Candidate Visit Issue?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Littlepenguino, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Littlepenguino

    Littlepenguino Member

    Jun 22, 2012
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    Hello all,

    Thank you for your help in the past; it's helped tremendously. I received the 4 year NROTC scholarship to the UC Berkeley unit, and I have been frequently contacted by West Point and Annapolis cadets/midshipmen telling me why USMA/USNA is better.

    My scheduled visit is from January 10-13...but I have a personal issue.

    My family's hands are extremely tied financially, so I am incredibly blessed to have been offered an all expense paid trip to USMA for myself and one of my parents.

    Before I go in any deeper, I would like to say that I love my father. He is wonderful and an amazing source of inspiration for me; I wouldn't be the person I am today without him.

    But, he is incredibly against my decision to pursue a military career. His comments have gone from snarky remarks to "I'll disown you if you follow through," and I promise that I am not exaggerating with this.

    I want him to visit the academy with me and hopefully see what it is that I see in it, but seeing as how he's always been incredibly sarcastic to people or gatherings with ideas that he does not agree with, I'm afraid of what might happen while I'm there.

    My mother cannot attend the visit with me, because my younger sister is uncomfortable when my mom is more than 20 minutes away. My mom said for this reason, she has to stay home.

    I can't attend the visit alone either, because I won't be 18 until July of 2013, and I can't fly alone.

    Is there any possible advice that anyone on this forum can give me when approaching my dad with this subject? He agreed to go with me, but I'm just not sure of what might transpire while I'm not with him during the visit.

    I'm sure, or at least I hope, that I am not the only person that has had a disapproving parent. Any past experience would be appreciated.
  2. BDHuff09

    BDHuff09 5-Year Member

    May 26, 2012
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    I would really try to drive home the fact that the service academies cost $0. If your family is not as well off financially as you say, he can't ignore the financial benefits of not having to pay for one of his children's college experience.

    Hang in there!
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
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    You know, its really hard to advise you without knowing why your Dad is opposed to you pursuing a military career. Is he anti-military or anti-war? Is he concerned about you being too far from home (I notice you're flying). I'm guessing here that there are other issues at home given your comment about your sister and being strapped financially. Could that be something that's driving his feelings about this? Perhaps he feels his best friend is abandoning him>

    I'm not suggesting you need to disclose family info on a public forum, but you must realize its hard to provide help without it. What I am suggesting is you need to find out more about what his issues are if you ever hope to deal with them - whatever form that takes.

    Ultimately this is your life, not his. The only additional thing I can suggest is to let him know if he jeopardizes this opportunity YOU will be hard pressed to forgive him. Kindly. Gently.

    I know sometimes I have issues with my son and sometimes react the same way your Dad does. He can easily hurt my feelings without even realizing it. And, truth be told, I probably just miss him too damn much and actually have difficulty adjusting to him not being around. I know I'm difficult to deal with at these times but a quiet, calm, adult conversation about it all seems to be what's in order as opposed to emotional reactions on either side. Any way for you two to just get away, alone, in a quiet place to have such a conversation?

    Hope this is helpful but I really think you're going to need to seek guidance from someone closer to you and your Dad who is familiar with the situation... a clergyman? an aunt? an uncle? a grandfather? I really think you'll find speaking with someone like that will be much more helpful.

    Wish I had the answers, but it is your life and ultimately a decision to attend a service academy is yours and yours alone. You cannot let your Dad's feeling drive this. I know your simply worried about and asking about how you handle his interactions at the academy but ultimately you need to address the root issue and if you can do that now then having him on the trip will be a non-issue.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  4. Littlepenguino

    Littlepenguino Member

    Jun 22, 2012
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    My dad gets thoroughly offended if I ever bring up financial issues with him, but thank you BDHuff09.

    I believe the best way to describe him is anti-military. He has consistently said, despite my efforts, that the military will brainwash me and make me a puppet which they'd willingly throw away.

    The way my BGO described it was, "He's afraid of losing you as a son."

    Incidentally, his side of the family (aunts/uncles/my grandma) is against it too. I never had to tell them, he did. They always try to talk me out of it when they get the chance. He also gets upset if anyone tries to defend it as well, which has been a source of friction between him and my mom.

    I realize this is my decision, and if he refuses to sign the papers (should I receive an appointment) I will reapply next year when I'm no longer a minor.

    I just want to figure out a way to end this issue now before any side effects occur.

    Thank you. I've tried to explain with him for at least a year now, but I feel this may be the one of the best ways to help him understand.
  5. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy 5-Year Member

    Jul 17, 2010
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    West Point staff are big boys and girls. Whatever your father does will not phase them (to a point, no code pink antics:biggrin:). If it is important for you to have his buy-in, than definitely bring him. Many a parent's eyes have opened when they see the school and talk with the cadets and faculty who are there.

    I was in a reverse situation when I was in high school. My father wanted me to go really, really bad. When I received my appointment, I turned it down and went to another school. After a year, I realized that I actually wanted to go for myself and reapplied and eventually graduated from West Point.

    I am really glad that you are the driving force in this pursuit and you will be better for it regardless of which academy you choose or ROTC option.
  6. buff81

    buff81 Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 31, 2008
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    You should definitely take your dad. He needs to go.

    It sounds like you are the beneficiary of the Diversity Visitation Program which sends desirable URM candidates on a visit to West Point with a parent. Y'all will be able to meet and talk with cadets, staff and faculty.

    West Point wants your dad to see and experience West Point. Believe me, they have met many a reluctant parent. Nothing that he asks or says will phase them. This program not only seeks to educate about West Point, but also to alleviate concerns and common misperceptions about West Point and the Army.

    I would be very surprised if after your visit, your dad is still against you going there. Most parents, after their first visit, love West Point and are grateful for the opportunities it offers their child.

    Here is a diversity video West Point produced. Take a look at it and show it to your dad, if you think he would benefit from it :

    Have fun on your visit and let us know how it turns out. :thumb:
  7. dunninla

    dunninla 5-Year Member

    Jan 26, 2010
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    Will you be 18 on R-Day? If so, you can sign any papers on your own. what I'm not sure about is whether you can be under 18 and sign other paperwork that may be necessary to reserve your spot on R-Day ... I honestly don't know.

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