My son wants to join the military.

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Level 1

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#1 May 31, 2008
He will soon be 19, just completed his first year of college and hated it. He wants to enlist in the Air Force. I am totally against it. He is (as parents say) the baby and my only son. My brother was in the Navy and hated it, my father served 20 years in the Navy and loved it. Should I try and talk him out of it? Should I encourage him to join? I already understand I should let him make his own decisions, but this one is difficult for me.

“New & Improved..”

Level 8

Since: Oct 07

Formerly From Kenya

#2 May 31, 2008
MyNameIsKathy wrote:
He will soon be 19, just completed his first year of college and hated it. He wants to enlist in the Air Force. I am totally against it. He is (as parents say) the baby and my only son. My brother was in the Navy and hated it, my father served 20 years in the Navy and loved it. Should I try and talk him out of it? Should I encourage him to join? I already understand I should let him make his own decisions, but this one is difficult for me.
You already know your answer MNIK, So, I will try to help you feel better about it.
I am proud of him for even thinking about going into the military. It is not a light decision to make for a young man or woman, especially now.
You will be proud of yourself for raising such a child with strong mind and thoughts as he grows there. You will hold his hand in ways, while he is away, that you may never know about but you will be there. All of your training will be in his skill set and all of your love will be in his resolve.
I wish him well, what ever he does decide to do. I wish you the same.
:)
j

Level 1

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#3 May 31, 2008
This makes me want to cry. Thank you for your kindness JAG.

“Spring is here, ”

Level 7

Since: Sep 06

next comes summer! Yippee!!

#4 May 31, 2008
MyNameIsKathy wrote:
He will soon be 19, just completed his first year of college and hated it. He wants to enlist in the Air Force. I am totally against it. He is (as parents say) the baby and my only son. My brother was in the Navy and hated it, my father served 20 years in the Navy and loved it. Should I try and talk him out of it? Should I encourage him to join? I already understand I should let him make his own decisions, but this one is difficult for me.
Hi Kathy! How are you? My son went into the Air Force two weeks after he graduated high school. He is will be 29 this year. He has been in for 10 years. He has been overseas and to several different bases here in the states. He is going to college while he is serving. It was real hard for me to let him go, because he was my baby and my only son too. I'll never forget the day, the recuiter came to pick him up. I told my son in front of his recuiter to make sure that he eats. I worried like crazy, because my son was shy and reserved. He overcame the obstacles and has just tested for Tech. Sgt. He is doing well. He has grown into a fine young man. I can sympathize and impathize with you. I know that its hard and scarey for you. I'm here if you ever want to talk.

Level 1

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#5 May 31, 2008
Thank you Sunshine. So how often would he get to come "home"? I have never went longer than 3 weeks from seeing my children, that is why it would be so hard on me. It's odd but my son is very shy and reserved as well and I worry about that. I want information from people who know. Recruiter's will tell you everything you "want" to hear.
Tony

London, UK

#6 May 31, 2008
Depends really Kathy... I was in the Royal Navy 23 years and loved it all.
Is he the sort of boy that mixes well?.. makes friends easily? Thats MEGA important.

IF so, then you REALLY ought to let him make up his OWN mind. Yes I know it can be dangerous, but there are FEW occupations that can make a person SO proud... not to mention the parents!

The training he will receive in his chosen speciality is second to none too! Will really set him up for when he leaves the service and goes on to take civilian employment. Most employers are very keen to employ ex-services personnel because those men and women who have chosen to serve their country have very high standards.

When he completes his training you will see the boy is now the man!

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

Tony, UK

“New & Improved..”

