Military Mom To Be

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Military Moms To Be | About six or so months ago my son told us (my husband and I) that he had signed up for the military - ROTC Army that is in college. To say I was blindsided is putting it mildly. When I asked him why...he had a noble cause. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #militarymomMilitary Mom To Be – Episode 352

An honest portrayal of one mom’s journey to a military mom to be. Most of us can agree that the military is much needed for the safety of any nation and those who serve are serving our country have chosen a noble cause. In this podcast, Felice shares her experiences with her child, the recruiter and perhaps sheds some light on the process which is a journey for military mom or dad to be.

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About six or so months ago my son told us (my husband and I) that he had signed up for the military – ROTC Army that is in college. To say I was blindsided is putting it mildly. When I asked him why he gave us no indication of his interest to join the military previously, he said that it was because he was unsure and until he had prayed and researched, he didn’t want to cause us undue concern.

While that is a good reason, I was still surprised. My husband, on the other hand, was very encouraging and kept telling him to “look into it further,” while I knew that this was more than just research in my son’s mind.

I think the men and women who serve in the military are noble and they all have my respect. But, as a military mom to be I was… frightened. What did this mean? How many years? When do you go? Etc.

And eight years! Four years were active duty and four years could be in the reserves, except for a time of war and then the military had the option of calling you in for active duty. One of my concerns was that an eighteen-year-old could be making plans three years in advance for another eight years of his life. How would you know if you felt the same way in three years?

So, my mind started swirling and the research began in earnest.

I knew about ROTC – we had it in high school, even back in the dark ages when I attended school. I didn’t know the difference between enlisted (someone who goes to a military office and “sign’s up) and College ROTC – graduating with your college degree and entering the military as a 2nd lieutenant. (1st lieutenant is a higher rank).

Military Primer 101 – there are five branches of the military in the USA. They are Army, Navy, Airforce Marines and Coast Guard. All of the branches have a different focus while the goal remains to keep America safe from the enemy. A very noble cause. I have linked to each of the branches of the military where you can learn more about each branch, for my purposes the only one that I was interested in researching was the Army, my son’s choice.

Disclaimer: Please check with your child’s school and recruiter for information specific to your school or situation!

So, the questions began.

  1. Did you sign up for Army ROTC at your school because that was the only branch offered? (Answer: No. I always thought I’d enter the Army if I had to select a branch of the military.)
  2. Why do you want to serve in the Army? (Answer: to serve our country) [How do you argue with a noble cause?]
  3. Did you feel pressured into signing up for the ROTC? (Answer: No.)

My son explained and answered additional questions but the only ones I was interested in was the exit plan. And, those questions were not any that he was interested in and so while he answered the questions I felt that the answers did not satisfy my concerns. So, I asked how he felt about me talking to his recruiter. He was fine with it and so, I got together a list of questions to ask.

When I spoke to the woman at the school recruiting office she was wonderful, kind and understanding. She had served in the Army right out of high school. She said if she had to do it again she would have gone to college first, yet here experiences were very positive. She has a child who is joining the Army as well. As a mom, she had to leave children behind when she was deployed and she shared some of her story with me. She was very open to my questions.

And my questions were different than my son’s basically exit strategy questions.

  1. What happens if my freshman son switched colleges, he is still obligated to join the Army?
  2. Scholarships? They only applied to his major at that school – so transferring would negate that as well.
  3. How many years? Is it really 4 of active duty and 4 in reserves?!
  4. If my son went to Basic Camp (not boot camp for college kids), does that mean he was signed up to go with no ability to say no?
  5. When my son entered – if he decided to go ahead, where would he be placed? Did he have a choice?
  6. What if he was drafted by a professional team? What would that mean?
  7. When was the final time to make a commitment?
  8. If he didn’t want scholarship money did he have to take it?
  9. If he did accept scholarship money and decided not to enter would he have to pay it back?
  10. Want a law or medical degree? That is fine but you will owe more years. (I did not ask about scholarship opportunities here, but I do know depending on your grades they are available.)

I’m a little more at peace with the entire situation now that I have more information. While my son’s idea is to graduate and join the Army, as a military mom to be he has to forgive me if my goals are not the same as his. He is eighteen and my husband and I raised an amazing young man. He loves the Lord, he is personable and kind, smart, competitive, a great athlete, strong-willed and outspoken and rarely does not have an opinion about something. As the youngest he is tough and his siblings give him a hard time every chance they get.

Parents we each have our own goals and ideas about what our kids should do, what they should achieve and how they should live their lives but I’ve never been one of those parents that insist that “my will be done!” Yet, I found myself leaning toward that parent I did not want to be!

I’m sharing my journey with you and I ask that you keep us in prayer, that you share your stories – positive ones are very much appreciated!

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