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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Myths vs. Reality

On the Newsweek web site, there were two ads for, a web site aiming to convince parents to allow their children to enlist. One of the pages on the site is called Myths vs. Reality. Before I click on the link, I'm curious--are they going to try to debunk the following statements as "myths?"
  • There's a fairly high probability that my child will return with parts missing, and a significant chance that he or she won't return at all.
  • My child's tour of duty may be extended indefinitely.
  • The military has failed to adequately provide the body or vehicle armor necessary to protect my child--I may have to pay for it myself!
  • Few of our politicians, Republicans or Democrats, care enough to make sure that my child is put in harm's way for only the best of reasons.
  • My child may return with serious emotional problems which could make relationships and employment difficult.
  • My child may be exposed to depleted uranium or other toxins which might affect his long-term health and keep me from having grandchildren.
  • While my child may be trained in a field of her choosing, she may have to serve in a role for which she wasn't trained, at great risk to herself.
Of course not! Those aren't myths! The "myths" the military wants to dispel are these:
  • The Military is a roadblock to a higher education.
  • People in the Military are not compensated as well as private sector workers.
  • Women have a hard time achieving success in the Military.
  • Military training and jobs have little relation to the civilian world.
  • It's nearly impossible for ordinary people to complete Basic Training.
  • The ASVAB Test serves no purpose other than as a recruiting device for the Military.
Boy, talk about your straw men! Right--Jessica Lynch chose to join the Army rather than work at Wal-Mart despite knowing that it would hurt her chances of going to college. Or that McDonalds would provide better pay and benefits, or that she might be night-shift assistant manager some day. In fact, what you generally hear about the military on the above subjects, myth or not, is the exact opposite of the supposed myths listed above.

PS: One guess as to what the "AS" in "ASVAB" stands for.