Level 8

Since: Oct 07

Formerly From Kenya

#7 May 31, 2008
MyNameIsKathy wrote:
Thank you Sunshine. So how often would he get to come "home"? I have never went longer than 3 weeks from seeing my children, that is why it would be so hard on me. It's odd but my son is very shy and reserved as well and I worry about that. I want information from people who know. Recruiter's will tell you everything you "want" to hear.
MNIK,
Yes, me again, didn't mean to make you feel like crying, but I did mean everything I said.
I was Navy, only did 6 years as I wanted to take advantage of the GI Bill and get college in. That didn't go as well as planned but life has been ok. I sometimes wish I had stayed in as I could have retired with 30 years last year, I am still in touch with people I served with, what a bond, Your son would have those bonds too. His shyness will fall so quickly, he will meet a lot of great people, some will take him underwing to help him if he seems interested. The skills he learns are very valuable in the civilian world so if he does not make it a career he will always find work.
The Air Force is really good technical and mechanical training depending on what his interests are. The good thing is that they won't hand him a gun and say go out there, that would be a worry I am sure for you.
As I said before, I wish him well in his decision, you may be a bit more afraid of it than he is..lol
He will also be setting up his future with benefits, educational, medical etc.. It really isn't a bad deal for a young man to look at.
I don't regret my decision to get out with what I wanted to do back then, but I have never regretted my time there, not once.
Hope this helps more
:)
j
Jazzkeyz

Newnan, GA

#8 May 31, 2008
Hey Kathy....
First off let me applaud you and your husband for the obviously fine job you did raising your son. That he wants to serve his Flag as his father did, says mountains about both his character and your parenting.

That said, let me play devils advocate for a bit.

The 1st year in college is a royal pain in the ass for most kids. Especially if they "go away" to school. It's the 1st time away from home, the environment is strange and sometimes difficult, and no matter how well they do in high school academically, college classes come at ya from left field and more often than not catch ya off guard.
There's a very high percentage of students who do not go back to college after the first year for this very reason.

I quite strongly urge you to STRESS to your son, the importance of finishing school BEFORE he makes a life decision such as entering the military.
Consider that without a degree he will enter as an enlisted man, where as with a degree he has the choice to be either enlisted or officer. If nothing else, there's a big difference in pay scales between the enlisted ranks and officers.

Now, fast forward a bit as only a parent can and picture that moment when your son meets the girl of his dreams, wants to marry and start a family of his own. Quite the proud moment for all. However, at some point in his life he will realize that his peers are making more money, have a nicer house, a newer car, perhaps even the job he would want but cant get because he doesnt have a degree. Trust me when I say going back to school to get that degree while maintaining a job and a family is a bitch.

The Air Force is a proud branch of the military, my father retired from it. Much to my fathers dismay ( at first) I retired Coast Guard - but thats another story....
Your son obviously has his head on straight and he will do you proud no matter what his decision- wait until you see him in his uniform mom....have plenty of kleenex, youre going to need it.
Just please stress to him the importance of doing certain things in life in their proper order....for when the cart is before the horse, pushing it is REALLY tough.

Keep us informed please.
God bless

Ian

“New & Improved..”

Level 8

Since: Oct 07

Formerly From Kenya

#9 May 31, 2008
Jazzkeyz wrote:
Hey Kathy....
First off let me applaud you and your husband for the obviously fine job you did raising your son. That he wants to serve his Flag as his father did, says mountains about both his character and your parenting.
That said, let me play devils advocate for a bit.
The 1st year in college is a royal pain in the ass for most kids. Especially if they "go away" to school. It's the 1st time away from home, the environment is strange and sometimes difficult, and no matter how well they do in high school academically, college classes come at ya from left field and more often than not catch ya off guard.
There's a very high percentage of students who do not go back to college after the first year for this very reason.
I quite strongly urge you to STRESS to your son, the importance of finishing school BEFORE he makes a life decision such as entering the military.
Consider that without a degree he will enter as an enlisted man, where as with a degree he has the choice to be either enlisted or officer. If nothing else, there's a big difference in pay scales between the enlisted ranks and officers.
Now, fast forward a bit as only a parent can and picture that moment when your son meets the girl of his dreams, wants to marry and start a family of his own. Quite the proud moment for all. However, at some point in his life he will realize that his peers are making more money, have a nicer house, a newer car, perhaps even the job he would want but cant get because he doesnt have a degree. Trust me when I say going back to school to get that degree while maintaining a job and a family is a bitch.
The Air Force is a proud branch of the military, my father retired from it. Much to my fathers dismay ( at first) I retired Coast Guard - but thats another story....
Your son obviously has his head on straight and he will do you proud no matter what his decision- wait until you see him in his uniform mom....have plenty of kleenex, youre going to need it.
Just please stress to him the importance of doing certain things in life in their proper order....for when the cart is before the horse, pushing it is REALLY tough.
Keep us informed please.
God bless
Ian
My turn Jazz, What a well thought out post, EXCELLENT!
:)
j

“you're not the boss of me!”

