DEAR ABBY: I am a 25-year-old single man with a good career, even though I never finished college. I have no children and own my own home.
From time to time I have considered joining the military, and I am close to making a decision.
The service could provide me with technical skills, plus I could finish my education without having to take out a hefty loan. Overall, the experience sounds appealing. However, the truth is, I'm scared about what's going on in the world. Even so, I'd still be willing to serve.
My family and friends hate the idea. They think I've lost my mind, and say it's the worst thing I could do with my life right now. I am really stuck. The recruiter is pressuring me to decide "now or never," and my family and friends say I'll be making a mistake that could kill me or make me miserable for the next four years.
Please help me to decide, Abby. My mother always said you spoke the truth and gave good advice. -- NOT IN BOOT CAMP YET
DEAR NOT IN BOOT CAMP YET: There are no easy answers to your question. This isn't something anyone else can answer for you. Yes, there ARE risks. There are also rewards. I urge you to investigate thoroughly before you sign anything and do not allow yourself to be pressured.