5 A.M. and morning drill is blaring over troop’s heads. One more morning that doesn’t allow extra sleep. These are thoughts that are going through military member’s heads as they are herded down to chow like a bunch of cattle. They had a choice to become a respected member of the military community or fight for college and rent money out in the civilian world. Leading a “normal” life is a big decision. The option of military is thrown into senior’s heads pre graduation. This is the time to outweigh the pros and cons of such a life changing profession.
When faced with the decision to go to college cost is always an issue. The options are limited on how it should be paid for. In general, civilian life offers more money. But there is a catch: more money must be spent to get educated. On the other hand, in the military college is completely paid for while on active duty. The college money doesn’t stop there. Upon getting out of the military, member’s get what’s called a GI bill. This is more money that is given every semester while in school, to further one’s education. The best part about the GI bill is that it does not have to be paid back. It is common knowledge that a degree is needed to get a well paying job, having the military pay for this is a great perk.
Many things are either substantially cheaper or free in the military. Medical and dental care is an example of this. These bills can get outrageous for simple things as going in for a stomach ache. Military makes it a little easier on troops in that it provides most dental and medical services right on base. It is easy to make a phone call to a medical provider and be seen without having the stresses of cost and missing work. In the civilian world, if seeing a doctor is necessary during work hours, it is considered missed work and not paid for.
Traveling the world at the military’s expense is a liberating experience. Most likely traveling to see several locations through deployment and temporary duty locations will happen. As a civilian paying for traveling expenses is a must, unless a job is found that pays for this. Vacation time is a major factor when traveling. Most civilian employers start an employee at 10-14 vacation days per year, with little increase until several years have been devoted to the employer. If no vacation days have been acquired as a civilian then traveling is virtually impossible. However, in the military 30 days of vacation are guaranteed a year, those days are not counted against a member if they are sent to another air force base for work. Many times the military will send troops to a stateside base to attend some work issues. More often than not there is free time that allows the member to see the sights around where they were sent. So in a sense this is a “free” vacation.
A normal thought that comes with joining the military is war, and all the above perks of the military are outweighed by the fear of dying. However, being faced with a life decision such as what to do after high school causes one to weigh the pros and cons of all their options. Joining the military or going to college and finding a job of that gives added perks, is based solely on what type of person he/she is and what one is looking for in life.
Courtney from Study Moose
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