Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Night Music and Thoughts.....3.20.08


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Here it is March...and the Midwest has begun their Spring Flood Battles.I am lucky I live up on a hill and nowhere near the Cuyahoga....but for many in the Ohio River Valley the Muddy Waters are rising.I merely have a flooding basement from melting snows. I called a friend yesterday and bragged " Oh Spring must be coming". As I said it I looked out the window and realized it was snowing.I walked the dog, and her tail was down, I realized she too is tired of waiting for the grass to return....ANY Green....Any Sign of Spring.
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Late Night Talks....

I stayed up half the night, talking to 6-6 again....I did not realize this, but because the Economy has been So Wretched, and money so tight , he has started examining the Military as an option again, to help pay for his education and Future....I found this out working on my "Marlboro Man " Post, we began talking about this young marine and his fate. 6-6 said he was sad that his life had been altered, but that he had made a Decision so that he could get a future. I slowly realized during the Conversation that 6-6 again had been looking into the Military as a way to get his education paid.It shook me to the core.

He wants to make Movies, be a director, and go to Film School. He was thinking of this as a Means to an End, a Way to Get there. How many other young men and women have also viewed the Military as a Solution....more than we know, I am sure.

Finally after much discussion....and heartache.....we reached an Agreement. While Iraq is such a mess, and while this Horrible Regime is sadly STILL in Power, he will not make any decisions. I have promised him over and over I would rather work two jobs then see him examine THIS as an option....but he is stubborn.More Stubborn than I realized.I also know that he is trying to give back to me, but that is not the way to do it.It was a hard night.A Battle of the Wills.

I guess my point was that if my teenage son sees how HORRIBLE the Economy is...why can't the Leadership in DC see it ????

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*{Click the title...Song"Longer" by Dan Fogelberg, this has been on my mind all week....I used to rock 6-6 to this song....over and over...but this spring he is now 17 and those days are so long ago..They grow up too fast...but it seems like it was Yesterday...}*

12 comments:

an average patriot said...

Enigma!
I feel your pain! First, they know how bad our economy is but theirs is great and while many suffer they are doing well as Bush keeps shoring them up and will contiue!
Now, 6.6 is experiencing what my sons are. Two ae in and the one just in Iraq will reinlist there as the $40,000 is too much of a draw. Their younget brother 19 is all ready too go and will be joining the Combat Engineers or he might have already. I don't know because he won't talk to me!
After 4 sons I realized I can advise them but in the end they are men and like it or not will do what they have too or want if they are lucky. Bush has buffered his economy while depleting ours thus ensuring volunteers for his wars!

enigma4ever said...

Patriot:
thank you....I hear you...I can not believe I keep having this discussion with my son....He is a Thinker...a Dreamer...my 6-6 Gentle Giant....he is my only son...I had many miscarriages....and tried to have a child for many years...but ALWAYS as a nurse, a peds Nurse, and ICN nurse I knew that I wanted a boy....and because it took soooo long and then he and I both almost died during delivery....I think yes, I am probally more attached then I should be....

I want him to be HIS OWN MAN....that is what we talked about last night...and I explained- I have the utmost respect for the military....always have,always will- and I come from a family where People Served...Navy mostly...but that THESE TIMES...with Idiot Criminals at the Helm has left me worried more than ever... and I know that this is more complicated and dangerous a decision....

all of it is heartwrenching...all of it...

an average patriot said...

I know! It is not the military I was in! Stupid me I advised my sons to join. What amazes me is they love it. I want them to get out because my idea was to see the world and make a living not fight the world and be killed.
Our sons have noble thoughts and it sickens me to see them be lied to used and abused. It is all a facade and a setup, all of it!

enigma4ever said...

Patriot:
You are not stupid...you were trying to give your sons good advice...and a good Future...it is not YOUR fault that we have an Idiot at the Helm who does not care about them as much as you....or me.

It is the TIMES we are in...and it is a critical decision...I told my son that..and he agreed..he wants to do Something Meaningful...noble....wants to help pay for his education...It is just frustating....I know I will come through for him..I know I can help him...and I really do respect why he has been thinking about this...At first he thought I was being unreasonable, and I worried I was being selfish, or trying to take away his Independence...but it is much more complicated than that....

Alas yes, i am also a hippy at heart, a peace mama... When I was pregnent with him, and I marched against the Gulf War...he still has my Peace Buttons from those rallies...I hoped and pray that fateful grey winter of 1991 that he would never ever have to live in a Time of War....

but that all changed when Bush the Warmonger put his hand on the Bible in 2001.....

I refuse to have THIS Evil Excuse of a Man control my son's Future....

fallenmonk said...

