There is a dishwasher at my restaurant where I work who will be joining the Army in June. I knew for some time that he was looking into some type of service, but I did try to persuade him not to join the Army. His goal was to go onto special forces after bootcamp. This is where I had some reservations and a warning to him.
I'm ex-Navy and we called the Army guys as cannon fodder. I told him if things did not work out, he would be on the front lines. With the Navy, if things did not work out, the worst thing is that you will be chipping paint. War is not glamourous and nobody is guaranteed to get out alive. Every soldiers goal eventually becomes self preservation and I tried to educate him that he should consider this fact even before joining.
My first suggestion was that he consider the Air Force as they get the best treament in all of the Armed Forces. But I did tell him that if you go Navy, you will really be able to see the world. I still like to tell people of the countries, places and experiences that I had while on my ship.
Joining the Navy allows you to learn about all the different people and cultures around the world. I actually asked for Pacific duty as I wanted to go to countries where there were no white people who just speak funny. I can go to Texas for that....
This has really affected as to how I see people and cultures today.
One funny thing. I went to Wikipedia to do some research about my old ship. Sure enough, there was a good amount of information about it. The problem is that all of the information stops right after I joined in the mid-70s.
Oh yeah, one more memory. When I went to bootcamp we had recruits from another country training for service. At that time, we trained members of the Iranian Navy. Funny how times change as we are now ready to blast their rubber rafts out of the water...
P.S. Here is information on your ship and what it did: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Pastores_%28AF-16%29