I spent a part of last night with the Number Three Surrogate Daughter. She turned 21 last week. She is emancipated and finally able to control her own choices. She is finishing her undergrad and wanting to get her Master’s? Her Doctorate? In psych. By joining the Navy as an officer/doctor. The Military will pay for the degree in exchange for six years of her life.
I love her dearly and want to be proud that she is capable of considering this choice. But I am afraid that I have become an old woman, set in her ways, and those ways were forged in the 60s. I was too young to have participated in the televised youth movement; I watched it on tv from my living room in a tiny, coastal sub-tropical town, so far removed and yet so far ahead of that movement that I can never vote Republican, nor embrace the concept of the military. I knew the last draftees and the first young men to die (in droves) of AIDS.
I know that this is my problem, and I have no right to try and pass them on to her. She’ll just be one of that tiny minority of good people who enlist for the more noble reasons. And I can be proud of that.