should a parent risk their lives in the military if they have kids ?

Charlie - posted on 11/05/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Ok interesting topic off another community , a woman asked if people thought it was ok for a mother to join the army and it got me thinking is it responsible to put your life on the line when you have children?
Is it that the your countries protection means more and in helping protect it you are protecting your children ?

should you even have children if you want to risk your life in the Military ?

These are all honest questions and as i have never been in the army , married to someone in the army or know anyone who is these are questions i cant answer .

I am genuinely interested.

And what are other peoples opinions of this ?

Would you , could you ? what would be your reasons .

Are you or your partner in the military ? what is your view on military life with kids .

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Starr - posted on 11/06/2009

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My son was 5 months old when I deployed to Iraq and 18 months old when I returned. 6 months after I returned from Iraq, my husband deployed to Iraq and was gone for 18 months. Our son was 2 when my husband left and almost 4 when he returned.



Now my son is 6 and my husband and I have two other children and no possibility of ever deploying again since we are civilians now. As grueling and heart wrenching as it was being away from our son at his age the truth is that I am a better person and parent for having served in the military. And you know what? He is a completely normal 6 year old.



I joined the Army before I had children and am the daughter of a career Army man. I come from a long line of family that have served in the military so serving my country was a no-brainer choice for me.



Many people ask: how could the Army have deployed you when your son was so small? The truth is that I volunteered to join the Army and I volunteered to stay in the Army even when I found out I was pregnant and we would be going to Iraq. I made a commitment to the Army and to finish my obligation. If I had not completed my contract (the Army allows a pregnant woman to leave the Army before her owed time with an honorable discharge) then what lesson would that have been to my son? I knew women who were getting pregnant to avoid a deployment and that to me was dishonorable. My husband stepped us as a man and father and kept the home fires burning when I was away and I did the same when he was deployed.



I am proud of my service and do not regret a day that I served. I have seen horrors and felt tragedies that no human should ever have to experience but I walked away from that experience a better person. I do my best to live each day to the fullest because I do know what loss is like. I know what it is like to be without your loved ones and so do take more pausing in life to smell the roses and appreciate what I have.



Should people with children serve in the military? Yes. I believe that people who serve this nation, whether they be in the military, police officers, teachers, community organizers, fire fighters etc are great examples of what we hope to see one day in our own children: selfless service and compassion for a cause that is greater than themselves.

JL - posted on 11/06/2009

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I am a military brat turned military wife. My dad was in the US Army for 25 years before he retired and my husband has been in for 10 years. He plans on going to 20 at least before retiring. I love the military life and could not imagine living any other way. Honestly growing up in the military is what made me who I am. I moved around a great deal living across the US and overseas in foreign countries. I have lived in so many various areas and met so many different people. I am proud of my dad and even though he was gone a great deal it has not affected our relationship. I am very close with my dad and the times I did have him at home while growing up were more meaningful and taught me that you could loose the person you love at any moment so enjoy them when they are with you.



As far as having kids while living in the military environment I look at it through the thought process that I am giving them a unique perspective on life that will help them be more open and understanding because they will be experiencing so many different cultures while growing up. Living in the military environment makes a huge difference with kids dealing with the fact that they have a parent gone. My daughter goes to a school on the military installation so she is surrounded with kids who are going through the same thing and the school is very mindful of this so they create an environment that recognizes and celebrates our soldiers and their families. I don't think anyone can really understand the pride and sense of community until they are a part of it. We all take care of eachother and we all support one another even those who we barely know but who we understand because of our common thread of being members of the military community.



Many people join the military not just out of pride and want but out of necessity because they want to provide thier children with what they need and do something that makes them feel like they are contributing not only to the welfare of their kids but the to the welfare of the worlds children. Many soldiers and their families view the military as more than just a job option but as service work.