Since: Jan 08

the road less traveled.....

#10 May 31, 2008
Kathy,
I have posted on this in other threads, so maybe you have already heard all of this-
My son is home right now, finishing up his 30 days leave from the Army. He will report to Fort Sill and they are due to deploy in December 2008. His active enlistment is up in January 2009, will he be sent? Probably.

He enlisted with a high school buddy right after high school. I was mad at him, did not speak to him for a week. Walter then told me that if he stayed here in our rural community, he would end up flipping burgers, he seemed to have an end goal in mind and I warmed to the idea. I was so proud of him! He was the honor cadet in basic training and seemed okay as he was sent to So. Korea. When he got back, however, he did not want to report to his next duty station. He told me that he hated the Army. Now I can't adjust that fast, I was annoyed at that point, I had been bragging about him and all. We then found out that his buddy had been killed in Iraq.

http://www.thedailyworld.com/articles/2007/06...

Since this time, my son has been trying to get out of the Army. I think he tried to convince them at his last base that he was gay, but they didn't buy it.

Just be sure that your son understands that this is a legal contract - the term of enllistment is actually eight years, even though less 'active' duty is promised, the government can exercise its option to compel all eight years in active duty.

My best wishes to you, your son and entire family. You have much to be proud about either way! I'll bet Tally has some words of wisdom to share.
Jazzkeyz

Newnan, GA

#11 May 31, 2008
justaguess wrote:
<quoted text>
My turn Jazz, What a well thought out post, EXCELLENT!
:)
j
Thanks J...
I think we all hate to see our youth make the same mistakes we made....
theyve got enough of their own to make LOL

Level 1

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#12 May 31, 2008
Thank you ALL for your input. I will keep you posted as to what he chooses to do. All these comments were so heartfelt and meant a lot to me. If you think of anything else please post your comments, I really appreciate it.

“I'm Joe Cool”

Level 1

Since: Dec 07

Wasilla

#13 Jun 1, 2008
I think that is a great idea, plenty of openings for soldiers in Iraq. McCain says it will last 100 years, now that's what I call job security. They will even throw in a free body bag.
vincent

San Diego, CA

#14 Jan 16, 2009
let him join the airforce dont really see much combat
sandpiper

UK

#15 Jan 16, 2009
My grandson does, his daddy is in the military,Canadian, best in the world, but daddy say no, but he has no choice in it, I would say. Hope by then we are back to being just peace keepers. hh
sandpiper

UK

#16 Jan 16, 2009
oh and let your kid make his own choice, if he can't then he does not belong in the armed forces.
CADETforLIFE

Richmond, KY

#17 Dec 11, 2009
You might want to point them towards a program like militaryadventurecamp.com , that way he has a chance to see if that life is for him before he makes a commitment.
Beth a mother

Brandon, FL

#18 Dec 13, 2009
RealMusicFan wrote:
I think that is a great idea, plenty of openings for soldiers in Iraq. McCain says it will last 100 years, now that's what I call job security. They will even throw in a free body bag.
You know, REALMUSICFAN... it's kids like her son that are willing to step up and be a man and a patriot, that gives you the right to tpye your garbage on here and not loose your life because of it. Try pulling your garbage off in Iran and I guarantee you, you and your family would be dead by now! It's your freedom of speach but you also have the obligation to think before you speak! Someone has to protect your stupid butt because your certainly not going to do it and the rest of us can't just sit back and watch you waste your life away.
Angie

San Francisco, CA

#20 Jun 21, 2010
Its 2010 and my son has the exact same scenerio as "mynameiskathy" mom. My only son...I am scared!! I want to nkow how it has worked out for she and her son.....???

Level 2

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#21 Jun 21, 2010
Angie wrote:
Its 2010 and my son has the exact same scenerio as "mynameiskathy" mom. My only son...I am scared!! I want to nkow how it has worked out for she and her son.....???
My heart goes out to you.....a good friend & coworker is going through this now....she stays in touch with her son thru phone calls & facebook.......my son wanted to join when he grad HS 9 yrs ago...he wanted to be air force pilot like his uncle.... i convinced himt hat he wasnt strong enough in math & science to do what his colonel uncle has done......and he has thanked me many times...he now has good office job & home every night with his sweet babies........good luck & God bless..........

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