Since Jr. High School, Adam has dreamed of becoming a soldier. He watched his brother join the Army and was so proud of him and the work he did to serve his country. He wanted to be just like Jake. Unfortunately it looks like his dream has come to an end.
Last fall, Adam starting talking to a recruiter and early in the spring filled out all the paperwork and was ready to go to boot camp once he graduated. I went with him when he sat down to fill out the forms needed. The recruiter asked all the typical questions including whether Adam had ever had any surgery. I mentioned he had surgery at the age of 4 to correct strabismus in his left eye. The recruiter said it wouldn't be a problem and Adam moved on in the process.
Before graduation, the recruiter called Adam to inform him that the Army was no longer enlisting soldiers for full time Army but they could take him in the Army Reserves. I questioned that and was told that because of the poor economy, many men and women were joining the military because they couldn't find jobs in the private sector. It wasn't what Adam wanted but the recruiter assured him that eventually they could transfer him to active duty. So the process continued.
Yesterday, Adam received a call from his recruiter stating that he had been rejected because of his eye surgery. He was devastated. I called the recruiter to discuss the situation and he told me that every recruiter in the office was absolutely stunned with the decision. He told me that one of the recruiters has the same problem but more severe and it had never been an issue. I asked him about Adam talking to the National Guard and he said that it would be the same MEPS Board and Adam would have the same results.
After contacting a few other people someone suggested I contact Rep. Raul Labradors office. I called and talked to Torrey who is in charge of military affairs for Rep. Labrador and she has sent me the paperwork for file an appeal. However, she told me that right now the military is finding any excuse to reject people applying because of the military cutbacks and the economy. She told me about a young man, 4.0 student, football player in excellent physical health other than a slight curve in his spine. He too was all set to go and was rejected by the MEPS Board. She also told me that it's because so many people can't find work that they're taking the military jobs.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that our economy would be so incredibly bad that it would be impossible to join the military. Never in our nation's history has this ever been a problem. They have always welcomed almost anyone who would consider serving.
I don't know what to think about our country that's in such a state that one of my sons had to leave the country to find a job and the other son who wants to take a job that most people have never wanted, but now are taking because they can't find work, leaving the young people who TRULY want to serve without the opportunity.
So, Adam has 2 choices. He can wait a few years and see if things improve and they will eventually take him, or he can move to another state and not tell the recruiter about his surgery when he was 4. I guess it's something we'll have to talk about over the next few days. I wish I knew how to advise him.