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Amanda - posted on 11/11/2009

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my husband and i served in the army, including and unaccompanied year (no family) in korea and a 15 month deployment to iraq. we had made the decision to wait until our commitment was up to start our family because i neither of us felt emotionally strong enough to leave a child for that length of time, and while i do miss the army life, i look at my son and am so thankful that we made the right decision for us (i understand it is not the right decision for everyone and i have the utmost respect for those parents who stay in teh military AND raise a family)

the military is a wonderful job as far as providing for family, it's great for dual military families, single parents, and 1 military/1 civilian couples. there are so many dangerous jobs out there that parents take on that do not provide the healthcare, the life insurance, or the death benefits that the military provides to families. before a deployment the military ensures a parent has all their ducks in a row to ensure their child/children are properly cared for and supported while they are away and in case they don't return. a will must be written, and a family care plan must be in place. if a parent dies during a deployment or training (as long as it is not suicide) the family is provided for, the children and sometime spouses receive free education and support groups are in place. even if a soldier is just injured/disabled while on duty the family receives support and in many cases free education.

i don't know of many other dangerous jobs that offer such stability for families, i think it is unselfish :)

Ava - posted on 11/09/2009

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I'm joining the military in the next few years, location and finance for my family provided. I'm absolutely adament about it. On top of wanting to serve the country, it provides insurance for my family and a good platform to find work later on. 'Veteran' will -never- look bad on my resume. And if something, god forbid, ever happened to me---well, sometimes that's how the world turns. I'd just hope her father would tell her every day that mommy died for something honorable and to feel like she was doing more to protect and secure her family.

?? - posted on 11/08/2009

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I couldn't do it. I don't think it's selfish or wrong or anything like that... I just couldn't do it. I don't think it's worth any more praise [for lack of a better word] than any other sort of occupation that keeps the world going round either. I think that if soldiers, police, firemen, whoever EXPECT praise for doing what they chose to do, they chose to do it for the wrong reason.



It's impressive that people are willing to enlist and be soldiers and serve their country. It's something to be proud of. Individually. I don't have any more respect for a soldier than I do a police officer, teacher, bank teller, bus driver, etc, though. I just think that all occupations have a purpose though, and that everyone deserves the same level of respect. (I don't mean that in an offensive way towards people who have chose to be in the military, and I'm sorry if you find it offensive.)



Soldiers, cops, firemen and the like have that added danger of being killed in the line of duty but they also have just as much chance as anything else that any other occupation has of NOT being killed.



I also have to say that I can't honestly know the level of what it calls for because I have never been in that position. I have family and friends of family who are in the army, in Canada and in the US and I have many family members who were in WWII and even some that I know of in WWI - so I know of the sacrifices and the hardships these families go through, I just personally don't feel them because they affect me indirectly, not personally.



I'm really sorry if anyone finds this offensive or rude towards you and/or your family. That isn't my intention at all. Appreciate everything that everyone does in our world, at least I try too - I just appreciate it all equally lol and the military isn't something I could sign up for, knowing that I have a family -- or before, knowing I wanted a family more than anything.

Sharon - posted on 11/08/2009

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The old adage :

Soldiers cannot marry, sergents may marry, officers must marry - was a truism for a reason.

I was a military brat, I joined the military. I had every intention of marrying into the military but it just didn't work out that way.

Being a child in the military sucked & rocked at the same time. I took a lot of crap for being a military brat. It was hard to move and have to make new friends over & over & over again in one year.

Once I hit my mid teens and later teens I realized what an awesome opportunity my dads' constant moving gave us. We've been so many places. I've seen so much. Experienced so much. I feel blessed now for those few years of discomfort and moments of unhappiness because later they gave way to much more joy.

I know now how strong my mother was to hold up under my and my brothers' grief and the packing and the packing and the packing and the unpacking...... She is AWESOME!

I saw my dad leave our house with a briefcase handcuffed to him more than once, with a guard escort. Kind of left me in awe. My dad wasn't a "soldier" per se but I knew what he did was important. I always wanted to follow in his footsteps that way and I always wanted to be the kind of support my mom was for him, for another military man.

IF I had married into the military I think I would have kids no matter what my husbands' rank because of the excellent benefits the military offers but knowing that as a private et all, he had a good chance of not coming back from a deployment versus a major or captain, etc.

