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Active duty military and vets: Need help talking my stepson out of enlisting in the Army.

Not having served myself, I can only give so much advice. He is heavily influenced by his neo-con father (who never served either). This kid has a great heart and has no interest in going to college. He feels that the military is his only option after high school. The recruiters are telling him everything he wants to hear. His mother is depressed all the time because of it. He first went to the Navy but they rejected him for previously being on adderall. The Army is saying that`s ok as long as he`s been off for a year. Any real life stories about what it`s like being in todays Army would be appreciated...

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After seeing this today on

After seeing this today on the front page, I should probably update. He has had 2 psychological interviews so far and the 3rd and final one is scheduled for next week. We shall see...

He has other options...get

He has other options...get him to join a trade union....its a five year apprenticeship, but he is able to work and make money the entire time....once he finishes the apprenticeship and becomes a journeyman he will be able to make more. The union will find him work(this is the true purpose of the union). He will also recieve health care so the IRS cant hit him with that $5000 fine for not having it. I know a lot of people here dont care for unions and I will be the first to admit they go too far sometimes...but there are advantages to them...namely they train you and find you work. I gaurantee you he will make more than a private in the army this way. However, if he did join the army for a few years that opens the door to military contracting....which can be lucrative as well...either way once established you can make a decent living. Neither is truly compatible with libertarian beliefs...but its a jungle out there and you have to do whatever you can to survive until we can bring about change. I wouldnt reccomend college...the average college graduate only makes 37k....not enough to survive on easily these days. You will make more as a Pipefitter., Carpenter, Millwright, Boilermaker, Ironworker, Operator,Insulator...or even a Laborer in the union, sad but true. If I had known about military contracting out of high school, I could have worked ten years and retired for life, but you cant do that type of thing when you are married.
The best option is of course to start your own business. When I lived in FL I knew a guy who made 100k a year washing storefront windows about 6 hours a day....heh, he started by washing windows for a business who didnt want him to. He offered to do it for free...and did for abouth a month and then stopped....once the owner asked him why he told him the free trial was over....at a whole $2 per window the owner decided having clean windows was worth it. So he made 100k with $20 worth of cleaning supplies. Other businesses are easy to start as well all depending on what skillset he has, sadly a lot of skillsets these days are geared toward working for others and cant be adapted to working for yourself....but many others can.

One thing to cover is that

he doesn't feel pressured to join out of lack of opportunities. Are there any business people in the family you could arrange an internship with?

Defend Liberty!

Ya, his father. The catch is

Ya, his father. The catch is that he "needs to go and learn to be disciplined" first. I really feel bad for this kid...

Discipline? Ever heard of "WWOOF"in?

"Will work on organic farm."
This is the opportunity of a lifetime:
It may not be the discipline his daddy wants... He'll learn the discipline of "get to the garden or don't eat" but he could wind up with the skills he needs to stay alive, rather than the skill to kill.
Here is a thread of similar opportunities, different things coming up all the time:
And maybe ask him to listen to "Universal Soldier" - Ron Paul is a Vet, and that is the song he requested be played at his Rally.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Thanks for the links fishy.

Thanks for the links fishy. That is some great info that I will pass on to my 21 yo biological son also. He`s the one that turned me on to RP back in 08`! BTW, please don`t leave...


That is very sweet. I can't really seem to stay away for long, save the blessed "summer of no internet."
Best of luck to you and your family!

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

We had another discussion

We had another discussion after school today. More like me asking questions about his wants and desires. Boils down that he feels the need to prove himself in a big way. The basic Army isn`t going to cut it for him. He`s setting his sights on being a Ranger. The Army now wants him to have (and pay for) a psychological evaluation because of the adderall. The Navy made him do one also ($400) and then turned him down. I think the Army is going to do the same thing. If they do, we`re going to have one severely depressed kid and one happy mom. Funny thing is that his father is the one that pushed really hard (against his mothers wishes) to have him take adderall. He`s also the one who`s pushing him to join... His ASVAB scores are in the low 40`s. Would a recruiter be pushing Rangers on him with a score like that? Some of his friends from school tested 8o`s-90`s.

Dont go in with an ASVAB of 40!!

oh man, that's just gonna be a world of trouble! And EVERYONE wants to be Special Forces, and EVERY recruiter will tell him he can be one.

Please tell me what to say to

Please tell me what to say to him about the low 40`s asvab. I know the recruiters are saying anything to get him to sign.

Go look up jobs/score - there

Go look up jobs/score - there are references floating around the web, and some aftermarket recruiting books.

But from what I recall, the various line scores mean even more in determining MOS.

But I can tell you from knowing military folk (cause the question came up in my presence) that generally without an ASVAB general score of at least 80, and the proper line scores (I forget which ones, there are a bunch) of at least 110 he has NO CHANCE of any type of SpecOps.

Fact is you have to be tough, AND book smart to even be considered for elite programs. With a general score of 40, unless he has some areas of expertise that he gets really good scores on honestly the only thing he can probably expect is food service or truck driver.

