4.22.2010

"so this is how the army works"

The physical and academic requirements of basic training posed little challenge for Rob. From the beginning, however, he had serious doubts about life in the army. He recalled, "One night we're there eating and this guy says, 'You know, this is the first time I've ever had three meals a day. You know what else, this is the first time I've ever had shoes that didn't leak.' And I look at him and I was thinking, so that's why, that's how the army works."

US Vietnam War resister, quoted in Northern Passage, by John Hagan

4 comments:

impudent strumpet said...

Conspiracy theory: the powers that be are manipulating public sentiment into acting like good jobs are unreasonable so the army can continue to work that way.

L-girl said...

Non-conspiracy conspiracy theory: the powers that be benefit from keeping things this way, and not enough people don't demand more.

This in addition to what Imp Strump says, not instead.

Timothy said...

This is still true.

I remember my first week at basic. We were all called into a classroom so the company commander could address us. He started off by saying that Army life wasn't bad at all. We were getting four new suits, three square meals a day, rent taken care of, and all they were asking was 16 hours of work a day. He went on to say "some of you have never had it so good!". I glanced around, and I saw a lot more heads nodding in agreement than white kid from a middle class background such as myself was used to seeing.

They call it the poverty draft. I don't know what they're going to do now that they can't use the promise of health insurance as a recruiting tool.

L-girl said...

Thanks, Tim. It is for sure still true, that's why I posted it. If anything, it's gotten worse, as education is more expensive and there is even less funding available.

This paragraph jumped out at me as a perfect parallel between Iraq/Afghanistan and Vietnam. And maybe all war, always.