Tthis is my first post.I raised a wonderful intelligent young man. I knew with his honors College background he would do something remarkable. When he told me he was considering becoming a naval officer it took me 3 days just to deal with it and go back to work. My son is a truly remarkable and gifted young man. But the military is literally the last thing I would have selected for his career path. But I support him, and need to learn how to change my attitude aboutbthe military. This is going to be honest, because I truly want to change. I selected Veterans Day to post, on purpose.
My father was a career Air Force man. He was a very mean and hate filled man who made our lives miserable. We always associated the military, and his time in both the Korean and Vietnam wars as the root of his hate. As a young girl I grew up thinking very VERY negative thoughts about the military, and the types of people who choose this path. My mother ingrained it in me to NEVER date a person in the military. I have passed that along to my 4 daughters, and in fact had that discussion the day before my son called to tell me he is considering the Navy, and has already been working with a recruiter and tested high on the officer exams. (please excuse my lack of knowledge on what things are called)
My son asked when a good time to talk would be, and when we talked, he communicated with eloquent detail for 90 minutes all of the details that led him to consider this path. He is a senior in college, out of state, so this was on the phone. I listened actively and support his decision fully. I am just very conflicted. I will literally need to retrain my brain. I need to be able to believe that he will not lose his loving, thoughtful ways....or have them driven out of him. I had been approached by him to do ROTC when he was a freshman, but I talked him out of it! So now that he was coming back to me with this discussion again, I immediately accepted it. Although I cried....I told him I will support him in whatever he chooses. His college path aligns him with leadership, and he has been approached to consider this. I now need to learn how to get on board.
Although I disliked my father, I have always respected the he served his country. I just held a grudge that I had to sacrifice my father. I need an attitude adjustment now....as I approach turning 50. I am willing, but ignorant on how to do it.
On the night he told me of his interest in the Navy, my son gave me this website, and I have not used it yet. But who could help me more than fellow moms? The first time I logged on, I logged back off and said " I don't want to be a Navy Mom". I have taken time, and realizing how much I love and support my son, have come back. And on Veterans Day. I thank you all for the service and future service of your sons and daughters. My son will not go in for over a year, so I have time to grow and learn. He must finish his final semester and a half at the university, and then complete some study abroad in a foreign country before entering. Also, he is applying for several different jobs and is being medically cleared, now. I have time. He may not even choose the Navy, but I know better, because these committee's will definately choose him, and pursue him. Thank you for reading my heart felt confession, and for any advise ypou can share, I thank you.
isupportmyson - first off let me just say Welcome! and you have come to the right place for support :) I am sorry you had such a bad experience with your father's time in the military, but it doesn't have to be that way for your son. From the sounds of it you have raised a very intelligent young man and it sounds like he has done his research on the military. There comes a time when we have to step back and let them make their own decisions. Yes it can be hard (& it might not be what we want, but it is their decision to make). Be thankful (and honored) that your son is discussing this with you up front. I remember being pretty shocked when our son told us he wanted to join the Navy, but so far it has been a great decision for him and we couldn't be prouder of what he is doing. It has been hard work for him and I (we) do miss him but he is doing something that he wants to do......he is happy with his choice and at the end of the day that is what we want - for our son to be happy. Please keep an open mind and look around at the various groups on here. You will find tons of support and any questions you might have can (and will be) answered by someone on here - don't be afraid to ask!
And as far as advising your daughters not to date military I hope you can re-think that - they might meet someone like my son (or some of my sons wonderful Navy buddies)! You would be happy to have them for a son-in-law ;-}
Hang in there!
Jon, thank you so much.
Welcome aboard Navy Mom! Yes....you are already one...you took the first step and joined her so with open arms you are accepted, no questions asked no judgement here.
Something to keep in mind is that not everyone is like your dad. My dad was also in the military ... so was my step dad. They where both wonderful men. I also have wonderful friends who where in the Vietnam war. I think you may want to try and put positive military people around you..if you have a local VFW go there and talk with them, most of the VFW's or American Legions have fundraiser breakfasts or dinners. Even if you don't want to talk to them yet...stop by for the fundraiser have a good meal, watch how they all talk with each other, watch how positive they are toward everyone, even the people they do not know.
Before you can change your attitude (and that is wonderful you are doing that) you really need to understand why you dislike the military so much....that is something only you can answer why.
Welcome aboard Navy Mom!
You make a good point! And this is very good advice.. Thank you for a very warm welcome.
Your welcome...just so you know I am retired from the Navy...we are not all bad :) hugs....
I would LOVE to hear more about your positive, personal experience. I have a feeling my world is about to be opened up in a new - amazing way. And thank you for taking the time to respond to me in spite of my obvious ignorance.
Not sure what you are looking for...
I joined enlisted, and actually went into a male dominated community, large diesel engine mechanic. I was 5 ' 7" and 100 lbs if I was soaking wet :) That didn't matter though, after bootcamp and when I went to my training and then to my commands, no one treated me different as I was female in a mostly male job. I have seen almost the whole world, on the Navy's dime :) I have been retired for a few years now, and I am going to college paid for by the VA, and I will be applying to PhD programs soon, that will be paid for by my state as my state has veterans programs.
I meet some wonderful people along the way, to include my husband :) Though we are retired now, we do keep in touch with many people..and sense we are near Great Lakes base...we get to see a lot of our old friends when their children go through bootcamp. We also open up our home to friends when they move duty stations if they will be traveling through the area.
Being a part of the military family is wonderful!!!
Please feel free to ask questions...
Perhaps if he is still alive, it would be a good time to get to know your father better. A career soldier may have grown tough and rough on the outside, but deep down inside he'll always still be the teddy bear your mother fell in love with. The low pay of a soldier's salary and the tensions of military life may make it harder and harder for him to communicate with his loved ones properly, but often that is because he is trying to protect him from his fears, tensions, and stresses.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. He cut me out of his life years ago, and died. But I did attend his passing at the hospital, and sat with him as he died, and told him I forgave him. No one came but me. He was a lonely man. Bitterness and hate do not bode well. I took that as a lesson, and am accepting of everyone!
My generation was spit on by our fellow countrymen while we wore the uniform and we faced decades of employment discrimination for serving when it was fashionable to hate the military and military families. Now we've watched those who hated us elect two of their own as Commander-In-Chief. Becoming bitter and hating them back makes them the winners. I refuse to descend to their level. It would have been harder for a father in the military not to turn bitter.
The truth is many corporations still won't hire veterans because they are controlled by the anti-military crowd.
As you know, military life has its own politics like any other organization.
I am glad you were there for him.
I do realize that this post is a little older. My daughter left for boot camp yesterday. That isn't why I am writing. This statement is " I need to be able to believe that he will not lose his loving, thoughtful ways....or have them driven out of him." My sister married her high school sweetheart. I love my brother in law. He left for boot camp about 6 months after they graduated. That was in 2008. He has been in 6 years. They now have 2 wonderful little boys. He recently received orders to Billings, Montana. He gets 3 years shore duty, as a recruiter. Before the Navy, he doted on my sister. Treated her like a princess. After joining, guess what? He dotes on her and their two boys, and still treats her like a princess. He comes home from deployments and ask nothing of her. He asks her what he can do to make her life easier. The Navy allows him to appreciate all she does and sacrifices so that he can support their family and protect our country. If your son is loving and thoughtful, it's because that's how you raised him. The Navy just reinforces those values you gave him. He will be fine!