idiot: “elitism”) is what is needed to keep the country as the world’s largest economy. (Which directly relates to the power of our military, just like any other leading economic super-power.) Instead we’re being topped by China in 2018. http://www.pwchk.com/home/eng/pr_110111.html

    R

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  92. Midmag25,

    Thank you for calling me misinformed and ignorant. When you quoted my argument, why did you stop at naive ? Don’t pick whatever suits you to make a point. Or are you so high and mighty that you’ve never made a mistake in your life ? Agreed, all those in Afghanistan are indeed more mature than some other person their same age. Is it not evident that maturity levels are different among people not only in the military but everywhere in the world ? Should I have used the word “reason” instead of “excuse” ? What’s the REASON to spew hatred ?
    Do you truly believe that the trillions of dollars and resources the United States uses for all its military operations could not be allocated to exclusively train people to help in those humanitarian operations you mention ? Give me a break and do some math.
    Not to mention that those humanitarian operations you talk about failed majorly during hurricane Katrina. Their response was anything but timely or as effective as it could be.
    If the commentators represent the future of America and the world then I am afraid. Very very afraid.

    Like

  93. Servicemen and women: please remember you’re representing the military as well, ergo it’s probably best to respond rationally and not emotionally (re: raging, insulting and name-calling). If you want to attack the person, it’s an ad hominem fallacy which does nothing to intelligently deconstruct what she’s actually saying. As one commentator has said, the writer’s apparently a student coming from Kenya, where the culture has a different, more skeptical view of the military than we’re used to.

    Now, let’s get to the substance of the debate: Camilla, you’re saying people are more impressionable as they’re younger, which is true. And that the military aims at younger people (18-25; the average age in my basic training platoon was 19) because, chances are, the older you get the more unlikely you’re willing to be yelled at as a young serviceman and being told what to do. In my experience I’ve found plenty of young dumb servicemen and women. I’ve also encountered plenty of bright young Marines as well (my branch), those who acted as great ambassadors to the military even at an age where they couldn’t legally drink.

    It’s college ignorance to think the military is some easy out taken by kids who didn’t know better, or fully developed on a neurological level to understand their actions. And it’s an insult to treat those adults as though they’re incapable of thinking through their own actions. At 18 I’d enlisted. It became one of the wisest decisions of my life, which helped carry me to a Big 10 University. It’s the military discipline which helped build enough character to get to where I am today, and I have my 18-year-old self to thank.

    You imply military service is bad. That pacifist belief, while noble in theory, flatly ignores they serve a fundamental role in protecting a nation from threats. They are our federal police, in a way, keeping us safe whether from the British in 1777, or in uniting the nation against the secessionists during the Civil War, or against the tyranny of evil during WWII, or as protector to ally nations, like Israel or Kuwait when they were invaded by Iraq. All that, and you’ve failed to mention the humanitarian missions given to the military (Katrina, Pakistan earthquake, tsunamis in Dec ’05, Haiti, on and on and on). We’re not a perfect nation, though if Clausowitz is right that “war is politics by other means” then our military is merely an extension of our government, of which is run by those we as the people elect!

    Lastly, Camilla – psychologically speaking, a person’s personality is not developed during the college years, but rather the formative early years of your life. (Source: http://search.yahoo.com/404handler?src=news&fr=404_news&ref=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.yahoo.com%2Fs%2Flivescience%2F20100806%2Fsc_livescience%2Fpersonalitysetforlifeby1stgradestudysuggests) Also, recent studies have shown many students don’t learn much as under-graduates. (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504744_162-20028739-10391703.html) College and higher learning isn’t for everyone; some join the military to get away from that. Some (like Mac here) have a disconnect where they believe college =/= the “real world”, whatever blue-collar definition of real world he has… I doubt that mentality will lead to future employment as a doctor, lawyer, or whatever. It’s not for everyone, but the military isn’t for everyone, either. For me, it was a calling I’d had since a child. That, and I plain wanted to serve… and forever grateful that I did. That’s all.

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  94. I am one of those “unfortunate” individuals who joined the National Guard at 17 the summer before 911. Nearly a decade later I am in a M.A. program at a top 15 school, have been published, speak Arabic, have a B.A. in ME Studies. Oh and I also have 2 combat tours in Iraq. The only reason I bring this up is that I have excelled at both Academia and the Military so I might be in a position to talk (or so my Thesis advisor says).

    First off you cannot set foot overseas with the military until your 18th birthday, this not only includes Southwest Asia, but German, Korea, etc.

    Secondly, not all of us are fortunate enough to have our parents/FASFA help us with college. Many of us have parents that make too much money (it is nearly impossible to get independent student status even if you really are). Though I did not just join for the college money it played no small part.

    Third, Academia is not an end all, nor is it the real world which is why I am not pursuing a PhD. The more “elite” the University the more it is filled with Upper/Upper Middle class individuals who know nothing of the “real” world. Most have never worked a blue collar job and seen the values and stresses of a single mother living on $10 desperately trying to put food on the table.

    Next, it is obvious you have not spent much time around soldiers, much less enlisted combat troops. It is not our job to know why we are sent because we have faith that the civilians will uphold their duty to maintain accountability of the civilian leadership so that we can go without question. We believe this, which is why we are willing to risk our lives day in and day out for years at a time. How many of you are willing to do the same for a day?

    Fifthly, SOLDIERS ARE NOT VICTIMS. We are the warriors of the tribe who stand outside of the village in the dark, taking the risks, paying the price all so that those in it can sleep softly. Unfortunately, the only guarantee is that sacrifices will be made. All we ask is that when we return we receive the benefits we earned.

    Finally, I would never wish my experiences upon anyone anywhere, when I have kids all of my military awards, pictures, etc are going away because I do not want them to go through what I have been through. Having said that, the hardest year of my life was over before I was 22. I learned sacrifice, I learned the loyalty, I learned the responsibility of having 10 men willing to follow you anywhere simply because they know in their bones that you will go first. I learned what it was like to go into cities literally shaking from fear because all that was certain was that somebody’s, American or Iraqi, life was in its last minutes and lived with the constant threat of mortars/rockets for years at a time. That is a reality that we cannot explain, even if we were inclined. That is the difference between the reality of the military and the theory of Academia.

    Like

  95. Hey, “Freshman at UT:”
    Yes, I think I am “lucky to be alive,” but I hardly WASTED 20 years of my life. The fact that you can’t understand that, illustrates your ignorance of the US military, and the values they promote, but mostly it just shows your immaturity.
    And use the Internet! If you google the author, you will find that she was born in Kenya, so I can understand her ignorance; what’s your excuse?

    Like

  96. >The military is never there when a natural disaster hits but the National Guard is, good one buddy.

    I am not your buddy.. Freshman please stay in school… Your ignorance is staggering.. The national guard is part of the military. And the military was there for the Tsunami, Bolivia, Somalia.. I could keep listing the humanitarian missions the U.S. military has participated in.

    Like

  97. A Freshman at UT // February 4, 2011 at 2:46 am //

    @midmag25
    The military is never there when a natural disaster hits but the National Guard is, good one buddy.

    @Marine says:
    Who said the author was from Zimbabwe. Who can even be sure shes from Africa? Or that shes a female. You’re just like a typical Marine, fucking tool. Your only comeback is to have the author spend some time in Afghanistan but that won’t change anything. Most people know how it is in Afghanistan anyway through documentaries anyway. And most people don’t give a damn about dying soldiers there too.

    @ G says:
    Feb. 3, 2011 at 11:47 pm
    Hey good luck with your persuasive paper in English Comp II, try not to have someone else write your paper for you, shit-for-brains.

    @ cas says:
    Honestly, I feel very sorry for you, 20 years of your life WASTED, you’re probably lucky to even be alive, what were you thinking?
    So what if the author is allegedly from Kenya. She has a better grasp of what goes on in the US than you apparently do.

    @Miss America
    Feb. 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm
    Who says the military makes MY LIFE SECURE? The only thing making MY LIFE SECURE is the company I work for and the police. THATS IT.

    @family
    Who gives a fuck if you have family members in Iraq. Also, since when is the military the main reason we have freedom of speech? I don’t remember our nation’s founding philosophies being entwined with the military (God Forbid.)

    @army mom says:
    Learn how to write in English? The ROTC program attracts white trash, niggers otherwise under qualified students. UT needs to get rid of the program so that individuals like your family members can stop being an eyesore.

    @Proud American
    The author isn’t degrading anyone’s career choice, she is simply bringing to light a disturbing fact.

    @Blonde says:
    Do you give good head?

    Like

  98. Blonde,

    You said: “The military is only necessary because we as human beings are so stupid, greedy and whatever other reason you want, and turn against each other.”

    You are as misinformed and as ignorant as the author is.. You have no concept of many capacities the military works in. The military is also necessary, because when natural disaster hits– the military is there to lend a hand.

    You said: “? I don’t think so. Seems to me you all are worse than the writer. Sure, she’s young and naive”

    So are the military members the same age, and yet they are in Afghanistani villages.. It isn’t an excuse.. And BTW, while the writers words were all prettied up– They are as vain and vulgar as some of the commentators.

    Go visit Walter Reed or Arlington and then tell me she didn’t just give a big finger to those men and women!

    Like

  99. Before criticizing other ways of life, you should probably take a step back and realize that you don’t have any more right to argue about the military than someone from a village Zimbabwe has a right to argue about the American way of life. This sick abuse of freedom has an unfortunate side effect of self-righteousness – obviously demonstrated here.

    To give Camilla a better perspective on things, let’s drop her off in a town in Afghanistan for a week. Assuming her mouth wouldn’t get her tongue cut out, she could tell us all about her fresh experience. Perhaps then her view would be more supported and wouldn’t seem like it is coming from a spoiled elitist who has no ‘real world’ experience other than what ‘roughing’ it on your own in a nice warm dorm room. Your life must be so difficult!

    Like

  100. She must have seen a Code Pink poster and written a paper on it.
    The author implies that the military scoops up the young and ignorant and presses them into combat service for causes benefiting the elite and the crooked. The author also implies that 18-25 age bracket is made up of children who must be ‘exposed to the real world’ before they should have the privilege of serving their country. Obviously nobody in that age group has held a job, voted, paid taxes, legally purchased tobacco or alcohol, become a parent, gone to college, or anything else adults do.
    If not at that age, when?

    Like

  101. Many posters have commented on the offensive nature of this column. What I haven’t seen is the first and most obvious criticism: the writing itself.

    This is the U.S.A. Express your opinions, whatever they may be. But there is no excuse for expressing them with such atrocious grammar, ill formed thoughts, or ridiculous stereotyping. The editors of the Minaret too should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such poor writing.

    Yes, the author unthinkingly called all 18-year-olds children. Yes, she naively misrepresented the nature of military service, its purpose, and its history. Yes, she foolishly implied that those graduating college are somehow miraculously ready to understand the subtleties of geopolitics, and to make correct moral decisions where the masses and government cannot.

    But it’s inexcusable that she did so with the grammar and thougtfulness of a 6th grader. What a blemish on the school, that its paper allowed it.

    Like

  102. But hey, at least if she doesn’t graduate she can still join the military.

    Like

  103. I have to write a persuasive paper in Composition II. Don’t know how Camilla is going to graduate because this certainly wouldn’t get her a passing grade in this class.

    Like

  104. I served for 20 years, and enjoyed many benefits from my service. So many other US veterans have already sounded off here, so I will not “beat that dead horse.” All I will say to them is, “Thank you for your service!”

    After very little research, I found out that the author is from Kenya. Her nation does not have the global responsibilities that the US does. So, I will try to see if we can improve her education and knowledge.

    1.) The decision(s) of our REPRESENTATIVE government determine the mission of US military. This means that our civilian leaders control the military; isn’t it the same in Kenya? Our commissioned and non-commissioned officers (including potentially those ROTC cadets spoken of) make up the core of the military, and they are the ones who must guide and lead those young 18-25 year old men and women, who you think are brain-washed into serving.

    2.) We no longer need a “draft,” because our countries representative government voted to put that system on hold. The Selective Service is only a tool to ensure that those who are either physically or mentally unable to serve are not “selected.” In truth, I believe that the US military today would be hard-pressed to utilize ALL the 18-25 year olds that you say are not competent enough to make their own “life choice,” as to whether or not they should serve. Too many positions in the military call for intelligence, motivation, self-sacrifice, (never mind the ultimate sacrifice that too many have made.)

    3.) Historically, in other cultures, young men and women have made life-choices before the age of 18, especially whether or not the serve in the military. And the values they learn from their youth, from their families and their peers, inform those decisions. If you or your friends do not feel that you are mature enough to make those choices, please be polite enough not to denigrate others, whom you obviously do not understand.

