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Old 10-17-2007, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default My son wants to join the national guard....

I am at a loss with what to do with my rather hardheaded son. My kid is 20, will be 21 next spring. He does not live in the same city as me, we moved out here a few years ago for a job offer and he opted to stay where he grew up....my son has been a rather large handful since he was a teen, but I love him with all my heart, help him all I can, call him all the time, visit frequently etc..

He called me yesterday to tell me he wants to join the National Guard, which to me is pretty much a guaranteed plane ride to Iraq. My son knows full well that I am not supportive of the war. Until only a year ago, he wasnt either....he had toyed with the idea of the military being that he was in ROTC in high school but decided against it with what is going on in Iraq.

But something made him decide to change his mind last year when he suddenly took on "republican" views and changed his stance on the war.

But none of this is about politics to me anyway.....he wants to try to be an MP, he wants to be a cop and somehow has it in his head that this will help him tremendously. He is 21 next spring and can try out for the cops in the city he lives in, I dont know why he cannot AT LEAST wait until then...

When he told me this last night, the conversation got tense pretty quick....I am not trying to crush his "dreams", hell I pay for all his classes that he is taking (hoping to get a degree in criminal justice) and while I am not wild about the idea of him being a cop, I have always been supportive. He is accusing me of not being supportive and thinking only of myself and how this affects me rather than the positive things it will do for him, which I am sorry, but I HONESTLY DO FAIL TO see the positive in this....

I just dont want my kid shipped overseas to be tortured or killed, to be quite frank.

I have tried to be nothing BUT supportive to this kid....



Long post, sorry, just at my wits end with this guy....
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Old 10-17-2007, 12:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

He does realize that "don't ask, don't tell" is still in effect? As a gay man who served (and was discharged) in the Navy it can be pretty rough.
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

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Originally Posted by Amocholes
He does realize that "don't ask, don't tell" is still in effect? As a gay man who served (and was discharged) in the Navy it can be pretty rough.

Yeah I know....I was actually so distraught over this whole thing I didnt even TOUCH on that issue...I am supposed to call him back today but have been putting it off, which I know is horrible, but I think I will wait until tonight....

I guess he plans to "hide" it or something.... ...it would seem like that alone would be a deterrent...
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

The more emotional you get on this issue, the more stubborn your son will be. The harder you try to persuade him not to join the national guard, the more determined he will get.

Tell him you support his decision wholeheartedly even if it means that he may not come back from Iraq. You support his sacrifice for his country. The last thing you want to do is to drive him into the National Guard by being angry with him.
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

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Originally Posted by tomcoldaba
.

Tell him you support his decision wholeheartedly even if it means that he may not come back from Iraq. You support his sacrifice for his country. The last thing you want to do is to drive him into the National Guard by being angry with him.
I am not sure that I can do that, though I appreciate your advice....I find it impossible to support this decision...and I certainly most DO NOT support him sacrificing anything for this war....

I have a hope, small as it may be, that he will change his mind as he is known to do that on things....

I am not even "angry" with him per se, I am scared for him, he thinks I am not being supportive when in reality I am just scared of my baby being involved in something like that...he is the only kid that I have ....How can I say I support him in this? I dont even know how.
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

Your son is gay and is a republican? Isn't that a bit like a black person joining the KKK?

Here's a suggestion: Ask him to wait until he turns 21 and if he does that, you'll support him no matter what he decides.
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

There are many gay republicans. Mary Cheney daughter of Vice President Cheney, Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, Rep Mark Foley of Florida, State Rep Bob something of Florida.
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

Maybe Penny if you can get to the root of why he wants to do this. He has got to know the risks, right? Does he want to unburden you from paying for his education? Is he just restless and wants to do something? And, I'm stepping into personal space so forgive me beforehand, is he getting back at you or someone else, trying to get attention that he does not perceive as there in the first place? (although it may very well be and it sounds like your a great mom, don't misunderstand me please) But if you can know his motivation you may be able to give him an alternative. But you have to weigh this strategy against what he really wants. Could he volunteer for duty somewhere else? Sometimes they have special needs in places you wouldn't think. Okay, I'm done. Idon't envy you on this one.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

I have no idea what is at the "root" of why he does anything really and I am not trying to sound like a angry mom but I think he really does believe that by being an MP in the military he will be able to continue on with law enforcement on the outside and I think he just wants to skip trying for the degree as he has found out that working and going to school isnt as easy as he thought it was going to be..(like I tried to tell him )...but like a lot of things in his life, I think he isnt thinking it through and really understanding the consequences of that decision and the finality of it as well...

