Dealing with a negative response

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by soccerchic, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Hi everyone! I wondering if you could give me some advice on how handle those people who respond negatively or ask those questions to wanting to attend a service academy.

    Recently a situation like this happened to me. I was talking to a good friend about colleges and mentioned that I wanted to go to AFA or CGA. One of the first things she said was "do you want to shoot people". I was taken by surprised as I'm only a sophomore and haven't told many people my aspirations as "college talk" doesn't come up much (yet :wink: ). Hopefully someone can shed some light on how to deal with these comments. I know that that might be their first reaction, but it was extremely awkward and hard to roll off my shoulder.

    Thanks your time
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Don't worry about it. At some point you get to a point when it doesn't matter.


    Service academies give you a great education and have impressive reputations. The people that understand that are already the ones who will be impressed. Others don't matter.

    Yes the "why don't you want to go to college" responses are annoying, but remember that those comments are from people who don't know. It's not that they look down on your choice or that they look down on you, just that they don't know.

    In high school, a kid a head of me got into West Point. I said "He's smart, why did he settle for that."

    I got my @$$ handed to me by my German teacher who was an Army veteran. She told me how impressive West Point was.

    Of course, years later I looked at service academies too.

    My comment wasn't informed. Once I knew more, I was impressed too.


    Don't let it get to you. It's only the beginning of a life of annoying comments (especially if you end up going to CGA). :wink:
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    There's a lot of ways to respond when the questioner is ignorant. I.e. Don't you want to go to a REAL COLLEGE? Couldn't you get into a REGULAR College? There's a lot of people that don't understand that the academies are accredited universities. And actually, very HIGH RANKED universities. That's ignorance and can be educated. You can talk about serving your country, and that your serving allows others to enjoy the life they have. That without an all volunteer force, they probably wouldn't have the freedoms that they enjoy.

    But, when you have someone who asks you if you want to kill and shoot people because you mention enlisting or applying to the academies...... well, there's no real response to that. Those people aren't ignorant. Those people are idiots. There's no real reply to them. The only thing you can really tell them is: "If people like me weren't willing to serve, then you'd have no one to protect your right to be an idiot".

    In all seriousness; s/he may be a good friend, but obviously they are an idiot. Now; I will assume that because s/he is probably a sophomore too, being you are, that they have no understanding of the military. That's hard to believe. Usually, when a child/teenager says or does something stupid, it's usually not their fault. I usually blame their parents 100%. In your friend's situation, all you can do is encourage them to ask questions and learn. When they say things like they did; just shake your head at them in disbelief. They should realize that they said something really stupid. Hopefully, they'll respond with a: "What???? What did I say?" Hopefully that will open up a question/answer period where they can learn.
     
  4. 010595

    010595 Member

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    The Service Academies are very often ranked as on par with/better than Ivy League schools and the like. Sounds like you encountered simple jealousy to me.
     
  5. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Hi Soccerchic,

    At some point, you do have to let that kind of thing roll off your back. It's not easy, for sure. But take heart that you are doing the right thing for the right reasons.

    That being said, you might try something like this if you feel like you need to explain...

    "There are bad people in the world who do bad things. We all wish it wasn't so, but it always has been and always will be. The police and other agencies keep us safe from those bad people here. And our military keeps us safe abroad and stands up for others around the world that can't stand up for themselves. I hope you respect my choice, but if you don't please know I'm doing it for reasons I believe in deeply."

    Hope this helps and thank you for your choice.
     
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  6. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Thank you for the awesome advice guys!

    MedB,

    I truly believe everything reason you stated for serving the US. I'm gonna do everything in my power to do that!:wink: Whether it be a SA or ROTC, I'll find my path.
     
  7. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    Wait- C-G-What?!? Who'd want to go there? :shake:
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Oh you know, the Connecticut General Assembly.

    For CGA these are some of the general questions.... (I would venture to guess no one has it worse, as far as academies are concern, with having to answer questions than Coast Guard Academy cadets, with the one exception of the Merchant Marine Academy....)

    "Is that like college?"

    "They have a college?"

    "Aren't they part of the Navy?"

    "Couldn't you get into the Naval Academy?"

    "Is that part of the Naval Academy?"

    "Why didn't you go to college?"

    "Can you get a degree from there?"

    "It's 4 years?"

    "And then you were in the Navy?"

    "Do they have sports teams?"
     
  9. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    And of course...
    "But don't you have to be six feet tall so you can wade ashore when your boat sinks?"

    :biggrin:
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    When I recommended last year, an applicant to also apply to the coast guard, he told me his parents told him the coast guard was the "Guard/Reserve" version of the Navy. Air Force had "Air Guard"; army had "Army Guard"; and Navy had "Coast Guard". Go figure.... :thumb:

    Then again; this same individual thought if we "WEREN'T" at war, that the "Marines" ONLY worked in embassies.
     
  11. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    SoccerChic,

    At a recent dinner banquet I heard an Army Col end his speech say, "I will lead you; I will serve you; I will defend your rights; I will die for you." Just tell them you are willing to risk it all to defend our freedoms and country, and ask them why they would be reluctant to do so.
     
  12. afa

    afa Member

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    it's kind of interesting when situations like this come up. honestly most people aren't informed about SA's. i know i wasn't until someone told me and that's when i realized i could go possibly go to one of the best schools and be in the military after as an officer in charge of people.

    a lot of people when i tell them where i want to go usually reply Oh where's that? or do you have to go to boot camp? the first time my friends found out (we're seniors) they were surprised but never said anything negative. they also didn't know how hard it is to get into a SA. in general, most people have no idea how lengthy the process is to even become a candidate.
     
  13. zachtx

    zachtx Member

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    "I may not agree with a word you say, but I'll defend to my death your right to say it."
     
  14. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    I've got to admit that I hadn't even heard of the service academies until I was a sophomore in high school. That's just the part of the country I was initially raised in. I never even gave much thought to it. Whenever I saw one of the academies playing football against another team, I thought it was just people who had enlisted and were selected to play football for their service as advertising. It sounds totally stupid, but it's really what I thought.
     
  15. Ambition

    Ambition USAFA Class of 2017

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    I actually thought the same exact thing, so don't think it was too stupid...
     
  16. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hey LITS...

    You know what I remember about CGA?

    1979...

    Appointments: USAFA, USNA, USMA, USMMA
    Alternate: USCGA

    What I remember...:eek:

    They're TOUGH!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  17. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    Soccerchic,

    Here are some quotes I've had to memorize for AFROTC. I think they're appropriate for dealing with this type of disdain for military service. The first one makes me smile every time :biggrin:

    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." ~ John Stuart Mill

    "It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag." ~ Father Denis Edward O'Brien
     
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  18. sammy

    sammy New Member

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    The day DS received appointment to USMA, husband and I took BFE to school to surprise him. DS was excitedly showing the appointment certificate to everyone in the office. The Assistant Principal (an educator with at least twenty years under her belt) read it, turned to my son with a very perplexed look on her face and asked, "West Point? Is that a military school? Does that mean you HAVE to go in the military?"
     
  19. HeWantsTheBFE

    HeWantsTheBFE USAFA Class of 2017

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    It could be worse. Half my friends think I am enlisting. I've almost given up on educating them... but im too damned proud to stop.
     
  20. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Thanks everyone!
     

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