    4.) OF COURSE, military service changes people, so does attending a private college, as opposed to a community college, after high school. That doesn’t mean that all people who prefer to join the military are young and foolish (although some are, they are usually persuaded to change their ways quick enough). Those people who enlist are given EVERY opportunity to change their minds, and not complete their enlistment, without any consequence to them (except that they can never change their minds). I know of many cases where men and women WANTED very badly to join, but could not; they may not have been physically able, or were not able to handle the required self-discipline, or they were just not mature enough to handle the responsibility. Why do you denigrate the military for their mistakes?

    5.) You mention military recruiters, and seem to think that all of them lie to these poor, innocent, young people, just to get them into the service. Recruiters don’t lie, but of course they will emphasize the benefits, without discussing the disadvantages; what salesmen wouldn’t? But if asked a question, they will answer it. I have NEVER known a military recruiter to force someone to enlist. How could they? Among the benefits these recruiters have to offer:

    – ROTC – a college diploma, in exchange for military service after graduation.
    – Competitive starting salary, regular promotions based on merit, and 30 days paid vacation annually.
    – Free health care, for yourself and your family
    – The chance to continue your education while on duty, with tuition assistance (I’ve never been on a military post of any service where there are at least two or more accredited colleges offering classes)

    Most important of all, they will give young 18-25 year olds the chance to GROW UP, mature, and become part of something outside of their previous experiences. Combat duty is not easy, and everyone who joins knows that.

    Next time, please check your facts before you try to articulate your opinions (or those of your professors)

    Like

  105. By the Way, Guess where the Commander-in-Chief of your military comes from…KENYA!

    🙂 so much for AIDS and insults huh

    Like

  106. Miss America // February 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm //

    Who let this GIRL write?????? I come from a military family (All grandparents,aunts,uncles, cousins..etc)and my fiance is in UT’s ROTC program and commissions in May. Military service/life is nothing but opportunities. There is nothing wrong with making your life and others safe and secure, We should praise that selflessness instead of insulting it.

    BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    Like

  107. I have family members in the military and a best friend that all served their tours in Iraq. The fact that anyone wants to talk down to them makes me sick. Grow up. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that they joined when they were young. It actually worked out better for them. They were in fantastic physical shape for the jobs they had to do. Their minds were sharp in their decision making. The fact that they all came home with no injuries shows that their decision making worked for them because they were shot at and blown up. They also don’t have to worry about schooling or jobs. The military isn’t for everyone, I get that. But it doesn’t give anyone the right to talk shit about the men and women defending our freedom. THEY’RE THE REASON YOU CAN SAY THE THINGS YOU SAY. Without them joining at a young age you would be screwed, living a life in fear like they do in other countries. Also, the author can go think about how big of a piece of shit they are for saying that the people that died serving, were a waste because the war is still going on. You should be ashamed of yourself. Go try serving and see how long you last. Have a good motherfucking day you stupid liberal bitch.

    Like

  108. As a military mom I find this article very offensive! I am the daughter of a veteran , my uncle was in the army, my great uncle was in the army I also have 1 daughter in the army with her husband and a second daughter that is currently in ROTC at UT and will be in the army next year so I fully understand what it means to have your family in the army and I had to read this article twice to make sure I was reading it right. While I will not call this girl name because I do understand she is young and may not be fully educated on the military or ROTC I have to say she really should have put more though into what she was righting!First of all the ROTC program is an amazing program,all of my daughters have done this program and it teaches them self respect and gives them confidence so they are not easily steered by peer pressure. I have not had any issues with drugs,or pregnancy or many of the issues that girls today seem to have. MY first daughter went into the military not to carry a gun or to go to war but to get an education and a career because we could not afford to pay for college! My second daughter received a full scholarship to UT a school which if it would have been any other way she would not have been able to attend and will be going into the army as an office a the age of 22 when most young girls are either getting married or still out partying and deciding what to do. MY last 2 choose not to do the army but have done ROTC and have good grades in school and are very confident in their future. I am grateful that this program exist today and I am grateful that my daughters had the choice to do the army and get a career and future for themselves which I otherwise would not have been able to give them.Their are sacrifices in everything we do in life and I know that If something was to happen to me my girls would be able to take care of themselves because of the army- not everyone can pay for their kids to go to a good school and spend money for their kids to get drunk and party and as for the comment that ROTC is full of unintelligent trash-just for the record these kids have to maintain a higher grade point average than many of the students there they have to get up and pt every morning and have to stay out of trouble to maintain their scholarships,they can’t just stay in bed and sleep till noon and go around doing nothing. Please do your research before you make any more comments like the one you made and get that facts because in the end they are the ones out the protecting you !!!

    Like

  109. Kenny Loggins // February 3, 2011 at 9:54 pm //

    As a future motivator power point ranger I had a few comments as well to the author. First thing is you have cited pretty much no sources what so ever in this article which takes that format of a research article. Also, You have stated “Although military drafts were banned back in 1973, it is not hard to see instances where military service is heavily persuading and aiming for young people.
    The army openly stated that it was looking to attract and recruit more young people.” This is common sense as you need fast moving motivators to slay bodies and a 60 year-old won’t suffice. Next your comment, “The military in any country has a function and purpose and it is vital for a country’s stability and security. However, the people who work in the military should do so out of free will and choice.
    For the service to be out of free will and voluntary, a person has to be old enough physically and mentally to make such a decision and to understand exactly what they are getting into.” This insults my intelligence it really does. You’re saying in your “esteemed” opinion that I am not in the mental capacity to decide to defend my nation? There’s thousands of resources that one can research to get the general idea of what’s going to happen again you have failed to make a compelling argument. ”
    I was perturbed that the minimum education requirement for a person to be recruited into the U.S Army was a high school diploma, while the minimum age requirement was set at 18. Even this requirement has been over looked at times by allowing 17-year-olds to be deployed.At the age of 18, and even with a high school diploma, a person is too young to be recruited into military service.” You have worded it to sound as though minors still in high school can deploy which is absolutely false! Some services allow you to join at 17, but even then that requires parental consent. “They are young and still fresh. They are yet to be exposed to the real world, or even college, which is a diluted form of the real world. It is during the 18-25 age bracket that a person develops and tests their beliefs, it is at this time that they explore who they are and what they are about.” Sugar can you back that statement up? How can you even compare college to going outside the United States and getting actual experience in dealing with other cultures? “It is in college that these beliefs are formed, fully developed and make up a person’s character and personality.
    People get to see a greater extent of what they hear about, they get to experiment with the process of making a decision by themselves and dealing with the implication of the decisions they make.” I know what I’m about that don’t take a college edumacation to figure out. Joining the military is absolutely one of the greatest decision making processes one can go through YOU ARE DECIDING ON A CAREER. “They are told the stories of glory without realizing that dying for a cause is not always good, especially if the cause of the conflict was simply a desire for power.
    Dying in war is indeed something, but what difference does it make if others will die in the same way and the purpose for the war is simply to invade a sovereign nation or steal its resources?” How can you or I begin to even speak about dying in combat when neither of us has been there? You seem to have strayed from your main thesis in fact it sounds like an argument against war in general. You also are biased into believing that young people have no right to decide if they are willing to die for their country or not. As a young person myself I have thought heavily of the consequences, but have decided to do a much nobler thing than to go to college booze it up and be selfish. Instead I will serve this country to the best of my ability and laugh at you who are selfish. Quit taking life so seriously you ain’t getting out alive anyways.

    Like

  110. Paul Primero // February 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm //

    @United Nations Moderator

    I was reading the article 5 times, because at first, I was a bit angry and did not even pay attention to the rest. second time, I find the article a little humorous. Third time I began reading this article, putting all emotions aside (anger, humor) to understand it. The last few times was with friends.

    Like in the military, I had to check, double check, and check it again just to make sure.

    Like

  111. Proud American Girl // February 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm //

    I also want to point out there is no problem with going to school and getting a degree or joining the military, to each it’s own but there is no reason to degrade someone for their choice and tell them it’s wrong.

    -Psychology Major

    Like

  112. nobody you know // February 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm //

    J,

    Stop it with the insults and talk some sense.

    NKT!

    Like

  113. Horrible. Just horrible. I can’t even begin to describe how poorly researched/offensive this commentary is. To the minaret staff: please don’t let her write another commentary ever again.

    Like

  114. This whole article as well as the comments can be summed in one single phrase: “Bad things happen when people think they know what they do not know”. I guess I should get offended and outraged now that a lot of people have stereotyped the higher education of the United States and included me as well right ?

    Not everyone at UT binge drinks, drives a $100,000 car from daddy and hangs out at the pool all the time. There are some who also work hard while getting their education to afford their tuition. I take pride in my education and hopefully soon I will have even the slightest impact on humanity with the education I received. Even the military person who is oh so proud about the internet and air traffic control… Guess what ? All that is based on science. As a future scientist should I start calling names and spew hatred and give death threats ? I don’t think so. Seems to me you all are worse than the writer. Sure, she’s young and naive. Sure, she shouldn’t have written such an article. Haven’t we all made mistakes in our lives ? Hopefully she will learn from this. What’s YOUR excuse ? Is this the future generation of America ? Or is it because you can hide behind a screen and just talk shit ? Get your heads out of your asses and step off that pedestal you are on. The military is only necessary because we as human beings are so stupid, greedy and whatever other reason you want, and turn against each other. WHERE IS THE LOVE ??
    PS. Was the Editor’s Note always there or did it get added after this whole disturbance with the article ? :p

    Like

  115. Proud American Girl // February 3, 2011 at 9:18 pm //

    Coming from just an average student who has come from a family who was wealthy and paid for college and had every opportunity in the world, I did not join the military (reasons are personal but if I could, I would at any given time) BUT I stand behind our troops and stand up for this country each and every day. I have more respect for the men and women in the military than some kid who “graduated” college and supposedly got a degree in something that matters like philosophy. Anyone who serves this country deserves more than what they receive like this article.

    If the government decided to bring the draft back which I doubt they ever would, I wouldn’t join because of the draft, I would join willingly knowing that my country needed me and I am here to serve. I have many friends and family who are currently serving or have served and I am proud of each and every one of them. For an example, PEG4290 is an amazing person, student, AND cadet in the ROTC program at YOUR school who is getting their degree along with becoming an Army officer… I believe they deserve a little more respect seeing as they are going to school AND are part of our military training. It just shows that you did not do enough research and you are ignorant of what is really going on in the REAL world.

    Oh and if you’re so big and tough to write this article, why don’t you join the military as well and just see what it really is like… oh but wait… you don’t have the courage to do so.
    *I’m not in the military but at least I give them the support they deserve and need from their own country.*

    So before you decide to publish another article about the military, do a little more research and be a good reporter of your school.

    HOORAH!!!

    Like

  116. Your ignorance is unbelievable. Do you actually know anyone who has served? I am the PROUD daughter of a disabled veteran. My father spent 46 years paralyzed from the chest down from serving his country, and if you were to ask him if he regrets his decision he would say absolutely not!! He was one of the “impressionable” youths you reference and trust me that he had more “real world” experience than you have or for that matter will ever have. His choice to join had nothing to do with want to shoot guns or the allure of adventure. And had everything to do with the opportunities opened to him by his service. That statement in of itself is ridiculous. Any 18 year old can go BUY a gun and use it and not have to fear losing their lives. I know multiple people who joined as soon as they graduated high school and none of them regret it. I also know people who joined around 22 years old or older and their only regret was not doing it sooner. I doubt with all the news coverage, especially the liberal media, these recruits aren’t joining thinking that their lives are not going to be put on the line. Anyone who doesn’t understand this reality should go to the VA and talk to the vets who are there. Most if not all will not regret their service. That should tell you something. Or wait is that another example of the “brainwashing” you speak of? The lack of research, facts or even personal experience in this article is appalling and I would honestly hope that all the money your mommy and daddy are spending for this education will at least teach you good journalism skills. You are not required to believe in everything everyone else does, that is the beauty of this country but at least have facts to support your opinions. Unfortunately though most people who are as close minded as you rarely change their opinions, rather stay in their own “reality” believing they are better than everyone else because they were raised with a sense of entitlement that should only be reserved for those who do a public service. I doubt anything anyone says here you will even read but honestly this is a disgraceful article. You do not have to agree with everything the military does but you should at least be supportive of these soldiers who are risking everything and their families left behind.

    Like

  117. Frances Wiedenhoeft // February 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm //

    There are quite a few problems and false assumptions in this article, or should I say uninformed editorial. By the time many of the young people joining the military today do join they have a lifetime more experience than they could ever get at college. Also, for many there is absolutely no possibility of college, which she seems to hold as such a standard of right of passage into adulthood. Lastly the minds of most of these young people are far from fragile, and I too have been proud to have served with these young people and have in many cases been educated by them.
    I find it to be somewhat hypocritical to use a photo of veteran grave markers to give an air of false patriotism to lend authority to this article.

