ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why The Military Should Lower The Drinking Age For Enlisted

Updated on April 21, 2013

If You Serve, You Should Be Served

I understand that the idea of lowering the legal age for consumption of alcohol is a bit touchy for some, but there are a multitude of reasons why 18 year old men and women who serve our military should be able to drink alcohol, so long as it's done responsibly. Continue reading for arguments for lowering the age standard, and feel free to comment below if you disagree.

The Most Obvious Argument

"If you're old enough to die for your country, you're old enough for a beer." I've heard it time and time again, and it's kind of played out, but still makes sense. If you're old enough to travel to a foreign country to fight for our civilians, you should be able to sit down and have a drink. I've known people who have died in Iraq who were under the age of 21. People who have given the ultimate sacrifice. No, obviously, they weren't thinking about getting hammered at the time, but I would love to have those people back, sit down, and have a drink with them. It doesn't seem like it's too much to ask for.

I'm well over the drinking age as it stands, so this argument is not for me. But as we have friends and family return from Afghanistan and Iraq, I think it's only fair that we celebrate their safe arrival with a beer, without the fear of them being kicked out of the service. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like the drinking age should be lowered for everybody. I think this should specifically be a perk of joining the military. The way things are, if you are caught drinking under age (as I witnessed a lot of in Tech School) you get the book thrown at you. What do you do when you're celebrating at home? You have a drink with your best friends, relax, and enjoy your friendship and camaraderie. My opinion is that you should be able to do the same with the people who you'd die for, and who will die for you.

If You're Stationed Overseas, You Can Drink!

How much sense does this make? You're an 18 year old kid, fresh out of high school, and your first duty station is in Germany, where the legal drinking age is 18. So for 2 years, you can drink without fear of any repercussions (unless you do something insanely stupid), then you get orders to be stationed back in the states. Or you just go home to be with family. Now, all of a sudden, you're not responsible enough to drink? That makes no sense at all. So the Airmen, Sailors, Marines, and Soldiers who drew the lucky straw to be sent overseas are somehow magically mature, but the people who are back home, supporting our wars in other ways, cannot. It needs to be clear, across the board, that all servicemen and women can share a drink. This back and forth doesn't make any sense.

Last year, police issued several underage drinking summons after they responded to a farewell party for a soldier who was deployed to Afghanistan. A 21-year-old and a 22-year-old were cited under the town's social host ordinance.

From Afghanistan, the soldier stated: “If I'm getting shipped off to Afghanistan to fulfill my duty as a soldier, willing to lay my life for my friends and other soldiers around me (someone else's daughter, son, dad, cousin), then I think I deserve a drink.”

Other Things 18 Year Old People Can Do

  • When you turn 18, you're legally allowed to gamble (in most states)
  • own a home
  • own a business
  • old enough to vote
  • get married
  • join the military
  • buy tobacco
  • get a tattoo
  • legally change your name
  • Adopt a child
  • Get Divorced
  • Get a Loan
  • Sue
  • Be sued
  • Carry a Weapon

That's just to name a few. I understand that drinking can affect other people, but we need to trust our 18 year old adults. Looking at it another way, an 18 year who wants to drink, WILL DRINK. It's not hard to get alcohol. And, in the same breathe, those 18 year old people who will drive drunk, will drive drunk regardless of their age. If you're willing to break the law (drinking underage) then you're willing to break it in other areas as well (driving drunk.)

It's funny that we can trust them with a loaded weapon, expect them to use it, but not trust them with a can of beer.

What Can Be Done?

I encourage everyone who feels the same way that I do to write your congressman. It would be rather difficult, since the DoD states "The minimum drinking age on a DoD installation located in a State (including the District of Columbia) shall be consistent with the age established by the law of that State as the State minimum drinking age. Minimum drinking age means the minimum age established for persons who may purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages."


With that wording, it would be hard to get an exception to the rule without lowering the drinking age for everybody in the state. However, it can be done. In Rhode Island, March 2013, a bill was proposed:

A bill is expected to be heard at the State House Wednesday that would make it legal for military service members between the ages of 18 and 21 to drink alcohol in Rhode Island.

The legislation (H 5603), introduced by Rep. Thomas Winfield (D-Glocester, Smithfield) and co-sponsored by Rep. Raymond Gallison (D-Bristol, Portsmouth) would apply to active military members with a valid military identification.

So, Yes. It can be done, and in some states it's being worked on. Including Texas. One thing I would like to state, though, is that this is my opinion, and I understand others may feel strongly the opposite way. As stated before, I'd love to hear your opinion in the comments below. If you choose to do so, I would like to hear your backing as well. I've heard enough that "The state law is 21, it should be 21." Which makes sense, but I want to know why you feel like 21 is a magical age in which you're mature enough to drink? Again, I'd love to hear from you, and feel free to let your opinion be heard.

What's Your Opinion on The Military Lowering The Legal Drinking Age for Members?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)