View Full Version : Help with parents' concerns about enlistment

11-27-04, 02:49 PM
I have a problem. I have, after long consideration and almost 2 years of drifting through college, decided to make the change and enlist in the Marine Corps. I'm sick of all the complaining people do about the world without being willing to step up and be the change they want to see. My plan is to continue college until the end of this year, train through the summer and ship sometime in the fall for PI. My dad supports it as he believes in civic duty (he was a cop back in the day instead of a Marine, which he still wishes he had given a shot). My mom, however, is convinced I'm wasting everything I've had. I was an extremely good cyclist (one of the best amateurs in the nation) before injuring myself and losing my passion for it. She thinks I'm throwing this away as well as the 2 years in college I've already finished. She doesn't understand that I want to make a contribution and earn my right to enjoy this country the hard way. She refuses to even listen to me when I try and have a conversation. She also has refused to meet with my recruiter or talk to him about it. She keeps saying simply that the military is not an option for me. Now I AM 20 years old and this is MY choice, but I respect my parents a lot as they have supported me through my cycling and college careers, most of the time it wasn't easy to do so. I don't want to hurt her too much, but at this point in my life I'm ready for a change. What do I do?

11-27-04, 03:24 PM
DEPJon go with what you believe you have to do. You wont be wasteing your college and can always finish later at the governments expense. Moms are like yours all over the world mine did everything she could to stop me from enlisting but now she knows that I made the right choice. She will get over any decision you make over time and she is only worried about you. Theres a Marine reservist at this site named LivinSoFree he would be better than I to help you out, since he,s goes to college in North Carolina and became a Marine this year. I am sure when he reads your post he will jump right in and give you some sound advice. Have you talked to a recruiter yet?

11-27-04, 03:46 PM
DEP Jon,

I know how you feel, my parents would hear nothing of me joining the Corps, my mom, the dearest lady in my life, was the biggest opponent to it, and when i enlisted, she was upset, and cried at the recruiters station when i shipped, it hurt to do what i did, but i had to do what made me happy and no one else. Ill tell ya somethin, even though my parents were against it they both supported me, my mom wrote me everyday, and i mean everyday while i was gone. And when it came to the best day of my life, October 21st ,2004 the day i became a Marine, she came off the bleachers on the parade deck, with tears in her eyes, open arms and a shirt that said "Proud Mother of a Marine". Do whats right for you. Semper Fi

11-27-04, 10:46 PM
Several Marines that I've talked to before making this decision said exactly what you guys are saying, that their parents were opposed at first, but proud as heck afterwards. I have a feeling that once I show up on the doorstep in dress blues things will be different, but I really am struggling with making her think that this decision has any good in it at all.

11-28-04, 12:20 AM
.. just want to wish you luck on your decision.. I know i was opposed to my bf becoming a Marine at first because I was afraid of loosing him.. but now since he joined I understood more.. and I'm very proud of him and glad he made the choice because thats what he wants to be.. You should follow your heart and chooses what makes you happy... in the end.. it's your life.. and they'll be proud of you no matter what.. so Good-Luck and best wishes...

11-28-04, 12:30 AM
Thanks for the shout-out Staff Sergeant...

My mom was the same way. All the way through high school, she was ADAMANT about me following what she saw as my "proper" path: graduate, go to college, get some high paying/high profile job, live out my life as some yuppie. The only way she even considered accepting me joining up was through an officer program that paid for college. Well, senior year came, and I got into Tulane in New Orleans, and picked up an NROTC scholarship to the same. Later that year, my med boards came back from BUMED, and as it turned out, I was disqualified from the program as the result of their vision standards (I have a fairly high level of nearsightedness... perfectly correctable, but it exceeds the standards they use to cut down their applicant pool).

