Willing to serve in Woodbury

Roy and Betsy have been friends of ours for eight years. Roy has a professional position with a lot of responsibilities and I’d estimate they have a pretty good household income which allows Betsy to devote her time to her family and volunteer activities. They have a lovely home in Woodbury, and if I had to guess I’d say they probably vote solidly Republican.

In the time we’ve known them we’ve seen quite a bit of their son, who has just graduated from high school. He’s a sharp enough kid, but one who’s never been that interested in academics and, like many young people, his worldview and self-awareness didn’t appear to extend much beyond his dinner-table reach. Nevertheless at the end of his junior year he started systematically interviewing recruiters from the various branches of the service to find out about their programs. When he finally decided to enlist last summer his decision was influenced by one benefit in particular: he selected the Marine Reserve because it “looked like the toughest.”

Roy and Betsy weren’t especially thrilled with their son’s desire to enlist, but didn’t try to discourage it, either. “It’s an honorable profession,” Roys says, and in many ways it was an option that made sense for him. “He had put himself in a situation with his grades where he knew college wasn’t really an option,” says Betsy, but grades were only one example of something he recognized in himself. “He said, ‘I need some discipline. I know this will be good for me,'” Roy says.

Betsy acknowledges that it is an exciting and anxious time for a mother, but she’s proud that her son’s made his own decision, “Especially when a lot of his friends are saying, ‘I wouldn’t want to do that.'” Similar responses have come from adults. “We’ve had two types of reactions from other parents,” Roy says. “The first one is they are aghast, and say things like, ‘Can’t you talk him out of it?’ The second type has been very supportive.”

Update:

Along similar lines, Captain Ed has an interesting post today at Captain’s Quarters about the military meeting its June recruiting quota, the strong re-enlistment numbers and a nice perspective on the role a stronger economy may play in recruiting. You can read it here.

One thought on “Willing to serve in Woodbury

  1. I suppose he might find out the hard way just how much he needs that discipline. On the whole I’m impressed with the decision.

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