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Posted: 4/3/2006 2:50:52 PM EST
Today my son broke my heart. For the last 2 years he's been a sailor in the Navy and I couldn't have been prouder of him. Although I worried about him being far away and missed him terribly, he was my hero. Today I learned that he managed to get discharged by claiming to be suicidal and taking advantage of the Navy's desire to get rid of thousands of sailors to cut costs. He planned it with the urging of his mother and carried it out. He managed an "honorable administrative discharge."
He was my hero and now I can't think that what he did is any different than shooting himself in the foot to avoid combat. My God, I never thought I'd feel this way.
To all of you who fulfilled your commitment, I feel the need to apologize. I hope someday I can forgive this decision he's made.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 3:01:19 PM EST
Your son is still a hero, hell he served his country. One moment of weak knees does not erase everything he has done. Not all men are cut out for the Armed Forces but all men still serve somewhere at sometime.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 3:33:34 PM EST
When they say "Steel ships and iron men" They mean it. I deal with this kind of shit everyday in the Air Force. We are always discharging some little Mommas boy because he couldn't handle being away from his Mommy and was too scared of going to Iraq. Fucking pussies. There wouldn't be a work cycle that would go by that one of my turds wasn't going to sick call to avoid work. You won't believe how many of them went to mental health to avoid going to Iraq when the big round of deployments came up this year. These people make me sick.

Gasspasser, no offense to you, but your son had no business in the military. Its best he's out.

If anyone finds this post offensive, tough shit. I just got back from deployment right after I was married. My troop missed his first childs birth because some coward pissed and moaned to get out of deploying and shirked his duty. I think they should lock those fuckers up for the duration of their deployments and then brand them with a C for coward. Then drum them out of the military.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 6:21:29 PM EST
I'm sorry to hear about your son's decision. I'm just guessing that he is more than somewhat influenced by his mother and perhaps still somewhat immature. At least he will have an honorable discharge instead of a less than honorable. Focus more on the pride that he did serve two years. Leave the regret to him, which he will likely suffer later on, wether he admits it or not.

Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:23:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By Recon_by_Fire:
I'm sorry to hear about your son's decision. I'm just guessing that he is more than somewhat influenced by his mother and perhaps still somewhat immature. At least he will have an honorable discharge instead of a less than honorable. Focus more on the pride that he did serve two years. Leave the regret to him, which he will likely suffer later on, wether he admits it or not.




+1 Navy life is not for everyone, in the long run it's better he's out. You didn't mention what his rate was but consider it good that at least he was able to get out before he got in too much of a stressful situation and ended up getting himself or someone else hurt or killed. I've seen a couple people snap on the flight deck during flight ops and it isn't pretty.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:02:54 AM EST
Your wife did him a disservice influencing and aiding him in this. It was self-centered on her part. She did him more harm than good.

It will take some guidance from you to get his life on track.

One of my brothers did a similar thing during basic training. They sent him home with a general discharge. His life has been a train wreck since that point.

He needs his Dad to model being a man. I'm sure you're up to it. I know you love him.

I'd advise a sit-down with just you and him. The discussion would have three parts:

1. Defining where he is.

2. Defining where he wants to be.

3. Determining how to achieve the goals to arrive at the destination in item 2.

Sprinkled throughout would be lessons in integrity, honor, and manhood.

Make it clear that while you think he made a mistake you're not rejecting him. Your goal is to get him back on the track of manhood.

While you're obviously affected by this, it's not the end of the road. It's a speedbump. Deal with it and press on.

Best to you & yours.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 5:57:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/4/2006 9:19:24 AM EST by TANGOCHASER]
While I think what your son did is a lack of judgement, he did show up, take the oath and enlist. He may have left the game early but he did show up and play.

Edited to change "cowardly act" to lack of judgement. Cowardly act was not appropriate to the situation. He took advantage of a legal program to end his obligation early which is way better than violating regulations to get a discharge.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 6:16:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By DefensorFortis:
When they say "Steel ships and iron men" They mean it. I deal with this kind of shit everyday in the Air Force. We are always discharging some little Mommas boy because he couldn't handle being away from his Mommy and was too scared of going to Iraq. Fucking pussies. There wouldn't be a work cycle that would go by that one of my turds wasn't going to sick call to avoid work. You won't believe how many of them went to mental health to avoid going to Iraq when the big round of deployments came up this year. These people make me sick.

Gasspasser, no offense to you, but your son had no business in the military. Its best he's out.

If anyone finds this post offensive, tough shit. I just got back from deployment right after I was married. My troop missed his first childs birth because some coward pissed and moaned to get out of deploying and shirked his duty. I think they should lock those fuckers up for the duration of their deployments and then brand them with a C for coward. Then drum them out of the military.



how many AEFS have you been on?
this is my third in 4 years, first time i deployed was a month after being married, second one my wife had a miscarriage half-way through my being gone, the third was a month after my son was born. I'm in Iraq, and have been to the Deid (i know, i know, seems cake, but the porters where hauling ass)... and I dont think i am allowed to say where the first one was yet.
I've seen those who find ways out of deployments... when they havent even been on one... and then there are those that scheme to get on the choice ones, one SOB spread a rumor that my wife was pregnant, when she was yanked from a Kuwait deployment (100$ perdiem) he took her spot.

