This is an uplifting tribute to our Military Members today. This is probably one of the first non-milblogger commentary I've read which isn't negative about recruiting goals. There's an interesting distinction made between WWII/Vietnam Veterans and how today's Veterans have been shaped due to the voluntary aspect of todays military. In fact, for a refreshing change there's not really anything negative in this commentary.
That war should be a life-changing experience is hardly a surprising thought. But in his interviews with troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Morten Ender of the United States Military Academy notes that three-quarters of them describe their deployment as a "turning point" - a number that strikes him as high.Dedication is visible among new soldiers csmonitor.com
"In World War II, soldiers knew what they had to do, and they wanted to do it and come home to get on with life," he says. "In Vietnam, [the war] became a turning point, because there was a sense [among the conscripted soldiers] that they had no control."
Since the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are all volunteers, the war was very much part of a conscious career choice, and the intensity of the experience is focusing their lives. For some, it is a desire to get out and move on to anything else. Yet the reenlistment rates also suggest that many are finding a deeper love for service and a connection to something greater than themselves.