Which is probably the real reason they are filtering him via the psych tests. Lots of people have had ADHD diagnosis and gotten in with no problems. With the military prepping to leave Afghan and possibly scale back, there just isnt any incentive for them to grab just anyone. But they also want a paper trail to provide good reasons why he is denied. Welcome to bureaucracy.

I'd even go so far as to bet that the adderall wasnt an issue until after they got his test scores.

I can also pretty much guarantee that if hed scored a 90+ general and 100-110+ on various line scores and qualified for a MOS like SigInt/Linguistics, EW, Engineering, etc - that childhood ADHD would be completely ignored.

Good for him!

Good for him! My service in The U.S. Army, Infantry has been one of the great honors of my life. That being said though, this is no easy decision he is facing and the ramifications are far reaching, he would do well to explore what he's getting into before he signs anything. Military service is not meant for everybody, he should consider all his options. In the end this decision is his and his alone to make, not yours and not his Fathers.

Regardless of whatever choice he makes I wish him peace and success.

“Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason.” ― Mark Twain

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world."

United States Armed Forces Oath of Enlistment


"There is no duration defined in the Oath itself."

You are never asked to disavow your Oath, upon separation of Service.

"I, __________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."


There is no duration defined in the Oath

Check out this site:

...most Service Members returning from combat are under the age of 30 – when diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress, they turn to the web for information. And what they find are grim statistics: 18 suicides per day. Up to 70% of Soldiers exposed to traumatic incidents. Over 31,000 OIF Veterans wounded in action. Double the divorce rate among active duty personnel.


AND watch this documentary: My War, My Story

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

Have him watch "Catch 22" for starters

then point out to him how the Government is targeting veterans to incarcerate for speaking their minds , as in Brandon Raub, or the organized way they plan to take away their Constitutional right to bear arms if they seek any type of assistance for an emotional problem. The powers that be, with the vast majority not ever serving, can't make it any more plain that they consider retired trained military personnel as their enemy.

There are no politicians or bankers in foxholes.

I became a peace activist at about age 4.

Got my first POW / MIA bracelet. I've learned and unlearned many things since then, but nothing that ever made me an advocate of war. When my son was a teen, he used to threaten to join the military every time we would tell him something he did not like - kids learn which chains really jerk a mother around...
It finally ended when I told him "I will love you no matter what you do. But if you go sign up to kill people for money, I will never respect you, or aid you in any way for the rest of your life. You are old enough to understand what war is. You are old enough to see there is NO ONE threatening our nation. You are old enough to see that OUR military is running all over the world killing civilians. If you are willing to be part of that, I will have to accept that I failed utterly and you have no morals at all."

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

I want to thank everyone who

I want to thank everyone who has commented here. Today after school I`ll have him read your responses...

Most of the downvoters on

Most of the downvoters on this thread wouldnt have the stones to join.

OR, they have joined

OR, they have joined, and

the thorough brainwashing training they got at government torture camps basic taught them the meaning of commitment, discipline, excellence, truth, character and excellence.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

If I may suggest this approach...

Sit him down and have a few drinks together and ease into the concept of 'Fighting for and Fighting against'.

Make him think!

I can only suspect he is young and impressed by what the MSM has sold him so far.

So ask him, if you sign up and go to war, what would you be fighting against? Terrorists? Taliban? Who? What?

Regardless of his answer, then ask him what he'd be fighting for.

Freedom? Democracy?

Then, regardless of his answer, explain to him that one must always fight for AND against something if the war is to be just and anything else is simple tyranny and oppression.

Offer hypothetical examples like China having Naval ships in the Gulf of Mexico and troops in Texas and how he and you would fight that and why.

Then turn it around and explain to him why the supposed enemy would feel the same way he and you just expressed in the previous conversation.

Explain the history of declared wars (WW1 & WW2) and the undeclared wars since and how the World Wars were fought, won, and we came home versus the undeclared wars since where we died and won nothing and came home with no victory.

Once he understands this perspective, ask him:

"In today's world, would you know both what you fight FOR and what you fight AGAINST' for if you don't know both, it's not a war worth killing or dying for, but only to be a puppet of the War Machine where neither freedom nor democracy is important to the people you work for.

I could go on for pages with examples but my point MAKE HIM THINK!

On a personal note, I've had (and have) teachable moments like this with my teen on a frequent basis and it seems to be working.

One day, I'm gonna' change my name to Dale Lee Paul

I recently served 5 years in

I recently served 5 years in USMC. It was the best thing for me because college was not an option at the time. Now it is. Military is not evil or even overly dangerous (especially if you get an avionics contract). The odds of being killed in action are extremely low and if he gets ANY injury during his enlistment it will be repaired and COMPENSATED accordingly (and they aren't stingy because they give me 5% disability for ringing in my ears that may or may not have been caused during my service). I absorbed the good and bad of the military and came out more AWARE than ever.

As far as stories, I have too many to even think for the most appropriate one to tell here; but, let's just say that getting stationed in Florida then California and then Hawaii was Fun with a capital F. I learned how to BE.

My advice, tell him you don't approve of the wars but you would be proud of his oath to preserve and protect the constitution.

"I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove."

