I have been very curious lately about the reasons atheists join up for military service. I don't mean to paint with a wide brush, but by and large, most atheists I have met are life loving people and the thought of senseless death bothers them. Yet, the very nature of military service is that you may have to kill.
I joined the US Coast Guard in 1986, mainly to feed my family. I had no lofty goals, no sense of patriotism other than being a citizen. Regan's economic plan hit the blue color workers hard, so I enlisted and spent my 26th birthday in boot camp. The Coast Guard is well known as a life saving service, so it fit in very well with my own personal views.
I'd like to hear other service members reasons for joining up.