Saturday, September 01, 2007

Minors in the Military

I wasn't aware before reading this article that there is an organization called Veterans of Underage Military Service.

We have only one requirement for full membership; U.S. military service under the age of 17 (under 16 for World War II Merchant Marine vets and under 20 years of age for women veterans of World War II). If you meet this single requirement, please join us now. Our members have experienced many of the same problems and joys as you did in the military but at an age when most kids were still dreaming of high school proms. Indeed, some of our members joined too young even to have attended high school! Three of our active members served at the age of 12, twenty-eight active members served at 13 while most were between 14 and 16 years of age.


My step-uncle ran away from home when he was 15 and joined the Air Force. When my step-grandpa finally found him, he decided to let him stay in. By the time he was 18, he was an Air Force instructor. After receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to Colorado, took an entrance exam for the University of Utah, and graduated 4 years later with a degree in metallurgy. He worked for Alcoa for awhile, but left to work for Rockwell in time to be their chief metallurgist. He worked on the Apollo flights as well as the Space Shuttle. Imagine how bored he might have been if he'd wasted three years in high school. He was always proud of the fact that he never graduated from high school.

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