Ive worked with those that adjust fine, and am working with one that still has not adjusted after three friggin months.

do I judge them? Fuck no, nobody is the same. Was there better options for your son, possibly, it's not my place to say. If he couldn't handle the sea time, doesn't make him less of a person.
Dont judge your son too harshly, that might lead to possible problems with him, instead, be the Father that I can tell you are, and have a man to man talk with him to decide what his life aspirations are now, and how he plans to get back on track.
I would suggest you not let him know you are dissapointed, but not how deeply this has hurt you, that would just damage your relationship.

Good Luck and God Bless.
Crash
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 6:19:30 AM EST
I agree with Brohawk & Crash. Nothing more to add.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 7:09:52 PM EST
Don't feel bad; your son served and that's all that matters. Some of us have those "Weak In The Knees" moments from time to time; he will probably reenlist after realizing that he misses the Navy.

Don't feel any shame for him; on the contrary, show him your love and support, he probably needs it now more than ever.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 10:20:02 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 10:20:15 AM EST
Gass,

"He broke my heart"...........really? Or did he just hand you a big disappointment? Big difference from where I sit. Your son is your son, no matter what. He stepped up to the plate, took the oath, served "as best he could" and there is no dishonor for making the decision he just made.

You know, some people just deal with life differently. I've seen guys that have had amputations out hiking with 35-50 # rucks on. I've also seen ones complaining like no tomorrow with a "John Kerry, shrapnel wound". Doesn't mean anything? Not really, just the difference in people.

When he gets home, talk & listen to his point of view. He's still your son, but he's a man. You can treat him as such without loss of your or his dignity. Be honest with him & tell him your disappointed, but support his decision. Once your "talk" is done, the subject is closed. Then like Brohawk says, talk to him on what he plans to do. Help him acheive those goals. Be a supportive dad that I'm sure you are.

He made a choice. Neither good or bad, just a choice. He made the best choice he could "at that moment". Don't hold it against him, beyond the first conversation. It's done, it's over with. Now it's time to be DAD. Oh yeah, give his mother a love pat for wanting her son home safe & sound.

Good luck & good wishes.
Mark
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 4:20:07 AM EST
MarkBall,

I'm not trying to start a urinary competition, but I have to disagree with your values neutral post.

I think he did make a mistake. He reneged on an oath and commitment. In wanting to go home, his fellow sailors then had to take on his workload and continue to face the rigors and dangers inherent in their duties.

No mother wants to see their son in danger. My Mom would have prevented me from riding a motorcycle if she could have. It's the way mothers are. But by leading him down this path, other mothers' sons are now taking up his slack.

With that said, while it was a mistake, it not not an unsalvagable situation, provided the young man gets proper guidance from Dad, and Mom doesn't coddle him and make excuses for her boy.

Gaspasser, stand by your son, don't make excuses for him, and continue leading him toward manhood. There are many years ahead for the both of you to enjoy together. Don't let this be a showstopper.

Regards...
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 8:12:07 AM EST
I'm didn't intend nor will I get into a competition with anyone on my view of this.

My post being neutral was intended to get the disappointment/let down/broken heartedness out in the open & allow the healing to begin. Once that has happened, then the son/father/mother can heal as a unit. Maybe because of my own life experiences/training, I am more tolerant of others choices.

It really does no good to point out to the young man he made a "bad choice", we all have made bad choices. Letting it be know dad doesn't agree with that choice, then moving beyond it will do more good than harm. Not getting to that point & letting it weigh heavily on the young man's mind could cause him to make more "bad choices". I know from experience.

For what ever reason the choice was made, to the young man that made it, it was the choice he made. As a man (he is one now) he needs to be supported in that choice. Good, bad, ugly choices, complete with consequences. It was his to make. We can play armchair quarterbacks here in the relative safety of our computer screens & say "no he made a bad choice" because you or I may not have made a similar choice in the same situation. But that is what we are, "armchair quarterbacks", playing the hindsight is 20/20 game.

So, my post was intentionally left neutral. Get this family together, discuss the choices made, the consequences that he will have to live with the rest of his life & move on. Don't let it hang over his head beyond that point. He is a man that made a choice.

Brohawk, of this we both agree, proper guidance/love/attention by mom & dad will salvage the situation.

Mark
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 8:25:55 AM EST
Why did he go into the Navy in the first place? Was it really his own decision, or did he do it for your sake, so that you'd be proud of him? (Either with, or without your saying so specifically).

If the latter, then his mother getting him out is no worse than your pushing him in. I'm wondering if there isn't a little 'projection' here.

