Ummm....What Do They Do in the Military Again???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, May 11, 2010.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    As you know, difficult child has been having lots of crazy ideas about her career path after high school...

    Yesterday, as we were sitting in the kitchen...she wanted to know how much everything in the kitchen would cost to buy. Ya know--how much is a toaster? How much is a microwave? How much are all those dishes?

    And why did she want to know?

    Because she has decided that she will be joining the military right after high school and she can use the money she earns to buy all that kind of household stuff while she is overseas. Then when she is finished in the military, she will come back with all the stuff she bought and be able to furnish an apartment.


    She's joining the military for the shopping ! :surprise:

    All I can picture is R. Lee Ermey (The drill sgt from Full Metal Jacket) yelling at his troops--Get in there men! It's a sale! Stock up! Stock up! Move it! Move it! This is not a drill! Don't just stuff that in your rucksack, soldier--that's breakable! Get some bubblewrap--double time! Let's go! Charge! Mastercard! Visa! At the ready!

    But instead, all I said was "Honey, I've never been in the military myself....but in all the documentaries and television shows and movie footage, I've never once seen a soldier carrying a shopping bag."

    Her response?

    O yes they do! They just don't get caught!

  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I guess that is ONE reason to join the military. It would sure change her habits and how she approaches life. Boot Camp and Drill Sergeants don't put up with a lot of gfgness. Just ask my bro.

    He came off the plane when they sent him home from Germany after his service smelling like a brewery. He actually bought a bunch of German beer and packed it in his fabric duffel bag and was SHOCKED that it broke as it went through baggage handling. Of course he left most of his clothes in Germany because his duffel was full of beer. My dad made him shower at a truck stop before they came home because he stunk so bad from the beer.

    I would encourage her if you think we will be out of this war before she graduates. The military will stomp some of the difficult child out of her. It made a HUGE change in my gfgbro between when he enlisted and when he came home. HUGE.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LMAO...omg...LMAO...oh coke snorted on the monitor!

    Okay...she has half a point. She has heard somewhere about the pay for being in war zones and how it is more than just being at home and how soldiers come home with a lump sum normally. Especially single people who are getting all their needs met while being overseas so they dont have major bills to pay. Now the hazardous duty pay isnt all that much extra...I think its like an extra $2 or $3 bucks a day...aint that grand? Lives are worth so much to us. But...when you add that to their say...$1700 or so which is now tax free because they were in a war zone...well...and now they are there for at least 9 to 12 months...well you can see where it sounds like a whole lot of money to a high school kid.

    You can get the real pay on

    I know at one point Jamie figured out that he was making about 25 cents an hour in the Marines. They work long hours sometimes 24 to 72 hours at a time. If out in the sandbox it is on at all times. No time off.

    I can give you more examples if you But hey...I actually think it might be a really good idea for your daughter. Nothing like a good round of bootcamp to straighten one up.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wow...I wanted Miss KT to enlist, thinking that she'd at least have meals, clothing, and a bed to sleep in, but she didn't want to take orders all the time.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    That story is HILARIOUS!!! LOL! Too funny!


    I don't even think she's thinking in terms of the amount of money, as much as she's thinking she will have access to all kinds of exotic wares overseas...and since she won't be paying rent, she might as well buy herself some fancy housewares from foreign countries. I mean--the military gives everyone storage units so they can "stock up"--right? And then she'll come marching home with her new toaster, serving platters and fancy flatware all ready to set up house.


    Yea, I don't think difficult child has thought about the reality of actually doing anything like boot camp. She doesn't even like wearing her ROTC uniform if it's hot outside. Uniforms are optional for soldiers--right?
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...I actually was imagining all the wonderful things I could get if Jamie ended up in
  7. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    OMgosh! LOL that is funny! Join the military to go shopping? Now I've heard everything (well not really). That's a new one (Janet I can imagine you with this one for sure). WOW.....that's all I can say.

    I mean it's great that her mind is actively formulating a plan on how to obtain useful things in life and making a choice. Did she also take into account the cost of shipping all that back home too? Probably not I'm sure. I wonder what a recruiter would say to her if she presented this idea to them? I know they do try very hard to real them in. My daughter had marines calling her constantly recently since she's graduating. They were so persistent and no matter what she said it didn't deter them from calling back repeatedly. Even when she told them of her mental health status! (go figure?) I was surprised it was only the Marines calling actually and not any other branch because usually different branches will call. She did get mailings from others but no phone calls.

