Naysayers...

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Laurantwins, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Laurantwins

    Laurantwins Member

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    Hello there USMA forum!
    We live in a small, rural town in Texas. Both DS#1 is an honors students & athlete. He was inspired by his grandfather's service (Army) to serve our country, and have set his sights on a service academy. I catch him watching YouTube videos about each campus, and his favorites fluctuate.

    When DS#1 met with the high school counselor to choose next year's schedule, he had printed off info from the West Point website and used it to advocate for a 4 year plan that focuses on STEM. The "norm" in our town is a focus on Ag - either livestock or welding. The high school counselor was GREAT, encouraging, and made it work.

    The problem has been some of his teachers/other parents. They keep asking why he has this "Wild Idea about West Point", telling him that it's wrong that his graduation plan is "special", and generally making very discouraging comments. He's handling it well, saying things like "This is my dream, and I'm going to fight for it."

    Friday, a parent/school employee called me to tell me about his "Wild Ideas", that I'm a bad mom to be encouraging him to join the military because he will be killed, and that his schedule is unfair to the other 80 kids in his class (because with the STEM classes, his GPA/Class Rank will be higher).

    I just said that I won't do anything to discourage him.

    He's got a long four years ahead of him. Has anyone else dealt with these attitudes from townsfolk? Any advice (for DS and for me) would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Laurantwins

    Laurantwins Member

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    Sorry for the typos in my 1st paragraph (like "have" instead of "has"). It's about 5:30 am and The text predictor was messing me up! :)
     
  3. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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  4. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I guess my first thought is "People can't comment on what they don't know"--no need for him to discuss anything with anyone at school except his guidance counselor. There is a lot of confusion about what West Point is to many people so don't take it personally.

    Some people look for any opportunity to cut others down to size, be it work, athletics, school, etc. Let it roll off your back and move on.
     
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  5. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    It is not hard for me to believe there are uninformed people who are not appreciative of those who wish to serve their country. But it is hard to fathom this being the case in Texas. The state has such a strong reputation for patriotism, conservatism, etc. Regardless, I think the best thing to do is to educate yourself and then help to educate the community through words, actions and personal conduct. Your DS should follow his dream.
     
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  6. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Your son is having this problem because he is being different from 'everyone' else and clearly some people don't like it when someone choose differently than the norm. Kids from towns like yours who shoot for the Ivies also run into the same problem as do most high achieving kids who are in a large pool of low achieving kids. Different stands out and people like the hammer down the nail head that dares to pop up.

    Help your son learn how to have those comments just roll off of him like water rolling off a duck's back. He will need a tough exterior and that tough exterior will be useful when he's in the army.

    As an aside, since you son needs a plan B, he may want to look at other senior military colleges. My son came to really like VMI (he went for an overnight visit there) and that was his plan B if WP hadn't worked out.
     
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  7. skismuggs

    skismuggs Member

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    if your son wants to do it, support him 100%. it's hard enough hearing about it in school. and to the teachers/parents that discourage him from going, if they are not paying his tuition to go elsewhere so everyone else is "politically correct equals" their opinions don't matter. they won't be there to hold his hand to console him if he regrets pursuing his dream. the other parents are only invested in their own kids, you should be too. good luck.
     
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  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Agree with the advice on here. There is no reason why he should not be pursuing a path that he wants. As long as the school offers the courses he wants, regardless of why, they should be scheduling them for him. The funny part is I came from a very agriculture based high school, and all the ag students took tons of math and science. This was highly encouraged, as most of them went on to study ag business, ag science or wine science/wine business. Farmers have to be pretty savy at both the science of growing crops/taking care of animals and managing their own businesses. Its sad teachers are pushing back and he isn't asking for special treatment. He is taking the classes the schools offer. When it comes time for his teacher recommendations hopefully he will have some solid teachers who will write recommendations without bias to school. It might be best if DS develops a good bond with his math and science teacher to sit down with them and discuss why he is on this path. Opening up that communication may really help when it comes to eval time. Also something to discuss with his BGO when the time comes if you feel his teachers won't write non-biased recommendations. For other parents to care what your kid is doing is ridiculous. They should spend more time worrying about theirs and get out of your business. They all have the opportunity to take the same classes, so they have the same opportunity to have a higher weighted GPA, they just choose not to.
     
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  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    To the original poster, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. In large part, I think the comments you're having to deal with are formed out of ignorance. It's an ignorance about West Point and the Army.

