13 June 2007

Why Serve?

Every year the military gets a pay raise – it is typically on about par with inflation or the Employment Cost Index. Currently there is a gap between military and civilian pay that stands at about four percent. But this is like comparing apples to oranges: Most military personnel work on the average 25-50% longer each week then their “comparable” civilian counterparts and often spend weeks away from their family while on training missions or temporary duty (TDY). This does not even include deployments when time away from family can be 12-15 months at a time (with only a year between returning), not to mention risk of life and lack of some of the most basic comforts (ie- privacy).

Base pay, particularly for enlisted service members, is extremely low. Only five occupations listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- including "butlers" and "housekeepers" -- bring less pay than a first-year Private's base pay, according to a survey by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The same can be said about the Army’s most senior: after 36 years in the military, a General (four stars) earns a base pay of about $15o,000, not including allowances and incentive pay. A typical corporate CEO, on the other hand, earns about $11 million a year.

Would you be able to deal with the difficult training, time away from home and the risk your life for a steady paycheck, college money, and a better future? That's a question facing many 2007 high-school graduates who are considering military service.


What is missing in the equation above is something taken for granted by far too many: Freedom. One word, but yet countless words could never capture its true meaning or power.

“Freedom has a taste, and for those that have fought for it, the taste is so sweet the protected will never know…” General George S. Patton Jr.

It’s not the average American’s fault they are numb to the taste of freedom. Most American’s are born into their God given right, so it is all they have ever known. I was once one of them. I would even dare to say that it isn’t surprising that they take for granted what they have had all their life. My experiences in the military has taken me all over the world and opened my eyes to the truth.

Ironically you will find the biggest outcries of opposition to our cause from those who have had no military experience and haven’t had to fight for freedom. I challenge all of those who are daring enough to question such a noble cause to come here for just a month and see it first hand. I have a feeling that many voices would be silenced.

You need not to have a great understanding of the world but rather common sense to realize that it is our duty as citizens of the world to free the oppressed. If you lived that way would you not want someone to help you????

The Iraqi’s pour into the streets to wave at us and when we liberated the cities during the war they gathered in the thousands to cheer, hug and kiss us. It was what the soldier’s in WW2 experienced, yet no one questioned their cause; Saddam was no better than Hitler. He tortured and killed thousands of innocent people. We are heroes over here, yet Americans badmouth our President for having us here. Do not let the few evil insurgents (many not even Iraqi) warp your opinion of the people of Iraq. Would you like for the world to judge us on our top news story… Paris Hilton?

This fight (some call civil war) among the sects is for whom will control this country – and Iran has staked their claim as well as al Qaeda. If they win, where do you think they are going next? I look forward sleeping safely in my own bed – and I hope someone will take my place to watch my back. Not for the money, not for the praise, but for the pride in serving and giving security and freedom.

What do you support?

You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom. Malcolm X

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