Got a call from my son at the hospital, stating he had a breakdown (while in bootcamp) and is likely going to be separated. While I understand what it means literally and this forum is a great resource for steps, what does it mean for the future? Is it an honorable discharge? Is it a dishonorable discharge? When he goes to apply for work or to reapply for military later, how will this be reflected? Also, how can we talk to someone at the hospital to get more information on what happened and what is being done besides the process of separation, i.e. treatments, etc. Any info is greatly appreciated. Thx.
Hi Mrs L,
It will be a separation, which isn't quite the same as a discharge. When they leave so early, it's not really honorable or dishonorable. It's just a general medical separationg. It depends on is re-enlistment code if he can re-enlist later. In a week or 2, he'll meet with someone from the legal dept who will go over his case and tell him his re-enlistment code. If go to the cover page of Ship 5 moms, you'll see a chart with all the codes on it. Most of them do allow for re-enlistment and if he did not have any pre-existing treatments for anxiety, depression, etc, he'll probably get an RE-8 code, though I'm no expert, it's just my best guess. That would technically mean he could try to re-enlist later, but honestly, I hear that's hard (though not impossible to do.
Most of the guys who enter ship 5 with anxiety, depression and other emotional issues do not go to the hospital or dr. They just give them that label and send them to ship 5 to wait to go home. If your son had a really bad breakdown, then he may be seeing a dr, too. Your son needs to sign the paperwork to allow you access to his info and then you can call and ask questions. It's hard to get through, but if you keep trying, you will eventually.
I have not heard of them giving meds or treatments. Again, each case is different and if your son's symptoms were severe, they might be giving treatment.
I know this is hard time for you. Please feel free to ask questions any time you need to.
We are almost in the same circumstances but my son's separation was for different reasons. His paperwork he brings home will be way more informative than anything you hear from legal and probably even from your son. My son did appeal while he was at RTC, a personal appeal to the commanding officer is what they are allowed and although legal said it would take a month or more... it took a week. My son was home exactly 9 days after he submitted his appeal letter to Captain Dye. As of tomorrow he will have been home a week. He made it to three days before PIR and became light headed and dizzy during his run test.... there were multiple things that contributed to it, all were overlooked and disregarded by the cardiologist at the VA (calorie intake and blood work showed slight anemia). As of right now, my son has enrolled in classes to begin in May at our local college and hopes to secure a job in the next few days... he has some really great friends who gave good leads. I learned WAY more during my son's 23 days in Ship 5 than I did during the 7 weeks he was in boot camp. I learned a LOT about how they are able to snow blow and rail road these kids....kids who are afraid to ask questions and don't even know what to ask. The best they can do is steer clear of the trouble makers while in ship 5 and enjoy the visits to the NEX. We have a "plan of action" we are launching with a cardiologist here but after speaking with some people I know to be "experts" in the business of re enlistment, it will be a fight and probably take upwards of a year. All that being said.... I'm actually very hurt as I'm sure you are....but I will say this.... that having some plans in place before my son got here definitely helped both of us. I made sure he was set up to "hit the ground running" and there's not been any time allowed for head scratching over all this. He is absolutely committed to getting back and swears that nothing good in life is easy.... I will feed that mentality as much as I can! Oh and I was extremely worried he would be heartbroken.... that was my fear... that I couldn't shield him from how he was going to feel about this but honestly, since he's been home (and even before), he has maintained a really positive outlook. I know sometimes as moms we tend pick things apart and overanalyze....but feel your son's emotions out before you dig too deep.... he might actually be ok with the next steps. This is all so fresh and still on going for me so I know your hurt.... this hasn't been an easy week AT ALL but the fog is clearing a little and I've even decided to keep my Navy Mom sticker on my car even though at this point I do not want to promote the Navy, I'm mad! BUT I will promote my son and was he has committed to and what he believes in. Yes, we are here for you!!!!! Hugs!!!!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply so honestly with me. You don't know how much that means to me. The newest update is that they have beat my son down, he is giving up the right to appeal and will be coming home for sure and doesn't want to reenlist. I am so mad at the Navy for out-casting him over something as silly as anxiety of a shot. No one stepped in for him. We tried but he is already defeated. I am not only disappointed in the Navy but disappointed in my son. I feel so bad saying those words but I am embarrassed about what I will say to people who have encouraged him along the way and have sent him letters and prayed for him and showed so much love and concern for me and my husband. I am disgusted with my son "Quitting" and giving up that I can't bear the thoughts of seeing him right now. He tried college and did terrible for a year before signing with the Navy and anytime something gets tough he seems to quit. I thought the Navy would be different. He knew going in that boot camp would be the weeding out time and that it would be tough but he answered a questionnaire that got him discharged. I am praying to God above that I will have the strength to move forward and not be so disheartened that I will beat him down again mentally once he is home. I keep thinking that he misses his girlfriend and that he is scared of what's next. He is a failure in my eyes and I love him but am scared about how I will handle him being home and his homecoming. I am sorry to be so honest but that is my fear right now and that is that I have given up on him. I am a terrible mother.