    It's good he's taking the lead on this; it is after all, his destiny. West Point, and any other academy, is competitive, and sometimes a courseload has to be engineered to help a student check the right boxes and stand out in the process.

    It would certainly make an interesting essay.

    You're not being a bad parent, and you aren't damning him to a early, military-related death.

    And no worries, the ignorance is everywhere. A while ago, just before Veterans Day, I had a co-worker come by my office with a new hire. "LITS, this is John Does. LITS is our military guy. Well, not real military right? He was in the Coast Guard." It was all I could do to not respond TOO harshly... to introduce someone, like that, and to do it in front of a new hire. She tried to backtrack.... as they usually do.

    And when I applied to USCGA, my high school classmates joked that I was joining Baywatch (I wish!). It was funny.... sometimes annoying...

    Luckily, people don't make those mistakes with the Army. I think dealing with these comments and ideas are just part of the process, when applying, while attending, and after graduating. Don't ever underestimate the amount of ignorance you'll encounter.
     
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  10. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    As the kids say, "Haters gonna hate, ain'ters gonna ain't." Don't give in.
     
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  11. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    I graduated HS just after the Vietnam war ended - you can imagine the comments and sentiments I faced as I joined NROTC. Thankfully, the general population no longer feels the same way about the military. You will always run into some anywhere you go. As others have stated, this situation is more ignorance than anything else. LITS sums it up nicely.

     
  12. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    THIS!!!
     
  13. 2019WPMom

    2019WPMom Member

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    For what it's worth, we live in "liberal" Santa Monica, California and we consider ourselves to be "progressives" and we have encountered many of the same types of comments from "friends." We simply respond that we could not be prouder of DS's decision to attend West Point and his commitment to serve our country and protect their First Amendment right to make such ignorant statements. Tell your son that HE is the only person qualified to decide what is right for him. Tell him that there is a whole community of people "out there" including the people on this board, every service academy graduate, and many others who understand, respect, and applaud his decision. You and he are not alone. Your son should be proud for even thinking about a service academy and you should be proud for raising such a fine young man.
     
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  14. Laurantwins

    Laurantwins Member

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    A heartfelt thanks to all who posted here. DS and I just read through your comments. I am reading through emotional-mom- tears. DS said: "It's only a handful that have something negative to say, it's just that they talk loud and often."

    He walked into the gas station after school today - where the retired guys can be found drinking coffee around 4 pm - and two men called him over. They told him that they are veterans, that they heard about his decision and that they are proud of him. They asked if he had ever been to West Point and he said that he has not, but he'll be bailing hay this summer (along with his brother) to earn the money for West Point Baseball Camp next summer. They offered him extra work - washing dishes during the American Legion's "Steak Night". He is thrilled.
     
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  15. Laurantwins

    Laurantwins Member

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    When he said: "It's only a handful..." he was talking about the negative teacher/mom - not the posts here! He had me print out the posts and he had pinned them to the bulletin board in his room! He said: "I've found my people." :)
     
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  16. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    He will make a killing washing dishes! I work with foster kids and they wait, bus and clean dishes for the same dinner in another state. They walk away each week with a good chunk of change! Its a great introduction to military camaraderie for your DS also!
     
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  17. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Yep, your son has found 'his people' here. :)
     
  18. FlyBoy1993

    FlyBoy1993 Member

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    If your son has the dream of leadership in the military, and the ability/ desire to fulfill that dream, then he only owes it to himself whether or not he pursues that goal. Not one person in that town will be taking that oath for him, or donning the uniform of service. It is his name on the line, as well as his physical and mental being.

    Don't let small town shenanigans rain on this opportunity if it is what HE truly wants.

    I grew up in Windthorst and Abernathy Texas. I will say the level of support I received in my decision to serve and that which our DS has received was not reflective of your experience.
     
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  19. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    Your son sounds like a great young man. Tell him keep at. :rockon:

    Also check out the Senior Military Colleges and ROTC like bookreader recommended. Great Plan "Bs" to Service Academies -- can also be great Plan "As"

    Love the picture of your avatar -- smiling dog cracks me up :D
     
  20. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Tell him to stay his course! He'll have opportunities the naysayers cannot even imagine.

    And probably some challenges. As one local grad elaons to appointees: you have chosen just about the hardest way to get a BS that exists!
     

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