Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by DrJ, Feb 19, 2015.
Fantastic thread - I'm very grateful to read it - so many insights and so much shared wisdom.
I know this is pretty much an ancient thread, but I can't thank you enough for this post. Honestly, this is EXACTLY how I feel- with almost the exact same set of circumstances.
Me too. Feel free to message me. My son hasn’t gotten an appointment yet. Some days I feel like we’ll both be devastated if he doesnt’ get it, and other days I think I’ll have a panic attack if he does. I want it for him so much because he wants it so much, but we also have a fantastic university fifteen minutes from our house. He’s been accepted. They’ve given him a scholarship. It’s his backup plan. He says he’ll do ROTC for a year and then reapply to WP. I think it’s going to be a stressful spring!
So beautifully written. I have a DD who is waiting to hear from USNA and USCGA. Everyday, I wonder what my reaction will be if she gets an appointment and accepts or if she doesn't get one. The enormity of it hasn't quite sunk it yet. I'll cross that bridge when and if we get there. To say that this process is draining is an understatement, but like you, I am so proud of her for doing everything she had to do to get to this point. All these kids that decide to go down this road have my respect. They are truly special and I know will do great things wherever their journey takes them.
Ditto here. Well expressed!
VelveteenR I am bawling as I finish reading your post. What a gift your son just gave you. Treasure that always! I guess we, parents of these incredible kids, fully understand what sacrifice our children are potentially making. Just yesterday someone said, "Oh, but it's free, right "? I politely reminded them that these kids could pay with their lives. The enormity is overwhelming, but as your son told you, it's what they want to do. My DD once said to me in the car that she would feel guilty if she didn't serve. How do I argue with that? Right now we're still waiting to hear, but when the day comes I know it won't be easy for me wether it's a BFE or a TWE! Selfishly speaking!
No need for it to be stressful with such a great backup plan. Either path leads to a commission, and once you commission no one cares where you went to college. They only care that you produce results.
As the parent of a DD who has just recently received her offer of appointment to USMA, I, too, am wondering what she will decide, and how much I should try to open a conversation about it, to flesh it out. She also has a 4 year AROTC scholarship to Furman University in SC, so she really could go either way. During her agonizing waiver process, she received her ROTC scholarship, and was starting to think that maybe that is where she was meant to be. Then she received her portal present, and now is back thinking that WP was her goal; that's where she belongs........She is going to Furman on an overnight with the ROTC, if only to reaffirm her WP belief. I think that I leave it be, and if she wants my take, I offer it? It's truly her future. How have others handled it?
I am answering questions only when asked. I am honest when I don't have an answer. I am keeping the reality of "cost differentials" out of the conversations. I am leaving the decision entirely up to him, and patting him on the back every day for all he has earned.
Thanks, there is very minimal cost differentials, both options come with their share of expenses, but when you consider what the value of an education at either spot is, it is small potatoes. I have an opinion, as does her Mom (and not necessarily the same), so we will try to not tip our hands, unless asked. Just feel like it is such a huge call to make, a little sounding board action might benefit her.........Hard to complain about the spot she has found herself in, she has done very well.
Yes, much to be proud of...well done.
This isnt on Rotc or the college, but rather on your nephew. People get throw out of the academies also when they screw up. There are plenty of kids who do Rotc and do well in college. Sure maybe with lack of access to normal things in life, your nephew may have succeded at the academy but maybe not. Remember the kids who come out of academies and serve will have to deal with the same things Rotc graduates had to deal with while they were in college. The difference is the Rotc kids had 4 years to deal with them while the academy kids are coming at them with litttle to no experience
I thought it fitting to resurrect this thread because it contains my first post and my first thoughts after our son accepted his appointment to USMA. We watched him graduate and commission on Saturday (my mom and I hooked on his new should boards), the end of a long, hard 47-months. I’m no happier with the military than I was four years ago, and I still think he had better college options, but I'm coming to terms with the Army. He's gotten much of value from his time at the academy. The education he received there transcends his degree. He's lived a regimented, inspected, drilled, sober, uniformed life 24 x 7 for four years, never able to rest, never able to juggle every academic, physical, and military obligation perfectly, never quite able to measure up to the models of leadership in bronze and stone on those plains and in those halls. He chose a very tough way to get through college. But he has gotten through it with deep friendships and an education rich for its broadness and emphasis on character, integrity, duty, honor, and country. He has consumed all of it with determination, humility, and honors. He has reached his goal and, for that, we are proud of him. And I no longer worry about him.
I am thankful, too, for the information, support, and kindness shown here. May all of your sons and daughters reach their goals and discharge their duties honorably and safely.
One of my favorite all-time threads, and what a lovely capstone post. My parents, too, never quite “got” why I wanted this path, and why I stayed, but they knew I was happy with my choice, and that was enough for them to see me well-launched.
I’ve just discovered this thread. Great posts! In just a few short weeks my wife and I will send our DD off to USCGA. It’s been a wild ride getting to this point, and the journey is just beginning. Looking forward to hearing all the stories she will tell us in the years to come.
Would like to add my congratulations to @VelveteenR & to all of the other parents of the Classes of 2019 who graduated this month.
This month of graduations is a time both for looking forward and looking back, prompting me to check-in on this thread again. The vulnerability of it all—being a parent, wanting what’s best for your child and accepting you really, truly do not know exactly what that is—shines through in these posts so much. It still resonates with me in such an intense way.
To recap, DS announces as a rising senior in HS he wants to go to USNA. What?!? If I had been an emoji, my head would have been spinning off my shoulders. Months tick by as he does the really incredible undertaking of securing an appointment and I scramble to intellectually and emotionally catch up. I title myself “whipsawed parent” because that’s how I felt, swinging from “this is the best thing ever!” to “no way!” sometimes within the same day. Once I reach the point of really “getting it”—that this is his life and his decision, not mine, that he would be going into this amazing opportunity with his eyes wide open—he opts to go another route and declines his appointment. Another “What?!?” moment, yes, but for me another opportunity to be really clear on who my child is and what he wants.
DS ultimately realized he wanted a specialized STEM major that USNA didn’t offer and that close enough wasn’t good enough. He also realized he wanted a much higher probability of going directly from undergraduate to professional school than would be likely as a graduate of the USNA. More critically, I think he understood that his goals and timetable for reaching those goals and the goals and timetable he would need to have as a graduate of USNA were not aligning. I give him so much credit for this realization and for moving out of another candidate’s way—yielding to that person who DID have the goals and the timetable for reaching them that was more in alignment with the Navy’s. I realize it wasn’t “his” spot to give, but I think that once he was clear on these realities, he realized it was his obligation to step aside and did it promptly.
The night before I-Day nearly 4 years ago, I thought of that person and wished him/her the best.
Earlier this month DS graduated with his degree in the specialized area he wanted, with high distinction. In the fall he’ll be starting in the professional program for the career he’s always wanted. We’re proud of him and all he’s accomplished, and look forward to seeing him use his talents to benefit others.
Seeing photos of the USNA graduation a few days ago brings to mind that nameless person I toasted in late June, 2015. I now offer my congratulations to you on your amazing accomplishment, and hopes for
@DrJ: Wishing him...& you, all the best!
Thanks for circling back, @DrJ. I wondered if you were still here. I think your son made a great decision and I, too, wish him all the best.
I just returned from pinning the boards at my son's ROTC commissioning. I hope that our sons will cross paths as fellow Army officers.
Best of luck to all the new officers!
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