Originally Posted by NateR
Actually, this never happens anymore. The Army is so selective these days that NO ONE is given the choice of "go to prison or join the Army." That might have been the case in the 40s, 50s or 60s, but it's not the case now.
EVERYONE who joins the military these days is a volunteer. Just because they are getting paid, doesn't mean they are not volunteers. There is no draft anymore and military service is no longer synonymous with a prison sentence. NO ONE goes to war for free, soldiers expect to be compensated if they are going to put their lives on the line for their country. That's been a fact of every single war in American history. It doesn't diminish the great heroism that has been displayed by our troops in the past, however.
Now, I do agree that not everyone who serves in the military is a hero (and yes, I use the word "serve" because being in the military is more than just collecting a paycheck). However, I also don't think that civilians who have never served in the military are capable of truly understanding what is expected of a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine.
Dude, it happens pretty often with the National Guard down here. Judges give young men the "serve or serve" choice pretty regular in Washington Parish.