Parents concerns about their kids enlisting

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Feb 2, 2008
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    The article below is from the opinion section of the Washington Post opinion section -it's a very thoughtful mom's post re: her son's decision to drop out of college and enlist in the USMC. I thought that Parents (and hopefully a few sons and daughters) would appreciate this point of view :
    Readers Respond to Milloy on the Military
    "In his latest column, Courtland Milloy shared feedback he received from readers on the question of how to handle a child's question about whether to join the military. (The feedback came in response to his March 11 column, "A Worried Dad Ponders a Tempting Offer and the Ultimate Sacrifice. "

    In this post, we share more of the reader feedback Milloy received.

    My husband could have written your column today. It was last August, a week before our only child was to return to Lane College, when we found a well-typed letter in our bedroom informing us of his decision to join the Marine Corps. Unlike your son, who is only 19, ours is 27 years old. He feels quite justified, as a young adult, to spring stuff on us at a moment's notice... like his life-altering decision of joining the Marines.
    He must have known that we could handle this news much better in a letter. He said all the right things, and his commitment to join seemed clear: "With our nation at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am fully aware of the tremendous risk and seriousness that accompany my decision. I will use the next several months to prepare myself mentally and physically and I will pray that God will equip me with the mettle which is required of a United States Marine."
    Well, this led us to have that chat that you are preparing to have with your son. Julian respectfully listened to us as we pointed out mostly the cons of his decision, and he reciprocated with all the pros. He had done his homework, and the Marine recruiters had obviously done theirs. As parents, we were even willing to compromise: "Why not finish college first, then go into the Marines as an officer?" We swallowed hard after this discussion with our son, realizing that his mind was made up. He had tried college -- two, in fact, since graduating high school, and neither clicked. We know now he was doing this to appease his parents (both of whom graduated in four years -- why can't he????) and not because he was convinced that college was the right choice for him. He sees the benefits of an education, but believes there is more than one way to attain it.
    So, come April 10th, after 12 weeks of rigorous boot camp in Parris Island, SC, we are bound for another kind of graduation -- one where we'll see our son in a uniform instead of a black cap and gown. He will commit four years of his life to the military. I still get a lump in my throat when I think about it, and here come the tears! (Excuse me while I get a tissue.) But it is from pride that I cry and the belief that he will become all that he was meant to be. He will accomplish this on his own terms, not ours, and all that we ask is that he continue to trust God to get him there.
    Before closing, I want to share one more thing with you. Like many young men his age, Julian opted to get a tattoo a few years back, unbeknownst to us. While we have braced ourselves for the likelihood of his bearing arms in Afghanistan, it gives us some consolation to recall the tattoo he chose to forever embrace on his upper arm: Philippians 4:13."
    Linda Kemp, Reston
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

    Sep 27, 2008
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    I've been following this in the WA POST as well, the responses to Courtland Milloy's column. Good reading. Thanks for posting this one.

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