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View Diary: "Help Military Families by Limiting Moves" (65 comments)

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  •  I disagree (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    offred, DaNang65, angelajean, coquiero

    I grew up a military kid, moving every... well, a few times it was 6 months, once it was a full four years, most of the time it was 2 or 3. And you're right, i was always having to make new friends, always having to start fresh in school. It was tough, it sucked, and I hated my dad for it. But really, who cares? It came out a wash. I learned skills that will last me a lifetime. Im great at making friends, it drove the shy right out of me. I became incredibly comfortable with ever-changing situations, I can wrap my head around things pretty comfortably in moments, go with the flow. Thats a big plus at work.

    Plus, how much do you really want to destroy that command structure? The military is the closest thing to a meritocracy in American society today. It does separate people from a community, and it does that so the only peer pressure you get is from the military itself. My dad was frankly pretty racist. Still is. He goes ballistic over Obama, but you can be damn sure when a black CO came into the room he snapped a salute as sharp as anyone else's. That's not a mistake. A military sets the ideals of its members, for better or for worse. And thats not bad, I've seen in my friends that joined that it adds to perspective, informs their opinions. Just look at Kos. It's the guys who are already gung-ho for the whole thing and get attracted to it for that reason that you have to worry about.

    •  not destroy, adapt and adopt (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not anti-military and my father wasn't the only member of the family to join. My siblings did, too. They weren't career like my Dad and that can make a big difference.  I'm not sure about the effect of their service on their lives because they seem the same to me. Maybe the military lifestyle was already ingrained in all of us.  

      Hopefully, combat command will go back to peace time definitions soon. You have a good point about order triumphing over an individual's beliefs. My dad was at the forefront of Navy response to the Kitty Hawk riots and it changed all of our lives. But if your dad had racist tendencies, it sounds like only his official reaction changed.  

      My take, based on my experience, is that constant moving and parental absences make vulnerable families more vulnerable. In the 60s and 70s, the military didn't provide the tools to families that they do now.  It took bailing thousands of military kids out of foreign jails to fix that. And paying (through Champus or Tri-care) for a gazillion therapists for troubled families.  Like any institution, it can be slow to march up the learning curve.

      Like I said, parents/families that can handle it are amazing and resilient.  Some good things come from my experience, but I saw a lot of sadness and dysfunction in many of the families.

      •  In many respects, we're still in the same place (0+ / 0-)

        with family support.

        There is less of a stigma to get help but it does still exist. And the help is usually easier to find, but not always.

        But some family support programs, like free membership at the youth center, are long gone.

        And families who are already stressed are finding it more and more difficult to survive intact. Moving alone isn't doing it. It's the moving and the multiple deployments thrown together.

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