    Like

  118. Whoever this snow character is, I would just like to point out to you that the ROTC program at UT is the biggest student organization on this campus so I wouldn’t call it much of a disappointment. You have no room to say it is full of disgraceful and unintelligent trash because obviously you are not in it and have no freakin’ clue what you’re talking about. We work 10x harder than anybody on this campus and still manage to maintain a good image at this school.

    On another note, this article is a load of crap and the author has no idea what she is talking about. The troops fighting this war are risking their lives every day to keep you out of harms way. You don’t have the slightest clue as to what they’re going through and you have no right to disgrace them like that.

    Like

  119. The Awesome // February 3, 2011 at 7:27 pm //

    Well, that emoticon clearly did not work.
    [look of disappointment]

    Like

  120. POGtastic // February 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm //

    Yet another 18-year-old who enlisted.

    I grew up wealthy. I could have gone to pretty much any college I wanted to. But instead, I went to the recruiter and joined the Marines.

    The military is not for everyone. Some people find that out before they join; some sadly find that out six months into their term. But it’s VOLUNTARY. I signed up knowing exactly what I was getting into.

    Here’s a suggestion. Savannah is a very short plane flight from where you are. In the concourse, there will be a Marine dressed in his blues, leading recruits to the area where they will wait to go to Parris Island.

    Go there and take a look. You’ll notice that most of the recruits walking toward that Marine are 17-18 years old. Ask them why they joined. I think you’ll be surprised by the replies.

    Mike Bottini
    LCPL, Marine Corps

    Like

  121. McCaughey C // February 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm //

    Is this a joke? Did u do any research or just make it up based on the minimum age requirement? As an ROTC Cadet I made the decision and commitment to join at 17. They have paid for my education and set me up on the path to success in your so called “real world”. Now a graduating 22 year old senior, I stick by my decision even more so than before. While less than 1 percent of the able population actually serve, you sit in your dorm and call them immature,uninformed and ignorant about their sacrafice and commitment to their country and YOU. Do the research, talk to members of the military, look at the opertunities it provides to young adults rather than rant about how it takes advantage of them.

    Like

  122. Have you ever read something that convinced you an author has absolutely zero credibility? Thankfully, at least in this case, it happened early enough in the article and saved me some time.

    “Although military drafts were banned back in 1973…”

    The draft was banned?

    Like

  123. Drew Hasson // February 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm //

    So this is what we’ve become…. a college newspaper can publish this kind of article without knowing the whole story? I see that this article was written by a college student who her self has had “little ‘real worl’ experience.”

    So this semester, you’re going to get a little history lesson:

    It’s ironic that you publish this article via the internet, something that was developed by the U.S. military. Yes, you utilized the freedom of speech I provided to the United States as a U.S. Army soldier via a form of communications patented by young men such as myself that had no idea what we were doing. Ever fly on a commercial airline? Did you know that airplanes don’t crash into each other in the sky because of controllers on the ground providing adequate seperation and direction of aircarft because of technology developed by the U.S. military? How about the controllers themselves, did the FAA just hire these people off the streets? The answer is no. The military taught those men and women how to safely direct air traffic in the interest of safety. What if you were driving on a desolate highway somewhere in Florida and got into a car accident, dialed 911 on your cell phone, but didn’t know where you were? How would the police and ambulance crews find you? The answer: GPS technology, brought to you by the military.

    So the next time you board a plane, use a cell phone or update your Facebook status, think of how that technology came about. It came about by 18-25 year old men and women who were still bent while wet.

    How is the college grad who never served better than the military veteran who enlisted immediately out of high school? Mommy and daddy paid all that tuition, for what? For a diploma that means absolutely dick in today’s world. My military service taught me some of life’s REAL lesson’s, stuff you can’t find in a textbook or hear in Professor Sadurirajianikan’s lecture on Tuesday morning while struggling to stay awake in your chair and fantasizing about stuffing your bong with marijuana. How do we know that the college grad with NO REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE is going to get a job working a guaranteed 40 hours a week, plus overtime, plus benefits, etc? How do you know? In the world that I live in, Vets get chosen first for the jobs like firemen, police officers, ironworkers, utility linemen and railway maintainers. Why? Because we are proven reliable by our Government. Explain to me why 22 year olds with diplomas can’t find jobs to pay off their student loans until they have reached their 30’s, but six weeks after I completed five years of service with the U.S. Army, I had a freshly signed union card in my pocket? How was i seperated from the military for only 47 days and I was learning how to climb telephone poles and troubleshoot various electronics for a major Cable TV Company with almost 50,000 employees? The answer: military veteran. The military taught me more than ways to kill a person. It taught me to be on time for work, how to use a map, how to use various bandages and stop hemmoraging. Uncle Sam taught me how to fix various electronics and how to get the job done in 130 degree heat or -10 windchills.

    I wish you luck with your media endeavours and your continued education. Just remember, the next time you’re in your dorm room blasting lady GaGa while getting stoned, remember people did something else besides college that allows you to publish this stuff.

    Like your freedom of speech? You’re welcome. That’s my only response. My fellow green suiters will back me up 100% on that one.

    Like

  124. @AB

    #1 Nursing program in the Nation…

    yea, UT’s not sooo bad.

    Like

  125. BTW to the author and everyone who is saying crap about the military and ROTC, we’re going to be fighting for the right for you guys to say it. It might be freedom of speech, and that’s what our country’s about, but you can be a little grateful to the soldiers who are protecting your rights, when you are sitting around talking trash.

    Like

  126. @snow

    How do you know it’s a disgrace? You even in it? If you’re not, you really can’t say much. I’m just saying. And how is it a disgrace? Last time I checked, we had 100% pass rate at our LDAC camp, and some of the top cadets in the Nation.

    Like

  127. Miller Townsend // February 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm //

    I thought we were a Yellow Ribbion school?

    Like

  128. I cannot believe that such sniveling, mundane shenanigans are being passed of as actual news articles.

    Like

  129. United Nations Moderator // February 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm //

    @Paul Primero

    How many times did you have to read the article before you understood what it was about? lmao

    Like

  130. “Some people’s main motivation for wanting to join the army is the allure of adventure and being exposed to guns and actually being able to use them.” I know plenty of people that have joined or are joining the military. While adventure is certainly a want or need for a young person that is not ready to go to college and many of them have said that is part of the reason they join. NONE of them said they were joining to have access to guns and the possibility of using them against people. I spent 4 years in the Marines, sure the recruiters talk of a glossy and adventurous life. No, it is not all that it is cracked up to be but if they came out and told you what it really was like would anyone join? I am sure the University of Tampa sounded like a quaint little historical college that would be a wonderful place to go to with its historic architecture but the reality is that it is sandwiched between a soulless bunch of skyscrapers and the crappiest part of the city. I know, I have been there before. To look down your nose at the military and suggest that it change its ways while having nothing to do with it (that you let on anyways) other than writing a bunch of crap shows to me that you have been brainwashed by your hippie professors in my eyes. Do not worry though. Those lesser people who did not have Mommy and Daddy to pay for them to go to a overpriced substandard school will protect your hindquarters without giving you a second thought. FYI the draft was not BANNED it was basically shut down for lack of need with the winding down of the Vietnam War. The Selective Service System still exists and can be implemented rather quickly if a national emergency required it. As a matter of fact the yearly training in Florida is done right down the road from your school in a public library. Right up the road from all the brainwashed people serving in all the services running Central Command and the two wars in the middle east. I am sure you do not give any of them men and women any thought since they are beneath you but you are free to flop your titties out at gasparilla because of what they do, rather than having to potentially submit to another religion or system of government that you would not like.

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  131. I served IDF for three years with no choice. I chose to serve 2 more after that. US military is not forcing anybody to enlist. If an individual decides to, that’s a personal choice. Military life forces you to grow up some. An 18 year old in any military is not on par with the average rich UT freshman who drives a $100,000 Lexus, so don’t suggest that these young soldiers are just kids.

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  132. @Patrick,

    I completely understand what you are saying.. You are trying to elevate the conversation. What I am telling you is that the conversation started out in the mud with certain assumptions that had no basis in reality.

    Are some of the responses harsh? Could they be more mature? Sure, but the author wrote an article that was sure to spark an emotional response. When you start out with the premise that people are brainwashed victims; it tends to make people angry.

    A lot of military folks are cognizant of the fact that they don’t have a lot of time to put things into pretty words. Some of us have been to a lot of funerals over the last 10 years. Time is short and life is precious.

    Some of us aren’t tactful, but you always know where you stand with us. Tends to come from knowing our own minds, despite what the author implies.

    BTW, Germans don’t suck 😉

    Like

  133. I just have to say that this is absolutely ridiculous. I joined the United States Army at age 18 and was fully aware of all that it meant and entailed. I was told by my recruiter that if I joined up during this time of war that it wasn’t a matter of if I would be deployed, it was when. And I was, and it was the most sobering and maturing event that has ever happened to me. I would not be who I am today without the United States Army, and I’m proud to say that I have served alongside brave men and women who would put their lives on the line for me.

    As for preying on the young, these people aren’t homeless young kids that speak to no one and have no family. They have the internet. They have parents and family members, and with the war, they probably know quite well a veteran or twelve. They’re making a decision because others around them are advising them. The military does not kidnap 18 year old kids and tell them that they have to make a decision then and there with no knowledge of what they are doing. Most of the information is right there on the websites for these institutions. And 17 year old kids can join – with parental consent. That means they have to convince their parents that this is what they want, and no mislead child is going to do such a thing without the proper information to have made such a decision themselves.

    I just want to point something out. You can have your opinions on America and the wars of past years, but we tried to stay out of WWII as long as possible until attacks were made on our own soil and our allies (one of which was an enemy that is now our greatest ally) were facing annihilation at the hands of a ruthless and sick dictator. An American boy who was 15 or 16 years old at the time wanted to join the United States Army to protect all that is good and right in the world, not just his own country, and lied about his own age to enlist. He was promptly deployed to North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Germany, and went on not only to be promoted and given a commission while fighting, but was and still is today the most highly decorated person in the history of the United States Military, including all branches, having received every decoration for the US Army, including the Congressional Medal of Honor and some more than once, and 5 decorations from France and Belgium. He went on to star as himself in movies in Hollywood, and in Arlington National Cemetery, where your picture is from, he is the second-most visited person to be buried there, second only to President John F. Kennedy. It seems like he knew very well at a much younger age than is even allowed today what he was doing, and not only that, he excelled at it, kept people alive that should have otherwise been dead, and earned the respect of his men – men he lead who were all older than he was. He retired as a Major.

    It sucks that people so young have to deal with hardships that the military life can provide. For me, I know exactly when it was all worth it. There was a young girl, maybe 4, playing shoeless and in rags in a field of trash and dangerous scrap in Iraq. I have family at home and I knew that I would never want my young family members to have to experience that or what I did. For that I am glad that I could sacrifice my time for my country – for the citizens of my country. So that when that little girl is my age, maybe her country will have been better than what it was during her childhood.

    “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” Sometimes those rough men are younger than the people they’re fighting for. This is not a new concept to the world, so perhaps you should start by castigating Rome and Ghengis Khan before you can start to say that “America” warps the mind of the young to join the ranks of its military.

    -Proud Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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  134. SiempreFiel // February 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm //

    Hey David, isn’t it nice to have your computer to hide behind, you little pussy? I have a feeling if you were face to face, you’d be begging for your poor pathetic life and not telling a United States Marine surrounded by his peers that he should be tortured. I’d love to water board you myself, but fortunately for you I don’t waste much time on worthless pieces of amphibian shit.

    Like

  135. Paul Primero // February 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm //

    To Ms. Camilla Chebet,

    I finished reading your article five times. I had to read it that much to make sure my eyes did not deceived me. I cannot help but feel disappointment. So, does the youth fully developed their belief in college? In my opinion, some may learn, but not fully develop their belief. College is only one of many options the youth have for their future. I joined the military not for the guns, nor for the medals and such, but to contribute to the freedom we enjoy today. I have shown this article to most of my friends. Some who are veterans, some who are currently on active duty, and some who are regular college students. They all had the same reaction as most of the people in the comment section. My veteran friends cannot believed that they had sacrifice their time for this article. My active duty friends cannot believe that they will be sacrificing for this type of article. Finally, some of my college friends just laughed and some felt anger.

    This article is a big slap in the face to all of the people, who fought and gave everything for the freedom we enjoy today. Freedom was paid with lives of those YOUNG men and women who believes it.

    “Some gave all, all gave some”

    Semper Fidelis my brothers and sisters.

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  136. “The author wrote a controversial article that she knew would invoke a response. She should expect it. And while the article may not be couched in vulgar language- to those of use who are related or in the service; it is just as vain and vulgar.”

