MCRD Recruit Help
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  1. #1

    Exclamation MCRD Recruit Help

    I am looking for advice. My son is a recruit at MCRD SD. He was doing well in boot camp, even a squad leader for several weeks. He was loving it. He got sick a few weeks in but pushed through. A few days after passing swim, he was taken to the hospital with back pain from double pneumonia. When the ER doc did a chest xray he also diagnosed him with a spinal curvature. He was placed back in his platoon and 3 days later transferred to medical platoon for pneumonia. I am now being told that he is being discharged a week later for his back.
    He passed MEPS and Receiving medical.
    Why would he be discharge now and for something that is not limiting him physically? is there anyway for him to stay in?

    The only thing my son has ever wanted to be is a US Marine!!
    He turned down 2 full ride scholarships to college to enlist.
    Please and advice is welcomed and all prayers appreciated!!

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  2. #2
    Be patient with this thread. I don't know how things work nowadays but some will be along to offer their opinions.

    There are in fact former military members who are now attorneys and who specialize in military matters----you can look them up on the Internet and at least consult with them. The problem is, what you are describing is not the entire DETAILED story, and you of course have no way of filling in informational gaps, I realize that.

    But do see if you can find civilian lawyers who have extensive experience with military matters. In the meantime, good luck to you. I hope you get answers to this question.


  3. #3
    I guess the narrow question is under what grounds can the military give medical discharges. No one here can answer that in an authoritative or precise way. So see if you can find a couple of these former military guys or gals who now specialize in the field of military matters of all kinds, including but not limited to, what exactly, if anything, can be done about your son's situation. A very complicated question, because it is not only about what perhaps SHOULD be done, but what the military is ALLOWED to do when it comes to medical problems and issues.


  4. #4
    Couple points.

    Not been through MEPS since 1972. Not going to remember if we got chest x-rays or not but imagine we did. Know we never got any x-rays at receiving in bootcamp (think we just got innoculations and dental exams).

    Pneumonia is the most common ailment in bootcamp followed by overuse injuries like stress fractures, shin splints, etc. Celluitis is also common. Back pain is not a symptom of pneumonia but scoliosis (curvature of the spine) is. Note: I am a retired respiratory therapist and routinely treated pneumonia patients. Can't remember them complaining of back pain.

    Your son went to the ER with back pain, and pneumonia. So, you can't say the back pain is not limiting him physically. If in fact the scoliosis was causing the back pain, that pain won't just go away on its own. Unless scoliosis is treated (usually with a brace but sometimes with surgery/rods in more extreme cases), the spine can continue to curve causing even more pain. The Navy apparently is not interested in treating your son so have decided to medically discharge him. Can't say for sure but imagine scoliosis is an automatic disqualifier for enlistment. Who knows why this condition was not discovered/diagnosed at MEPS but would be a good question for the recruiter (they will be notified your son is not graduating).

    If the Navy (not the Marine Corps' call) has decided on a medical discharge, there is nothing your son can do to stay there (recruits were powerless and had no options in my time anyways but may be different today). Your son will be placed in the Recruit Separation Platoon (RSP) and processed for discharge accordingly. Can't tell you how long that administrative process will take.

    Sorry about your son. It's a shame this happened to him, and it's also a shame MEPS let him get as far as they did (somebody should've caught the scoliosis there). Good news is, he's aware of his condition now, and can take steps to have it treated before it gets worse.

    Good luck to you both. Update us here on his progress, if you want.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Top View Post
    Couple points.

    Back pain is not a symptom of pneumonia but scoliosis (curvature of the spine) is.
    I am sorry I didn't mention, a few days prior he fell on an obstetrical and landed on his back. He was concerned that he hurt it. But I am sorry, I am a nurse and one of the first signs of bacterial pneumonia is fever and back pain. He had been running fever with a cough for almost 2 weeks, was found to have pretty severe bilateral pneumonia. His pain was almost completely gone after 24 hours of IV Rocephin, azithromycin and nebs.

    I understand your point though. Thank you for the reply.


  6. #6
    At one time recruits were receiving waivers for scoliosis,but after a number of years those recruits had a large number of injuries compared to those who did not have scoliosis and the waivers were discontinued. Your son had a medical board consisting of an Admin officer,MD specialist in the field of diagnosis and at least one other MD.MEPS doctors miss conditions like any other doctor unless there is a prior condition listed in the recruits health history.


  7. #7
    I joined in 72 and they didn't x-ray me and I have scoliosis and even after boot camp I was able to work and P.T. and everything that was needed to stay in...
    I hope they keep him and let him stay until book camp is over..


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Marine1955 View Post
    I joined in 72 and they didn't x-ray me and I have scoliosis and even after boot camp I was able to work and P.T. and everything that was needed to stay in...
    I hope they keep him and let him stay until book camp is over..
    Medical requirements in 1972 were much different than today.Parris Island at that time rejected many with bogus "MEPS" and district waivers. One was a blind recruit who only could see shadows at 15 feet with his corrective glasses,another two brothers who didn't have collar bones who were at least permitted to enter traing and prove themselves.


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