Things have definitely changed. I too enlisted at 17, granted, in the reserves, and showed up on drill weekends and was paid as an E-3 (what I graduated boot camp as) and received retirement points. Obviously at 17, I had to have my parents sign my life away just below my signature and a letter from my HS counselor saying I was on track to graduate.
Retirement is different too. You only have to do 20 years in the reserves to receive a retirement. Granted, its not a full retirement, unless you accumulate those 7,300 points like an active duty guy does. I'm officially a traditional reservist, but being in a flying job, I work 2-4 days a week and go on alot of TDYs, logging retirement points for all that I do. I have 12.5 years of service but 9 years worth of active duty retirement points. So, in order to get my full 20 year retirement, I need to accumulate enough points. It might take 30 years to get 20 years worth of points but I don't have to PCS to a new duty station every few years and have my wife find a new job and kid start a new school. Buying a house and actually living there for more than 3 years without having to sell or rent it to some hoodlums is always a plus too! They call us types "Guard Bums" as we are (air) national guard bubbas who will do anything for a retirment point and a pay check.
I've even volunteered to work on base construction jobs for pay days and we all know Air Force bubbas don't really ever get dirty!