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  • Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

    I am a senior in high school, female, looking to join the Guard and go to BCT this summer before going to a university and continuing my duty split through the summers between college. Not yet 18, so I would have to have parental permission. I am going into the Guard with the intention of becoming a helicopter pilot (UH-60 if I can manage it) and then hopefully using this to get myself a job as a Medivac pilot for a hospital in my area. I'm not out there with the soul purpose to harm, but if I have to defend people, I would not hesitate to stop the enemy.

    I come from a very liberal-minded family. Basically, my mother believes that joining this cause is not a good choice. Members of the family are astonished to think that I have realized and considered the fact that I may have to hurt someone. They are very focused on this, rather than the fact that I could be helping hundreds of people, protecting hundreds of people, and receiving very valuable schooling and skills doing all of this. Basically, I've been lumped into all of the negative things that have ever happened in the military, without consideration to the facts of how much we can help.

    At this point, I have not spoken to a single person who had a bad time in the Guard. I can't find anyone that regrets their decision to join. Frankly, I can't think of a reason why I wouldn't join the Guard. There are absolutely inherent risks, there are dangers to myself and others, but that possibility of being able to help people far outweighs the risks. I have always been a very emotionally strong person, and they are terrified that the military will conform me into a bloodthirsty killing machine. Do I believe I am invincible? Absolutely not, but changing who I am is unlikely. I've always believed that creativity thrives in boundaries, although it sounds like an oxymoron.

    I know that I could do this without my mother's agreement when I turn 18 in April, but I would much rather have support. My dad is supportive of my choice, but it remaining pretty neutral in the way of trying to convince my mom. If anyone has advice, stories, ESPECIALLY if they are bad, please let me know. I might not be able to turn my mom around completely, but at least she can know that I understand the risks and have a valid reason to do this- not just the "recruiter myths."
    Last edited by kkillebrew; December 25th, 2011, 12:08 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

    hey there, not sure what to tell your mom, and I'm not in the guard, i was fortunate and did not have to see combat when i was active duty army, however one of my number 1 pet peeves is when someone signed up to serve in the military and they get orders to go to combat and then whines and complains and says things along the lines of they didn't sign up to fight, well HELLO you joined the military, and you are a soldier first, which means you could end up fighting, while family approval is important, its your life you need to do what makes you happy, and i don't advocate hurting other people, but you need to remind your mother where our freedom came from, all the best to you..

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

      Originally posted by hugsss View Post
      hey there, not sure what to tell your mom, and I'm not in the guard, i was fortunate and did not have to see combat when i was active duty army, however one of my number 1 pet peeves is when someone signed up to serve in the military and they get orders to go to combat and then whines and complains and says things along the lines of they didn't sign up to fight, well HELLO you joined the military, and you are a soldier first, which means you could end up fighting, while family approval is important, its your life you need to do what makes you happy, and i don't advocate hurting other people, but you need to remind your mother where our freedom came from, all the best to you..
      Thank you. I agree, I am not signing up expecting to stay home the whole time. That's not what it's about. Unfortunately, she just can not get past the idea that I possibly could go to Afghanistan. Doesn't bother me, but hopefully she'll start to realize.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

        Originally posted by kkillebrew View Post
        Thank you. I agree, I am not signing up expecting to stay home the whole time. That's not what it's about. Unfortunately, she just can not get past the idea that I possibly could go to Afghanistan. Doesn't bother me, but hopefully she'll start to realize.
        Mothers will be mothers. You have to understand that. I been serving from 17 to my mid 40s (when my mother signed for me); served in two wars and countless days away from home; on exercises and stationed overseas. My mother and relatives still cry and cannot wait to I finally retire.

        When you turn 18; you will start making adult decisions and your family have to respect those decisions. At least you are doing something positive.

        Good luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

          If you expect that some brilliant graph or flow chart will change your mother's mind, then you will be quite disappointed. Opinions formed on the basis of emotion don't fade easily.

          First, you must remain calm and collected. If you get emotional, your relatives will use that outburst to dismiss everything else you say or do. Second, have a coherent story as to what brought you to enlist. Stress the personal aspects, and not the financial. Third, expect a great deal of freakouts. Let it roll over you. Smile, and move on.

          Another option: tell them you've joined a white supremacist doomsday cult. Then, the Guard won't seem to bad when you reveal the truth.