There is nothing wrong with the military and nothing wrong with serving. We are sadly in a place where the powers that be are forcing the military into a position it was not designed or equipped to meet.
I served 8 years and don't regret a minute(well maybe boot camp)and it was even while Viet Nam was still cooking. It was still a good decision and it gave me experience and skills that have served me well as a civilian.
Regardless, now is not the time to be in the military. We have an idiot as CoC and there is no upside to dying in Iraq. Wait until sanity returns to the White House.

enigma4ever said...

MONK:
I hope I didn't sound down on the Military- please know I am not- it is all about the Criminal Idiots at the helm.....No it is ALL about the times we live in...

Thank you for serving...I hope you understand what I meant....and that I did not come off as disrespectful to you or your service....that is not what is ripping me up...

Fran said...

Don't for one minute the need to apologize, or feel ou are *dissing the military*. I think when my son was a freshman in HS, they sent a recruiter to the band class. He actually used designated class time to make his pitch. About a career- in the military --playing music! At the end of the presentation, the class was told his boss would be real mad if he did not come back with the cards filled out. The cards were submitting their names as to be recruited-- not enlistment, but they were gathering names. He used an real underhanded manipulative way to do this.
I was livid! Recruitment with a captive audience? Now came to find out they were told they could leave if they did not want to listen to the presentation (wish the whole frigging class would have got up & walked out!), but it put the students in an uncomfortable spot.
Anyway he left there seriously thinking this was a viable career choice. Recruiters will tell you ANYTHING you want to hear to get you to sign & enlist.
WE had some serious chats w the principal.... policy changed recruiters could no longer roam the halls & were NOT allowed to make classroom presentations. They were to get only the exact same exposure time as other college recruiters were. They used to roam the halls, hang out in the cafeteria... have very free access.
Ironically, at the same time there was a soldier trying to sue, because he was promised a musical career path & was being sent to Iraq for a second tour of duty. Some of it playing music most of it not.
There are anti recruitment web sites that actually offer college money to conscientious objectors. check out your local Quaker youth groups that focus on finding your moral compass.

I am going to send you a reprint of the post I wrote:

"Information is subject to change”.
That is what is written in the teeny, tiny fine print on the latest piece of Army recruitment crap to, this time, arrive in our mailbox. A few weeks ago I posted a piece “Death via in box”, talking about the Patriot Act e mail access the recruiters are given for College students. The recruitment push is relentless. This piece could be called “Death via Mailbox”.
I want to draw attention to the actual military enlistment contract itself. Section 9 (the fine print on the back of the enlistment contract agreement).
9. FOR ALL ENLISTEES OR REENLISTEES: Many laws, regulations, and military customs will govern my conduct and require me to do things a civilian does not have to do. The following statements are not promises or guarantees of any kind. They explain some of the present laws affecting the Armed Forces which I cannot change but which Congress can change at any time
a. My enlistment is more than an employment agreement…
b. “Laws and regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice to me. Such changes may affect my status, pay, allowances and benefits and responsibilities as a member of the Armed Forces REGARDLESS of the provisions of this enlistment/reenlistment document.”
(Their emphasis, the word “REGARDLESS” appears in all caps, & bold text in the contract.)
c. In the event of war, my enlistment in the Armed Forces continues until six (6) months after the war ends, unless my enlistment is ended sooner by the President of the United States.
When you enlist, and ALL armed forces must sign this contract, this little clause basically says we can do anything we want, once you sign. This is the part that makes the back door draft “legal”- repeated tours of duty & requirement to continue to be in active military status, long after the original time listed in the contract, has expired.
I’m no lawyer, but I can’t imagine any situation under which an “anything goes” clause in a contract, would be wise???
Back to the recruitment flyer~ look at the “potential” perks being promised (remember Section 9-B can void it al):
• Civilian skills bonus of up to $20,000
• Savings matching plan
• Up to $10,000 to repay qualifying student loans
• Up to 72,900 for college tuition
• Education bonus of up tp $6,000
The marketing is slick- this one comes with an offer of a flimsy (like the contract?) “free” Army backpack.
The flyer goes on to say “It may be called basic training, but you’ll be learning some pretty advanced stuff.” (that’s a direct quote). Next comes advanced training- where you’ve got over 150 “careers” to choose from, in the active Army. “From signal support systems specialist to multimedia illustrator, from broadcast journalist to intelligence agent- and a whole lot in between.”
I suppose all those gimmicks do sound better than saying “sign this line & your ass will be shipping out to Iraq or Afghanistan for as long as we decide”. These flyers & ads ALWAYS ask you to “invite or tell a friend”. Hell of a way to ruin a friendship.
Counter recruitment info highlights these facts:
The G.I. Bill offers up to $50,000 + for college. In reality, 57% receive none of this money; while 23% receive only half of the offered amount. One must also be honorably discharged, which 25% of veterans are not.
Facts:
Due to a new military policy, everyone is opted into the GI Bill by default.
$100 per month will be taken from your pay, for the first year in military, and will go towards the GI Bill plan.
1 out of 3 people never see any money even though they pay into the fund (Commission on Service Members & Veterans Transition Assistance)
One must opt out, in order to not be signed up for the GI Bill.
Because the GI Bill is issued as a stipend, it actually lowers what you could get for financial aid since it counts as income. This will work against you when applying for financial aid for college!
The Pentagon spends $326 million on advertising alone each year, while the U.S. Army spends a separate $250 million on advertising, according to Ad Age Buyer. $200 million has been spent on the new ‘Army Strong’ campaign. All of this money comes out of federal taxes - we, the American people, pay for it.
Because I have *draft age children*, we get the direct hit of The Marketing of Militarization.
Don’t get me wrong, I respect those who make the choice to put their lives on the line, and serve their country.
I have to question how their country has served and treated them, as well as the tricks they use to get people to enlist.
It would be disturbing in & of itself, but what they are doing is using slick, trendy, marketing tactics via multi media approaches to get my offspring to literally join the ranks, and be soldiers for Bush, in a war based on lies. We just witnessed another serving of lies, re Iran. The attempted build up, with references to Nuclear attacks, and illuding to our Country’s need to invade, in order to prevent WWIII, based on misinformation. The one thing we CAN count on?
Information is subject to change.

