Many people are concerned about the U.S. military because of how many risks come with joining it. However, the U.S. military also explains the benefits that one could receive. Joining the military is a decision that should not be taken lightly. One must understand all aspects of the military. In order for a voter to be fully informed about joining the US military, one must consider both the risks, like mental illnesses and commitment and benefits, like education, and experience.
1. Risks of Joining the Military:
Suffering from a mental illness is a common effect of joining the military that many people aren’t fully aware of. Specific mental illnesses one can suffer from are Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. Alan Zarembo, a writer from the Los Angeles Times, explains that “Rates of mental illness among active-duty troops rose 62% between 2000 and 2011, according to the report. More than 935,000 current or former service members were diagnosed with adjustment disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems over that time” (Zarembo). Young voters should understand that PTSD and depression are recurring consequences one may have to deal with if he/she decides to join the military. Mark Thompson, a writer for Time Swampland, uses a chart to illustrate the fact that “..the more combat events they experience, the more mental-health problems they will suffer” (Thompson). These illnesses are a result of traumatic experiences soldiers may encounter and treatment isn’t always effective. Zarembo also explains, “The Army has portrayed it as successful based on internal reviews that soldiers saw small improvements on some measures of psychological health. But the medical committee concluded that the gains were not clinically meaningful. The program did not reduce rates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or depression” (Zarembo). PTSD, depression, and the lack of treatment should all be taken into consideration when thinking about the military. Depression in soldiers can be caused by the length of deployment because they don’t see their families or friends for months.
Being in the military takes dedication as well as devotion because it is a big commitment that one must follow through with. Rod Powers, a writer, states, “Before you join, recognize the fact that a stint in the military is not civilian employment. It's not just like having a regular job. You can't just get up and quit anytime you want to" (Powers). One must be patient because this is a responsibility Powers also states, “Along with not being able to quit, there is also the factor of being deployed for months. Soldiers may find themselves spending up to seven months out of every year deployed” (Powers). A soldier must be able to handle being separated from family and friends for a good amount of time. This separation can cause stress and anxiety between soldiers and their families. Bruce Bell, a...