Always have your Plan B

soccmomer

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Jan 28, 2013
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Two and a half years ago my son started college with a 4 year AROTC scholarship. I had the usual worries: that he keep his grades up, that he pass his height/weight and physical fitness tests every semester, that he didn't get injured doing something ridiculous, that he stay away from any activity that could potentially disqualify him. He was doing great, until last spring.
He was away on a semester abroad, when we got that phone call every parent dreads: on the way to the hospital. He had had a seizure. To make a long story short, he was put on medication, and when he arrived home this past summer, was ultimately diagnosed with epilepsy. This fall, his ROTC unit sent the papers up for medical review, with all of us pretty much accepting that he would be disenrolled.
Today the papers came in the mail: disenrolled for failing to meet the medical standards. The good news: he does not owe the Army any money.
DS spent the end of last semester talking with financial aid at school, to make sure other scholarships/grants were in place for when this news finally came through. He spent a lot of time looking up other careers and their medical standards. He is currently healthy and taking all of this pretty well, considering the whole thing has been pretty life changing!
The lesson here: we never in a million years thought that a medical condition, other than injury would crop up and change his life course. So for anyone out there either facing a waiver, or not (as we were not), always have your plan B!
 

EOD/SEALmom

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That is very hard news. I am sorry. Very glad to hear he didn't have to pay back scholarship money. It sounds like he is taking his twist in life well and you should be proud of the young man you've raised. I wish him (and you) all the best as he finds his next adventure.
 

AROTC-dad

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Best wishes to @soccmomer and her DS. No pay back is a great relief. It sounds like he is well prepared to remain at his college, which is wonderful.

My own DS just had a major scare over New Years. He was snowboarding and doing some major jumps at the resort where he is an instructor. He took one jump too aggressively and fell 14' onto hard pack. He fractured his pelvis in three places, fractured his radus, and also separated his shoulder. He was hospitalized for one day, and released but is very limited in his mobility.

The bad news, no PT (or snowboarding) for about 3 months. (School starts in 2 weeks).

The good news is that the Orthopedist (specializing in rodeo injuries) believes he is likely to have a full recovery and be able to do unrestricted summer training including Airborne school.

EVERYONE should have a plan B.
 

ktnatalk

Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.
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@soccmomer, I can only imagine how it has affect your DS with his health situation. Best wishes to all his future endeavors.

@AROTC-dad, I am glad to hear your DS will be alright, and I wish him a speedy recovery. His risk tolerance level is way above mine - I wonder if it will change from this point forward?
 

AROTC-dad

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@AROTC-dad, I am glad to hear your DS will be alright, and I wish him a speedy recovery. His risk tolerance level is way above mine - I wonder if it will change from this point forward?

Thank you, @ktnatalk ! As far as changing his risk tolerance, I doubt it. He already has pushed the envelope over the past week. He refused to move out of his apartment (which is upstairs with no elevator), and would rather painfully hop on one crutch.

He is stubborn and takes after my DW (don't tell her I said that). :rolleyes:
 
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ktnatalk

Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.
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Haha...

He can put his stubbornness to good use. Those who are lucky enough to have him as their battle buddy (aka wingman/shipmate) know he has got their backs!!!
 

cb7893

10-Year Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
2,825
Soccmom,

So sorry to hear the news about DS. You all seem to be acutely aware of how important a life change this will be. Cadets and Midis are constantly being admonished on this forum to have a Plan B...and rightly so.

This should also be a reminder to us parents (myself included) to swell our chests a little less as we admire our own DS/DWes for rising to various "challenges".

Wishing him and family much strength, patience, and the best of luck! We all need it sometimes.
 

turtlerunnernc

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Dec 17, 2014
Messages
619
Soccmom so sorry to hear about your son, glad he is doing well and was able to activate plan B successfully

Arotcdad - yikes on your son, glad his prognosis is good
 

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
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Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
13,033
Two and a half years ago my son started college with a 4 year AROTC scholarship. I had the usual worries: that he keep his grades up, that he pass his height/weight and physical fitness tests every semester, that he didn't get injured doing something ridiculous, that he stay away from any activity that could potentially disqualify him. He was doing great, until last spring.
He was away on a semester abroad, when we got that phone call every parent dreads: on the way to the hospital. He had had a seizure. To make a long story short, he was put on medication, and when he arrived home this past summer, was ultimately diagnosed with epilepsy. This fall, his ROTC unit sent the papers up for medical review, with all of us pretty much accepting that he would be disenrolled.
Today the papers came in the mail: disenrolled for failing to meet the medical standards. The good news: he does not owe the Army any money.
DS spent the end of last semester talking with financial aid at school, to make sure other scholarships/grants were in place for when this news finally came through. He spent a lot of time looking up other careers and their medical standards. He is currently healthy and taking all of this pretty well, considering the whole thing has been pretty life changing!
The lesson here: we never in a million years thought that a medical condition, other than injury would crop up and change his life course. So for anyone out there either facing a waiver, or not (as we were not), always have your plan B!