Everyone I knew told me to "get on with my life" and that "things happen for a reason." Maybe so, but after a semester at Carolina, I still felt like things weren't right. Iraq was heating up and people on both sides of the political fence were spouting the same old rhetoric, but with a noticiable feature: they were all talk. None of them were willing to pick up a rifle, walk a patrol, or stand a post. That bothered me: that these talking heads could clammor for war, but not back it up even in the slightest with their own sacrifice. Beyond that, there's a bigger issue, a bigger purpose to be considered: to support and defend the Constitution of the United States... that's what it's really about. The conflict of the moment will change, but that higher purpose will not.

In September of that year, I began working with a recruiter to enlist in the Marine Corps. I decided to compromise and balance the goal of getting a college degree with my desire to serve my country as a Marine, and enlisted under the 92-Day Reservist program. The 92-Day program is designed around college students. Initial training is broken up into summer-sized increments (either 2 or 3, depending on MOS and school length). On 12 May 2004, I shipped to MCRD PI. 3 months later, I graduated as a United States Marine. 2 weeks afterwards, I moved back into my dorm at Carolina to start my sophomore year. I'm currently a drilling SMCR Marine with Comm Company (-), H&S BN, 4th FSSG, located in Greensboro, North Carolina, and I love it. Part of me still wants to go active duty, but I know that I'll be able to do that after I graduate from college, and in that way benefit my Corps, my country and myself. Smarter Marines = more effective Marines.

OK, I know that was a massive piece to read, but maybe the details will give you a bit of an idea of where I'm coming from, which sounds similar to where you're at. My dad and my stepmother supported me in my decision, but my mom was... less than enthusiastic. I'm the first Marine in my family, and I'll tell you what, even the skeptics amongst my family and friends had looks of shock and pride on graduation day... best day of my life, that's for sure.

Sometimes man, you've just gotta go for it. I certainly understand what you're talking about, feel free to show her this, if you think it'll help. Contact me if I can help you out in anyway.

Good Luck

- Meyer

11-28-04, 05:21 AM
Don't do it Jon... Mothers of America hate us Marines. Listen to mom she knows all! LMFAO

You'll shoot your eye out kid! ROFL :banana:

11-28-04, 05:44 AM
OK - DEPJohn, I guess I am the most qualified around here to give you a mother's opinion - so here goes.

The first thing is that mothers and sons have a really different relationship than fathers and sons - we carried you under our hearts and felt your first movements - and to some extent, you will always be that baby we loved and cared for all of your life to the doors of adulthood.. We feel that you need our guidance and opinions about your life a bit more than you need our support.

That said - as much as we love you - we have no right to live your life for you. We raised you to do the right things, to be good Americans and in doing that, our job was mostly done.

I lost a Marine during Nam, married a second and raised a third - who is now running around the Fallujah area. Sure I am worried and sure I am scared.

BUT - this is the life that my chose to live - he chose a life of service to his country and his fellow Americans - he chose to adopt Honor, Courage and Commitment as the pillars of his life's philosophy and to be part of a brotherhood of excellence.

What mother could ask for more? He absorbed the values I presented to him, he chose to follow the path of righteousness, and I could not be more proud of him.

Give your mother time - she needs it to see that her part in guiding you down the path of life is pretty much done. Do not argue, yell and scream - that will never work. Just remember that a lot of small, slow drops of water can wear down mountains (look at the Grand Canyon, lol) - be logical, have your facts down, show her you have options in your life and you have chosen one -and chosen well.

Do that - and I'll bet you $5 that on Family Day, she'll show up (cry a bit over the changes) and have that proud smile on her face and buy the most elaborate frame she can for that graduation photo.

And, if you think it will help, have her drop me an email or a PM - been there, done that and wear the t-shirt all he time.

11-28-04, 07:19 AM
You're right, snipowsky, that 5.56 Red Ryder A2 will leave a nasty welt if your not careful! :D

DEPJon, its good that you are concerned with yer Ma's opinion. Your folks instilled some good values in you. But it doesn't like she is going to disown you when you sign the contracts.

Better sooner than later, you must start serious preparations of your own.

Before you know it you'll be standing on the yellow footprints in the middle of some dark hellish night.

Yer' folks have had 20 years to work with you on character. In bootcamp, you'll learn twice as much in three months.