New Mom: Excited and Nervous!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by momofdani2016, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. momofdani2016

    momofdani2016 New Member

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    I just joined this forum at my daughter's suggestion. My daughter is a sophomore in high school and has been talking about going to one of the service academies for several years now. She does not come from a military background, so this is all coming from her. Of course, what this also means is that I know nothing about the military except what I read. So while I am very happy that she has such an admirable goal and is working very hard toward that goal, I am also very nervous that this path will ultimately lead her to be put in harm's way. She's my only child! So this is my dilemna. She knows my views, but she also knows that I will support her 150% if this is the direction she chooses. And that I would be very proud of her if she got in to one of the academies. I know that she would be getting an excellent education and its a really laudable profession. But do other parents have mixed feelings about this and what is your advice to me? Thanks so much, and I'm so glad my daughter brought this forum to my attention.
     
  2. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    :welcome1:

    snipped:
    YES!...but I would rather have my son(s) follow their heart into a career they love then to settle for something less and be unhappy. Think of all the people killed in car accidents but we don't keep our kids from driving. My philosophy is that if it their time to go it will happen no matter where they are.

    My advice is to read all you can about the academies and the military so you have a better understanding. This forum is a great place to start. There are lots of good books too. Search the off topic forum for "books" and you will find more than one discussion about good books to read.

    The other thing that really helped me was going to the academy informational meetings with my son. I got to hear the same information he did and meet other parents who had sons/daughters at the academy. It was great to talk one on one with a parent and ask questions that may not have been comfortable to ask in a large group.

    It is good you are starting the research now since you will have time to adjust to the idea of her being in the military. :thumb:
     
  3. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    New Mom

    Welcome, I think it is very admirable that your daughter has this lofty goal. If she willing to do all the hard work to get that's great. If we is this country had more young people wanting to defend our freedom, in this country we would be much better off. I personally know a young man who is Midshipmen, at USNA, he will be ending his second year, next month. He shows such a level of maturity and dedication and above all a commitment to defend the freedoms we enjoy. That being said, let your daughter go for it. Tell, her thanks for at least thinking of doing this.

    RGK

    A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, signed a blank check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including my life." That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country nowadays who no longer understand it.
     
  4. mom14

    mom14 Member

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    YES!...but I would rather have my son(s) follow their heart into a career they love then to settle for something less and be unhappy.

    I agree! I always thought my kids would have a college experience like I did. Once I saw my son's passion and determination to pursue the AFA I couldn't help but jump on board 110%. He now has his appointment and I am at peace with his choice. Really, there are a lot of things I don't have to worry about at an Academy that I would have to worry about at a civilian school. I'm so pleased that his dream is coming true. Getting yourself around to acceptance and encouragement may be a process - I'm glad you are starting early
     
  5. Gray Hog

    Gray Hog USMA Alumnus

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    I was a high school sophomore when I decided that I wanted to go to West Point. My father had gone through ROTC and served briefly as an Army officer before I was born. Though I never knew him as anything but a civilian businessman, he had always spoken with pride of his Army days and I expected him to be very excited and proud of my choice. I was shocked when my announcement was met with a look of concern and dismay. He proceeded to ask me some very difficult questions about why I thought I wanted to be in the Army. At the time, I was quite disappointed and confused that he was not more positive; it seemed like he was trying to talk me out of it.

    It was not until decades later, when I had children of my own, that I fully understood my father's initial response. Like any parent, he wanted for me to be happy, but also, he wanted to help guide me in making important decisions carefully and thoughtfully. His challenges were aimed at ensuring that I had given such a major life decision due consideration. Additionally, he, like any good parent, wanted to protect me from harm (including that which was the product of my own making/decisions). I am sure that he was fearful that I had developed a naive or romanticized vision of Army life based on some combination of his fond stories and old Hollywood portrayals of battlefield glory.

    My father gave me books and articles about West Point and discussed each of them with me in detail. After he was completely satisfied that I was fully aware of what I was getting myself into and that I had carefully considered all of my options, he fully backed my decision. I could not have had a greater supporter during the nomination/selection process and through that difficult first year at West Point. Sadly, he died of cancer during my second year and never saw me graduate.

    After graduation, I spent a decade in the Aviation branch and I loved being in the Army and being a pilot. I would be exceedingly proud if one of my children were to choose to follow my path and wanted to serve their nation. If not, I would also love for one of them to develop a passion for flying and wish to become a pilot. However, as those decisions could subject them to danger, I would, like my own Dad, want to know that it was 100% their choice and that they were not doing it in order to please me in any way. If, God forbid, any harm should ever befall one of my children, I would want to know that it was not caused--or even contributed to in the slightest--by some misguided desire to make me proud or because I had failed to fully explain the realities of combat or the risks associated with aviation.

    All of that was to say that you are absolutely right to have mixed feelings. To be otherwise is to see the world through rose-colored glasses. All you can do is teach your child values and help her to make a fully-informed decision. After that, once she has made her choice, she needs your unconditional love and support (as it sounds like she already has).

    Good luck and God bless.

    Brad
     
  6. acesmom

    acesmom Member

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    My son is in the early stage of his Pre-Candidate app for the AFA. He has wanted to fly since he was about 4 and started talking seriously about the Academy when he was in junior high. I, too, had mixed feelings at first but soon came to realize just what WAMom68 said: whenever it is our time to go, it's our time to go! I'd rather risk losing my son doing something he is passionate about than to have him unhappy because he didn't shoot for his dream. It sounds like you are a wonderful mom and I'm sure will support your daughter no matter what. Yes, you are normal to feel the way you do! Good luck:)
     

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