Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Little Respect, Please

The real paradox of military life is that so many members of the military vote Republican when they belong to an institution that is devoted to telling them what is good for them. Life in the military is life in a "nanny state", now the Army will try to help you pick a spouse. Yes, the Army is urging young single soldiers to delay marriage. The article misses the point, and I think the Army is too. The Army often treats its single soldiers like children. When I was single and living in the barracks, I didn't know who had the right to enter my room and "inspect" it when I was at work. I got yelled at for leaving stamps and pennies in my desk. Yeah, whoever breaks into my barracks room is going to steal some stamps when I have a TV, a stereo and a laptop computer in my room. Married soldiers automatically get seperate rations and get to eat wherever and whatever they want, single soldiers have to eat in a chow hall and that's open limited hours. Married soldiers have a choice of whether or not to live on or off post. Unless the barracks is overcrowded and that usually means every room is doubled up (these are usually 8'X 10" rooms), single soldiers have live in the barracks. The barracks are pretty crappy too, most were built in the Viet Nam era. Tiny rooms, no ability to decide when and what to eat, common bathroons, someone snooping in their personal stuff. With conditions like that, married life looks pretty good.
And the Army wonders why its single soldiers rush into marriage with someone they barely know. And now they are spending money to tell soldiers that marriage is a sacred commitment that should not be entered into lightly, which I think is a good idea. Gee, I dunno, I think that money would have been better spent improving life for the barracks rats.

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