Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Soldiers Understand Commitment, Marry Younger

Rev. Charles Rush has a wonderful story of the brief visit of his son and daughter-in-law, both soldiers, home from Afghanistan just long enough to get married.

Young Rush was the first of his siblings and friends, all elite college students and graduates, to get married. Rev. Rush made this striking observation:

And in the college world his friends inhabit, especially the fraternity world, marriage is not exactly at the top of everyone’s list.

In the world of the enlisted men and women, however, a premium is placed on loyalty and steadfast support, and this translates into a high rate of marriage, even among young people who are only in their late teens and early 20s.

Our birthrate is so low, especially among the educated classes, in part because we are delaying marriage longer and longer. One unexpected effect of this war may be to reduce the marriage age in at least one sector of the younger generation.


Bay said...

Our country needs these young people to run for office. We would be in better shape if we did, instead of all the lawyers we have representing us now. My prayers go out to the community of Fort Hood. May God bless them and give them peace.

Mary Jo said...

What about the higher divorce rates in the military? Could these young marriages be a factor? You've blogged about the military's attempts to support marriages, so they're aware of the issue.

Gruntled said...

The high military divorce rate is a real worry. I understand from the pros that the deployments are the main problem, more than their youth.

randy said...

my take is that military culture is broadly conservative, and so a soldier would be more likely to see marriage at 21 a viable option. plus, the military is a HUGE support structure, if you fit in. so a young soldier might feel more that he has the means to marry than his less anchored civilian counterpart. and also, this IS a kind of wartime now; definitely is for any active duty combat soldier-and the possibility of maybe dying young could make a man more eager to settle down. soldiers sure did seem eager to marry all thru WW2; sometimes w/only the briefest of courtships.