I'm an Army brat.
My father retired from the Army (after 20 years and 17 days) at the ripe old age of 38. He was good at it, and he loved it.
When I was young, I thought about joining the military all the time. I thought about the traveling, the camaraderie, the uniforms, and of course the benefits. The idea of serving the nation AND getting paid was heady.
My sister and I took one of those "what would you be good at?" tests during a College for a Weekend trip. Highest scores? She scored as a military officer, and I scored as noncommissioned. It made total sense-- Mary's very academic, and I'd rather get dirty. The seed that had been planted years ago was starting to germinate. Maybe I really could join the Army! We told our father, who put his foot down. No daughters of his were joining the military! He even kept my sister home from school on the day the recruiters came by to administer the ASVAB to the entire sophomore class.
Needless to say, neither of us joined the Army.
Now I'm married to an amazing man. I have the most adorable baby on the face of the planet. My domestic world is wonderful and I love it.
For various reasons, several of my friends are now enlisted or preparing to enlist, and I have to admit... I'm intensely jealous.