This I Believe

Dae - South Bend, Indiana
Entered on April 9, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

I strongly believe that doing military service is good for young men. In Korean society, all young men who are over 18 years old have to join the military service except for a few people with health problems. Actually, Korea requires mandatory military service for two years. Naturally, some young men refuse it or strongly oppose joining it, but I suggest that they do join the military service for the following reasons.

First of all, young men can be a real adult through taking military service. I was a college student before going to the army. At that time, I rarely studied and just spent my allowance from my parents. I had never worked before I joined the military service, I didn’t need to work for money until then. I did everything I wanted to do, I ate everything I wanted to eat, and I bought everything I wanted to buy. I really lived in comfort. However a military man in Korea is paid between $70 and $80 a month. For the first time, saving and budgeting money was very hard for me, but I learned how to organize my expenditures. After finishing military service, I had a part time job at school. That made my parents happy and made me pleased and proud as well. I believe a real adult means a person who has economic independence from his parents. Without the military service, I would not have realized it.

Completing military service taught me to be responsible and also gave me a sense of patriotism. I had never thought seriously about my country before I went to the army. However during that period, I developed a love for my country as a citizen of Korea. Whenever I was on guard at night, I tried to keep awake by thinking about my family and our nation sleeping. I have seen an article about a survey of people’s patriotism. The question of the survey was “What will you do if a war begins in Korea?” The article said 80% of boys who didn’t take military service responded that they will go abroad to avoid it, but 70% of those who participate in military service responded that they will go to war. Military service taught me the importance of a national defense and battle practices. I had been trained those things for 2 years, so I would fight as a soldier if a war begins in Korea.

Military service can be a chance to learn something new and improve one’s abilities. There are people who don’t have any plans for their future and some people need better skills for entering society. If we go to the army we can have free time on the weekends, it is a very good chance to accomplish and achieve something. Some people plan to study English, some master playing an instrument and some enjoy practicing their religion. In my case, I like sports, so I exercised and played soccer and basketball every weekend. My fellows and I became healthier and sports fans. One of my friends studied the TOEFL test for two years, and he got very high scores. Before I joined the army, I had thought that the two years spent in the army were a waste of my time. Now I know they were not a waste of time.

These are the reasons I strongly believe completing military service is good for young men. Thank you.