Whip-sawed Parent

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by DrJ, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    For whatever it's worth, I didn't read DrJ's message that way; you inferred "enlisted".
    I think the reference was more to the young daredevil testosterone types in general that seek the military to settle them down (re: Spud's post). I did not take the response as a rank/snob thing at all as that description cuts across officer and enlisted ranks alike.

    (FYI - Proud brat of career enlisted here)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
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  2. DrJ

    DrJ Member

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    I think you may have taken offense where none was intended--for my part in being unclear, I apologize.

    If you thought that the phrase "this type of person" was some code word for enlisted personnel, I can see how you and others would be deeply offended.

    But it isn't--that simply wasn't what I had in mind at all.

    By "this type of person," I was referring to those college students who are not serious about their studies, hijack others' learning, abuse alcohol/drugs to the point that the local detox center knows them on a first name basis, make it impossible for others to sleep in the dorm, make the shared bathrooms unusable on a regular basis, etc, etc. They are in the minority at most colleges, but even a few really negatively impact other students in a big way. And I think being around serious students who see the value of teamwork and adherence to rules in an environment with zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol is part--only part!--of the appeal of a SA education for DS.

    Hope I was more clear this time!
     
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  3. DrJ

    DrJ Member

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    Thanks--read this after my post and it's exactly what I meant!
     
  4. DrJ

    DrJ Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion!
    Must admit I groaned a tiny bit when I saw the length of the video. Great speaker, so the time flew, and he covered a lot of territory in a relatively short amount of time.
    Especially impressed with his stance on the total health of our men and women serving in the Navy.
     
  5. DrJ

    DrJ Member

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    There is an Irish curse: May you live in interesting times.
    Today DS got a decidedly TWE from the USNA.
    I went through the TWE experience once before when he got a LOA nearly two months ago. At that point, I didn't even know what a TWE was.
    Now I am not so naive.
    "This can't be good, this can't be good, this can't be good" was all I could think. I mouthed "this is bad" to my DH. As whip sawed as I have been, I felt so perfectly awful for my DS.
    DS calmly opened up the envelope, and inside was a cheerful letter informing him he no longer needed a medical waiver and congratulating him on his appointment. Within the hour, one of the MOC's that had nominated him was on the phone, confirming his appointment and congratulating him.
    Looking forward to the arrival of the BFE, when this will seem less like a dream and more of a reality for him.
    Booked hotels in Annapolis the end of June and mid-August and took time off of work when he got his LOA--waiting for his final decision to book airline tickets for the rest of us.
    I think the interesting times are just beginning!
     
  6. Kirkmanj

    Kirkmanj Member

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    Congratulations to your DS! As a parent of a new appointee, I have appreciated this thread and your posts. They express the bittersweet reality of the matter. We have children who can go anywhere, yet they choose a harder, perhaps more dangerous, path that will take them away from us for a long time. It is a great opportunity chosen for noble reasons, but, like all things worth doing, has its costs. I can only applaud them for their higher character and their parents for installing this love for others in them.

    That same love makes it hard to see them go.
    ...but aren't growth, honor, and self-mastery what we pray for? Our kids choose thus because they are the ones who value these virtues. Service over self. It makes me feel good about our future.
     
  7. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    This is a great thread. Does a great job allowing us to express our pride and our apprehensions. I was really affected by DRj's, VelveteenR's and Kirkmanj's posts.

    My DS has wanted to go the Air Force Academy since he was 8. Prepared for it -- worked hard -- and was on the "early action" track for USAFA admission and seemed to be slated for an early appointment. Then, because of an allergy to tree nuts (pistachios & cashews) he received the DQ from DoDMERB. Went through the remedial process in August providing all the skin test and blood work records, and then went through additional testing . . . and then in late September we got the "waiver denied" letter from USAFA. It is a difficult thing to see a dream die in the eyes of your child. He so desperately wanted to serve his country as officer in the military. To his credit, he kept pursuing his alternate paths to achieve his dream through West Point, VMI and ROTC, and on 12 March his DoDMERB portal showed "D259.50 Waiver Approved - AROTC"! DS is ecstatic! He now has the opportunity to pursue his dream using the 4-yr Army ROTC scholarship to VMI he has been awarded.

    DS knows he is pursuing a very different path from his peers. He has always had that desire to help others even if it means being put in harms way. I know we as parents influence our children in their values and their choices, but I personally believe that there is a higher power that instills higher plans in the hearts of some. I have seen it. We do not know what the journey will be, or how the journey will end, but we have to trust that our children that have been instilled with this plan are doing what they are being called to do, and that it has a purpose. I am grateful for this.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Congratulations to your son, Falcon A. He is obviously a determined and persistent young man!
     