Thanks for sharing this, painful as it is. It will likely help others do prudent things.

If he still desires to serve, as a Federal civilian, tell him to research www.usajobs.com, and look for the "Pathways" jobs at various agencies. These are designed for recent college graduates. I would think his ROTC experience will be an excellent resumé booster, demonstrating his understanding of service, ethics, etc. Boomers are retiring from Federal Civil Service at a regular pace, leaving a vacuum behind. Excellent benefits, including healthcare and tuition assistance for advanced degrees and certificates.

The civilian older sister of a USNA sponsor mid has a chronic disease, but as a math major, she has interned with NSA during college, and is headed to a Pathways analyst job there after graduation, with excellent opportunity to forge a good white collar career.

We also have a USNA sponsor daughter who was medically discharged from her active duty career for epilepsy. Tough - but she went back to school for an MBA with Finance specialty, and is now climbing the ladder at a well-known NYC firm. Of course, she has VA med and educational benefits. The takeaway is she is managing her disease, and living her life. She is now an expert at taking the trains and subways in the City!
 

soccmomer

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Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
581
He has spent some time on USAJOBS looking for both jobs and summer internships. It amazes me how much is out there!
 

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
13,033
He has spent some time on USAJOBS looking for both jobs and summer internships. It amazes me how much is out there!

OPM has free webinars on applying for Fed jobs. I've copied the info below from a flyer:


Have you been thinking about applying for employment with the Federal Government? Would you like guidance from experts on preparing a Federal resume or tips on interviewing for Federal jobs? Join the staff of the Recruitment Policy and Outreach (RPO) division of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), for a series of in-depth briefings on these and related topics designed to assist those seeking jobs with the Federal Government. There is no cost for these sessions and, because they are virtual (online) sessions, you can participate from any location provided you have an Internet connection.
Sessions will be offered monthly. To find out more or to register, click on the event:
• Finding and Applying for Jobs in the Federal Government (Navigating USAJOBS)
• Writing Your Federal Resume
• Interviewing Techniques
• Pathways Programs - Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates into Federal Careers
• Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
The sessions are open to anyone who wants to learn more about the Federal hiring process; however, registration for each event will be limited to 1500 attendees.
For additional tools and resources, visit the Applicants Tools and Resources link.
We look forward to having you at one or more of the sessions!


Edit:
Looks like the links didn't copy. Am sure they can be found with search string OPM and the topics.
Edit #2: This link to an article has the links.
There are sessions next week on Fed Resumé and Job Searching on USAJobs. Offered monthly.
https://law.utexas.edu/career/2016/10/20/free-webinars-on-how-to-apply-with-the-federal-government/
 
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DrMom

Moderator
10-Year Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
1,603
Dear SoccerMom; I am so sorry that your boy will have to find a different path--but what is most important is that his condition can be managed and won't keep him from finding new dreams and bringing his same motivation and skills to whatever comes next.

USAJobs is great! There are so many entry level programs across the different federal agencies.

Wishing your son and family the best.
 

inSANEmom

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
111
We have been saving for college since I was pregnant with my son. He asked one day, if he gets a full scholarship if he can have some of that money to buy a car and a go on a trip this summer. I said NO WAY! He gets to cash it out AFTER he graduates college! I will share this story with him as proof that the money would help with his plan B.
 

soccmomer

5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
581
We were very fortunate that we have 529 money and a college account set up by grandparents, plus school merit aid to fall back on. He did take the Direct loan this year, just to make sure he had enough (we not only have to make up tuition, but the R&B was also a scholarship from the college so now he has to pay that also). He is also graduating a semester early, so it is going to work out for him.
 

sheriff3

5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
1,285
Soccmomer, so sorry to hear about DS medical issue. I've followed you on this forum since you started posting. I wish your son the best .