    @midmag25: I was not trying to say that any of the military people here are not allowed to feel offended – I was simply questioning the way many of them responded to it. If an American tells me “Germans suck!”, it does not mean I have to say “Americans suck!” back, but instead we could say “I disagree with your opinion.

    “Many countries in the world require all capable citizens to serve a stint in the military. A few that come to mind are Germany, South Korea and Finland. Feel free to look these countries up in the CIA world factbook and compare their education and crime rates with those of the United States. ”

    @SemperFL: Just to get the facts right, in Germany not all capable citizens are required to serve. We have something called “conscientious objector”, to where it is your right to refuse to serve on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion. In fact, just recently conscription was completely repealed. I know because I am German.

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  137. I feel like you didn’t do much or any research into the military and military training. You say that at age 18 young people have not been exposed to the real world and have not fully developed their beliefs yet and that is at college that these things happen? College is not the real world. Those who choose to join the military immediately out of high school do get to see the real world- they have the opportunity to travel all over the world and see first hand many cultures and peoples. Its an opportunity not many Americans have. That is the real world. They learn first hand what other cultures and peoples are like. They learn first hand to take care of themselves, to manage money, to deal with true responsibility. I’m sure you have had classes with former/current military members who are now attending college. For many of them the GI Bill is the only way they could afford college.

    Many countries in the world require all capable citizens to serve a stint in the military. A few that come to mind are Germany, South Korea and Finland. Feel free to look these countries up in the CIA world factbook and compare their education and crime rates with those of the United States. You say you are disturbed by the fact that people can join the military as young as 17 or 18? Well they choose to do it and thankfully we live in a country where they are free to have that choice.

    As far as those members of the military posting unprofessional, rude comments on here? You are all giving not just yourselves but the rest of the military a bad image.

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  138. I just would like to say that war is not cool.

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  139. >If you are so passionate about DEFENDING your country and its values (a couple, amongst others – just to remind everyone here – are tolerance and freedom of the press), why not be just as passionate about REPRESENTING your country and its values in an appropriate manner?

    Thank you for your response. You are mistaken though.. Freedom of the press does not include civilian tolerance of the press. The responses here fall under freedom of expression and speech- and are as much a right as the authors.

    The author wrote a controversial article that she knew would invoke a response. She should expect it. And while the article may not be couched in vulgar language- to those of use who are related or in the service; it is just as vain and vulgar. She insults military personnel with her article just the same as if she had wrote “f*ck off you brainwashed retards.” As a wife of one she writes about I find her article no different in content. And she is able to do this, because there are men and women who consistently are brainwashed to join the military.. How long do you think America would stand if we didn’t have a standing military?

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  140. a grunts daughter // February 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm //

    “It is in college that these beliefs are formed, fully developed and make up a person’s character and personality.”

    Did you know there is more drug use and suicides in college than in boot camp? Do you know how many over privileged little brats go to the ER for intoxication and drug overdose? How about DUI’s? I am just wondering how the college handles these acts? They probably don’t and Daddy will quickly bail them out. Do you understand the sacarfice that these men/women and their families make? Do you know what is like to be in school while your father is potentially dying for some yuppy punk to print these articles? Do you know what it is like at 7 years old and praying that your dad makes it back alive so your mom will stop crying at night? Tell me hun what is you biggest fear? Daddy cutting you off? Or if you have to take the plan b pill? Before you write as a concerned citizen maybe you should do actual interviewing. See ignorance is when you do not known better but luckily for us we live in America. Where we can research everything and anything our hearts desire without having acid thrown in our face. Stupid is some one who knows better and is educated and yet does ignorant acts. So,my dear,by definition, you are stupid. Just a piece of advice: write about something that has not been a topic of debate for over a 100 years. But honestly after reading this article, I think you should stick with make up advice.

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  141. This ROTC unit at UT is primarily full of disgraceful, unintelligent trash. How disappointing of UT to even have this program.

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  142. First, I want to start off by saying that most of the responses to this article are far below par.

    Please remind yourself that we live in a country where everybody is entitled to his/her opinion, but keep in mind to express that opinion in way that does not involve name-calling, discrimination or even worse, some of the racism that I had to read.

    I know the military is a sensitive subject to many people – but please be respectful to those who do not share the same opinion on this subject.

    If you are so passionate about DEFENDING your country and its values (a couple, amongst others – just to remind everyone here – are tolerance and freedom of the press), why not be just as passionate about REPRESENTING your country and its values in an appropriate manner?

    I say this because I am German native and I love the United States, but what I am reading here is NOT what attracted me to this country, whether you agree or disagree with the article.

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  143. Hey “The CORRE,” I hope you die from an RPG attack or get captured and tortured by terrorists until you cry like a little bitch. Won’t take much.

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  144. I’m sitting here trying to fathom the epic misunderstanding of reality that I just subjected myself to. To the author, have you ever actually talked to military personnel who joined at 18? I joined at 18. I’m about to turn 24 and I don’t regret it at all. Also, you talk about killing, and the willingness to do so, as a reason why it should be limited to older people but the majority of the military won’t actually be put in that situation. Next time you write an opinion piece you should check on the legitimacy of your points.

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  145. Anne Price // February 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm //

    As the parent of a soldier, and the dtr and widow of soldiers I find this woman’s article offensive in the extreme. I sure hope she enjoys the freedoms she has… because she enjoys them due to those to see service to this country as something they give to those who are too stupid to understand.. I trust the Minaret will give equal time to an opposing point of view.
    Sincerely, Anne Price,
    Army Air Force/USAF dtr
    Navy Widow
    Marine ex wife
    Army Mom

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  146. Good job you just pissed off the entire United States Military with your blatant liberal bias. You live your cushy college life drinking beers and banging every guy on your floor while these fine Americans give up everything willingly. You disgust me and better shape up and open your eyes to the sacrifices these men and women make daily.

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  147. Nick Scialdone // February 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm //

    I served with cummings,b and Garrett who commented after my initial comment…i just wanna say cummings,b said it fantasticly..”you aren’t even one of us. Go Fuck Yourself” i second that…and Garretts “you lose” …and since mine lacked the comedy relief and pure verbal beat down…Go back to your little mud hut and die of malaria or something..it would be time better spent..and david..go fuck urself too…

    “What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

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  148. I understand how the author can concede that many “young people” have impressionable minds, and join the military before they can fully mature into adulthood. My problem is that obviously her sample size that she bases this opinion from extends to the people in her sorority and/or classmates. Nobody forces anyone to sign on the dotted line, and hopefully said person talked to the recruiter more than once before doing so. With that being said, youth that enlist in the military learn to grow up real fast and see that the world is no longer there to pamper them and hold their hands the way their parents did. I personally believe that joining military teaches people discipline and empowers them by giving them tools that will help them succeed later on in their life.

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  149. Kenny Powers // February 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm //

    So is the proverb, “bend the fish while it is still wet?” Or is it, “bend a fish while it is still fresh?” She even screwed up her proverbs. I can’t help but to NOT take this article seriously.

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  150. Cummings, B. // February 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm //

    I was one of those 17 yr old enlistments you speak of that “had no idea what i was doing”. I was in Iraq at 18, before most kids are out of high school, and while I was there I was on one of the most tight knit teams over there. we were in charge of keeping the corps commander, a 3 star general, safe if a combat zone. we were blown up and shot at and all we had were the split second decisions of the guys around us who, were mostly in your age bracket of 18-25 that dont know what theyre doing right? we never took a loss and never had an injury because of the fast and accurate decisions of these guys. Im a firm believer in the fact that YOU CAN’T TALK SHIT ABOUT THE MILITARY IF YOU’VE NEVER SERVED! you have absolutely no idea what goes on. try it then talk to us about how much we have no idea what we’re getting ourselves into. this country was built on its military superiority and its recruits have been 18-25 yr old men and women since the beginning and look how successful we’ve been. thats why the only war on our land was one between ourselves hundreds of years ago. You really have to do some research before you try and put an article out like this, you have no right being here talking shit about us when you aren’t even one of us. Go Fuck Yourself! have a nice day

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  151. P.s. I completely agree with scialdone as he was one if those ignorant kids that I got to serve next to and not making decisions with…oh wait yeah we did…you lose

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  152. To the person who wrote this email, you truly do not have any clue as to what you’re talking about. As both a veteran and a college student I did join at the age if 17. However, it wasn’t because I was ignorant nor because I wanted a cool gun. And even after spending my time overseas learning the “thick” of it as you call it I still stand by my choice and I know what I was fighting for. This is an absurd accusation. The army does go for younger people absolutely but that us because they are the best candidates and they are in good shape and young so can learn easier. It also provides experiences and allows people to mature at a rate that for the most part isn’t available to the general public. Joining before a person goes to college allows them the opportunity to use education benefits so they aren’t in debt from an education they could have had for free. You missed all these points in your article but feel free to add them at anytime as it is obvious you are writing this with an outside view and are not properly informed.
    Thank you.

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  153. Unlike a few comments below, instead of belittling the author with snide remarks I will do so with my education.

    It seems that you have been brain washed by your liberal, anti-war teachers since college does more brain washing than the military ever will. 18 year olds will always be easy to manipulate for the reasons you gave and in an environment where the leaders are so far educated that some believe their shit does not stink, it becomes a monkey see-monkey do. Your writing style shows proof of this.

    Now, to comment on the article itself, you have no idea of what you are talking about. Those who join the military fully understand the responsibilities of what they are getting themselves into. Thats why they do it. Its not for guns or glory, its for knowing they are serving a greater purpose than themselves. Like many others have said, its a big decision that isnt made on the spot. I had once wanted to join right out of high school but made the decision that college was what I wanted to do first. Now that college is over I am rethinking the decision again. That is why a military enlistment is usually 4 years, because in 4 years your ideas can change.

    These kids are not signing away their lives forever, like you seem to think. Your lack of research is not only insulting to the people you write about, but to yourself as well. The minimum requirement is 18 in order to deploy. You can undergo basic training at 17 with special permission by your parents, but will not be put in a combat situation or area until the age of 18. Since 18 has become the legal standard for being an adult, it is only fair that, even though naive to the real world, they be allowed to make those decisions. Next time do some thinking for yourself and some research. You are just proving how naive and dumb you are.

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  154. Kenny Powers // February 3, 2011 at 3:42 pm //

    @ Chesty

    You never go full retard! Pffhahahah!

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  155. Nigga, you just went full retard.

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  156. wow…. sir u fail at life.

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  157. It is astonishing what naivete can be exposed in so few words as this article. If anything this article exposes the young, fresh ignorance of today’s college student and their cluelessness of the real world.

    Give me a 22 year old veteran over a 22 year old college grad ANY DAY. At least one of them I know has done something worth while in their four years since high school.

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  158. The CORRE // February 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm //

    Hey David, you can join her. Go fuck yourself too!

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  159. I am going to play the Devi’ls Advocate here. First of all comments like “you’re done B*&^%$” only demonstrate an inability to communicate your feelings. It wouldn’t surprise me if “the Corps” is a tool with the IQ of a retard.
    Second, this article actually makes sense. The armed forces are too glorified within the conservative public and private school establishments, pushing more and more young people to enlist before they are absolutely sure of what they are doing. Unfortunately nothing will change from this article being published but it makes me wonder: what good is serving your country in the military if all the military will do is invade another country for resources, kill civilians and become a pawn for special interest groups?
    Makes you think.

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  160. SiempreFiel // February 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm //

    You are a moron. A thoughtless, brainless idiot.

    I can say this as a college student…
    As a United States Marine…
    As the wife of a Marine…
    As the grandaughter of retired Sailors…
    As the niece of retired soliders…
    As the cousin of an active duty Airman…
    As an American under the age of 25…

    Let me be the millionth person today to tell you what a joke you are. Next time you decide to write something, feel free to have competent people shred yours and write a new one. If this is a shining example of your work, I hope you know you have no future for journalism in the “real world” you speak of. I know combat journalists who are younger and more succinct than you. Maybe take 10November’s advice and join. Nut up or shut up, sweetheart. You might get a little training, experience and someone might even bend that “fish” of yours.

    YUT!

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  161. When I was 18, instead of being in College I was a Machinegunner in the Infantry. Men depended on me, they depended on my aim, my judgement, my resposibility to maintain my weapons and equipment. By the time I was 19 I was in charge of a fire team of 4 men. My responsibilities to myself paled in comparison to my duties to my Men to train them, lead them, keep them alive, and complete my mission to this country.

    While most 19 year old college children are busy binge drinking and thinking they are oh so sophisticated, I was dealing with other cultures in a combat zone. I had to learn on the fly how to deal with older Village elders to develop trust in a young mans words and deeds.

