Friday, December 10, 2010

A Priceless Education at No Cost

By Sean Scarpiello

What if there was a form of education that accepted practically everyone, was free, and you were guaranteed a stable job for a few years upon graduation? In the US, especially with today’s economy, it sounds impossible. In fact, it is very possible and it is one of the most overlooked benefits of being an American. It is called the military.

At first, most people cringe at the idea of storming to a beach in amphibian assault vehicles while being under fire. As much as the media dramatize the military, 99.9% of the time it is completely skewed. Today, the military is rather safe, even though the US is at war. I’m not saying that there is no danger at all, but it is better than most imagine. Plus, if you definitely don’t want to see action, there are ways of getting around it. For example, join the Air Force where no more than 2% soldiers actually fly planes. There is still the other 98% of this branch of the Department of Defense that are responsible for the support for the pilots and the airplanes.

Also, just try to avoid the most dangerous branches of the military like the Army’s infantry, the Navy Seals, Army Rangers, and the Marines. The only reason people are scared of the military are because it is these, most dangerous yet heroic, branches that get the most media coverage.

There is nothing wrong with being the guy behind the scenes that loads ammunition on jets and fixes the engines on tanks. These are relatively safe jobs that the military needs in order to operate. While doing these sorts of jobs, you gain skills useful to life as a civilian. If you can repair the engine on a tank or aircraft carrier, small cars and boats will be a breeze when you retire from the military. Some people find that the military is for them and stick around many years longer than anticipated and they can rank up and retire with a pretty good pension plan and medical benefits.

One of the other perks of being in the military is when you do retire, companies are quick to hire veterans because they have a distinct character and integrity that sets them apart from the rest. Veterans are highly respected because they have made the commitment to potentially risk their lives so that friends and family in the US can keep the freedoms we have today. The military gives Americans a priceless education, rich in both knowledge and experience, at no cost for most, but at a high cost for the few that give up their life for our freedom.

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