Issues Under Fire: Advise for Millennials During Dark Times
 
Those of us who’ve lived long enough should understand history repeats itself over and over again. And those of us who do understand, have a duty to advise the next generation on avoiding regrettable decisions made by those who weren’t paying attention during history’s reruns. Some of those people made tragic choices they’ll live with the rest their lives. If millennials pay attention to today’s message, they can save themselves from grieving a thousand tomorrows.
 
The latest headlines: On Saturday, October 8th, Saudi Arabia conducted air strikes in Yemen that killed more than 140 civilians. On Sunday, October 9th, Yemen rebels retaliated by firing missiles at the USS Mason in the Red Sea. On Monday, October 10th, the U.S Navy retaliated, taking out three radar stations in rebel held territory. The United States supports Saudi Arabia. Iran supports Yemen’s rebels. This sounds like a proxy war. This sound like something we’ve all heard before.
 
Whether millennials realize it or not, the United States remains militarily engaged in one form of another in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen, as well as ongoing operations in North Africa and beyond. The United States has major issues with Russia, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia including most, if not all other Gulf States. And at the root of this insanity, is the fact that the United States has been drawn into a Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict centuries in the making. And to date, no one can even tell you who the United States is really fighting or what it’s really fighting for. You must understand this for what it is. Madness
 
Whether millennials realize it or not, the United States hasn’t brought a major military engagement to a winning conclusion since World War 2. From Korea forward, U.S. military engagements have ended with defeat like Vietnam, or remain unresolved like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. In fact, history will show, no matter how U.S. military engagements get started, they never seem to end. Think of it. When is the last time the United States had a parade celebrating a victory in war? The fact is, this latest “war against terror” is slated to last another 25 years. The children of millennials will be fighting this one.
 
Whether millennials realize it or not, the United States is about to elect a liar, a lunatic or in the worse case scenario, both. This being a fact, it’s only a matter of time before they hear the call for boots on the ground in some God forsaken space on earth. And after enough pictures of children bleeding, mothers crying, suspicions of chemical weapon use, along with the usual accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, some naive souls might bite. And that’s how the lying lunatic will put your feet in those boots.
 
Whether millennials realize it or not, good paying jobs with benefits for the masses will remain illusive for the mid to long term. With economic growth expected to be sluggish, wages for the masses will remain stagnant as well. Since the military recruits from the masses, aka the lower middle class, millennials facing college debt and lousy job prospects will find themselves prime targets for recruiters pitching the virtues of fighting for freedom and their country.
 
Whether millenials realize it or not, the United States military doesn’t exactly pay a living wage. According to Salary.com an E1-Recruit-Basic Training (Army) wage was $8.00 an hour or about $16,799 annually, as of Sept. 30, 2016. We confirmed this and more at Glassdoor.com with even less impressive compensation for higher ranks. And while recruiters will tout the military’s great health benefits, we’d advise millennials to investigate a few tales about the Veterans Administration, visit a V.A. hospital and by all means, talk to as many vets who’ll talk to you.
 
Bottom line: Whether they realize it or not, millennials would be wise to weigh the risk versus the reward before considering a stint in the United Stated military. While we know these are dark times, even a $12 an hour gig flipping burgers and serving customers is preferable to being shot at while serving their country. Take this from someone who’s seen it all before, you might want to skip the next conflict. And if you still think you’ve missed something, just wait awhile, it’s never too long long before there’s another.