SilkRose (not logged in)
Date: September 29, 2011 06:24PM
I would HIGHLY suggest attempting to get an age waiver for the Air Force, your life will be much happier and better. Your deployments will be shorter, you will be in far less danger. The Air Force actually cares about its troops.
I had a Bachelor's degree, but chose to enlist as a medic. I don't regret it, but if I could go back and change things, I would have gone officer. A degree is all you need to commission (at least in the Army). You would have to go to OBC (officer basic course). But, you will be paid much better and not treated like a child for the first half of your career.
The upsides to the military life: Free health insurance (but you get what you pay for :(. Good, steady paycheck. Quick advancement that you get for pretty much doing your job on a schedule. You can retire in 20 years. You will gain life experiences you will never otherwise see or do. Travel (but maybe not where you want to be :).
The downsides: If you are married, or have children, think about leaving them every other year for a year. Not being home for births, birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, school plays, etc. Going to war (depending on your job) and having to see attrocities beyond any human imagination. Coming home potentially with PTSD, war injuries, etc. Watching your friends die or be severely injured.
Now, to let you know...my opinion may be slightly Jaded. My husband is a two time Purple Heart veteran whom was SEVERELY injured last September on his FIFTH trip overseas (Korea, 3 Iraq, and 1 Afghanistan). He was in a vehicle that was hit by an 82MM Recoiless Rifle (you can google, its about the size of a basketball). He was in an up-armored MRAP. The only reason he is alive, is because the soldier behind him, took the brunt of the round, and was killed. My husband spent two weeks in Germany, then almost a year at Walter Reed Medical Center. He is 26 years old, and can't move his right arm past 20degrees. He looses complete feeling. His shoulder is completely damaged. He can't even have an MRI because the last time they tried, he had so much shrapnel in him that it lifted parts of his body up. The worst part is, there are SO SO SO many worse off then him. Two weeks after his injuries, his best friend, his platoon leader (an officer), and three other soldiers were hit in the same area with an IED. His best friend was instantly killed, his platoon leader was in five pieces, the guy in the back is missing a leg, the guy in the gun turrett was blown out the top (saving his life) and he has steal rods in BOTH legs and his back is all steal. THe other guy is paralyzed from the waste down. The two that were killed left behind wives and children, the three that were injured, are permanately disfigured, and will carry survivors guilt for the rest of their lives. Their average age is 24, with the youngest being 19.
Not that I am complaining, but this all happened while I was very very pregnant. SO, I got the joy of going to three soldier's funerals extremely pregnant. FLying to Germany this way, and being in a foreign town all while dealing with a high risk pregnancy and worrying about my husband.
I'm not telling you these things to scare you. These things are the WORST case scenario. Bear in mind, that these things "always happen to someone else". I was very pro, stay in for my husband. After all, it was a steady paycheck, with good benefits. I can deal with the separations. However, this was life-altering for me and him and everyone we know. Our lives will be forever changed.