    I had on occasion to call for air support. A 19 year old communicating with, and directing billions of dollars worth of aircraft/equipment to targets with precision, be it dropped explosives/gunfire to dropped supplies by parachute. One mistake and people would be hurt. Most 19 year olds in college are barely trusted with Daddy’s Benz and credit card.

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  162. Nick Scialdone // February 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm //

    wow…i just read a comment that informed me you werent born in america…god damn..i dont even know you…but i hate you…i hope you cry yourself to sleep at night =)

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  163. Nick Scialdone // February 3, 2011 at 3:06 pm //

    You have to be kidding me where can you lear desicion makking better than in the military..? In college you learn how to make desicions like whether to do your homework today or tomorrow and what classes to take and whether to take another shot or do another funnel…my golly those are some pressing desicions..how do you not collapse under the pressure…military makes real desicions that likewise will impact ur whole life but also the people to your left and right wearing the same uniform as you…this is the worst article and the most liberal piece of trash i have ever suffered through…if you dont like it dont join and dont let your kids or try to convince your friends but dont waste your time terlling us how you feel because frankly your thoughts are garbage..i dont know how nieve you were at 17 but when i enlisted i was fully aware of what i was getting myself into…wow i hate liberals.

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  164. The CORRE // February 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm //

    I saw your Miss Africa page. It’s a tie. You all loose, for you being in the running. Why isn’t their a South African White girl? Kinda racist!

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  165. Kenny Powers // February 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm //

    Sure, I’ve been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I’m not. I honestly just feel that America is the best country and the other countries aren’t as good. That used to be called patriotism.

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  166. The CORRE // February 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm //

    Is this person even an American citizen? Get the hell out of America. Go back to Kenya and run a marathon. That is what your good at. It’s science.

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  167. Another Vet // February 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm //

    Instead of just ripping you apart like the others (thaks for making me smile guys) I’ll just give you this: If waiting until somone is 18 and can be held accountable for their own actions, be locked away for ever if they commit a certain crime, is unacceptable what would you describe the process where Islamic fundamentalists brainwash the youth of their countries to blindly hate others because of their religious beliefs??? (That in many ways are grossly taken out of context in the first place.)

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  168. I meant I was majoring in finance. See? You made me rage so much I got stupid for a moment.

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  169. The CORRE // February 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm //

    She probaly has AIDS. Thats unfortunate… For all those other people who have AIDS.

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  170. I was in college majoring in college when I joined the Army. I think it’s very disrespectful of you to have such a one-track mind and be ungrateful to the servicemembers who are more than willing to defend your freedom while you sleep at night. How dare you. Join the military and see for yourself, you brat.

    Thanks for making me rage and ruining my day. I IS MAD.

    PS. +1 on the no balls comment. Full of win.

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  171. It’s always nice to see “educated” people leaving a comment. Is this how you show civility ? Yes, her article is wrong on so many levels but bashing and cursing the writer negates those civil rights most of you use for an argument and are so proud of.
    “We fight for the freedom you enjoy” is the most ridiculous argument I’ve ever heard. The United States have brought it on themselves feeling that they are superior and apparently the “freedom fighters” of the globe. Not to mention they always help out countries when it’s their best interest and then leave them hanging when that interest is gone. Examples seen in Middle East and Latin American countries.
    Was Iraqi War II for the freedom of Americans ? Really ? The United States have violated Just War Theory, International Law as well as their own Constitution with that war. This is only one example out of many and I could ramble all day.
    I, myself, am a Second Lieutenant for my own country. I joined when I was 18 so I have a very good idea how the military works.
    Despite the anger you all feel, it would be helpful to give her constructive criticism because in the end you are a hypocrite and no better than her.

    Peace

    Like

  172. The CORRE // February 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm //

    KNIFE-HAND!!! Your the load your dad should have swallowed!

    Like

  173. The CORPS // February 3, 2011 at 2:42 pm //

    KNIFE-HAND!!! Your the load your dad should have swallowed!

    Like

  174. The CORPS // February 3, 2011 at 2:40 pm //

    Your a dumb bitch! Your fucking done!

    Like

  175. Dear whatiassumetobeacodepinksupporter,

    what is this, I don’t even..

    YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY HAVE GIVE UP FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SPEW RETARDATION ALL OVER THE INTERNET LIKE THIS! SO NEXT TIME YOU DECIDE TO SPURT NONSENSE DON’T! TAKE A TRIP TO VA HOSPITAL AND SEE WHAT ITS REALLY LIKE TO KNOW SOMEONE THAT HAS GIVEN EVERYTHING.

    I suggest, you refrain from journalism, go back to culinary arts.. and learn to make sammiches..

    Like

  176. I know where you live, and I’ve seen where you sleep…

    Like

  177. What an extraordinary inability to grasp the blazingly obvious.

    Like

  178. doodoobaby // February 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm //

    I realize that you were born in Kenya and lived in Africa as a child, and I suspect that it has had a negative impact on your views of military recruiting as it pertains to the youth of a nation. I hope you can understand that most young men and women entering our military understand the consequences of their decision, especially in times like this. I think your article is naive and off-base, and that you may not know many people in the military or that the ones you do know serve as a poor point of reference. I also believe you need to realize that you’re talking about your own age demographic, and that you yourself probably haven’t come to terms with your own beliefs in life.

    Like

  179. “It is easy to shape young minds to certain ideologies about war, conflict and how it can be dealt with.”

    You are your own perfect example.

    Like

  180. Not everyone has been breastfed for 18 years. Look at America today. 50% of marraiges end in divorce. Even more separate but forego the paperwork. Some children grow up without knowing their parents altogether. These days, kids are growing up fast. I know that when I was 15 I was working, filing my taxes, cooking my meals, and taking care of my brother. Those are not things I wanted to do, but what I had to do. The military was a voluntary choice and a proud one at that. If someone can’t comprehend during a time of war that they may lose their life, the problem is not age but rather brain capacity.

    Like

  181. Another interesting point is that the Author was not even born in America. I don’t understand where you get off writing such slanderous material.

    Like

  182. Simply disgusting

    Like

  183. The Awesome // February 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm //

    I take comfort in knowing that reading this article took minutes away from my life that I will never ever have back again. The only reason I am writing this comment is so I can say something really offensive at the end of my comment. In the meantime, let me give you this scenario: I will eventually be on my death bed, wishing that I could have a couple more brief moments of time with the people I love. But I will not, as i decided to read this article. Curse you, Camilla. I will now ask you this question: Camilla, can you count all the way to potato?
    (google image search “i can count to potato”)
    Thank you for your time.
    -The Awesome

    Like

  184. You even got the photo for this article from a Memorial Day flickr posting, celebrating the lives of the men and women who gave their lives for this country! I doubt the publisher of those photos would be happy with the way you are using them! Again, this is highly offensive, and again, disgusting. You have to at least take the photo down, I am urging you to do this. That is wrong on so many levels to take a photo from a site to celebrate Memorial Day and the lives of American Veterans. SICK!!!!

    Like

  185. “To a young man or woman who is yet to know and experience the evils of the world, this sounds like a good reason to join the army.”

    Camille, there are a lot of evils in this world that young men and women experience without even joining the military. Not everyone’s mommy and daddy sends them off to college. Some of their parents hit them. Or neglect them. Or abandon them. Not everyone lives in your ivory tower and for some people, joining the military is a step toward a better life. It’s a courageous step. And shame on you for denigrating it.

    Like

  186. This “article” is offensive on so many levels; I don’t know where to begin. I enlisted into the D.E.P. at 17 and turned 18 in boot camp. I knew full well the scope of what I was doing when I signed on the dotted line, still I felt it was my duty to serve this nation and repay some little bit of what was granted to me in my life. To say that an 18 year old can’t fathom what it is they are doing when they enlist is idiotic, maybe YOU couldn’t understand what you were doing at 18 and from the sound of it even now, but those who muster up the intestinal fortitude to step forward and do what must be done surely aren’t naive. Your use of the grave markers as a visual aid for this work is unforgivable, and it’s obvious you didn’t do one bit of actual research on this. You are entitled to your first amendment rights so I won’t refute your right to write this article, I would however refute your ability to write any article. I believe you’re a pampered little freak that needs a dose of reality.
    “Drafts were banned back in 1973” and “However, the people who work in the military should do so out of free will and choice.” First off I just want to let you know how painful it was to have to go back and read through that drivel you call an article to grab those quotes. I have a question do you even know what a “Draft” is, and if so you should know that by it getting repealed mean that everyone who “works” in the military does so VOLUNTARILY. Obviously you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed so I’ll give you the definition of voluntarily.

    vol•un•tar•y (v l n-t r )
    adj.
    1. Done or undertaken of one’s own free will: a voluntary decision to leave the job.

    “18-year-old that they ought to kill someone because it is okay than to convince a 25-year-old that the same act is okay.” What?

    “Young people are quicker and more aggressive at defending their decision to join the army as opposed to veterans who will tell you the thick of what it really is, without all the puffed up promises of glory.” I’m 25, so by your measure (which is completely wrong) for those emotionally mature enough to decide if joining is the correct choice; I qualify to make an opinion. I can tell you that I would enlist now for the same reasons I did at 17 and know those to be the right ones

    I see that many others have made their points on other issues in your article and more eloquently than I ever could, and since you like to use quotes I’ll leave you with this one which I feel fits your article perfectly.

    “What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    Like

  187. you make me sick. I enlisted in the Marines knowing full well what it meant. I was two semesters away from finishing a degree in Aerospace Engineering as well. People with that degree make about 100k a year. And I gave it up, to make something of myself. To protect my loved ones. And sadly, to protect people like you. I had friends in college, as well. But NONE of them compare to the level of maturity, selflessness and courage my military friends have. True, I may not be going to college, but I serve my county and see a side of the world people like you only dream about. Im not a mindless drone either. The Marines have taught me so much, and helped me the best I can be. Im sorry you never had that opportunity. you sorely need it.

    Like

  188. Janet Backman (Proud Mother of a US Marine) // February 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm //

    That article is so silly it is funny.

    First off a person does NOT develop their character and personality in a college. If that was the case we would all be a bunch of party animal/alcoholics. A person begins to develop their personality f…rom the time they are born. At a young age thru teaching by parents, teachers and the like the development of character and personality come and continues to be enriched thruout life.

    A good parent teaches their child to be a free thinker and encourages them to pursue dreams and goals. To some that dream is serving in the military.

    The author is an A typical ignorant person who thinks all the freedoms we have in this country came free. She needs to spend more time educating herself in US history and not try to appear she knows one thing about the military or those who are brave enough, selfless and devoted to serve!

    Like

  189. This is the WROST piece of shit I’ve ever read from ANY paper. Hey Camilla, I would consider pursing something else like working at Taco Bell then journalism if this is what you call good reporting.

    Like

  190. obvious troll is obvious.

    “They are told the stories of glory without realizing that dying for a cause is not always good, especially if the cause of the conflict was simply a desire for power.”

    Please go back to your Tea party.

    Like

  191. Just A Grunt // February 3, 2011 at 1:22 pm //

    Gee, I actually feel sorry for the writer of this article since everybody else has taken her to the woodshed so to speak. I won’t add to the comments, I would hope by this time she has gotten the message.

    I do have a question for the writer however. So what do you think of somebody who is serving in the military while attending college? You know the two things are not mutually exclusive. So while you enjoy Spring Break in Mexico or Florida that person serving may be completing some course work by the light of red lens flashlight in some forward located post, but yeah I guess they wouldn’t learn anything about the real world from that sort of environment as opposed to some frat house on a Friday night.

    Some people read about history, some people write about history, but a very special and select group get to actually make history. My contribution was the fall of the Berlin Wall and Desert Storm I. Maybe you have heard of them.

    Like

  192. militarysister // February 3, 2011 at 1:16 pm //

    This is one of the most IGNORANT pieces The Minaret has ever published. Last time I checked, the military wasn’t built upon recruiting people in walkers and on oxygen. You clearly have no respect for any military personnel, nor does it appear that you know any. Do some real research. You may want to retract this article. Those “bent fish” are protecting and fighting for your rights to publish this piece of garbage.

    Like

  193. What kind of fucked up shit are you on little girl?
    “The army openly stated that it was looking to attract and recruit more young people.”

    That might be the single most unintelligent argument I’ve ever heard. Why in gods name would the military want old people. Its common knowledge that young people are much more apt for military service, and the younger the better. It’s very important to trick young people into joining the military at an early age because the brain is much more susceptible to brainwashing and hypnosis.

    Does this paper have an editor? Or was the point of allowing this publication to persuade the author to never attempt to express their delusional ideas again?

    Camilla, you are a moron.

    Like

  194. BlackRage // February 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm //

    Sometimes I forget that people are this stupid.