Have your son read that clause- nto as an in your face argument-- but a reality check. They CAN tell you anything to be recruited- and the contract specifically states nothing in the contract is binding. Once you enlist- they own you. They can & do change the terms (amking the stop gap multiple tours of duty "legal" (back door draft), and frankly, I can;t tell you of the 104 soldiers that have died in Oregon, how many times I read they joined the military in hopes of getting college paid for.

Also really read the anti recruitment material.... find out the facts about how many soldiers actually get college money & that they take maoney out of your check for college money- whether you get college access or not. A larger percentage do NOT qualify.

I don;t care what the contract is for-- it would be crazy to sign a contract with a fine rpint clause that says- regardless of what this contact says, we can do anything we want.

Seriously. Who would sign such a contract?

enigma4ever said...

thanks Fran...
Wow...that was really good info....I will fore sure share with 6-6...he needs to KNOW all of this...and I think h does not get HOW vulnerable he would be - that his life would not be his anymore....

thanks for posting ALL of this...it really helps...

( here in Poorville- the Recuriters stake them out at the Walmart- the Electronics dept...I have chased them off twice...I just don't think that is right...)

Fran said...

AS if that last post was not long enough.....
that we can change the terms clause means- the amount of pay of bonus they promised, the length of your service, even where or how you were placed-- a friend was in the Navy & they just announced- we need you in the army & shipped her off to Iraq. When they say they can change anything, they really mean it- and ask any soldier serving a 3rd or 4th tour of duty what they might think about it.

Also I hear a navy recruiter say they do things out at sea, no worry of land based duty-- yea right- ask my Naval friend who they told her you are in the army now ship out to iraq.

REcruiters tell lies.

There are some Iraq Vets w blogs-- read about the truth. Also something else to consider..... we shock & awed Iraq w depleated uranium-- very toxic stuff with a huge afterlife, that remains in Iraq & soldiers are exposed to it. Later when they figure out what health problems it may cause, they will also figure out the soldiers were exposed to it as well. Learn a lesson from Vietnam. Soldiers were exposed to agent orange chemical defoliant... when serious health problems emerged, the military fought it for years, then finally admissted exposure to the chemical they dumped was a carcenogen-- but still had a very lame & delayed response.

Any kid caneither get loans to go to school, or work part time & go to school part time.
At least you own your life & will not be made a pawn for the government. He ight want to read my post on Smedley Butler-- he is one of the highest decorated marines back in his day-- in my recent posts-- War is a Racket-- the title of his book.


Have your son check out the anti recruitment web sites & get some facts-- the facts the military will not tell you.

fallenmonk said...

No worries E4E. I know you weren't dissing the military. It shouldn't be ruled out as something to do either as a career or to serve a few years and get the GI bill and whatever else they are offering to the cannon fodder. Like I said, right now is not the time to enlist especially in the Army or Marines. The Navy or Coast Guard maybe if necessary. All in all it is a good time to avoid giving Dick Cheney any more control over your life.

enigma4ever said...

Monk:
phew...I was worried...I have great respect...for you and all that have served or serve. BUT as you said this is not the time at all....

FRAN:thanks for the information....and no I know the recruiters dont tell the truth...and that 6-6 needs to get all the facts straight...

D.K. Raed said...

You want ex-marine hub to give him the low-low-low down? There's good & bad & looking back on it now 35-yrs on, I wonder how he survived. Let's just say he was the square peg.