    If she wants to really do it then it's encouraging.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OK I'm dying trying not to laugh my rear end off... Since I am at work... OMG... How funny...

    Believe it or not, DF, the military is like a really rough parent. They take care of you. They expect a lot, sure. BUT... Since this is what I do for a living... They will either a) put her in dorms or b) give her a pittance so she can rent an apartment. And lemme tell ya - it is a PITTANCE.

    AND... they pay for shipment of stuff from duty station to duty station. Tiapet - actually, anything obtained before the effective date of orders, they'll ship. At government expense. There's also this thing where the military person moves their own stuff and gets an incentive payment.

    When she gets somewhere, if she's in base housing and her stuff won't fit? They'll pay for storage. As long as she's under the weight allowance.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Wow, Step!

    So it sounds like joining the military for the shopping really is an option. Okie-dokey then! Maybe she can buy something exotic for me...?
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...If she can make it through boot camp... Sure! Why not?!

    Yeah, I know what you are saying. But it is an awful lot of work for shopping.

    I don't even want to work THAT much.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Step...that was my theory! If I had to have Jamie leave for a float or living that far away, then why not send me home some nice electronics!!! As it was, all I got out of his 4 years was seeing a bunch of really cute Marine Corps hiney..lmao. He stayed stateside. Good for me and him so I am okay with missing out on fancy, expensive electronics.
  12. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    My son was in Dubai and didn't buy me something at that fantastic mall they have there! He stopped in the Chianti region of Italy but said it would be too expensive to send us a bottle of wine. All I got was a "Navy Mom" sweatshirt.

    He didn't "own" much while in the Navy. Since he lived on ship, he had a small locker and the underside of his bed (and his pick up truck) to keep things in. The truck stayed here while he was deployed.

    I have a friend who works at the commisary at the base in Biloxi. Maybe that might be a possibility of a job for your daughter?
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O who the heck knows...?

    So, you're saying "My son went to Italy and all I got was this lousy sweatshirt" ? (sorry, couldn't resist!)
  14. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member



    my husband did EXACTLY that!
    to this day we have dishes and pots and my oh my the electronics! all shipped home lovinging from japan. on a sailors salary. it was common practice.

    not funny, i know...but its true, so for once, i think you have to chalk this one up to typical teen thinking.

    its also a lot safer to stroll down to walmart to buy a few pans...i wouldnt reccomend the war zone route for cheap homegoods, LOL.

    only dont tell her i said so, ROFL.
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yep. And remember a couple of weeks ago she wanted to be a model--for the singing (yes, that's in La la la la la).
  16. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O that's hilarious!

    Hmmm....well, maybe this is one "harebrained idea' that isn't that far-fetched after all.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I had a LOT of arthritis problems in high school and ALL the recruiters STILL spent at least 18 months trying to talk me into joining. The Air Force worked really REALLY HARD to get me to sign up to be an aircraft mechanic. I STILL remember one line from one of the letters they sent. They offered me" the opportunity to bust your knuckles with the best" by becoming an aircraft mechanic. I took the ASVAB test and tested very high in all but the clerical areas. I ONLY took it because we got paid $5 AND got the rest of the day off from school - on a Friday before Spring Break. In one month I got ten POUNDS of letters from the various branches of the military (including Coast Guard). I kept telling them they wouldn't accept me because medical problems. Recruiters will say ANYTHING to get you to sign up. At that time they got credit even if the person was not even sent to Boot Camp as long as those papers were signed.

    I DID get a lot of free frozen yogurt because the recruiters office was down the mall from the only frozen yogurt place in town. They always had an eye out to see who was at the TCBY that they could talk to. I would ignore them so they would offer to buy my yogurt if I would talk to them for a couple of minutes. So I let them. They also would hand out coupons for free yogurts if they saw you somewhere and you tried to blow them off. Then they would try to catch you in line.

    A couple of the recruiters did use the "you can travel the world and buy all kinds of great stuff that we will pay to ship home with you" line.

    My brother went to Germany and all I got was the story about him shipping home a duffel of beer. But he spent all his free time in a tavern in town that the local people went to. He was relatively fluent in German when he got there so he avoided the other servicemen as much as possible.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Get a copy of "Private Benjamin".