    Like

  195. I’d rather have a buffalo take a diarrhea dump in my ear before I have to read that again. Are you saying that a 17 or 18 young adult, keyword being adult, is incapable of making choices? I’m a veteran and I served 4 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps and I’m pretty sure that my prefrontal cortex was developed enough to point that murder was wrong unless it was justifiable. Maybe that concept is too much for you handle that murder can be justifiable. Lady, you also write as much as ET for Atari functions as a videogame, not at all.

    Like

  196. Stupid bitch is stupid…

    Like

  197. Hopefully you’re not pursuing a degree in journalism, because I see no future for you. Good on you for exercising your rights and publishing the nonsense, bad on you for have little to no knowledge of the subject. Do us all a favor and stop running your suck.

    Like

  198. Your opinions are as deplorable as your writing. Well done writing an article that simultaneously provides zero amounts of valuable information for readers and offends the greater majority.

    The Minaret staff needs to pay more attention to writers such as you. Unless, of course, they share your credentials of pathetic writing and lack of research on topics.

    Like

  199. @ Craig
    What valid points are raised to support the idea that the military preys on the fragile minds of youth?

    Thank you to the other vets who have covered everything else.

    Camilla, Army is capitalized its a proper noun. (Aparently you didn’t know that)

    Like

  200. “It is in college that these beliefs are formed, fully developed and make up a person’s character and personality.”

    Oh really. So the military brainwashes impressionable kids, and teaches them its evil agenda. College doesn’t do anything like that right? I’m sure your professors aren’t pushing their ideals and agendas on you.

    Like

  201. You do realize that 18 is the age of majority here in the USA, right? And that High School is the highest level of education that is legally required for children, right? Your argument that the requirements for military service should have more stringent requirements than these obviously doesn’t take into consideration these facts. How, legally, would the federal government raise these requirements? If the age of majority were still 21, then you might have an argument. But it isn’t, and you are an idealistic naive idiot.
    Oh, and if you think that the drinking age being 21 is an argument, consider this: that’s a state requirement, not federal. Therefore, it has no bearing on federal policies.
    Have a great life.

    Like

  202. Another "cocky" cadet // February 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm //

    To AB you must have only been an ms1 because that’s when it’s easy, and it has to be for dumbasses like you. I don’t know who you are but I don’t care, the shit you talk is just as bad as camilla. I’m personally glad you left and I’m sure others are too. And if you hate this school so much why are you reading the minaret?

    Like

  203. Are the articles in this paper solely based on “wet-minded” college-aged opinions? Way to sir up a hornets nest. Wait don’t forget to point out that we’re baby killers as well!

    Like

  204. I am an active duty Marine who has served for the last 13 years. I was not tricked, or misled by anyone before I raised my right hand and swore an oath to my country. I knew exactly what I was getting into. I assure you I did this fully aware of the risks.
    I believe college is great if you want to be indoctrinated by elitist, left-leaning professors. Most college students choose not to join the military after graduating because by that point, they are fully indoctrinated by the religion of liberalism.
    The author of this piece has a very narrow view of the military and the world as a whole. I believe it would serve her well to speak with a few veterans before she writes some more drivel like this.

    Like

  205. Dale Schwartz // February 3, 2011 at 12:21 pm //

    This article is another example of why our country is great. You can speak your mind even if you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    To the author, please do research in the future, talk to the people that you are talking about. Our Armed Forces are completely voluntary, our Armed Forces teach so many things besides how to wage war. The members of our Armed Forces learn things that MOST young people don’t learn about; Honor, Duty, Responsibility and Consequences of their actions. Read the newspaper or surf the web for news articles about crime, then see how many of those young people who are deemed guilty learned these life lessons.

    I am the father of 2 soldiers, I am proud of their decision to serve (yes, they serve for YOU too) and am more proud of the values and direction they have taken in their lives. I am proud of ALL of the men and women who have made the CHOICE to take up the task of defending this, the greatest country on earth.

    It is with gratitude that because of them I can say; God Bless America!

    Like

  206. You are who I once was. I went to college before I joined the Marine Corps so I suggest you listen to what I have to say. I am currently an active duty Marine. Before I enlisted I went to college at The Corcoran College of Art and Design. My college was literally next to the Whitehouse, and only a metro ride away from 8th & I. I was surrounded by politics, war, liberals, and protesters. There were times when people would stop by my dorm room, and ask if I wanted to go and protest the war with them, and I never went.

    I never went because I didn’t know shit about being in the military. What in your tiny little inexperienced brain made you think that you had a clue about it?! I was enrolled in a masters program, and I stopped to join the military. I wanted to see for my self what is was like to spend a day in their shoes. And so far I’ve spent 3 years in them. You have lost your mind if you think you have the right to have a voice in what we are about and what we do.

    Everyone joins for their own reasons. Believe it or not the Marine Corps not only saves the lives of civilians, but it saves the lives of people that destroy their own. My husband was a drug addict and a drunk and was nearly at the end of his life until he was approached by a recruiter. He is now dropping a Warrant Officer package as a Sgt and has been drug free for 8 years now with no alcohol issues. The Marine Corps saved his life. It gave him structure and an understanding of what it means to be alive, to sacrifice, and to push through when you think you can’t make it any further! No college will ever teach you that, and I have the experience to know.

    If you want to have an opinion, get off your @$$ and join just like I did. You have no idea what we give up in exchange for you to do as you please, speak and wear what you want. Those of us in the military have no freedom. We give it up so that you, and the rest of the snot nosed little brats in the US can have it. The least you can do is give back to your country what it’s given to you. Freedom isn’t free at all.

    Like

  207. There are some very very valid points that Camilla raises, but the delivery of them is just awful. Yes, the military relies on naive young men and women to fill its ranks. Yes, the military indoctrinates servicemembers in a way that the rest of society does not. But you can’t characterize all who serve in such a generalized fashion. People join the Army to serve; people join the Army because they want a free education and a reliable job that will teach them the skills they lack in the private sector. Sometimes recruiters lie (OK, almost all recruiters lie).

    Camilla chose not to serve; many choose otherwise. She had her reasons, you have your reasons. Move on. Leave this 19-year-old alone, the point has been made that you’re unhappy with her article.

    Like

  208. Sarah Marshy // February 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm //

    @ AB:

    I give props to you for not joining if you didn’t want to. Your choice is your choice. However, I would like to say something about ROTC.
    None of them are guaranteed to be a part of the military. They have the same standards to uphold when they join as anyone else and if they can’t cut it, they’re out.
    I will agree though, I’ve never been in ROTC but I had to march with them in a parade. It was infuriating to me to see them wear a blues uniform (i’m Air Force) having to do nothing when I had to actually work for it and earn it.
    Any ROTC member who floats by will have a rude awakening if they do actually go to boot camp.

    Like

  209. Marine Grunt // February 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm //

    “It is in college that these beliefs are formed, fully developed and make up a person’s character and personality.”

    Let us contrast the fresh out of college, newly comissioned Second Lieutenant who went straight to college to the Sergeant who enlisted when he was 18 instead of going to college.

    2ndLt with a whopping 4 years college experience and 1 year military enntry-level training has “fully developed beliefs, character and personality”. But the Sergeant who has spent the last 5 years deploying 3 or 4 times for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, conducted Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations in places like Haiti, Indonesia, Philippines, etc… doesn’t have “fully developed beliefs, character and personality”.

    The 2ndLt has knowlege, but not the experience or wisdom which can be much more valuable than his formal education. The 2ndLt knows how to do keg stands in that little town they where they went to college or on that nice little beach they went to for Spring Break. The Sergeant knows how to do keg stands too, but the Sergeant does them in places like Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Ireland, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, etc… ad nauseum.

    On second thought, maybe you’re right: Those young enlisted men and women don’t have “fully developed beliefs, character and personality”. They have over-developed, real-world beliefs that college cannot teach. They have overwhelming character, the kind that other people notice and make others realize “there’s something about that guy / gal”. They have more personality than any person who hides underneath and takes for granted the blanket of freedom which he or she helps to provide.

    Camilla, enjoy the Constitutional rights which you abuse. The same rights which were paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots. The same rights that we ensure you may continue to have.

    I could go on for much longer, but I’ll let my brothers and sisters on here continue to prove how your education in college has failed you.

    Like

  210. SGT. Mike Jones // February 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm //

    And once again, ”IT’S AN ALL VOLUNTEER MILITARY FORCE” Nobody is twisting anybody’s arm to join, It’s the individuals choice to join. Would you like me to break this down barney style with crayons for you window lickers that can’t seem to grasp that. IF YOU HAVE NEVER SERVED SHUT YOUR MOUTH..LIBERAL TREE HUGGING HIPPIE PUKE BASTARDS.

    Like

  211. Sarah Marshy // February 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm //

    So… It didn’t take me long to get fired up over this article. Not long at all.

    So at 18, a high school diploma… I’m not prepared to make my own decisions about life? Sure, many other people do – people make the choices of what school they want to go to, before that they already know what they want to do with their life (not everyone, but I know there are many that do).

    I grew up in a military family that tried their hardest to keep me away from the military life. I joined the military by signing with MY OWN HAND. No one was moving my hand for me, no one was changing or mutating my thoughts.

    This article disgusts me to think that it can jump to the conclusion that we joined without free will. That we were like ignorant children running towards some happy illusion. I joined the military because I have seen people suffer terribly. I have traveled around the world and I have seen what it does to a countries people when they have no freedoms, no way to defend themselves, no rights. That is why I serve, to keep the people in this country safe and to help provide them with the rights they should have. I DID NOT join because someone brainwashed me.

    The more I write this comment the more I become disgusted. You need to open your eyes and prepare yourself for the real world. You’re probably older than me, but on the inside, I feel older than you. I have learned a lot in my years of life and I’m insulted that you would say such things about how I made my decision.

    Oh, and keep this in mind – THAT ONE PERSON WILL ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE.
    The entire process before basic training is to make sure anyone who doesn’t want to be there, isn’t there.
    They had a choice to talk to the recruiter.
    They had a choice to pick their job.
    They had a choice to sign the paper.
    They had a choice to take the ASVAB.
    They had a choice to take the job.

    When these choices are made, they aren’t blind. The whole time your choice is being checked, double checked, triple checked. They wan’t to know you are serious and they want to know you understand what you’re getting yourself into.

    Also – consider the fact that the following statement is so freakishly untrue. Your assumptions, again, disgust me.

    “To a young man or woman who is yet to know and experience the evils of the world, this sounds like a good reason to join the army.”

    Maybe you’ve seen the “evils of the world”, but if you didn’t want to join the military, that’s your choice. This message is more brainwashing the younger crowd than I’ve ever heard from any recruiter. I have seen the evils of this world, and I would much rather serve than be complacent in my life. You may not agree with the war, but that is not our only front. That is not all we do. You should consider putting more thought and research into a subject like this… in fact… don’t consider it, do it.

    Like

  212. Camilla,

    What kind half-witted point are you trying to make? Did you do any research for this article? Was I reading the words of a 13 year old who thinks that if everybody just talks about their feelings, the world will be a better place? How naïve can you be?

    You portray young enlistees as if they’re mouth breathing morons without a single free thought in their brain. You do this as you sit in the comfort of their sacrifices. It seems to me that convenience is your only motive in life. People like you have the luxury of being subsidized by their parents’ hard work, and somehow you were even able to make into the school paper without having any substantive thought of your own. Your concept of reality and your writing is garbage.

    Camilla, would you be willing to forward this diarrhea commentary of yours to a gold star mother or an amputee sitting at Walter Reed? Better yet, would you be willing to deliver your unintelligent opinions to them in person? Probably not, because you and the seed you come from seem content with living your life in a cowardly manner.

    You should probably just give up whatever dreams you have for the future and become a crack-addicted, dime store hooker. You definitely can’t write, that’s for sure.

    Like

  213. Here’s a thought…How about next time you write an article about the sad state of affairs in Kenya? I think you are much more qualified as a “journalist” to write about that, as opposed to writing about the welfare of our US Armed Forces community. I’d like you to share this story with our greatest generation of WW2 Veterans who lied about their age to fight the “evils of the world” such as Hitler and the Nazis. I guess those guys were just immature and didn’t comprehend what was going on either like our current generation of Military heroes. Also, it is ABSOLUTELY DEPLORABLE and disgusting that you are using the tombstones of American Veterans on your equally disgusting article you call “journalism.” As a Veteran myself, I find this article offensive. You are out of your league and don’t know the material that you are writing about.

    Like

  214. @Danielle,

    I did ROTC for 2 semesters. Don’t flatter yourself, it wasn’t difficult in any way.