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          • #6
            Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

            LTC, that will be hilarious if the OP is Blasian.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

              I asked to sign the papers when I turned 17 years old, still a sophmore in highschool. Both my parents refused (My dad said he will sign if it's for Active duty...I should have listened to him but that's a personal tale). I eventually told my mother that on my 18th birthday, I'm signing up. You can either help me or hold me back because TIS starts when you sign. Well, eventually, on June 2, 12 days before I would leave for basic training, they signed.

              My mother was worried because of the Iraq war and my father knew my intentions were to be in the Army, so he tried to guide me to active duty, but they still supported it. I went to basic in the summer, they went to my Graduation. I went to AIT after highschool, they went to my graduation. I came to my unit, got ADOS and then deployed. It was my mothers worst fear. I was in a transportation unit, so it didn't make matters worse (thanks goodness she wasnt a part of FRG atleast).

              5 1/2 years later I am an AGR E5 with enough promotion points to become a E6 and enough starting knowledge to go to WOC school. I head to BNCOC in January and, heck, possibly another deployment (love the money). My mother STILL TO THIS DAY worries about me. I seriously live 2 minutes from where I work. You will NEVER get the anxiety out of your family. I gave them the exuse that I will eventually do it when I am 18, so please do it for me now, it will help me in my career.

              It's funny, actually. When you want to sign up, it's your family with the butterflies in their stomachs. As soon as you're about to go to Basic, you're the one with butterflies.


              I shouldn't be posting things this early in the morning. Sorry if absolutely nothing makes sense.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

                Originally posted by Mr_Loki View Post
                I asked to sign the papers when I turned 17 years old, still a sophmore in highschool. Both my parents refused (My dad said he will sign if it's for Active duty...I should have listened to him but that's a personal tale). I eventually told my mother that on my 18th birthday, I'm signing up. You can either help me or hold me back because TIS starts when you sign. Well, eventually, on June 2, 12 days before I would leave for basic training, they signed.

                My mother was worried because of the Iraq war and my father knew my intentions were to be in the Army, so he tried to guide me to active duty, but they still supported it. I went to basic in the summer, they went to my Graduation. I went to AIT after highschool, they went to my graduation. I came to my unit, got ADOS and then deployed. It was my mothers worst fear. I was in a transportation unit, so it didn't make matters worse (thanks goodness she wasnt a part of FRG atleast).

                5 1/2 years later I am an AGR E5 with enough promotion points to become a E6 and enough starting knowledge to go to WOC school. I head to BNCOC in January and, heck, possibly another deployment (love the money). My mother STILL TO THIS DAY worries about me. I seriously live 2 minutes from where I work. You will NEVER get the anxiety out of your family. I gave them the exuse that I will eventually do it when I am 18, so please do it for me now, it will help me in my career.

                It's funny, actually. When you want to sign up, it's your family with the butterflies in their stomachs. As soon as you're about to go to Basic, you're the one with butterflies.


                I shouldn't be posting things this early in the morning. Sorry if absolutely nothing makes sense.
                Originally posted by Mr_Loki View Post
                I asked to sign the papers when I turned 17 years old, still a sophmore in highschool. Both my parents refused (My dad said he will sign if it's for Active duty...I should have listened to him but that's a personal tale). I eventually told my mother that on my 18th birthday, I'm signing up. You can either help me or hold me back because TIS starts when you sign. Well, eventually, on June 2, 12 days before I would leave for basic training, they signed.

                My mother was worried because of the Iraq war and my father knew my intentions were to be in the Army, so he tried to guide me to active duty, but they still supported it. I went to basic in the summer, they went to my Graduation. I went to AIT after highschool, they went to my graduation. I came to my unit, got ADOS and then deployed. It was my mothers worst fear. I was in a transportation unit, so it didn't make matters worse (thanks goodness she wasnt a part of FRG atleast).

                5 1/2 years later I am an AGR E5 with enough promotion points to become a E6 and enough starting knowledge to go to WOC school. I head to BNCOC in January and, heck, possibly another deployment (love the money). My mother STILL TO THIS DAY worries about me. I seriously live 2 minutes from where I work. You will NEVER get the anxiety out of your family. I gave them the exuse that I will eventually do it when I am 18, so please do it for me now, it will help me in my career.

                It's funny, actually. When you want to sign up, it's your family with the butterflies in their stomachs. As soon as you're about to go to Basic, you're the one with butterflies.


                I shouldn't be posting things this early in the morning. Sorry if absolutely nothing makes sense.

                My nephew (through marriage) is about to be deployed in the coming wks maybe a month or two and he is a helicopter mechanic which is from my understanding one of the safer positions. HOWEVER I can not stress to you enough how much is family both immediate and extended are incredibly worried about him!

