Before I start this, let me make one thing abundantly clear: I was not creeping around ladies’ washrooms today.
However, a female colleague of mine happened to be in a restroom in a public building at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. While there for a relatively extended tour in one of the stalls, she overheard a conversation between a couple of basic training soldiers seeking a restful bathroom reprieve from their drill sergeants. As with most basic training folks, they talked loudly as though nobody else could hear through their imaginary bubble. They spoke about usual things: which drill sergeant was handsome, the next weekend break, graduation… Then, however, the conversation took an unexpected turn. They began talking about finances. Not just finances, but they spoke of giving their money away to family members. Bear in mind, they each earned approximately $1450 each months before taxes.
One of the girls just mailed $200 to her mother, and she was afraid that something might happen to the cash. Careful eavesdropping uncovered a story about an unemployed mother who lived off government assistance. The daughter felt it was her duty to give her mom whatever she could, even if it caused financial discomfort and going without niceties.
The other girl lamented about the cost of clothing. Not because of the cost of her own clothing, but because she bought clothes for her nieces and nephews. Why would she be such a doting aunt? As my friend soon discovered that she was concerned because they lacked the finances (or parental concern) necessary to have decent school clothes. So, she bought hundreds of dollars of clothes at the Post Exchange (military WalMart) and mailed them to her nieces and nephews.
Imagine, 18-20 year old young ladies thinking about needy family members before themselves. Imagine, members of the supposed “what’s in it for me” and “overblown sense of entitlement” generation. It sure doesn’t sound like it to me. Their acts sound more like those of the generation that came of age at the beginning of World War II. They are not alone, as I am aware of many acts similar to theirs by a significant number of their peers. Some of them were even clients of mine (*gasp*).
To think, people still question why I represent servicemembers accused of crimes (some horribly distasteful and serious). In my experience, the acts of these young ladies are not unusual. In fact, they are, in many ways, the norm.
I hope they never have a need to call me, but, if they do, the honor and privilege will be mine.