    Like

  215. Sergeant of Marines // February 3, 2011 at 11:55 am //

    ***”The army openly stated that it was looking to attract and recruit more young people.”***

    No shit. Please take a moment to realize how idiotic it is for you to point this out as anything other than obvious. Old people don’t make for very good Marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen, etc. And we need more of them because…you know…time marches on an all. This statement is equivalent to saying “Heterosexuals openly admit their desire to produce offspring!” Um…duh.

    ***”The military in any country has a function and purpose and it is vital for a country’s stability and security. However, the people who work in the military should do so out of free will and choice.”***

    And we do.

    Your entire article is so full of naivete and faux know-it-all nonsense that I can do nothing but rage on the inside and facepalm on the outside.

    Kindly GFY.

    Like

  216. Ha, this idiot has never served. It’s painfully obvious.

    Like

  217. Corporal of Marines // February 3, 2011 at 11:51 am //

    I find it highly ironic that this writer is guilty of exactly what she accuses young service members of; having absolutely no understanding of what she is getting into and basing her decisions of childish, impulsive assumptions about the world.

    This article is disgusting.
    You talk about exposure to the “real world”, yet most likely have never even been outside the United States, or spoken with an individual of an entirely alien culture and environment than the privileges even the poorest American grows up enjoying.

    Go speak to a veteran. You may just find that their mind is more open and worldly than yourself. And they might just be younger.

    Like

  218. Johnny Depp // February 3, 2011 at 11:45 am //

    I really have strong feelings against the war, but honestly my military friends are some of the bravest people I know. Thanks for offending everyone.

    Like

  219. Air Force Guy // February 3, 2011 at 11:42 am //

    It’s pretty obvious that the author of this article never bothered to actually talk to someone who is or has been in the military. I enlisted at 17 years old, and the military has been hands down the best experience of my life. I didn’t join to “kill ragheads” or whatever BS you think we all join for, I joined because I wanted to better myself as a human being, and work towards the saftey and security of my countrymen. The military has made me the man I am today, helped me to grow up and understand the world for what it really is, yet the author here seems to think that spending my time getting trashed in college with a bunch of fratboys would be a better use of my time.

    To the author, your writing reeks of know-it-all elitism. You make wild assumptions about what you think things are like without ever having tried it for yourself. Let me tell you, no amount of classroom lecture or reading statistics can ever make up for first hand knowledge. So please, keep your inane ideas to yourself.

    Like

  220. Didie Uriarte // February 3, 2011 at 11:41 am //

    It’s opinions and articles like this that makes me so disappointed in society. Congratulations, you’re officially a tool.

    Like

  221. This is the most ignorant piece of garbage I have read in quite some time. Congratulations.

    Like

  222. To the author:

    You seem to have such a low opinion of young people who enter the military. First of all, you assume that everyone who joins does so because they want to carry a gun and go on adventures. Well, this may be difficult for the well-off students at UT to understand, but some of us CANNOT pay for our own schooling. Not everyone comes from families that can shell out thousands and thousands of dollars per semester to pay for college. The military has offered us ROTC cadets a wonderful opportunity to attend a University that we would have otherwise never been able to afford and to achieve a higher level of education that we may have never been able to pay for on our own. You also seem to assume that all young people who join are simple minded and easy to manipulate. Do you realize that deciding to join is a very personal and important decision? We don’t just wake up one day and go sign up at our local recruiting office, we actually think this decision through for quite some time before acting on it. Oh, and your claim that soldier death is a simple ‘statistic’ is a disgusting insult to those who give their lives for our country.

    To AB:

    When on Earth did you attend UT’s ROTC program? The cadre here are not at all racist; they have in fact helped me more in my college career then any other person here at UT. They help their cadets as much as they can and give up hours and hours of their time to help us achieve. As far as the ROTC cadets being racist…I don’t even know where that came from. I have never experienced any level of racism in UT’s ROTC program. Calling most ROTC cadets ‘low quality’ is extremely insulting; most of us Cadets work harder and longer then half the regular students at UT. You claim to have attended our ROTC program, but I have a very difficult time believing you were hear for very long if this is your opinion of us. You obviously didn’t get to see how hard we work to keep our scholarships.

    To Everyone:

    Do you know why some ROTC cadets have difficulty maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher? Its because instead of waking up at noon everyday we wake up at 0530 to attend PT. On top of classes, we attend PT five days a week as well several weekend events per semester. ROTC cadets have five-times the amount of responsibility as other students here; we have so many requirements above and beyond that of a regular student that it is unfair to compare us to them.

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  223. After reading this article I felt it necessary to rebuttal some of the inaccuracies of its content. However, even with large amounts of polls and studies it would be hard to pin one specific motivation for the majority of those individuals enlisting into the United States military. Furthermore, the authors understanding of the draft and military training can best be explained as a misunderstanding. I feel the author makes to many assumptions about a demographic that they themselves are dististanced if not completely removed from.

    To say that military utilizes the allure of combat a promotional tool is not completely misguided. Many young men, as well as women, may see combat as finalizing test into adulthood. They may, however, see it as a test of patriotism and love of ones country. There are many jobs within the military today. Some individual choose jobs outside of the combat arms so that they can still serve in the military without having a guarentee of experiencing combat. What motivation does the author believe these individuals had for joining? The GI Bill provides an allure to some individuals who could not afford continuing education with or without the support of their families. With regards to the statement that college is “a diluted form of the real world”, individuals may join the military to get away from their home towns and experience real life. The author seems to favor the path of going to college after high school. Whereas those individuals serving in the military and combat are experiencing the real world. In fact, colleges and universities are studying our actions because that is what is occuring in the real world. For the author to say that combat is the only determining factor in one’s enlistment is a gross over underestimate of what military service can provide and offer.

    As for the authors views of how the military operates, again you will see disparity between beliefs and actaul practices. The author stated falsely that drafts had been banned. Drafts have not been banned but rather are not in effect. Every American citizen signs into the Selective Service (i.e. draft) when they register to vote. The congress and executive powers have just found it unnecessary to conduct one as there has been plenty of volunteers to maintain the professional military. The author also shows a narrow minded assesment of individuals serving in the military. “In college that these beliefs are formed, fully developed and make up a person’s character and personality.” This statement is making an assumption of two things: That only college can refine a person’s beliefs and that the persons serving in the military have not attended college; and that despite encountering other individuals of different race, religion, political belief, and back round, people joining the military will never change the beliefs the held prior to enlisting. These individuals are experiencing the real world, not the water down version of college, first hand. Surely this will have impact on someone’s beliefs. Finally, the author has taken the statement and mission of recruiters to “find more young people” out of context. The military is not looking to recruit younger people but rather more of people whom are still in their physical prime. For males this 18 years old. You could find plenty of forty-something men who would be willing to enlist, but would they be able to endure the physicallity of 110 degree tempuratures and dismounted patrols with 60-80lbs of gear? The answer could very well be yes 100% of the time, however, it is more certain amongst 18 year olds.

    In conclusion, I feel the author of this article needs to spend more time either researching polling information of enlistees or at the very least speak to some veterans. I feel that their conclusions were wildly inaccurate as a result of misinterputting basic policies and tinged with their own personal experiencing, which is lacking in the topic at hand.

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  224. @10November1775

    That may be so, but those idiot cadets will one day graduate ROTC and become real officers, in charge of real soldiers. That’s a pretty scary thought. The military isn’t for me. Does that mean the military is wrong? No. It’s just a different way of thinking, and I chose to get out while I still could.

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  225. 10November1775 // February 3, 2011 at 11:13 am //

    Hey AB- don’t act like you know anything about the Military because of your experience in ROTC. ROTC is a fucking joke and is NOT the real military.

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  226. This article sums up the two reasons I left UT. The first reason can be seen in this article, which illustrates the awful academic quality of UT. This girl is an awful writer, but somehow she managed to make it as a writer for The Minaret. When I came to UT as a freshman and realized that all of my “college” classes were much easier than the ones I took in high school, I knew it was time to find a real university. Transferring to a real and respected university was one of the best decisions I have made regarding my education. I am glad I’m not still at UT wasting my time/money/chance at a quality education.

    Reason two actually has to do with this article’s topic, even though I do not fully agree with it. I started out at UT in Army ROTC with a full ride scholarship, and did so with the best intentions. What I was exposed to was anything but what I expected. The quality of cadets was awful. Most of these kids could barely keep above a 3.0GPA, knew nothing about the military or the world itself, couldn’t pass the EXTREMELY EASY physical fitness test, and just wanted to “kill a fuckin’ raghead”. I came into ROTC prepared for a challenge. I trained all throughout high school both mentally and physically with rigorous workout routines and personal studying of weapons systems, rank structure, tactics, and military history. I guess I expected everybody else to be the same as I was, but boy was I wrong. The amount of racism and intolerance I experienced coming from the cadets was shameful, and subtly encouraged by the cadre at UT’s ROTC battalion. This encouragement to dehumanize and hate both Muslims and people from the Middle East alike is a prime example of what this article is talking about, brainwashing. Although the dehumanization of the enemy is necessary for any proper military to function effectively in a war/conflict, I decided that I did not want anything to do with such an awful mindset. All of this along with the realization that I didn’t want to be a part of nor support either of these ridiculous wars that are occurring right now drove me to quit. Quitting Army ROTC was the main reason I left UT, and above transferring away it was the best decision I have ever made in my life.

    Where I disagree with this article is that it generalizes too much. Yes, most of the cadets were very low quality. Does that mean that they all were though? Absolutely not. Along with meeting a lot of meat-head morons, I also met a lot of great people in ROTC who I still talk to today. You have to consider that a lot of these cadets have no other choice. ROTC is the one and only way to pay for college for a lot of these people, so at least they are trying to further their education. Too bad they chose UT though…

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  227. This article has rendered me absolutely speechless. I’m an alumnus, and I just received a copy of the UT Journal, which coincidentally had an article entitled “From Combat to Classroom”. That article stresses how “military friendly” UT is–Camilla, did you know that there are currently 139 veterans studying at UT? I suggest you go find one or two of them and see what they think of your article. Better yet, take a walk over to the ROTC building. I think it’s only fair that since they all had the opportunity to read this disgusting excuse for an article, they should get to share their opinions and experiences with you. Open your eyes. My question for you is: what have you ever done?

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  228. Agreed with 10November1775….
    +1 on the DO IT, also
    NO BALLS

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  229. 10November1775 // February 3, 2011 at 10:47 am //

    So you have basically offended everyone in the U.S. that is between the ages of 18 and 25 congratulations.

    I would like to say that you being a college student, what makes you so knowledgeable on the military at all?

    I would like to propose a challenge.

    Join the military and see how things really go down. And not just ROTC- enlist. (Join the Marines for full effect.)

    After your four years, write another article where you have actual experience to back up your claims.

    Honestly though based on your article you would attempt suicide during boot.

    What do you think? You gonna legitimatize your claims or what?
    DO IT!

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  230. I’d rather die and be a statistic for someone’s research than to just sit around and watch the war happen but do nothing to help my country. I’m 19 years old and I joined the USMC right out of high school. I fight for my country because that’s what I believe is right. I know my right from wrong. College may be a “diluted form of the real world” but who’s to say that that’s the best place to establish your beliefs or learn right from wrong? The military can do the same exact thing for you. Just because we’re young doesn’t mean we are incapable of understanding the life-changing effect this decision can have on us.

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  231. Paul Szoldra // February 3, 2011 at 10:35 am //

    Most of the comments before me from other veterans hit the nail on the head. This piece is absolute garbage. A few things:

    “Pacifism is a luxury that is paid for by warriors.”

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

    “To those who have fought for it, freedom has a special flavor that the protected will never know.”

    I wasn’t a “stupid poor kid” when I joined the Marine Corps. I was an 18-year old fully aware and wanting to defend my country against terrorist attacks on 9/11.

    I used my “fragile mind” to help the people of Afghanistan in 2004-2005. Instead of this garbage opinion piece, maybe you can just say thank you.

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  232. This article is moronic.

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  233. Mad Spartan // February 3, 2011 at 10:07 am //

    Thiago you are from Brazil, if you have issues with this country you may leave at anytime no one forced you to come here. Which begs the question why are you here in America learning? Prep, you are an impotent punk with dreams of some sort of success only to fall flat on your face. Majoring in alcoholism and tanning are not marketable skills that will get you far in life. Camilla, I strongly suggest you either retract this article which I doubt you will do or apologize for you glaring erroneous “facts” on soldiers

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  234. “Some people’s main motivation for wanting to join the army is the allure of adventure and being exposed to guns and actually being able to use them.”

    -Really? You must have some messed up friends.

    “Even when drafted, it is much easier to persuade a young 18-year-old that they ought to kill someone because it is okay than to convince a 25-year-old that the same act is okay.”

    – This statement makes no sense. If you are not going to do any research on your opinion please at least edit your work before posting.

