Everyone knows what Memorial Day is, but Armed Forces Day is seldom noticed. It’s to honor the living members of the military. So if you’re thinking of joining up, here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice.

If you’re doing it to get away from your parents, don’t. You’ll be wanting them your first day in, then realizing they’re not there to protect you from all of these mean people yelling at you all the time.

If you’re doing it to prove what a manly man you are, think again. There’s many other manly men more manly than you willing to show you just how manly those manly men think they are.

If you’re a woman thinking about it, you might have problems in addition to those that the manly men face. As a man, my advice might be limited, so you might want to talk to someone who’s been there.

You might think “I’m sick and tired of being yelled at and being told what to do all the time! I’ll show you! I’ll join the Marines!” Sure.

If you’re not sure what you were told to do, ask them to repeat it. You’ll get yelled at, but it sure beats doing it wrong or not at all. Trust me.

There are several questions I don't recommend, like “What if I don’t want to!” Or “What’re you gonna do about it!” And my favorite, “Well why don’t you just make me!” Really?

Beware of the chow! You’ll learn many interesting new names for popular dishes. What they call Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast I don’t recommend saying at home.

Also, you might not always be sure what you’re getting. I wasn’t always sure either, and I served it.

Good luck.

Robert O’Brien


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