America’s Navy: A Global Force for Good

January 17, 2011
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Kailey,17, a high school junior at a suburban upper-class Wisconsin town had dreams of serving her country and becoming a naval nurse. Thoughts of joining a group dedicated to courage, responsibility, and service enticed her.

The United States Navy is an institution founded 234 years ago that strives to develop disciplined young men and women into combat-ready forces capable of commanding the seas. And Kailey wants to be a part of it.

Being raised by a mother who is a nurse, Kailey knew from a young age she, too, wanted to become a nurse. To find a university that best suited her interests, she attended her high school’s college fair, a collection of Midwestern public and private colleges. While at the fair with her dad, the Navy booth caught her eye.

“My dad thought it would be a good idea to join. The recruiters promised it would be beneficial to my chosen career path.”

Kailey agreed with her dad’s reasoning and found herself suddenly interested in becoming a member of America’s Navy. She was persuaded by the obvious benefits.

“I loved the fact that I could retire within 20 years, they [the Navy] would pay for my schooling, I could still follow my dream of becoming a nurse, and it would be possible to settle down on base and have a family.”

Her mother, however, was not so enthusiastic about her new idea.

“When I told her I was considering joining the Navy, she thought I was crazy.”

Concerned for her daughter’s safety, her mother tried to convince Kailey not to enlist. She told Kailey stories of her work partner’s relative who returned from Iraq traumatized by the gruesome war.

“She told me that as a naval nurse, I would be aiding the Marines, who were stationed on the front lines. Because they were so involved in combat, I, as a nurse, would have to be treating some of the worst injuries of the war. I didn’t want to do that; I didn’t want to go to war. If I was sent overseas, I would be stuck there until my service was over, and I knew I would hate every minute of it.”

After weighing the costs and benefits, Kailey decided against joining the Navy. She resolved to pursue her goal of becoming a nurse at home in America.

“It’s is a great opportunity to serve your country, but the Navy is not for me.”

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