Senior recounts living with a soldier

Alex Slataper, Campus Currents

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As Veterans Day passes, we are reminded of the sacrifices that have been made by members of the United States Armed Forces in their attempts to keep the people of this country safe. Many students at BRHS have relations to men and women who have served this country. However, the majority of people are not inclined to question how being raised by a member of the military can affect one’s life.

Caroline Gaskin, senior at BRHS, was raised by a member of the National Guard. Her father traveled overseas to Kuwait several times throughout her childhood.

“Having a father in the military affected me negatively and positively,” said Gaskin.

“It made me appreciate family and the ones who care for me more because you never know what can happen,” she said. “It may be a cliché, but it’s true. It affects me negatively in how my dad suffers from PTSD and I’ve had to deal with that for a long time.”

Joining the military is a life-changing decision. Every year more than 180,000 people enlist in the armed forces. One would assume that being raised by a member of the military would inspire a person to enlist themselves one day. However, Gaskin provides an alternate perspective.
“For a long time I wanted to join to be just like my dad and pay for college,” said Gaskin. “However, as I got older and learned about myself. I knew I would never be a good soldier. Having a father in the military also makes me view it differently in that it’s over sold and people often join for the wrong reasons. It has become a business machine trying to pump out soldiers instead of actually caring about the young women and men they’re training for battle.”

Speaking towards the warped reality of the military systems, Gaskin explains that her personal experience with the armed forces has given her a negative outlook on the training of soldiers. While she holds upmost respect for the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces, she wishes the system of training would attend to the mental status of the soldiers as opposed to focusing simply on their physical capabilities.

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Senior recounts living with a soldier