FIRST: You are NOT a terrible mother! You certainly wouldn't be looking for answers and help on here if you didn't care. I think all moms are guilty of allowing our identity to be defined by our kid's successes and accomplishments... not meaning to of course, but for 18 years until they leave home, they really DO define our existence. Maybe you're feeling like HIS choices and the things he has done are a reflection of YOUR parenting.... but that's not the case! Cut yourself some slack.... we wouldn't love them as much if they did EVERYTHING we thought they should do.
SECOND: Their decisions (our kid's) irk and rile us to the umpteenth degree sometimes and WE don't understand their logic because we see things from a completely different view. We're on the outside of the snow globe when it's all shaken up.... they're on the inside. We had our chance to be in their shoes and we know how we DID do things or how we WISHED we had done things but ultimately there's no reckoning with our kid's logic sometimes.... and the brighter they are the more difficult it is.
THIRD: I too wondered how I would handle the explanation of why my son is home and although our circumstances are different than yours, I told people they Navy was concerned about something that came up during the final few days and we are going to address their concerns but in the meantime he's starting classes in May and has some great leads on jobs. Focus on the next steps when talking to others.... it also cements the reality of it in your own mind when you say it out loud and it really becomes easier to swallow.
It's been a week since my son got home and I'm not going to lie, I've been on him like white on rice.... but I think he's enjoyed the constant interaction, even if I am annoying the piss out of him because he's not just sitting around THINKING.
I'm wrapping you up in prayers.... I know you're hurt. This is all so fresh for me too.... and I know the other moms on here haven't forgotten how they felt when this happened to their kids. Love him anyway, and let him know you love him anyway.... he might be afraid of facing you.
One of the things we talked about with my son (and I had researched before he got home because I know he doesn't necessarily enjoy being a "student") was the possibility of a law enforcement academy. In 5-9 months he would have the necessary training to be employed by law enforcement agencies and then could start his AA online, or even bridge to a BS in Homeland Security. Our ultimate goal is to re enlist and we've launched an entire medical and fitness plan to at least attempt it (we know it's difficult) but the academy thing was something he could finish within a relatively short time and be challenged. My son was set to go to crypto school so military intelligence is a huge fascination for him. He ended up deciding against the academy and will start on his AA in sociology. He's also planning on taking Army ROTC as an elective for the added PT and the chance to add it to his resume (you only have to commit to the Army if you go beyond the first two years). Anyway, food for thought and again, I'm thinking of you!
I also heard it is very hard to get back in. My son was in NJROTC all through H.S. Went in as an E-3. Like you said, you'd think they'd want these guys. Now, if they are 6 weeks in and having trouble, that's different. But my son was only there 3 days, had no problems but they had ignored his ADHD dx from childhood, even though it was on all his enlistment papers, he was off meds, blah blah blah.
They have no tolerance for what they deem as less than perfect.
He has been home since the end of August and isn't doing all that well. He tried to get into an avionics program at the community college but didn't do well enough on the math test. He had a job for 3 months but got laid off and isn't really pounding the pavement for another one.
hi not even sure if you are still on but you are first I came across our son was there hardly 24hrs and during the disclosure he felt it was needed to mention that during school years he was tx for adhd this was reviewed by recruiter and fact that he 's been off meds for 10mos never was mentioned or attempted to gain waiver now being sep from navy any luck with your son in reenlistment or choose different career path thanks
My son was treated for adhd as well. He fully disclosed ALL the details to his recruiter and again IN WRITING on all his enlistment papers. He had been of meds 1.5 yrs by the time he entered bootcamp. It wasn't till his 3rd day at bootcamp that they said it was a problem and sent him to ship 5. He was in differed enlistment for 10 months before he even went to bootcamp. When on delayed entry, he went to the recruiters once or twice a month (I forget exactly) for meetings, PT, training type stuff etc and excelled at it all. He was 100% open about his dx and meds etc and they said all along it was ok.
Ridiculous. He never should have done to bootcamp or been accepted if he didn't meet the criteria. But when we finally found more info, he DID meet the various criteria but they booted him out anyway. They should have asked for a waiver before he went. This is why he was open from day 1. He was only 17 when he enlisted and so I was there, I discussed it all when he first met the recruiter, when he signed and I helped fill out the enlistment paperwork and wrote down his meds and dr info. So I know it was all there for them to see and ask for a waiver all those months he was waiting to get in. They never called his treating dr until he was already in ship 5.
While he was in ship 5, I met other moms on a support group and there were other crazy stories as well.
This all happened last summer.
We specifically asked his recruiter if he needed a waiver and he said no. As long as his grades were good for a year off meds, it showed he could function without them and no other action was needed. Since he came back, he spoke to another recruiter who said he could have and should have gotten a waiver BEFORE going to MEPS. He said both the recruiter and MEPS made major errors pushing him through to bootcamp without a waiver.
I would contact Legal at 847-688-4949 so they can contact your son. He needs to sign permission to have Legal speak to you about his case and also have your son call Medical at 847-688-6755 to have him sign the HIPPA to have them talk to you also. I wish you luck and I feel it's worth researching. As a Social Psychologist (undergraduate), I feel there is still stigma's attached to Mental Illness which can range from an isolated incident to life long diagnosis and care. You're asking the right questions and some your son won't even think about. God bless.