Appointees and a Plan "B" - A Cautionary Tail

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by PJ Allen, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. PJ Allen

    PJ Allen Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congratulations to all the new appointees! You've worked hard for a very long time to get here, so ENJOY it!

    My oldest son received his LOA and early appointment for the AFA class of 2015. Because he received his early appointment, he (nor we as parents) felt it necessary to pursue a plan "B". In the weeks before I-day, he caught a cold. That simple cold, in a matter of days, turned into viral encephalopathy (meningitis). He was hospitalized for several days, but pulled through with no long-term effects. Most with viral meningitis are not so lucky. However, he lost his medically qualified status and, in the end, his appointment. The fear was increased probability of seizures. He understood, we as parents understood, but I can assure you it was heartbreaking (gut wrenching actually). Here he was, quite literally at the last minute, without having applied to another college, much less scholarships. In the end, he was accepted to a university, and through the diligence of an understanding administration, also received a honors program scholarship. He's now a Junior working on a Computer Science degree. (Note that an ROTC scholarship as a Plan "B" would have been rescinded as well!)

    My second son is now an AFA and USNA candidate with a nomination and awaiting news of appointment. Even if he gets his appointment, he will still pursue a Plan "B" (and a Plan "C"!)

    All it takes is an illness, a minor accident, or some other stroke of bad luck. Those with the early appointments are more likely to be in this kind of position so please, don't stop short of anything but a solid, workable Plan "B"!

    Again, I congratulate our class of 2018 appointees! Be safe out there!
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  2. hutchdweller

    hutchdweller Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for sharing your story. It was difficult to read, but so much more difficult to live, I am certain. A very important lesson for all of us.
    Congratulations and best wishes to both of your sons! Special kudos to your older son for his physical recovery and his ability to carve a new path. Health and well-being are so much more important than any school choice or career path. He must be a strong, young man in every way and I'm sure you are very proud of him!
     
  3. USNA02

    USNA02 Parent

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2013
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    A Timely Message

    Thank you for sharing this. It had to be such a difficult thing to go through as respects both the illness and the loss of appointment. Good to hear he has recovered and is on a good path.

    This is a timely message as I just had a conversation about Plans B, C, D, etc with DS. He holds an LOA to USNA and is CAUTIOUSLY optimistic of a NOM, but we are in a highly competitive state. He has completed the process including interview for an NROTC scholarship and has also completed apps to two of the maybe 4 or 5 civilian colleges on his list.

    His question this morning after leaving the NROTC scholarship interview was do I keep going with alternative plans? Do I apply to the remaining colleges?

    My response was yes, absolutely. I have been on this board enough to know a lot can happen before I-day. I will make sure he sees your post.

    Thanks again for sharing. Best wishes to DS1 and good luck to DS2.
     
  4. PJ Allen

    PJ Allen Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most of all, obviously, we were thankful that he came through the illness unscathed. To this young man's credit, the words "I wish" or "what if" have never come out of his mouth. He got up, dusted himself off, and found his own way with the same focus, commitment and maturity that earned his appointment. He's been an incredible role model for both his younger brothers.

    Proud? Yes, sir.

    I think the parents on this forum all share one thing in common, and that is the privilege of having the kinds of sons and daughters that other parents dream of having. 5 minutes at any of our academies is enough to convince anyone that they are, beyond question, the finest young men and women this nation has to offer. I am genuinely proud of ALL of them.
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,508
    Likes Received:
    457
    As a BGO, I also add my words of thanks. No one thinks it will happen to them (or their child) but every year it does to at least a handful of appointees. In some cases (e.g., broken bones), it may simply be a dream deferred. For those like your DS, it is a dream not realized.

    I'm glad he has found a Plan B and know that he will be successful in it. As is commonly said, "Whenever God (or whomever you believe in) closes a door, He opens a window." May your DS's window be very large.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,807
    Likes Received:
    948
    Unfortunately this does occur every single yr. I can't remember a yr that has gone by without a medical turnback, be it on I Day or during BCT. Like the OP many are medically DQ'd later on.
    ~ One posters DS did have plan B in place, they twisted their knee getting off the bus on day 1. Turned back, did re-hab for a yr. at plan B school in ROTC, got there again and they turned him back again on day 1 during the physical. He returned to his plan B school not skipping a beat academically.

    It happens and the OP did the best thing to remind everyone that placing importance on getting their noms., is just as important as placing attention on college applications at the same time.

    The joke is always Congrats now pull out the bubble wrap.
     