As far as "getting attention" he has an extremely weak relationship with his father, his father has been in and out (mostly out) of his life for the most part...his father "borrowed" $500 which is a lotta lotta money to my kid not too long ago and of course hasnt paid him back and I think my son is on his ignore list yet again....my relationship with him has been good overall but we have had our differences but what mother and son dont during the teenage years?? He is living with his grandmother in Vegas where I used to live before and I have given him keys to my house and he knows he always has a place here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maslow
Your son is gay and is a republican?
Yeah I know...dont even get me started on that.. ..sometimes I think my son just enjoys being contrary...

I have calmed down a bit from first hearing this last night and I forgot my kiddo had to work tonight so I never did talk to him....he has tomorrow off so I will talk to him then...

The advice from Maslow about asking him to wait until 21 doesnt sound too bad, buys some time if nothing else....

Well I will update after I talk to this rather hardheaded child of mine....
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maslow
Your son is gay and is a republican? Isn't that a bit like a black person joining the KKK?
No offense - well, take offense if you want - but I expect that kind of talk from a Liberal.

I respect gay Republicans more than most hetero Dems. Very few Washington Dems I have respect for, but some being Joe Lieberman, Zell Miller, and to an extent, Joe Biden, all of whom have a sense of political class.

Penny, even though I'm not a mother (obviously), I can definitely understand how you feel about this. I think it's admirable when anybody goes in the military, regardless of what branch it is. My mom was in the Air Force for about two decades, and if nothing else, I respect her for that.

Another thing to consider that if nobody went into the military - we don't currently have a draft, nor has Bush ever supported a draft despite Liberals wanting to make you think he does - then our nation would pretty much be unprotected, and believe me, there's many a country who would attack us in such a vulnerable state. Of course, we could just use nukes and nothing else, but then Libs would complain about that too.

As for the Iraq war, I don't think I even want to comment on that, but while I do support it, I think the logistics of it are all wrong, and unfortunately, I don't see it improving any time soon, if at all. We would have a lot less casualties, on the military and civilian side, if a true military strategist, Douglas McArthur for example, was in charge of it, and we utilized military-industrial complex technology to the best of our advantage. All these senseless deaths make me a bit sick.

We may disagree a bit politically Penny, but I wish all the best for your son. While the National Guard comprises many duties, I doubt he'll be going overseas to fight in any wars, unless there's a severe shortage and he's a reservist. Also, serving in such a way looks great on one's resume when future-time comes.
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

Okay Artie I am not really looking at this from a political standpoint, despite whatever I may have said about the war or Bush in S & C....and I have nothing against our military, I have admiration for those in the service..I am not against the troops, I am against the war... but that is a thread for S & C....

I am looking at this from a MATERNAL standpoint, this isnt some political debate that I am detached from, this is my kid we are talking about. My wanting to protect my kid is a natural instinct for me, me wanting my son to be safe is a natural thing wouldnt you say?? I dont know many mothers that could just ship their kid off to an incredibly dangerous situation without worry, do you?

I know you mean well but this isnt about politics or supporting/nonsupport of the war...its about a mother worrying about her kid...

I am not sure what you mean about the National Guard NOT being deployed? Its not just the reservists that are going, the chances are very real that he could be deployed...