Arotc-dad, so glad DS is expected to make a full recovery.
 

running615

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
50
Two and a half years ago my son started college with a 4 year AROTC scholarship. I had the usual worries: that he keep his grades up, that he pass his height/weight and physical fitness tests every semester, that he didn't get injured doing something ridiculous, that he stay away from any activity that could potentially disqualify him. He was doing great, until last spring.
He was away on a semester abroad, when we got that phone call every parent dreads: on the way to the hospital. He had had a seizure. To make a long story short, he was put on medication, and when he arrived home this past summer, was ultimately diagnosed with epilepsy. This fall, his ROTC unit sent the papers up for medical review, with all of us pretty much accepting that he would be disenrolled.
Today the papers came in the mail: disenrolled for failing to meet the medical standards. The good news: he does not owe the Army any money.
DS spent the end of last semester talking with financial aid at school, to make sure other scholarships/grants were in place for when this news finally came through. He spent a lot of time looking up other careers and their medical standards. He is currently healthy and taking all of this pretty well, considering the whole thing has been pretty life changing!
The lesson here: we never in a million years thought that a medical condition, other than injury would crop up and change his life course. So for anyone out there either facing a waiver, or not (as we were not), always have your plan B!
 

running615

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
50
Soccmomer...what a lesson for us all! Thank God your son ended up back home and is doing well. It also sounds like you raised him to deal with adversity and a sudden change in plans and not have everything fall apart (that Plan B mentality!) We figured out about 10 days into this last semester for my DS that many things can happen that will alter the course of the future. Take nothing for granted and save as if the worst may happen but pray for the best.
 

running615

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
50
Thank you, @ktnatalk ! As far as changing his risk tolerance, I doubt it. He already has pushed the envelope over the past week. He refused to move out of his apartment (which is upstairs with no elevator), and would rather painfully hop on one crutch.

He is stubborn and takes after my DW (don't tell her I said that). :rolleyes:
Best wishes to @soccmomer and her DS. No pay back is a great relief. It sounds like he is well prepared to remain at his college, which is wonderful.

My own DS just had a major scare over New Years. He was snowboarding and doing some major jumps at the resort where he is an instructor. He took one jump too aggressively and fell 14' onto hard pack. He fractured his pelvis in three places, fractured his radus, and also separated his shoulder. He was hospitalized for one day, and released but is very limited in his mobility.

The bad news, no PT (or snowboarding) for about 3 months. (School starts in 2 weeks).

The good news is that the Orthopedist (specializing in rodeo injuries) believes he is likely to have a full recovery and be able to do unrestricted summer training including Airborne school.

EVERYONE should have a plan B.
AROTC- Dad, that is unbelievable! After everything they go through to get into these programs and get these scholarships...to have it possibly go away after a snowboarding accident, must have been so upsetting for all of you, but thank God to hear he will have a full recovery. What happens down the road for this and the qualification process? We have been so focused on getting our DS into his program we never thought about what could happen once they are in (until his incident in September, he lost hearing in one ear and it has come back, enough to pass his hearing tests but still, major stress and just another thing to worry about down the road!).
 

AROTC Parent

10-Year Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
625
Best wishes to @soccmomer and her DS. No pay back is a great relief. It sounds like he is well prepared to remain at his college, which is wonderful.

My own DS just had a major scare over New Years. He was snowboarding and doing some major jumps at the resort where he is an instructor. He took one jump too aggressively and fell 14' onto hard pack. He fractured his pelvis in three places, fractured his radus, and also separated his shoulder. He was hospitalized for one day, and released but is very limited in his mobility.

The bad news, no PT (or snowboarding) for about 3 months. (School starts in 2 weeks).

The good news is that the Orthopedist (specializing in rodeo injuries) believes he is likely to have a full recovery and be able to do unrestricted summer training including Airborne school.

EVERYONE should have a plan B.
AROTC dad - like Soccmomer's DS, yours will likely have to go through a Medical Determination by the Cadet Command Surgeon. This likely won't occur until he is released for fully activity by his physician. Get and keep copies of all the related medical records for this review.
AROTC- Dad, that is unbelievable! After everything they go through to get into these programs and get these scholarships...to have it possibly go away after a snowboarding accident, must have been so upsetting for all of you, but thank God to hear he will have a full recovery. What happens down the road for this and the qualification process? We have been so focused on getting our DS into his program we never thought about what could happen once they are in (until his incident in September, he lost hearing in one ear and it has come back, enough to pass his hearing tests but still, major stress and just another thing to worry about down the road!).
Running615 - Changes to a cadet's medical/physical condition may require a Medical Determination from the Cadet Command Surgeon. Cadet's are obligated to notify Cadre when something changes in their health (Injury, Surgery, loss of eyesight or hearing, Illness that might be disqualifying, some prescription drugs...). Depending on the condition change a request for Medical Determination is sent to Cadet Command for review. It's like the DoDMERB review that can lead to requests for more information, waivers, and DQs. We went through it twice with cadets. One was six months after ankle surgery and release to full activity. This review occurred just before CLC/Advanced Camp at the end of MS3 year. If the hearing has resolved and the loss not likely to return it shouldn't be an issue unless the underlying cause is disqualifying.
 
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