Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 1 decade ago

Why do kids enlisting for the military find it less repugnant, and more admirable, than many of their elders?

Compared to the late 1960's kids are far more happy about joining the military than the past.



meridocbr... - point taken, but you may have missed my point because you are empassioned about yours. There were those in the 60's (particularly in the late 60's) when the US was destroying Vietnamese people and thier familes and homes dropping more bombs than all bombs dropped on all sides of WWII on Vietnam to bring them relif from the Communist Menace, there were people back then that did not see military service as you do, who saw it as the arm of the Government and it was being used to smash some of the poorest people on Earth during thier liberation struggle. Until the Tet Offensive most people thought as you did, then it came time for the fact of the matter... that we were the bad guys. That hurts but it is true. Kids don't even think about that stuff now. My question is WHY?

Update 2:

Steve B - dude relax. I am asking questions here... they do not necessarily reflect my opinion on the matters, I am asking to see what people think, I am free to do that yes?

I have no bone to pick whatsoever with soldiers in the military. They are just doing what they are told and in most cases they agree with what they are told to do. That is AOK with me.

15 Answers

  • lcmcpa
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    They have lived sheltered lives and don't understand the gravity of their decision. They don't understand how fleeting and precious life is.

    Sometimes, the decision is economic. A young person may have a family to support and no education or means to do so. They enlist to better themselves. Dying is just a chance they are willing to take.


  • 1 decade ago

    You have to remember that in the late 60's we were involved in a conflict that the American people did not support at all and on top of that, the draft was in effect. Most didn't enlist, but were taken instead.

    Today, with so many wars behind us and children growing up with photos and stories of uncles, dads and grandfathers that proudly served, it does give an admiral feeling to join up. We as Americans are also much more aware of other cultures and the lack of freedom they possess when compared to our lifestyles. I think it is understood more now when you hear that your elders faught for the free life you have now and you can provide for future generations by serving.

    I think the term 'FREEDOM IS NOT FREE" has come to light over the past 2 decades.

    There is nothing repugnant about enlisting in today's military service. You get to travel the world, be eligible for a free college education when you are done with your time, you're eatting meals fit for a king (provided by Halliburton's finest) and combat pay has skyrocketted.

    Yes, I am well aware of the IED's and body counts of those returning in draped flags, I am a member of the PGR, but the rewards are greater than any other and there are people that truly appreciate your services.

    Basically, it's a choice, not a forced position in life like it once was. Most men that come out of a recruiters office ARE smiling about their choice, not grueling over the next 4 years.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because regardless of the opinion many of use have on Iraq and the current administration, serving in the United States military has always been and is now, an honorable profession.

    Here in the United States the military is the servent of the United States civilian govenment. The generals don't plot to overthrow the current administration while Bush is out of the country. Watch how the Joint Chiefs act during State of the Union address? They only clap for statements that are very non partisian in nature and they refrain from clapping for any statement of the presidents that might make it seem that they favor or disfavor a political view. That's not because they are afraid of getting in trouble with their commander in chief-it's becaues of the long record of American military tradition.

    I teach in the field of special education. Do you want to know what one of the fastest growing areas in my state is? Tramautic Brain Injury (TBI) because of all the Iraq vetrens who, thanks to the new helmets, survived combat but now have brain injuries so severe they have memory loss, changes to their personalities, fine motor problems--the list is endless. How about all the Iraq vets who have to be fitted for artifical limbs? I think you need some "enlightenment" on what service in the military means.

    I question the strategy for the war in Iraq and in part they way that it has been conducted but I NEVER question the basic assertion that service to the American people and the American nation are in any way 'repugnant" or not honorable.

    Edited to Add: Sorry, but I guess I read too much into how you phrased this question (and your previous questions.)

    In the 1960's there was a very large anti-war movement which made the ALL the soliders out to be baby-killing monsters. Also, the war crimes of the Americans were very well publized while the war crimes of the other side were not as well known in the general population. Add to that problem the notion that the war in Vietnam had little to do with everyday American life and the general suspicion that the government was lying--

    Today, however, is 5 years after 9/11 and many young men and women want to serve the military because they believe that their nation is under attack. Also, in general, Americans are more openly patriotic.