I will talk to him tomorrow and see if I can try to make some progress with him....
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny
I am looking at this from a MATERNAL standpoint, this isnt some political debate that I am detached from, this is my kid we are talking about. My wanting to protect my kid is a natural instinct for me, me wanting my son to be safe is a natural thing wouldnt you say?? I dont know many mothers that could just ship their kid off to an incredibly dangerous situation without worry, do you?
I understand Penny, and yes, I'm in full agreement. I've sometimes said to myself that it doesn't matter whether a son is 8 or 80. Just by the mere fact that he's a mother's son is enough to make her feel concern for him, so yes, I understand where you're coming from.

Speaking of S & C though, I don't like to go there much since my political views probably differ from 95% of members here, and I can get quite fired up about things, even though I try to keep my composure, but it's difficult at times, especially when politics are involved, so I just keep my distance from it, unless the Subject of a thread sounds politically-neutral, then I'll maybe click on it.

I respect your views on the war Penny, since you conduct yourself with a lot of poise, and I really hope your son stays in this country and not deployed overseas. I frankly don't like the logistics of this war. It's all wrong, and I'm not even a military strategist.

I really do wish things turn out the best for you and your son.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

My son is now 26 and has made a couple of less than successful attempts at starting a career. When things haven't worked out, when he was 21 and again at about 24, the military has seemed attractive. When he talks it up, I sit and try to be generally supportive without specifically endorsing what he's talking about. It scares the crap out of me.

I don't have any advice to offer, but I think I know what you're going through, and I hope it works out well. I'll be thinking of you.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:29 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

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Originally Posted by Atticus
My son is now 26 and has made a couple of less than successful attempts at starting a career. When things haven't worked out, when he was 21 and again at about 24, the military has seemed attractive. When he talks it up, I sit and try to be generally supportive without specifically endorsing what he's talking about. It scares the crap out of me.
You know I think you really hit on something Paul. My son is currently working for TSA, of all things, and has been less than happy with the job...going to school and working isnt as easy as he thought it would be....he is supposed to try out for the academy when he turns 21 in the spring but not sure if he will make it, I hear its rather rigorous and tough to get in....so maybe that is part of it...a lack of knowing what else to do...

I have decided to definitely watch my tongue...I dont want him to sign up just to spite me...
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

I think the military is filled with people who aren't sure what to do with their lives. This will sound silly, but if you take the danger out of the formula, everything else about your son's idea makes sense, with the possible exception of his sexual orientation. But on the danger aspect, young people seem to believe they're exempt
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atticus
I think the military is filled with people who aren't sure what to do with their lives. This will sound silly, but if you take the danger out of the formula, everything else about your son's idea makes sense, with the possible exception of his sexual orientation. But on the danger aspect, young people seem to believe they're exempt
That's exactly why we have young people fight the wars. They think they're invincible and their morals aren't fully developed.
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

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Originally Posted by Formerly Artie
Speaking of S & C though, I don't like to go there much since my political views probably differ from 95% of members here, and I can get quite fired up about things, even though I try to keep my composure, but it's difficult at times, especially when politics are involved, so I just keep my distance from it, unless the Subject of a thread sounds politically-neutral, then I'll maybe click on it.
You don't seem to have any problem voicing your opinion here, though.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:26 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

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Originally Posted by Maslow
You don't seem to have any problem voicing your opinion here, though.
Well, that's kind of true I suppose. But I do actually bite my tongue in a lot of instances, or else I know I would have gotten banned by now.. lol

But the main reason I posted in this specific thread was because the title caught my attention and I was trying to help myself understand things a bit better from Penny's perspective, and hopefully vice-versa too. It's just that sometimes other postings in a thread can get in my way.

As an aside, but not all that dissimilar, I was 19 at the time, and I was working at a factory, and even though I had SA back then, my mom wasn't aware of it, but she knew about my inability to function normally. Anyway, one co-worker of mine (he was about 36, and we were both temps there) asked if I wanted to be his roommate. I wasn't too thrilled about it due to SA, but just so I wouldn't hurt his feelings, I said ok. Yeah, I know, imagine that. So it was during that night I believe when both my mom and I were lying down; I was on the couch, and she was on a cot or something, and I had the radio on. I told her about the roommate thing, and she got upset about it, which I suspected she would. Well, to make a long story short, after arguing about it for a half-hour or so, the argument just gradually died down. Shortly afterwards, Ozzy Osbourne's song Mama I'm Coming Home came on the radio. Well, that obviously got her attention, and then she started up with me again, which I wasn't in the mood for at all, so I just ignored her and went to sleep.