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  9. matty

    matty Member

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    'Twas an emotional roller coaster reading your post :)
     
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  10. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

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    Hello parents. I am not a parent. I can't imagine how hard it is to launch a son or a daughter into a potentially dangerous career. I can, however, tell you how it is here:

    It is not easy. We wake up early, stay up late, and look forward to breaks so we can sleep for three days solid. There is a rule book a mile high, and cadets themselves have an exacting if unwritten code about what is acceptable and what is not. Each year we must pass tests both literal and figurative.

    It should not be easier than it is. If our nation is to be the best on the earth, its military must be the finest possible. That starts here. What you, as parents, laid in terms of a foundation of character and perseverance can be tested and refined. Some cadets and mids don't want to be refined--they want to be "good enough." Shame on them. Shame on me, when that's me.

    Nothing worthwhile is gained without suffering. We submit to myriad restrictions on what we can do. What we are gaining is freedom--freedom to achieve success because we have the discipline, character, and grit to make it happen. We accept sad goodbyes at the end of our Academy experience and each tour along the way. We gain a worldwide network of family. We sacrifice our own personal desires and goals. We gain a calling and a purpose that is greater than what we are individually.

    Look, I get that it's hard to let your children grow up. But as much as you love them, realize the world isn't always going to be kind, and you can't always shield them. Someday they'll weather the storms of life, and you can be proud, because you've raised an adult. That's kind of the point, isn't it?
     
  11. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Congrats!! Reminder: Bubble Wrap.

    I will never, ever, forget that morning at 6 a.m. when I put my TWO babies on a plane to Dallas, where they would pick up the connector to COS. Oh! My tears, proud, scared, sad, excited, could have filled a river.

    When they got on the connector to COS, there were maybe six seats on that aircraft NOT filled with incoming basics. They had the time of their lives, and it was just starting.

    For parents, we have to remember that when they sign those papers, they are no longer our little sons and daughters, looking to us for advice and support, they are full-fledged adults (See ChristCorp if you doubt this), in the US military, stepping into a world some of us have never known, some know all too well, some love as family...

    NOW, make your reservations for Parents Weekend, buy your tickets to the football game, get the sweatshirt, and get ready for the questions from people who don't know any better:

    Why isn't your (smart) child going to college?
    Does your child know there is a war over there?
    Did s/he get a scholarship?

    The list is pretty much endless.
     
  12. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    Robert Gates at 2011 USNA Graduation: Google the video. When he broke down at the end there wasn't a dry eye in the house and it was a big house. Although underappreciated they are another great generation from enlisted and all five Service Academies. As Kipling said "The Thin Red Line" that protects us.
     
  13. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    . . . as well as OTS, ROTC and the Senior Military College (SMC) graduates.

    As a Service Academy graduate, I have to admit, I was ignorant of what my brothers and sisters in ROTC and the SMCs really have to go through. I'm still learning as my DS is starting his AROTC / VMI journey, but as PIMA and others have educated me via their insightful and informative posts, it also is a difficult road . . one to be proud of . . . that at the end of the day, results in the same place . . . with service to our country.
     
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  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Great post, Falcon A! It is a hard road. 45 kids participated in DS's NROTC freshman orientation. Only 17 will commission in May. Hell of an attrition rate.
     
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  15. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Boats... snort. (OK OK just kidding)

    I like the idea of sock burning, but would have to wait till about Memorial Day here.
     
  16. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Sock-burning, the tug of war "Slaughter Across the Water" (the citizens of Annapolis vs. the citizens of the Maritime Republic of Eastport (MRE bumper sticker) over the small bridge, and the .02k Run - - annual festivities all worth a smile at the quirkiness of Annapolis. MRE has its own FB and website.
     
  17. how2know

    how2know Member

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    Thank you so much for this. It encapsulates my thoughts to a tee. I am beginning this journey and finding it hard to support and celbrate this decision which is so very foreign to me! Thank you!
     
  18. how2know

    how2know Member

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    How does one find this? I am land locked in Colorado.
     
  19. Blondie1

    Blondie1 Member

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    Facebook---the parent groups are great! Have made some incredible friends through them. USNA Mid Moms and Dads, there is another private group for class of 2019. Goggle USNA Parent Clubs--Colorado doesn't appear to have nearly as many as California. Amazing people are on the same journey you are about to embark on--they offer a tremendous support group. Good luck. Enjoy every moment--even the painful good-byes to your mid.
     
  20. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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