Monday, December 28, 2009


My sleep pattern is totally messed up. Why was I up until 3? I looked at Etsy for hours and didn't buy anything. Anyways, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. My Christmas was amazing. I spent it with my family, my boyfriend and his family who I love to death. I’m officially out of the Army! I spent the night with friends and celebrated at a reunion show my friend Seth put together. There is nothing like seeing your favorite band from nine years ago!

Question: How does the military or war turn a boy into a man? Can a male soldier explain this to me? Or do you think it’s a bunch of bullshit? (This question isn’t out of the blue…I’m working on something.) Thank you!

Here are a few photos (taken with my iPhone) from the last day at my Army unit (completely bored), Christmas and the show. Check out the gingerbread house I made.


Blogger CI-Roller Dude said...

How does it turn you into a "Man"? Then my question is what does it turn females into?
After we'd been in Iraq for about 7 months, we all decided that war, no matter what you do in one, will change you for the rest of your life.
As long as you can understand this...use it to your advantage. Make it a good experience to share with others (even if you have a nightmare sometimes about your humvee rolling over into a canal and drowning).
Any more questions I can help with, just ask. Enjoy your freedom...I still hav' to decide if I want to go on a third deployement or just retire from the Nat guard.
one weekend a month, my ass.

12/28/2009 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on ETSing. I'm about 4 months from my date and it couldn't come any sooner.


"Question: How does the military or war turn a boy into a man? Can a male soldier explain this to me? Or do you think it’s a bunch of bullshit? (This question isn’t out of the blue…I’m working on something.) Thank you!"

Answer: The subservience of military service doesn't automatically turn someone into a "man", nor does war. It's nothing more than an occupation that can enhance or degrade your life. The same applies to women. The traits of "manliness" - which lie in financial stability, confidence, admiration, social status, and about 3,432 other factors, are sometimes altered by this occupation. The only difference between civilian and military jobs, in my opinion, is that the military jobs tend to have a direct influence on our lives.

Anyone can deploy to Iraq, Afghanistan, or serve a stint in the military and leave exactly the same as how they came in. They may or may not get anything out of it. Leadership, combat experience, and everything else that comes with the military can make or break a person.

I don't know, though. I've had 30-something year old soldiers working for me and they're simply relying on the military for a paycheck. I can't fathom being administered like that at that age - I'm a 22 year old sergeant. The military won't automatically situate your life and make you a great person. It ain't that easy. It requires some personal initiative to become a respectable human being.

12/28/2009 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan Placchetti said...

Well, if you believe the commercial... when a new soldier gets off the bus, he can look his dad in the eye and shake his hand at the same time.

Honestly, I'm not a fan of the military experience, but I can definitely recognize value in the experience. Simple military service, with the extremity of expectations (punctuality, schedule keeping, responsibility for equipment). It's a practical experience at a formative period of many young soldiers' lives; the typical recruit is fresh out of high school and the military experience can (I hate to use this word) instill certain behaviors. These aren't skills or experiences which are unique to men though.

War is undoubtedly a seminal experience: positive, negative or somewhere in between. It can be the shock of witnessing: violence, poverty, suffering, or simple cultural difference. For others, it is a matter of having engaged or not engaged in certain activities. My cousin, after returning from his second tour would get shitfaced and end up curled in a ball sobbing: he ran a motorpool the second time around, the first time he was a gunner on daily patrols. The second was so much worse for not engaging, not taking the risk. I think the idea of having taken a significant risk is a huge contributor to how we view the "making of the man". We view the risk and the experience as being valuable, and tradition has gendered that experience. So our narrative becomes this: men are out there going to war and women are getting in the way. Of course, we know that the experience isn't unique to gender, and these experiences hold personal and cultural meaning to everyone involved.

The military would undoubtedly claim that it instills values that make boys into men. Case in point, the Army values are a joke: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. In my experience, good people stay good people and bad people stay bad people. The acronym LDRSHIP isn't going to save any souls. At best, the military gives people the opportunity to prove their character, for better or worse.

I'm actually brainstorming a semi-related article. I look forward to reading what you do.

12/29/2009 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Long-time RN said...

Happy New Year, Kate!

Looks like mosh action at the concert-yahoo!

Very cool gingerbread house and love that apron. Best to you in 2010!

1/02/2010 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger olgreydog7 said...

Basically, it makes you grow up faster than you might otherwise. I know some people who don't adhere to this though. You have blogged on how you don't relate to your classmates. I think this is because you have matured beyond your years because of your time in the Army. Plus, the responsibility you are given at such a young age matures you as well. It forces you to change, or you suffer. It is just a faster process than outside. Most people spend at least half of their 20's drunk and chasing tail. Not that you don't do that in the service, but come revilie, you have a job to do and you do it. I hope that makes sense.

1/06/2010 02:49:00 AM  

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