Either way, he's out now, no sense in getting morose about it. Civilian life is pretty decent!

NTM
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 9:12:41 AM EST
I myself have left a long string of bona fide bad choices in my wake. There have been a couple good ones in there, too.

All of us make bad choices from time to time. The key is to learn from them and head off setting up a pattern of repeating them.

A major personal growth point for me was when I realized I created most of the problems I had. After that epiphany I started paying closer attention and putting a bit more thought behind my actions. Not that I'm approaching perfection, but things improved significantly.

In the end, I think we're all talking about the same thing here.

Note: While I personally believe a bad choice was made, in no way am I implying that GP's son is a bad person.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 9:21:38 AM EST
I can't really fault your son. There is a reason why 95% of all those who have served got out after their first enlistment. The military is an awful life.

Every morning after my first year in I woke up and thought the same thought. "I can go AWOL if I want." Then I put on my PT gear and went downstairs.

I had never discussed going AWOL with anyone, Ever. My Father, who was in Vietnam before Vietnam was cool told me repeatedly, "If you go AWOL I will help you get a job." he did that just to be a bastard.

I stayed in for 5 years of active duty and hated every second.

Your son got out early. Good for him. It was an honorable discharge. Great for him. I see no difference between what he did and those guys who came in a year after me and left a year ahead of me because they had signed up for a shorter enlistment.

The military wants you to work the system. He did. He served, and now he is out with an HD. Good on him on both counts.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 12:09:54 PM EST
some people can do it, some cant. Hell, the thought has entered my mind more than once.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 1:48:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 1:49:08 PM EST by MarkBall]

Originally Posted By Brohawk:

................................A major personal growth point for me was when I realized I created most of the problems I had. After that epiphany I started paying closer attention and putting a bit more thought behind my actions. Not that I'm approaching perfection, but things improved significantly.

In the end, I think we're all talking about the same thing here.

Note: While I personally believe a bad choice was made, in no way am I implying that GP's son is a bad person.



Of this we both agree. I've had to live through a "life changing" experiences also. While we both may choose different directions, the ultimate outcome remains the same.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 2:45:31 AM EST
I appreciate all of your comments. When I wrote that I was really depressed and very surprised my son would do such a thing. It's so out of charachter for him that it was the last thing I would have expected. My whole family feels the same way. I won't be disowning my son over this, but I did tell him how I felt and that I'm afraid this decision will make it easier for him to quit anything else he tries to do in the future. As of now, he's had a Captian's Mast and is under base restriction for 45 days. He will probably be discharged after that time. They've moved him out of his room and he's working 10 hr days doing scut work.
He's 3 weeks from his 21st birthday and acting very immature all of a sudden. My sister said that when he was 16 he acted like he was 30 - never rebelled, always was a good kid. Maybe a kid needs to go through phases in order or are apt to go through them at later more inapproptiate times, who knows.
Anyway, thanks for you guys' input.
Link Posted: 4/12/2006 4:33:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By gaspasser:
I appreciate all of your comments. When I wrote that I was really depressed and very surprised my son would do such a thing. It's so out of charachter for him that it was the last thing I would have expected. My whole family feels the same way. I won't be disowning my son over this, but I did tell him how I felt and that I'm afraid this decision will make it easier for him to quit anything else he tries to do in the future. As of now, he's had a Captian's Mast and is under base restriction for 45 days. He will probably be discharged after that time. They've moved him out of his room and he's working 10 hr days doing scut work.
He's 3 weeks from his 21st birthday and acting very immature all of a sudden. My sister said that when he was 16 he acted like he was 30 - never rebelled, always was a good kid. Maybe a kid needs to go through phases in order or are apt to go through them at later more inapproptiate times, who knows.
Anyway, thanks for you guys' input.



Here's my input, not that what I, or anyone else on this forum, should influence the way you think.

Military service is a big committment. It's also not for everyone. Most people who join have no clue what they are really getting into. Like most experiences, you just don't know until you're there.

That being said, an obligation is an obligation. It's part of being a man (or woman). At the end of the day all you have is your character. Most of us have at least one moment where we did something that went against the values we now hold sacred. I know I do. It's nothing that's a "big deal" in the grand scheme of things, but I'll carry the memory to my grave. When I put on my uniform every morning, I take pride in knowing I'm fulfilling my committment, and that every soldier on my team knows he can count on me.

Your son just tossed that away. He put a black mark on his character. It has no bearing on you, though, although I'm sure right now you think it does. He needs to evaluate his decision, and understand not only the face value consequences (type of discharge), but the impact it will have on how he views himself. If he's really suicidal, he needs to seek help. If he just wants to get out of the service, he needs to understand the importance of a committment and character. Only you can help him with that. You're his Dad. It's not to late to change what may be the biggest mistake of his life.
Link Posted: 4/18/2006 12:05:45 AM EST
I an sorry for you but millity life is not for everyone but when you give your wood to serve you should finish what you start. This may at some point come back to visit him but you need to finish what you start.
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