                There worry goes much further than just his immediate safety. Unfortunately for many individuals that have been deployed and taken on this duty to defend my freedoms and safety as incredibly thankful I am - many members of armed forces (on every branch) have paid a HUGE cost! (those returning to the States healthy - obv. others have paid the ultimate cost)

                I am speaking of the emotional difficulty and trauma. I would like to ask you just one question and I do this w/ the utmost respect - Do you believe that you will be able to watch, witness, and see your friends and coworkers disappear or get injured by the enemy?

                I personally believe that this will come at a HUGE PERSONAL EXPENSE - as many positives as the Guard will offer you (money for school, good pay, health benefits ...) will any of that seem of any importance after seeing your friends, coworkers get injured or worse by the enemy?

                I believe that experiencing this would leave a LIFELONG impact on anyone and everyone! It just seems a little difficult to imagine being able to smoothly transition from hearing and seeing these horrible things - to going back to school and studying Algebra, or any other subject - as clearly NONE of those things are as important as someones health and life!

                Further after experiencing some of these losses you may not feel so strongly about defending those individuals that are innocent over there? It appears to me that these wars are very similar to Vietnam where you aren't able to easily identify who is friendly, sympathetic, supportive of you and who is trying to hurt you!

                I'm sorry to keep going on but the are the last two things I would like to mention in hopes that you will at least think about them before making a decision.

                1. While you are signing up and going over there - like it or not your family is signing up too and will be INCREDIBLY WORRIED, STRESSED, AND PANICKED the entire time you are there - and no matter what you say, do, the news reports that worry and panic and concern over their daughter or loved one will exist!

                How do you think you would feel about your daughter going into a war zone - regardless of what position or job she was performing?

                2. As many positive things you can gain from your service - it is not the only route to achieve these things! There are billions of dollars that are available through Financial Aid at both community colleges and 4 year colleges. You do not have to risk your future (physically or emotionally) to get these!

                There is plenty of need based money that will be given to you by our government with no strings attached - in other words you will not have to pay it back. And should you need it there are endless supplies of gov't loans and private loans to go to school.

                Lastly do you not feel that there are millions of American that can benefit from your help? Do you absolutely feel it necessary to put your family through this to get a little money for school?

                I must relay a story of one of my best friend growing up that joined the Army at the beginning of these wars!

                Come to find out he was on really the front lines performing operations / though I have never heard him speak a word about his service without being fully and completely intoxicated. He came home without any serious injury but the emotional trauma - he will never be even close to the same person that left!

                It is very hard to watch as just a friend - I can't imagine how his Mom must feel. He has been home for over 6yrs now and he is nowhere close to being right or ok with himself and the things he witnessed.

                Ultimately this is your decision and you will decide what is right - however I wouldn't hold your breath for your family to ever fully support this and if they are having anxiety over the thought of you signing up - imagine how much impact it will be on their day to day life once you are deployed.

                I do thank you for considering this sacrifice to ensure my freedom - but is the price you and your family will pay really worth any amount of money? Assuming that you did come home in one piece?

                If possible please try to see where you parents and family and loved ones are coming from - and even the ones that are supportive of your choice - they will still be paying a huge price with you gone! I wish you luck / clarity / and the best in life whatever decision you choose!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

                  Woa woa, I've been in for 6 years, done my time, seen many things, and been through a lot as well with my family. I was speaking in a "I've been there, I know what you mean, here WAS my experience" I became wiser as the years went on.

                  You quoted the wrong person.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

                    Originally posted by dcharmins View Post
                    I personally believe that this will come at a HUGE PERSONAL EXPENSE - as many positives as the Guard will offer you (money for school, good pay, health benefits ...) will any of that seem of any importance after seeing your friends, coworkers get injured or worse by the enemy?
                    Its not a bribe.

                    I believe the OP already acknowledged that they are not oblivious to the fact that they may get deployed and put in harms way.

                    The OP is also their own person and eventually has to make decisions for themselves.

                    As one poster has already said "its your life you need to do what makes you happy"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

                      For what it is worth, it is entirely possible to barely deploy/not deploy at all. (Unlikely, but not impossible....and purely by fate.) I did 8 years and only deployed overseas once and did 2 state missions that lasted only a week. but managed to avoid 3 other deployments (Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan) that were no more than a year out and 2 state missions (Katrina and Presidential Inauguration). All from moving twice, going IRR for 9 months and finishing my 8 year obligation.