Even though the guy was 36, I found out later that he was also gay and a crackhead, both of which I personally didn't have a problem with, but he stole money from me, and even from his own mom, to buy more crack, gamble, and have sex. It was the stealing of money which got to me, so I just said screw him. The last thing I heard from him was that he went to jail, and probably for rehab.

So I guess I can understand how Penny feels about this from a mother's point of view. When you're young, and do something concerning, things have the potential of going wrong. In my case, it was just a combination of SA and bad luck. I'm assuming Penny's son doesn't have SA, but if he's got a level head on his shoulder, then I'm sure he'll make wise choices, whether or not he ends up going into the National Guard or not.
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

I wish I could say that my son has a level head but I dont think that would be fully true...he does to some degree but the "not knowing what to do with his life" is very accurate...he has some anxiety issues but nothing like SA. He has already signed something, as he is flying to Salt Lake City this afternoon to take the ASVAB and some kind of health exam....I dont even know why if he is going to do it he is doing the guard at all, why not just go full blown military, there are two units in Vegas and one has already been deployed so guess which one I am willing to wager he will end up in???

I think he is jumping in the pool before checking the water...its very much in his charecter to jump into things and change his mind and I dont feel this is a smart decision..

I even tried Maslow's advice this afternoon (which is very similar to what my husband told me to do also), my strategy was wait until the spring when he turns 21, give it a few months of thought, try out for the LVPD, and if he feels he still wants to do it by March, then do it. But true to form, he has already jumped into the ****ing pool...

If I thought this was a well thought out from the heart decision it would be easier to accept, but sadly I do not believe it is because I KNOW this kid....

I only want the best for him, unlike anyone else in his life I have no ulterior motives or anything...my thoughts are to try to help him acheive good things FOR HIM...even his own father cannot say that....I wanted him to at least WAIT and THINK....and ultimately if its what he wanted to do then do it. I always look out for his best interest...and I dont think this is a good decision....

So I am 100% sure he will pass the ASVAB tomorrow and probably the physical too...

I asked about being gay and he just said "dont ask, don't tell...I am not going to say anything..."

I need a really good stiff drink.
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: My son wants to join the national guard....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny
I am at a loss with what to do with my rather hardheaded son. My kid is 20, will be 21 next spring. He does not live in the same city as me, we moved out here a few years ago for a job offer and he opted to stay where he grew up....my son has been a rather large handful since he was a teen, but I love him with all my heart, help him all I can, call him all the time, visit frequently etc..

He called me yesterday to tell me he wants to join the National Guard, which to me is pretty much a guaranteed plane ride to Iraq. My son knows full well that I am not supportive of the war. Until only a year ago, he wasnt either....he had toyed with the idea of the military being that he was in ROTC in high school but decided against it with what is going on in Iraq.

But something made him decide to change his mind last year when he suddenly took on "republican" views and changed his stance on the war.

But none of this is about politics to me anyway.....he wants to try to be an MP, he wants to be a cop and somehow has it in his head that this will help him tremendously. He is 21 next spring and can try out for the cops in the city he lives in, I dont know why he cannot AT LEAST wait until then...

When he told me this last night, the conversation got tense pretty quick....I am not trying to crush his "dreams", hell I pay for all his classes that he is taking (hoping to get a degree in criminal justice) and while I am not wild about the idea of him being a cop, I have always been supportive. He is accusing me of not being supportive and thinking only of myself and how this affects me rather than the positive things it will do for him, which I am sorry, but I HONESTLY DO FAIL TO see the positive in this....

I just dont want my kid shipped overseas to be tortured or killed, to be quite frank.

I have tried to be nothing BUT supportive to this kid....



Long post, sorry, just at my wits end with this guy....
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