I see one of your Yahoo questions awhile back was, "What is something about the marines that your recruiter won't tell you?" Did you ever get that question answered to your satisfaction? I ask because your comment of a "...good amount of traveling and ground combat" leads me to believe there are some gaps.
Here are some things you need to know. These are things your recruiter will NEVER tell you.
Vets are more like to be homeless than civilians. Female vets are more likely than female civilians to suffer domestic violence (27% versus up to 70%). Vets are more likely than civilians to get PTSD (7.5% versus up to 30%). This even applies to reservists and National Guard (see comments for statistical sources). A peer reviewed study called "Veteran Status, Marital Infidelity, and Divorce," found these results:
Married vets in extramarital affairs--32%
Civilians in extramarital affairs--16.8%
The study also found that among those who had ever married, veterans were almost 10 percent more likely than civilians to have gotten divorced (38.5 percent compared to 28.9 percent).
The female marine divorce rate is 9.6%, but the female civilian divorce rate is 3.6%.
You have heard the marketing slogan "fighting for our freedoms," but top US officials acknowledge that wars like Iraq are about oil. Gen. John Abizaid said, "Of course it’s about oil, it is very much about oil, and we cannot really deny that." (see comments for other quotes.) Iraq's oil industry was nationalized before the war; it was open to global merchants after the war. Business interests got rich while US taxpayers paid the bill.
There were also no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as described by the US government. Former Central Intelligence Director Michael Morrell apologized to Gen. Colin Powell, saying, "We said he [Hussein] has chemical weapons, he has a biological weapons production capability, and he is restarting his nuclear weapons program. We were wrong on all 3 of those."
You generally have much less freedom and choice in the military. This ranges from food in industrial-sized cans to a MOS (job) you did not pick. You will sign a multi-year contract (up to 8 years) unseen in practically any other civilian sector (who signs anything for 8 years in this day-and-age?).
Sure, you will get a 10% restaurant discount and NFL football halftime salutes; however, did you know that the NFL shows are sponsored and paid for by the military itself? It's not really the grass roots cheering it appears to be. The real issue vets often face is the perennial problem of being ignored by the VA. Yes, every politician promises to fix this, but once you've done your military time, you're forgotten.
I am for constitutionally defending the country; however, the US military has sadly gotten away from this with massive global interventions.
It is for the all these reasons that I suggest you think long & hard about your decision. You can't get these things back. Regrets are never in the beginning. Regrets are always in the end.
See the list below (comments section) for organizations of vets and others, some of whom once supported the US military, but are now critical. See statistics and other figures cited in my reply.
By the way, user Ninefinger is the person who gave me 14 thumbs down. He has multiple accounts and continually does this. He is a 56 year old man who was in the marine 1978-84.