Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 21, 2006
WAR: Your Grandmother Wears Combat Boots

A 41-year-old grandmother enlists. Which is a nice human-interest story at first glance, and admirable in its own way, but also disturbing on any number of levels.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:34 AM | War 2006 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Military service (especially your initial enlistment) is very much a young persons game. I'm only four years older than her and I could not imagine starting over at the bottom. She may be able to physically perform each of her assigned tasks. The issue is doing that job over and over day in and day out. When I enlisted at 17 I had little life experience to compare military life to so some of the hardships (privacy, human comfort, food) that bothered others didn't faze me. I had 8 siblings and my parents didn't believe in wasting money on air conditioning or heating so I thought everything was fine with military life. The other issue she will deal with is every one she will work for will be much younger than herself. How will she handle being berated by someone nearly 20 years her junior? I hope she succeeds but don't think we should be enlisting people over 35 (which was the old age limit).

Posted by: LargeBill at August 21, 2006 11:43 AM

On one hand, I'm older than the grandma, and I am in better shape than most 21 year olds.

On the other, while I am stronger and fitter than most (it took a lot of hard work and I am proud to say it), I am also slower than a 21 year old.

However, bad eyes were the main reason for being 4F in WWII, and it basically ensured I was not going to get an all expense paid trip to Viet Nam, that is also silly, A 41 yer old grandmother can do all sorts of clericla work, freeing up someone for combat duty. I couldn't see well enough to serve in Viet Nam, but by the same argument, I could have been a medical corpsman, or something else. So let her enlist, and let her then pass a specifically targeted physical. I bet most generals and colonels wouldn't pass either.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at August 22, 2006 5:26 PM
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