Air Force Dads

My daughter talked to a Recruiter yesterday. I already have a son in the Navy. My daughter wants to leave school (she would be registering in her Junior year), and join the Air Force. I am trying to convince her to finish College and go in as an Officer. She says she wants to "have a job and be independent", and the only thing she likes about school is Art. I welcome suggestions. Thanks.

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Comment by Sgt Terry (Network Creator) on December 23, 2008 at 9:03pm
Hi Heloisa,

First let me say that I understand your concern and fear. Although the military has many great opportunities it also comes with some harsh realities. If you would bear with me I think it might help to tell you a little about my situation and my boys.

My youngest joined the Air Force over 4 years ago. I was in during the Vietnam War and I was very bitter toward the military and toward the American people for the treatment of me and my fellow military brothers. Well I was not thrilled about him going in at all. He had a scholarship to go to college but he felt that he wanted to go in right after high school. I suggested that go to college and then go in as an officer, as you have told your daughter. He didn’t want to be an officer and just wanted to enlist. He re-enlisted for a second hitch this last April and is very happy with his decision.

Now my oldest son had no interest in the military. He went to college and was in his second to last semester when he told us that he was thinking of joining the military. He had lost direction in his life and was not real sure what he wanted to do. I never in my life would have thought that he would go into the military. But he joined the Navy this last February. I talked to him about finishing the 5 or 6 class to finish his degree but he wanted to go in and then while he was in he would finish the class and to get his degree and then go for officer. He is also very happy with his decision.

Once my wife and I saw that they were determined we supported them in their decisions. It is hard and we told them that we did not agree with their decision but it was theirs to make and would stand behind them and support them.

You never know where the Air Force may send them but my thinking has been “If you are going to join the military the two that I would recommend would be the Air Force or the Navy.

I don’t know if this would help but I would suggest that you talk to your daughter and see if it would be alright with her if the two of you go down together and talk to the recruiter. Then when you get there be up front with the recruiter about your desire for your daughter to finish school and go in as an officer and see what they say. When I said that to my youngest sons recruiter she told me that they encourage their recruits to enlist for one 4 year hitch and then go for officer even if they have a 4 year degree already because they feel like they get a better officer if they have spent some time in the lower ranks.

There is no easy answer. I don’t know what your spiritual beliefs are but if you are a religious person I would pray about this, and if you are a religious person I sure you have already done that. I will pray for you and your daughter.

I hope this has helped. I am more than happy to talk more about this if you have more questions or want me to clarify or what ever.

Sgt Terry
Comment by Lesa Shelton on January 3, 2009 at 12:20am
I whole-heartedly agree with Sgt Terry about visiting the recruiter. My son finally told me after much "soul searching" that he didn't want to go to college after he graduates high school this spring. I have lived the last 17 years assuming he would go from high school to college, but as the time got closer, the morelost he seemed and I was worried that he would end up doing nothing. I went to the recruiter by myself, before my son got a chance to talk to him. I actually got to spend some time with a young airman who had just finished tech school and was about to go to her first assignment. She spoke very openly and honestly with me about the pros and cons. The recruiter came in after we talked for quite awhile and gave me his "pitch", again I felt it was honest, even though I also knew if is his job to get these kids signed up. There are so many opportunities for those going into the Air Force, enlisted or officer. I left that recruiter's office knowing that if this is the life my son truly wants, I can fully support him. I don't think your daughter would go into the Air Force on a whim, so let her talk to you openly about her thoughts, without fear of upsetting you. You may be surprised at how dedicated she is to this decision. Good luck.
Comment by Arnola Medeiros on March 8, 2009 at 1:01pm
My son had always struggled in school so I knew he probably wouldn't be a college person, however since he always had wanted to be a police officer I thought I would be able to talk him into doing some college so he could start higher up. A year after high school he decided to go into the Air Force, again I thought he should take the time and do some college, but he didn't want any part of it and just joined. I was so concerned about him. But he got direction, self confidence, pride and soared in the Air Force. And one day called to let me know he enrolled in some college courses because he could get farther faster with some degrees. (What a concept) I thought. Wish I had thought of giving him that advice. Well at least he listened to someone there and did very will in his classes. When he got out he was able to secure a job at a federal prison near by and started 3 pay grades above anyone just getting the job. So I would also visit the recruiter and if she is determined discuss the college class options she has while she is serving. I hope that helps a little. Good luck


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