    I would also find out whether young people in the Vietnam era truly thought that the military was repungnet or whether they did not join because they didn't want to die in a war they did not believe had any connection to their life. It's easy to look back and claim to know what others were thinking but it's also easy to get wrong. Some of what we think we know about Vietnam is wrong.

  • 1 decade ago

    military life has change drastically from the 60s. in basic then they could be hit, now the drill sgt can't even cuse. the health benifits are better, and education is alot better. many states are paying 100% tuition for guard and reserves, and also then giving signing bonuses up to $20,000. the military is a good life for someone who needs a new start or a way to change their life for the better. you can make a good career out of it and get one hell of a retirement early in life. then you become a civilian and get another retirement. to easy.

    why? because you can't care what others think. we are proud people. we are proud of our country. i am proud to be in the military and even if the world including all the people in the states hated the US military i would still be in it because i believe in what we do and represent. there will always be someone that doesn't like you. you can live trying to make everyone like you. impossible.

    it isn't an attack on you and i am not upset. i just answered your question why. kids don't think about what some person across the planet thinks. we're good man.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The 60s were a very self serving time - things have changed, but I dont know if its really for the better.

    The media has opened up a first hand look at what goes on in the military which was not available back then.

    Also - I dont think kids really know what they are getting in to.

    Recruiters have some pretty appealing packages and are getting better at pointing out the perks and benefits, and also make it sound like a "dream job".

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In world war II, the average soldier was 24 years old. When Vietnam broke out, that was when they started the draft for 18 year olds - and for many, when the body bags kept coming back of our children, both the young and the old revolted - Finally Richard Nixon stopped the war.

    Fast forward to today - we have 2 generations who have gotten used to 18 year olds going to war. We report each casualty, not the generic (1200 soldiers died today) - we treat each one with more respect and reverence.

    And the Vietnam vets who were spit on when they returned are finally getting all of the respect that they deserved - many saw them as turncoats.

    Source(s): lived it.
  • 1 decade ago

    #1 Strategic Marketing. The marketing of war on terrorism coupled with September 11th, have psychologically driven our younger generations to feel compelled to do something meaningful. The sophistication by which the military is spending dollars and time on recruitment is that of a Fortune 500 company. Fresh enlistments is number one priority for the Department of Defense right now as casualities mount and conflicts seem likely to continue. They are in our communities, teen mags, Internet, and worst of all, our schools as they are easy marketplaces for the recruitment sales. Did you know recruiters are actually allowed to pull prospective students from scheduled classes for outings or lunch as stated in provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act? The military has "Adventure Vans" that tour the country constantly, equipped with weapon simulators, high tech gadgets and video presentations, all boasting the zeal attached to being one of the "proud." Also, school counselors provide referrals to the militray all of the kids who are "lacking" in discipline. Also, a budget is actually allotted for courting school leadership and administrators...this helps them penetrate the schools obviously.

    The other component is that this younger generation (millenniums) have not watched anything historic really unfold in their lifetime like kids in the 60's. Kids in the 60's watched civil rights movements mount, gender equality come into question, Vietnam and the draft, Roe vs. Wade, all while leaders and beacons (JFK, MLK Jr., Bobby Kennedy) were slaughtered in front of their very eyes. They had enough, and pushed themselves away from the dinner table screaming, "NO MORE!" Truth drove them...not gadgets or technology. I am not claiming one is better than the other, but fact is, kids today simply do not have first hand experience to fully understand that government is shady and to further understand that is our job to check our government.

    I could go on all night with this question, but I think you get the gist of it. Everytime I see a recruitment commercial, I feel ill because our military is spending billions of dollars manipulating our children and per your point, it is working.

    Source(s): 15 years marketing and I am a US Veteran
  • tom l
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    In one word


    Compair the number of troops in Iraq with the number that were in Vietnam

    What you are suggesting was actually an illusion caused by the numbers

    Bien Hoe Vietnam 1963

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not sure if this is true. I think that in America there have always been young men brave enough to want to fight for our country, for which I am thankful.

    I think their parents have always been afraid, as well.

    It is normal for people to want their youth alive and well.

    It is also normal to be unbelievably proud of people willing to make the sacrifice.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm 56 and I am gratified to see another generation stepping up to the plate and serving their country.

    Source(s): Vietnam Vet 1971-'72. Bronze Star.
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