  7. skismuggs

    skismuggs Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    137
    +100 to having plan B,C,D and the bubblewrap.

    i think we were more anxious about getting our child to BCT than it was waiting for the BFE to arrive. DD wasn't allowed to go to many parties, drive alone, do anything remotely dangerous or risky. we monitored all the social media she was in, and we had to know who and where she was going everytime.

    she thought we were crazy but i tell you it was worth it because any little accident, a picture posted on FB (drinking, drugs) or stupid comments on any social media could quickly derail everything they had worked for. we knew someone who got into an SA and fell and broke his wrist playing football during his going away party - automatic DQ and no academy for him. so heartbreaking to see that.
     
  8. BoLwife

    BoLwife Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0
    How much bubblewrap?

    I've seen the reference to bubblewrapping many times. There are some scary stories out there! My question is this: DS normally plays a spring sport (track) where he is a sprinter and long jumper. It's been reflected on all his applications that he plans to do it this spring, in his senior year. If he should be so fortunate as to receive an appointment, would it be better to err on the side of caution and not participate in a spring sport? Is that overkill?
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,544
    Likes Received:
    1,005
    Personally I think it's overkill and he should participate. This is especially true as he'll need to keep up his running anyway. Just my opinion and YMMV. And one more thing... I expect you might have a hard time keeping him from participating.

    Now if you're planning on a ski vacation along the Continental Divide and he wants to do his first snowboard run down the double black diamond... then it's time to put your foot down.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    Don't bubble wrap, just don't be stupid either. Play sports, don't jump off the roof. Drive your car, don't race the police. Hang out with friends, don't do drugs or drink underage.

    The bubble wrap is there for comfort, not reality. I play hockey Friday nights. Generally it's ok. I walk down the street, read a sign and seriously sprain my ankle.
     
  11. soccmomer

    soccmomer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    75
    BoLwife - My DS will also do track this spring. The only thing I put my foot down about is nothing involving a pole....no trying pole vaulting or hurdles. He will sprint. And jump. Think of what wonderful conditioning running track is!
    He is very well aware of what an injury in anything can cost him both for an academy appointment and for plan B, ROTC. He also has some Plan C's to fall back on as he already has acceptances and merit aid to schools he likes that he can afford without an ROTC scholarship.
    He will be getting bubblewrap for Christmas, however!
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,807
    Likes Received:
    948
    Sorry I had to laugh at the nothing with a pole comment...my mind went in a different direction.:eek::shake:

    I agree with others, do not spend this yr living in a bubble, but at the same time don't take any insane risks. I.E. this may be the yr come spring break skiing with no fresh powder on slopes you don't go on the diamond trails for the heck of it to see who wins!
    ~ Common sense.

    It truly is a joke about the bubble wrap, it is not meant to create any paranoia. Sports are not just about competition and ECs for college, it is a form of friendships created in high school. Don't take away these memories, because IMPO they will need to rely on them at BCT when they are having some harder moments.

    I will relay a story from my own life decades ago when Bullet was a young O3, I was pregnant with our 2nd child. My SIL asked aren't you afraid he will die?
    My response:
    He has a higher risk of being killed on the NJTPKE traveling to and from NJ to NY everyday than flying an F-15E in combat. (BIL traveled a lot on the NJTPKE every single day)
    I ended it with if I locked him in a closet because that was the day, I believed that would still be the day. Supporting him, if it was the day, it was a day he did something that he wanted.

    MPHO, to not go insane in this world, you must believe in fate.
    If you go down this path of worrying you will be insane before you know it. What next, ride the bus to school instead of driving because you fear it is commuter hour for drivers? Worry about going to the doc for medical issues?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  13. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,000
    Likes Received:
    318
    Here is a true story. Kid at DS high school 2 years ago was a recruited football player for the AFA. Accepted, all good to go. Senior prank night he and a few friendsare attempt to move a traffic sign from one location to another. Kid falls out if vehicle and breaks his wrist. Appointment put on hold and was not accepted that year. Spent the next several months rehabbing, looking for a job and trying to stay in shape. Fortunately he was able to attend the AFA the next year. Moral of the story... please be careful and use common sense. Now go have some fun, you've earned it!

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  14. skismuggs

    skismuggs Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    137
    agree to keep all his normal activities up. what i meant was the end of the year festivities where everyone throws caution to the wind and decides to go for broke. breaking an arm doesnt matter if you were going to harvard but it does when you start bct. and a picture of you holding a beer bottle for someone/a friend never looks good when cadre or admissions (dont know if this happens) decides to check your facebook or worse you get arrested for DUI or drugs.

    agree with having fun, go out with friends, keep running (he'll need to anyway), laugh, stay up late playing xbox and whatever he likes but always ask yourself if he does this or that will there be repercussions. maybe 1 kid gets injured or does something stupid per incoming class (im sure more) but the only time it would matter is if it was your kid. good luck.
     

Share This Page