Re: \Fan Noise, Seat Price
posted at 12/19/2009 12:18 PM EST
In Response to Re: \Fan Noise, Seat Price
[QUOTE]And it is quite a myth that the well-to-do do not send their kids into the military. Everyone jumps on a few high profile "politicians" who may have done that and just assumes it to be fact. Yet another incorrect stereotype. There are many wealthy kin joining the military, especially in the officer ranks. I don't necessarily mean Bill Gates wealthy, but I can think of many military members who come from families with a net worth of at least a $million. In some families, it's a tradition. The Citadel is a good example of this. Not many of the cadets come from poor families. Many Citadel graduates go on to be successful businessmen after their military duty. Many of these folks encourage their sons to follow in their footsteps. I grew up dirt poor, joined the military 2 weeks after turning 17, worked in some very undesirable places after leaving the service, got a college education online from UMUC while working full-time, and after several years positioned myself to where I am now. I've seen both ends of the spectrum. I really can't figure out how or why some of the stereotypes get formed in some people. You can't take an example set by the few, and apply it to the many.
Posted by carawaydj[/QUOTE]
As a Vietnam vet, I can assure you that its no myth. Out of 58,000 KIA, not one was the son of a US congressman or senator. I expect most of you are too young to remember the draft but you should know that college students were completely exempt from it.
Think about that. All you had to do was be a college student and you got the free ride, while thousands of other less fortunate souls were sent off to fight a war against their will. Growing up in a blue-collar family in the 1950s, I was raised to believe that college was for rich kids, not for me.
And it didn't end there. Even in-country, the low end of the socio-economic scale was way over-represented in the most dangerous military specialties, e.g. infantry. Sure, a few of the upper class still sent their sons to VMI and West Point, but those are but two of the thousands of colleges in the US and Canada.
Not only that, but those pedigreed butter bars seldom were seen in the bush once they arrived in-country. They occupied staff positions in the rear with the gear. I've never seen statistics but I expect ROTC officers comprised the vast majority of platoon leaders who actually saw combat.
I quit high school to enlist in the Marines in 1965. In a Marine rifle company, I'd say 75% of the grunts never finished high school. Probably 60% were black. I never humped a ruck alongside an Ivy-Leaguer that's for d*mn sure.
I was fortunate to eventually become interested in education. Through the GI bill, I received my BA. Since then, I've also earned a law degree and two masters degrees.
I've been involved in veteran's organizations enough to learn that my story is extremely rare within the world of combat veterans. Most are still stuck where there were 40 years ago, i.e. nowhere, without a pot to p*ss in.
So, I'm here to tell you that its no myth that the "well-to-do do not send their kids into the military". With rare exceptions, that's exactly how it works and I expect it's always been that way.