Raising Enlistment Age?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Kaydee, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    http://ideas.time.com/2012/07/12/soldier-suicide-the-stigma-to-seeking-help/

    I'm not going into the can of worms over military involvement anywhere. But the new Time magazine has a cover story on soldier suicides. One of the statistics is that 36% of the military is under the age of twenty five years old. 47% of that age group are statistically successful suicides.

    The article explores probably causes for this trend. One of the obvious being the backlog of cases in mental health assistance. Reserve soldiers can be on waiting lists for veteran services and be redeployed before they get them.

    But was curious about the opinions of people around the age group. Do you think raising the enlistment age would make a difference? In America the legal drinking age is 21. But you can enlist for the military at 18. Could age be part of the issue? I don't know the answers, I don't even know the questions anymore...

    My son would have been an excellent career serviceperson. It had been his goal to enlist after high school. He came of age just before 9/11. We didn't want to see him in that and his career path changed to the private sector. My brother was the Vietnam era but the draft ended weeks before he turned eighteen. My Dad served proudly in WWII but that was quite a different world then.

    So I do greatly respect those who do serve. But there must be a better way...
     
  2. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    I think either the drinking age should be dropped or the enlistment age raised. Old enough to kill for your country but can't have a beer??? WTF?

    Drinking age in South Africa is 18.
     
  3. Jules

    Jules Magic, motherf@%$*#!

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    I think the enlistment age is fine. Should there be a better way to make sure mental health services are rendered to veterans? Absolutely.

    And I have never understood the 21 year old drinking age.
     
  4. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    I think the enlistment age should be raised, although if it were, my DH wouldn't be in. I'm not sure if it would really make a difference, though.

    A lot of people who go in think it'll be fun, awesome, serving your country, brothers at arms and all that. Then you get in and they treat you like a piece of meat, you get hazed, they put a gun in your hand and say shoot. It's a shock for most. And even in the AF, where many are not deployed to war, I still know a lot of younger guys and girls being treated for severe depression. It's a shell shock for KIDS. 18-21 year old kids who just got out of their prom and mommy/daddy's house.

    It might be technically 18, but I know highschoolers of 16 and 17 who are able to sign up and "train" with the reserves. They just have that "out" until they sign a full contract at 18.

    As far as the drinking age, I've never really understood that either. It's really backwards. You can put yourself in a murderous piece of machinery at 15, die for your country at 18, but the drinking age is 21.
     
  5. -bogart-

    -bogart- Member of WHODAT Nation.

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    this . mental health services NEED to be beefed up and we need to work on a society as a whole to be more accepting of mental illness .



    Drinking age , should be lowered to 18 also.
     
  6. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    Yeah, just doesn't make any sense...give an 18 year old a bottle of vodka and it's a crime because they might hurt themselves or others and they aren't mature enough to drink responsibly blahblahblah...but Uncle Sam can put a weapon in their paws and ship em out because they're adults...huh??????
     
  7. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    I say enlistment age remain the same, drinking age be ≤18.
     
  8. zoe08

    zoe08 New Member

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    I do not think enlistment age should be raised. A lot of kids would be in a heap of trouble if they had to find something to do after high school and didn't have military as an option. Sure some of them could go to college, but what about the ones that need the military to even make college an option? I think it gives kids who don't have much to look forward to, an opportunity to do something with their lives.

    As far as drinking age, yes I can see that being lowered to 18. Do I think that all those people are responsible enough to drink at 18? No, but I also don't think turning 21 is going to magically make them responsible drinkers.
     
  9. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    I suppose it's a question too however of maturity and being able to process the reality of combat. At twenty five or thirty is it any easier to deal with the expeience of war? I had a poli science prof who explained his early Vietnam experience as more or less a bunch of young guys who were basically fearless and saw the service as an adventure of sorts.

    Of course it's different for everyone and he was relating it from 30 plus years before. And there was more funding for veterans services in those days
     
  10. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    if they're "shell shocked" by being in the USAF, it's because they're emotionally retarded by modern society. doesn't mean they're bad people just that someone failed to teach them to be fully functional adults & now they're screwed unless they can fix themselves.
     
  11. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    FTR
    among actual combat veterans this generation has the highest percentage of people that actually aim in & pull the trigger (about 85%).
    in ALL previous wars that number NEVER even reached 50%. the VA & DOD made these determinations through anonymous self reporting.
     
  12. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Which generation? The Vietnam gen or the current one?
     
  13. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    I can't really say anything about the enlistment age. My gut reaction is to leave it as is, BUT I also have no real basis to make that decision. I do agree that support for veterans is vastly underwhelming, and perhaps that should be addressed before the enlistment age. That in itself may make a big difference.

    That said, I do agree with lowering the drinking age. I personally believe that a lot of alcohol-related accidents (alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, etc.) could be avoided if it weren't illegal for parents to teach their teenage kids responsible drinking at home under close supervision.
     
  14. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    this one. even the viet nam generation reported mostly closing their eyes and shooting in the general direction.
     
  15. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Do they have any guess why? Weapon changes? (ease of use?) Desensitizing to violence through movies and video games? Distance from humanity through desensitizing? etc...

    I'd love to know more, it's interesting to me.
     
  16. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    in many states the drinking laws only specify age in relation to purchase or specifically exempt parents permitting their own kids in their own home.
    BUT most people including most cops don't know this and ASSume the drinking age is an absolute prohibition.
     
  17. Kaydee

    Kaydee Guest

    I think thats a major part of the statistics. In WWII there were zillions of soldiers in face to face combat. But there were also soldiers like my Dad who was a chaplin's assistant...he often joked he spent half the war hauling the organ from one point to another. Those guys saw the casualties but weren't out on the frontlines either.

    Soldiers who are out there now are often sent to areas in the middle of direct conflict and the nightmare of IEDs. The advances in medical care has been responsible for sending more wounded soldiers home than in previous conflicts. In WWII, if your legs were blown off you probably died on the field rather quickly. Now vets are saved even with multiple amputations and severe head injuries. Then sent home to a waiting list for veteran services.
     
  18. Bailey08

    Bailey08 New Member

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    I think that more attention should be paid to the mental health of soldiers, even before signs of PTSD and the like show up. It's an abomination, IMO, that we send so many people into combat and don't make available the resources to care for them appropriately.

    I just can't believe that PTSD and other emotional and mental effects of service are worse for this generation than prior generations. I think we understand mental health issues better now and people are more willing to talk about it.

    I would have to have more information before supporting increasing the enlistment age. I think it's likely a number of other factors are in play.
     
  19. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    the consensus seems to that first person shooter games had the greatest influence.
     

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