                      Some of those I would have liked to be apart of just because my friends were all there.

                      Again, I was just lucky with personal choices/volunteer pools. I have no crystal ball or friends that work at the Pentagon.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

                        dcharmins....

                        Who are you?!

                        There is nothing more that I hate in life then naive americans who are COMPLETLY uneducated on Military service trying to talk people out of joining with no basis of fact. It is more dangerous in America driving your car down the road then it is to be deployed in any location in any job.

                        My advice to you is something we like to say in the military..."watch your lane". In civilian terms, it means mind your business. Believe me when I tell you, I would say alot more, but I know they wont approve the post if I do.

                        I take your post as complete disrespect to our uniform.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

                          Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                          dcharmins....

                          Who are you?!

                          There is nothing more that I hate in life then naive americans who are COMPLETLY uneducated on Military service trying to talk people out of joining with no basis of fact. It is more dangerous in America driving your car down the road then it is to be deployed in any location in any job.

                          My advice to you is something we like to say in the military..."watch your lane". In civilian terms, it means mind your business. Believe me when I tell you, I would say alot more, but I know they wont approve the post if I do.

                          I take your post as complete disrespect to our uniform.
                          Completely agree.

                          +1

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

                            Please maintain civility in your disagreements and discussions. Thanks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Need Help with Family's Anxiety!

                              I thank you for your honesty. The reality of the situation is that I do see the possibility and likelihood of being deployed into a hostile environment. Will I ever be able to truly understand what kind of affect it will have on me as a person? No. The only way I can really know how it will change me is from experience. Every person and situation differs so greatly that it is impossible to predict even a slight idea of what would happen- all I have is the knowledge and trust I have in myself.

                              Regarding the ideas that my friends, coworkers, and colleagues would be getting killed/injured in front of me, I have the mindset that I would rather be out there doing my best as a soldier to try and avoid that than afraid for my own life and regret the decision to pass up an opportunity to help people.

                              Although at 17 years old I still have an extensive amount of growing up to do, I am mentally strong and I do know my worth as far as intelligence and physical capabilities. If I had the opportunity to be that difference of the people who make it out okay, I feel as a person I would be following my instinct and soul to do the best that I can to put myself in that position.

                              Every single person's experience in the Guard has a different ring to it. I hear of the people that were traumatized going to Iraq and Afghanistan, and I have no doubt that they would have reason to be. However, because of the person I am and the decisions I hope to make in joining the Guard, I do no anticipate being scarred. I have the mindset that would hopefully set me up for success. I am not afraid. Do I have fear? Absolutely- that is what keeps us alive in many situations. If I am going to do something with my life, I want to do it with the confidence in myself that I was brave enough to sacrifice.

                              I drive to school every day on a busy road. Just because I could die on that road, whether by my faults or others', does not mean that I will not faithfully get into that car every morning and make that journey. Instead of choosing to view that travel as a risk to get to my destination, I see it as a path. No path exists without it's immediate bumps and dangers. Nothing is guaranteed, but I feel as though the Guard is the most beneficial of those paths, although in regards it has more immediate risks. I am a talented person, and I would hate to waste that talent on a dead-end corporate job selling a product for my own personal gain. I am not that person.

                              Honestly, I would take risking deployment for where I have a stable job paying for my family, surrounded by people I respect, while protecting those I love. There are the worst case scenarios- but I am willing to take that risk to protect something I love.

                              Dcharmins, about your friend, I wonder what kind of person he was like prior to joining. It doesn't count for much, but I am no stranger to psychological disease. People I live with an interact on a daily basis have these issues. I have never once questioned my personal worth. I am a logically minded person- everything I believe in is based on the idea that if you complain about something, you should be working on changing it, if you can't change it, don't complain about it. This does not relate to your friend's situation at all in the sense of complaining, but as far as what I am capable of changing and not changing, it does. If a past event happened where I could have done something better- the only reason why I would revisit that situation is to learn from it. I'm not a dweller, so to speak. Deep thinker? Absolutely, but guilt for something I can not change, no. Simply because it is something that is in the past, and all that I can change is the future.

                              I have no doubt that I will join the Guard- now it is simply a question of when. I have options of when I could enlist and how, but that is the part where I need pros and cons in the Aviation point of view. I strongly want to go this summer and start now, but then there is the question of "Why don't you wait until you've finished a year of college... or two... or three?" In my perspective, starting now is most advantageous for the path I would like to take to start now.

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