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My Mid-Life Crisis

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  • My Mid-Life Crisis

    Hello everyone. I’ve been prowling around for about a year now and feel like I know many of you already. I’d like to thank everyone for all of the information and advice I’ve been able to glean from this site already, just as an observer.

    So, for my story. I joined the Army right out of High school back in ’86 (and married my HS Sweetheart), went MI (hated it) and re-upped once. I tore knee cartilage on an FTX in my second year and did the alternate on my PT test in between surgeries and treatment. Trying to get a PLDC slot in ‘93, I went before a med review board. Instead of a permanent profile, I got my walking papers, the balance of my bonus and 10 days later I was a civilian. These were the days of “No Task Force Smith!” I’ve raised my children, bounced around different jobs and generally just lived my life with few real regrets.

    About a year ago I met up with a friend from High school I hadn’t seen since the first Bush was President and I was bragging about my son, who was graduating from Navy Boot the next month. While talking I made two statements I’ve made a thousand times before. One, I’ve never met a veteran of any branch, of any age who regretted serving. They might have regrets about choices or decisions they made before and during their service, but none have regretted serving. Second, I loved being in the Army, and I’d still be in if they’d have let me stay in. My friend, who is now a CSM in the Maryland Guard, asked me why I didn’t go back in. I laughed at him. “I’m over 40, out of shape and I was medically discharged”, I told him like I was speaking to a kindergartener.

    “7 years active duty, that means you’re only 35. You could probably pass the pt test right now and they have waivers for practically everything”, he told me. It got me thinking. I did love being in the Army; that feeling of being part of something bigger than myself, of working for more than a paycheck, of doing something that mattered. Also, my biggest regret in life is about my time in uniform. I wasn’t a problem child or a mess-up, I kept my nose clean and did what was expected—but I never really gave it a 100%. I never went all in. And I regret that.

    So now, I’ve lost 20lbs (officially I’m at weight) but want to drop 15 more, I’m lifting weights at the Y 3 times a week, and I spent most of last summer at the park running, trying to build up speed and endurance (had to break for 90 days because I stupidly tried to run through shin splints). I feel better than I have in a really long time and getting better every day. I don’t know if the Army or the Guard will have me, but that’s not what’s really important for me. Yes, I want to be in uniform again, but more importantly I want to be worth putting in uniform and that’s what I’ moving towards.

    Sorry this was so long, but I really felt a need to get it off my chest. Thanks to all of you for being here and giving an old(er) guy hope.

    Used FFE to split up wall of text -Steve
    Last edited by SteveLord; January 31st, 2011, 04:32 PM.

  • #2
    Re: My Mid-Life Crisis

    thanks for your service. 7 years AD that's pretty impressive. I don't have any experience with medical boards, but I wonder what made your friend think that if you were medically discharged the first time, why you would be able to get back in now?

    I agree about wanting to serve, but I think you're in for a severe uphill climb. just thinking off the top of my head, you might want a civilian Dr.'s opinion, a specialist, before you approach a recruiter. Might make him think you're serious.

    Give it a shot, you never know, and I am extremely impressed you are at weight standards.


    • #3
      Re: My Mid-Life Crisis

      Discharged with 0% disability; never offered more, never asked for more and have never received any disability pay or benefits (I'd feel dirty taking them knowing there are guys out there who are really suffering). Went through a physical at VA with a PA who's in the Guard, told him what I'm planning and he did a full work up on me (with emphasis on the knee) -- said physically the only thing that was questionable was my weight. The knee is holding up well to running, squats and weights, so that doesn't concern me. I just basically want to get myself fit for duty and see what happens. If I can't get in then the worst that happens is I've stopped smoking, lost weight, gotten in shape and picked up a couple new hobbies.


      • #4
        Re: My Mid-Life Crisis

        Originally posted by Tony1968 View Post
        I've stopped smoking
        Hey Brother, nice job.


        • #5
          Re: My Mid-Life Crisis

          Good Luck, Its possible to get back in i presume. Gotta talk to the right people and see what they can do for you. Awesome story by the way, never herd it put any better then that. Your a trooper and thats what makes this country and Army great. Good Luck and please inform us what happens on your journey.