I found out that Buggy spent some time yesterday with some friends who shared with him the harsh realities of military life. Yes, I agree with you that he should have talked with these friends, both of whom are veterans, before he entered the Delayed Enlistment Program.
And I would've gladly told him that at the time...if only...
a. I had known he was considering this so seriously, and....oh yeah....
b. he had been answering/returning my calls.
Nevertheless, he is now considering this from all of the perspectives....and is beginning to realize that his recruiter was telling him only the positives. "You'll get to see the world...your family will be taken care of...college will be paid for...etc."
Granted, these things are possible...but they must be weighed with the realities of what it means to join THE MILITARY when your country is in a war -- a war which doesn't seem to be ending any time soon.
As we were talking, and I realized that he was thinking about getting out....I had a small anxiety attack when it dawned on me that he has actually been sworn in.
I felt much better after I found out that, since he's only been sworn in to the Delayed Enlistment Program...he could still request to be discharged -- with no penalty. (He's not enlisted for real until he finishes high school, and gets sworn in the 2nd ~~and official~~ time.) From what I've learned this afternoon, it is possible to get discharged from the DEP with few, if any, negative ramifications.
Especially if it's due to the individual's decision to pursue his or her college education.
Which he's now thinking is a far more appealing option.
I was very honest with him...told him that I was not excited about the prospect of him going to war. And possibly getting hurt or killed. But, if he weighed the pros and cons and decided that's what he wanted to do, I would support his decision. Because, after all, he's the one who's living his life.
That being said, I sure did spend the afternoon online researching the enlistment process....and how a 17 year old kid can extricate himself from the consequences of a rather impulsive decision.
...and yes...I realize that some might feel Buggy should not "waste" the recruiter's time and efforts by "bailing" on the Marines. Yes, those are my tax dollars that paid that recruiter to spend time with a kid who ultimately decided to take a different path.
But do I want people in the military...fighting to preserve my freedom and my country...who are not 100% sure that they want to be there..simply because 'the recruiter invested time in them"?!?!?? Helllllllll, no.
(It'd be a whole new ball of wax if he had this change of heart after signing that iron-clad, legally binding, contract and climbing on the bus to boot camp. But he hasn't even finished high school yet, for pete's sake!)
Keep your fingers crossed, my friends. Send up some prayers, as well. The Bugg has got some decisions to make.