The tuition thing is not a good enough reason.


"I'm just doing my job" is the crowning glory of the fascists mass hypnosis.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

"Beyond Treason"

It's a must-view film of how our soldiers are used, abused, poisoned and murdered by those who send them into harm's way under false pretenses. Then take him over to the nearest VA hospital to have a first hand chat with some vets. The fight for our freedom is on OUR soil--nowhere else. Good luck, my friend.

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." -John Quincy Adams

Best answer

voting you up wasn't enough. +1 Think you have the best answer!


I am currently serving in the

I am currently serving in the Army. In all honesty the Military life is what you make of it. He can come in highly motivated and enjoy the experience or not.One thing that I would suggest you do is sit him down and not try to convinve him not to join but ask him the reason he would like to join and what he is seeking to get out of being in the military in the long run.If he wants to join just because he thinks it is "cool" well he will get a major wake up call. Being in the Army doesn't mean that we are mindless drones that get told how to live (obviously I am on this website haha) There are actually alot of people in the military that are all about individual liberty. In my own personal opinion I really enjoy my job as a medic in the Army I enjoy the people I work with on a daily basis. I enjoy my time here. It gets a little tough when I miss out on a lot of family stuff but other than that I am fine. Your stepson needs to think long and hard about this decision and I would really recommend that he go to college and get a degree first because the Army stresses a lot on us advancing in our education. I say he go to college get a degree in something good and come in as an officer I wish that I had done that. If you have any more questioins from me go ahead and ask I'd be glad to help out in any way.

To join or not

This is a decision your son needs to make on their own.

If you want a bit of personal information from me, I'll share one bit. I'm the last surviving member of my original infantry squad. Four died in service(one on our first tour together, and three after they changed units). One was killed in a car accident. Two committed suicide, and one died from a prescription drug overdose just a few months ago. Of course, not all of my units were like this, nor were all of my squads. But to be fair, I was the most rational person in that first squad. Not a day of my life passes when I don't think of them and all of my other lost brothers and sisters in service.

Ironically, all of my libertarian vet friends that I served with, all are alive today. Some with permanent injuries. Knowledge is power.

So on the other hand, if they are like-minded and support the cause of liberty, then consider a few things. The military could use more well-spoken advocates for the issues that are near and dear to us. As long as they are volunteering and have an actual, thought out and educated plan, that person is not acting irrational by joining. That includes knowing what MOS they would succeed best at, and not what a shady recruiter shoves them into. Unfortunately, much like being a politician is very evil in its own way, so is serving for causes most of us disagree with. But that option of adding influence from the inside is not something I completely disagree with(as long as the motives are pure and the service is truly desired by that individual.)

My 0.02

I served ten years

As an X-enlisted member of the United States army, I will have to tell you that it was my choice to join. It is also your sons choice, but as a infantrymen to your son, its not a fun life especially when your in a combat arms job... Its not call of duty on x-box... there is more to just serving your country, most soldiers have something happen that either effects thier bodies or thier mental state... effecting the body could be all the work and stress a soldier puts on thier body too possibley being wounded in combat, and the mental state depends on what type of chain of command you may have, you could get cool sgt's or sgt's that will make your life a living hell just because they want to even though it is illegal, plus you could see something in combat that could really mess with ya. As a soldier if you want to inlist, I suggest you stay away from combat arms jobs if you want to make your parents less worried. I suggest that you study the constitution and know it well before you raise your hand to swear that you will support and defend it... You have to know what exactly your defending instead of just saying some words. Know your history, know whats going on around the world and listen to your parents on why they do not want you to join, do not get defensive and look up what thier reasons are to understand, and if you think you still want to join... Then as a individual, you have the right to make your own choices in life even if it does upset your parents.. that is some small input for you... hope it helps... god speed.

Henry Kissinger has a famous quote.

"Military men are nothing but dumb animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." I'm sorry I can't find a video of it on youtube (hmm I wonder why)but if you could find it that would show him a lot about what his "leaders" think of them.

I'm just a Mom

but I have told my boys that I do not want them to join the military unless the congress actually declares war as set forth in the Constitution.

As a current Army Recruiter

There is nothing wrong with joining the Army. He will be someone who defends the people and the freedom of this country. Does the Army get used to fight unconstitutional wars? Yes. But that doesn't mean you take away the Army, you need to fight to change the policies and the cronies on Capitol Hill instead. You may not know much about the Army, but it can be a very beneficial experience. I've been in 5 and a half years now, and I don't regret it. We need liberty minded people to join the ranks as well to make sure this Army doesn't go down the wrong path.

As a current Army recruiter, make sure he finds out all the info he can about joining. He needs to get as high of an ASVAB score as possible to open up as many job possibilities as he can in the Army. If he qualifies for a job but it simply is not currently open, then just have him wait until it's available. No need to rush into the Army in a job you didn't want. If you have to, find out his scores from the ASVAB test and look to see what jobs are available to him. At least you can steer him towards a job that will be the most beneficial to him.

Also, make sure the recruiters aren't lying to him about Tuition Assistance for college. It is currently stoppped due to the "Sequester Cuts".