Charlie - posted on 11/06/2009

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Wow , thank you all for the insight into your lives and your right Joy i would never know unless i had experienced but it sounds like there are so many positives that come with the military life and a great sense of pride more than i would have known if i hadn't asked .

Thanks again .

Amy - posted on 11/06/2009

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I was Active duty AF and so was my husband when our son was born. I do miss it very much.The benefits are great and they really do their best to take care of you AND your family. I decided to separate because, unlike my fellow military moms, I was not emotionally strong enough to leave my child for any amount of time. Deployments were picking up and my husband and I were slotted to go at the same time. Luckily for us, my enlistment was up.
As for thinking a mother to be selfish or irresponsible for being in the services, that is ridiculous! How is it selfish to defend and fight for the country you are raising your children in, I like to think that all military men and women are great contributors to keeping my country a safer place for my family, and am truly honored I got to serve. And as for the irresponsible...how is providing your family with home, food, health care, education, and many other benefits provided irresponsible?
I believe the military to be an ideal situation with one parent Active and the other Civi, but I also KNOW that mil to mil spouses are really awesome at making it work for them, it just wasn't MY ideal situation

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Neither hubby or I are military but I do have family members who are. I know it's hard for them when the husband (in my case the men are military and the women are SAHM) is away, there's constant worry. My one cousin has 3 small kids to look after. I have an older cousin who retired after 15+ years in service. His wife got sick and eventually died, he wanted to be there for their boys. A lady I work with, her son just joined the military and had to leave behind his wife and small son while he went to boot camp. It was hard but it was decision they made as a family.

In life there are no guarantees. My hubby's a teacher but that doesn't mean he's safe, that his life isn't 'on the line' when he leaves in the morning (it's not the same as being in a war zone, I understand that) but things happen - he could be involved in a car accident or something could happen to the school (fire, gas explosion etc.). The same goes for me when I leave for work in the evening. I only work retail but you never know what crazy you'll meet on the street at 11pm.

Traci - posted on 11/06/2009

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If I would have known how great it is to be in the military (overall...I know much of it really stinks) I would have joined the AF instead of going to college. You get to travel the world, make all kinds of money (if you go overseas that is...stateside pay is a joke), and you can even go to college while you are in if you feel you have the time.



That being said, I don't think there's anything wrong with a person joining if they have kids. Most people do not die when they are in the military and will more often than not be able to live a perfectly normal healthy life. I don't think joining the military automatically means you are risking your life. Many military jobs are desk jobs...no more dangerous than your local bank teller.



The deployments make it hard on families, but there are plenty of jobs in the civilian world that cause you to be gone away from your family. It's not like being away from family is unique to the military world. That's the reason my hubby got out though...we were starting our family and he was not prepared to live for months at a time away from me and our kids. We are a very close family and it wasn't something we were willing to do. For some people, they handle it just fine, though...and good for them is what I say. Someone's gotta do it, right?

Dana - posted on 11/06/2009

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My husband and I have never been in the military but, we've had tons of family that has been and tons still in. His brother just got out 2 yrs ago after 12 yrs in the Marine Corps. I think it was a wonderful thing for their family but, he missed the birth of their first child and was only there for a short time for the second one. They seemed fine with it (probably not fully) but, I always thought that it would be so hard to do. Not to mention the deployment every 6 months that could last anywhere from 6-9 months, pre war(s) time. Anyhow, I think it could be a wonderful, stable job and you get to give back.



As far as both parents being in the military during war time, no. I think that's a lot to put on the children without a war going on, let alone both of them being in danger.

Charlie - posted on 11/05/2009

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Now that i think about it there are plenty of dangerous jobs , Jamie is a Pro fisher man which is dangerous our family have had a boat go down and two fisherman lost their lives in fact there is a whole wall of fisherman lost at sea in our town alone .



At first i didn't want him to do it as i have already known many who have gone down but fortunately he is on a boat that doesn't go far out to sea and for days at a time so i am comforted in the knowledge that he fishes close to shore but if he had worked on a trawler i am not sure i could bear it , the worry that is .

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