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  235. Ms. Chebet, After serving in the US Army for 23 years of which more than 3 years were in combat both in Iraq & Afghanistan spanning Desert Storm to the present Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom I would like to make a few observations to your OPED.

    1. It doesn’t matter how old you are, taking a life or seeing one taken is not something a normal developed human being takes lightly.

    1a. Your comments on the ease of taking a life the younger you are sound so matter of fact, I would recommend you do more research on the human psyche before making such broad sweeping remarks, you may be surprised what the facts actually say.

    2. You may have missed the point and the effect of Professional Military Training, the instilling of discipline into young immature adults is the primary goal of basic training. For over 235 years proud and Selfless Servants have answered the call to duty, to be part of something bigger than their self. To adopt and live by values of Loyalty – Bearing true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, their unit and other Soldiers, Duty – fulfilling their obligations, Respect – treating people as they should be treated, Selfless Service – Placing the welfare of the nation, the Army, and their subordinates before their own, Honor – Living up to all the Army values, Integrity – Doing what’s right, legally and morally, Personal Courage – Facing fear, danger, or adversity [either physical or moral].

    3. I would ask you to do some more research on modern effective recruiting tools. Glory has not been a mainstay recruiting theme for about 100 years. The youth of today are mostly interested in what they can get out of military service in financial & educational terms. Even if you’ve never been in combat, Hollywood has created enough realism (Pacific, Band of Brothers, etc) to know that being a Soldier is not about medals or fame; it’s about enduring terrible hardships for a larger purpose than your own selfish needs.

    4. You state ” It is in college that these beliefs are formed, fully developed and make up a person’s character and personality” I would ask you to do some research on human growth, many believe that basic personality & character is created by an early age. Maturity does come with age and the crucibles of real life. College life is a great time of growth and enlightenment but it fails to be a charachter builder….I recommend you read Character Psychology And Character Education by Daniel K Lapsley and get a broader view.

    4. Consider the cloak of freedom that you wrote your article under, all the sacrifices of the thousands of young and old Americans (both in sweat, blood and tears) that protected your freedom of speech as you typed away. Did you do extensive research in the form of broad spectrum interviews or diligent fact checking before your opinion spilled over the computer screen, if you just started typing without regard to anything I brought up you probably did an injustice to the subject matter.

    I look forward to your next article once you put the required energy into creating a product of substance and credibility.

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  236. I come from a family who can trace its military service and heritage all the way back to the Crusades. We are extremely proud of our service and consider it an honor to serve and defend our great nation, despite the dangers involved. None of us were disillusioned or unsure of what we were getting into. Any individual who joins the military knows what they are getting into, they understand the sacrifices they may have to make, and if they join it means they are damn sure they are willing to do that! You obviously have never had the patriotic sense or intestinal fortitude to want to serve your nation or any other honorable organization, save your own selfish desires! Have you ever fought for something bigger than yourself in your life?! Fighting for a cute bra or pair of panties at Victoria’s Secret on Black Friday doesn’t count! Have you ever been willing to lay down your life for others or a greater cause?! Obviously not, because you have absolutely no sense of what any of that means to a soldier or to the families of soldiers!!
    And believe me when an individual has served and then goes to college or enters into any type of employment they have a much better understanding of the real world! I’ll bet that any 18 yr old soldier has a hell of a lot more sense and understanding of the real world than you do!!
    In fact why don’t you go talk to some people who have served, or better yet, join the military and see what its all about before you write this BS!!!
    Have a nice day and enjoy the freedom that soldiers provide, which allows you to make these uninformed, immature, un-patriotic, and pathetic statements!!

    God bless America, our miltary, and all true, freedom loving, patriotic Americans!!! (You’re clearly not on this list)

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  237. Another "Cocky" cadet // February 3, 2011 at 9:27 am //

    This article is ridiculous. Obviously when you turned 18 you still acted like a child and from the looks of it you still are a child.

    18 years old is the mark of adulthood and that means you are capable of making up your mind, which means you are fully capable to choose whether you want to join the military or to not join. I personally knew from childhood that I was going to grow up and join the United States Army and guess what… When I turned 17 I did join and do not regret one minute of it. Oh and by the way in case you did not notice I still came to college and I, just like many others, can easily say I experienced more at basic training on how to deal with stress than I have here at college.

    In the article you state, “It is in college that these beliefs are formed, fully developed and make up a person’s character and personality. People get to see a greater extent of what they hear about, they get to experiment with the process of making a decision by themselves and dealing with the implication of the decisions they make.”
    Now what I take from this is that college is the only way someone can grow up and make their own decisions. So what about all the people that do not go to college? I don’t know if you have noticed but in today’s world a college diploma doesn’t matter as much because of how many people do not go. The military however does help you grow up and YOU obviously do not understand, but the army does teach those you join how to do their job. So it actually is almost like going to a college, you are taught and trained out how to do the job you signed up for. To go even further it could even be like a giant fraternity or sorority except with better connections and people you care even more for you.

    This article is outrages and should be taken off this website. I cannot believe someone would even dare to write something like this about the military forces that fight for your freedom. You are attacking the 17 and 18 year olds who are dying so you can have the freedom to write this article. Also I just want to make sure you do know that this country is one of the few that allow the public to have freewill to join, most countries make it mandatory.
    And to comment back to you PREP. You must be a little cockier than all of us ROTC cadets because you obviously come from money and are looking down on poor people. I will admit that I am not from a rich family like yours, but I am glad that I did not come from a family like yours where they can just buy me anything and spoon feed me my whole life. I will have to work for a living and will actually experience life to the fullest. I hope someday you too grow up, just like the writer of this article, and learn to not attack those fighting for you.

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  238. USA ALL THE WAY // February 3, 2011 at 9:22 am //

    you seem to be obnoxiously lost very far up your own ass miss camilla. i understand that there are rights in this wonderful country (that our military protect for you and allow you to say things like this so openly) so you’re welcome for that.. HOWEVER rather than be so closed minded and do absolutely no research on the rest of the world, why dont you pick up a book and try reading cause i feel it is an insult to have representing our school behind the written word. Isreal for example, makes it mandatory open high school graduation to serve a minimum of 2 years in the army. our beautiful country gives us that option. don’t be an idiot to think that young men and women aren’t the best candidates. the army needs their stamina and youth so that you can continue to write garbage about them for our school paper. maybe next time you should try an interview or perhaps ask someone involved in ROTC how they feel about it..

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  239. Those “pathetic” individuals will soon be fighting for your freedom. I suggest you change your views. If you actually knew any of them you would know that they are not cocky at all. They joke around, they’re funny and great company. They love what they do! And I’m proud of each and every one of them!

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  240. I know this is an opinion piece but you really should try to gather some facts to support your opinions or your argument is a groundless opinion. Seth, David, Armand and J have hit all of the rebuttals I had in mind out of the water. I have never served but I know many that have or will and even at 18 they know what they’re doing and by the time they finish basic training, no matter the branch they are well aware of the risks and reasons they are there. You are seriously not giving 18 year olds enough credit. Please talk to some of the veterans that attend our school or some of those in the ROTC program before you publish your next anti-military article. If you did talk to people, get a good sample size and cite that you’ve done it because it doesn’t seem like you have any hard facts behind your personal opinion.

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  241. UT’s ROTC is often comprised of individuals who are of the lowest and poorest elements. Much of the ROTC is extremely cocky; it is time those pathetic individuals get over themselves.

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  242. As a cadet in the university of tampas ROTC program, a proud american, and a person capable of making well informed and coherent decisions I find this article very offensive. I come from a strong military background with almost every memeber of my immediate family having served this great country in various branches of service. Therefore I was brought up with zero disillusions about military service. Clearly you lack this and are in serious need of some personal experience and correct information. I suggest interviewing any number of the ROTC prior service cadets. Im sure they will be more than happy to get you on the right track. Based on the responce you’re getting from this article I suspect it wont take long for this to happen. Also, a proper sense of patriotism is also a pretty damn good reason for enlisting and don’t forget the citizens you’re calling a “wet fish, easy to bend” are the main reason you’re privileged enough to write such libel. Have a g reat day.

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  243. David Bowman // February 3, 2011 at 8:46 am //

    It is obvious that you have never been in the military and probably watch movies about it and assume that is it the truth. You could not be more mistaken. Being the military is a choice, just like being a police officer. An extension of your logic is that no one should be a police officer, firefighter, etc if they are 18. You should not have the right to vote at 18 as well, becuase when you are 18 you cannot make good decision?
    Some of you have said that being in the service is a socio-economic decision. That may be partially true, but I for one had a full ride to a major university and turned it down to be in the Army, becuase it was my passion. I am the first in my family to be in the Army, so it was not a socio-economic decision. I am a college graduate as well, I went to college while serving.
    I have one last thing to say about this, you are either unwilling or incapable of providing the service that my brothers and sisters in arms provide you, this blanket of freedom unlike any in any other nation on the plant, that allows you to disagree with any part of the government and the military. All we really want is for you to say thank you. If that is not something you are capable of, feel free to move to a country that does not have these freedoms that then you are going to want to come back to where we brain wash 18 year olds into defending you and your point of view.

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  244. Armand Kalugdan // February 3, 2011 at 8:32 am //

    I believe that those who join the military at 18 (or whatever age they are) are fully aware of the dangers and hazards of their duty. With the constant media coverage of the horror and carnage of war, people understand that war isn’t about glory or playing with cool guns. They understand that joining would require sacrifice and putting their life on the line every day – and they volunteer for it. They live every day knowing that any day can be their last, but by doing their duty the people of the United States can sleep peacefully at night.

    I am also deeply disappointed at the fact that this article depicts young men and women as not being exposed to the real world. But what many people do not know is that an 18-19 year old deployed overseas probably knows more about the world than most college kids. Today’s battlefield is no longer linear – soldiers cannot be mindless drones that just follow orders without thinking. Gone are the days of an open battlefield where you can see your enemy. Today’s enemy cannot be seen – he blends in with the local population then hits you when you least expect it; maybe not with direct gunfire but perhaps with a nasty improvised explosive device made from leftover Russian ordinance. What I’m trying to say is that today’s soldiers are more than well trained combatants..they are policemen, negotiators, mediators, detectives, and peacemakers. They need to win the hearts and minds of the population in which war is waged in order to find the enemy. Soldiers are trained to think critically and on their feet. So if this article depicts 18 year olds as mindless drones then you are dead wrong.

    I thank those who have selflessly served this country in the military and those who support them. Perhaps military service is something that most people will never understand unless you are in their shoes.

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  245. J that was an awesome comment and hit the nail right on the head. Thank you.

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  246. I think J has a point about people joining because of means. I also think that for the most part, the young people who’ve grown up in very rural or very urban places without money, have grown up pretty fast. When a 18 year old enlists right off the farm, he’s probably had responsibilities for many years. 18 year olds who enlist are motivated, self-starters who’ve mostly all worked already, not because their parents wanted to “teach” them about the “real world” but because their families needed money. They’ve learned all about this “real world” thing you speak of.

    When you see 18 year olds at the mall, they look and act like kids, they aren’t ready to grow up. The 18 year olds in uniform are done acting like kids.

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  247. The individual who believes that the college environment reflects the real world is in for a rude awakening the day he finally leaves that cocoon.

    J., thanks for your service. I respectfully disagree about the benefits of compulsory education that leads to the solipsism of this article.

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  248. Wow, what an elitist and delusional perspective you have.

    You have managed to overlook the most important factor in what entices a young person to enlist at 18, and instead have proved yourself to be the entitled brat who has had everything spoon fed to him without recognition nor appreciation for his standard of life.

    The reasons a person chooses to enlist is not because of some ridiculous notion of “hey, I want a cool gun.” Enlistment is a choice born out of economics. A person with the means to go to school will obviously do so, and then choose to enter as an officer if they desire the military. A person who has the socioeconomic status which provides them with the position of a shoe salesman will see opportunity that a person with your entitlement will never understand. You believe that college should be compulsory, and I agree. However, you neglect any thought of the station in life that would compel someone to make a decision to enlist. Nor will you or your parents who are probably still wiping your ass give up any of their funds to alleviate the burden that is endured by the working class. So stfu.

    I suggest you dispense with your ridiculous notions and condescending themes for they are offensive to those of us who have served. I was of competent mind when I enlisted, and because you lack the judgment that every 18 year old should possess does not mean the rest of us are pacified to the point of ineptness to not be able to reason to our own decisions. My daddy does not make my destiny, and I recommend that you man up and accept some responsibility for your life that obviously was not instilled in you. Just because you are only capable of superficial thought at 18 does not mean others cannot comprehend the decisions they make.

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  249. Thiago Queiroz // February 3, 2011 at 2:01 am //

    FINALLY someone seems to agree with me…

    Well done.

    Like

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