    If she wants to know how much it would cost to outfit an apartment, I think tat is a good thing. Take her window shopping with a notebook. In a way, I had to do that over the last year in triplicate, with the bridal registers. My daughter in law asked me to help because she didn't want her mother involved, her mother is too controlling (my diagnosis, not the daughter's).

    We also did this when the kids were leaving home to set up house. easy child was moving in with (now) SIL1, easy child 2/difficult child 2 moving in with (now) SIL2. They had to shop around for various things especially kitchen utensils. Before this, my girls wouldn't have anything to do with op-shops or garage sales. Now - they love them. But easy child 2/difficult child 2 still insists on getting new stuff and will do without rather than make do.

    Something else I did at about this point, when the kids were beginning to talk about their aim of living away from home - I began to teach them the skills they would need. For example, I have my own recipe book of things I have made over the years that the kids like. I've also described techniques in the book so it helps them function independently. When you are on a tight budget, it's cheaper to make your own meals than always buy takeaway.

    However, I had to recognise that what the kids wanted to cook were not what I would have made in the same situation. Kids want pizza. So I taught them how to use a slice of bread as a pizza base, and work from there.

    I've described earlier how i taught easy child 2/difficult child 2 to love making soup. I never intended that outcome but I'm very glad. I used the story of Stone Soup (you can find it in Jim Henson's "Storyteller" series) and we acted it out using a river pebble from the garden of a flat where we were staying on holiday. I began with pure water, and as we acted out the story, we added whatever we had around - the carcass from a barbecued chicken we'd had the day before, now little more than bones; the tops of some celery the kids had eaten for lunch; carrot peel; onion skin from the compost bucket; some salt. We let it simmer for about half an hour, maybe 45 minutes. We were using a small saucepan because there wasn't much we could add. So cooking for too long is not good, it makes it bitter. But the result is like a magic trick and kids love it.

    If she sees you as focussing on her living away from home also, she may be more amenable to learning the skills and taking a turn. For example, if she complains about the meals you cook, give her the job. But the rules are - you have to stay in budget and you have to cater to all tastes. Otherwise - anything goes. You have to sit on your hands unless she asks for help. But to do this task, she has to shop for ingredients, budget for them, actually go get them and then prepare it all on time. It's a bigger job than our kids realise. She is almost certainly going to need some help, but depending on how she handles it, you might have to let her make a mess of things. Unless she will let you help, and recognise you are helping. Otherwise if you rescue too early and she doesn't accept that you helped, she will be mistakenly believing she can handle any challenge.

    Other skills she needs - using the washing machine. Organising her laundry. Mending clothes or modifying them to her own preferences. For example, easy child 2/difficult child 2 bought a cheap coat but it had a bubble skirt she hated. So she unpicked it which meant it now flared out - it looked good. But the lining no longer fitted, so she shopped for matching lining fabric then put in gussets of new lining fabric as patches, so she now has a fully lined flared coat about which her friends ask, "Where did you get that? It's great!"

    Now, I had been discouraging easy child 2/difficult child 2 from wrecking her new coat by unpicking it; the bubble skirt bit didn't look that bad, I told her. But she was determined to "waste her money", as I saw it.

    I was wrong. Glad to be so. And she got more confidence about her own sewing skills.

    It's not easy, but if you can demonstrate that your aim is to help your daughter achieve her independence, then follow through on her dreams no matter how unrealistic they are. SHE has to realise it won't work. And yes, there will be times when she turns to you witheringly and says, "Now come on, mom, you know being a model/enlisting in the army is not realistic. For heavens' sake, get real!"

    Just nod and smile. Nod and smile...

  19. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    You always have such good, practical advice...

    The thing is--we have been on an extremely tight budget for years, now. The good thing is my kids have learned to SHOP. Discount, sale or coupon or we don't buy it. So that's a plus...

    But as far as other, practical life skills? difficult child is just not interested. I've been trying to teach both children to cook. DS is very willing and will follow recipes and that sort of thing. difficult child is very willing to choose the meal--but she is unwilling to pay attention to directions...and then food is wasted because she misses some vital step in the recipe.

    In that respect--a military career might be good in helping her to get organized and learn to follow directions and follow through.

    But, I'm sure next week she will be on to a new career choice...
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Maybe she will be back to the military at 17 and you can sign those delayed entry papers while she is in the