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 ValkyrieHJR
Joined: 8/8/2009
Msg: 6
Military Life and the Single Parent?Page 3 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
I am ex navy, and I know while I was in I met several single parents. You will actually need to turn custody of your children over to a family member, such as your parents, or someone else that is trustworthy before you can even sign the paperwork to join. But I am pretty certain that as long as your exes don't object you can choose who gets custody. That does not mean you have to do it permanently. Or you can have a power of attorney drawn in regards to everything concerning your children for said family member. They do this because you will be spending at least the first 8 weeks in training and unless it's a major emergency (death, etc.) your training won't be interrupted. If you are stationed on a ship you would have to have something of the same sort in place.

Be extremely careful when talking to a recruiter. They are allowed to basically tell you anything in order to get you to sign up. The best resource for questions like that would be to actually speak with people that are in the service or have just gotten out within the past couple of years.

And I am sure everyone has already told you this, but if you d decide to go into the military, no matter what branch it is, make sure everything is in writing and it is very specific. My ex got cheated out of an $80,000 sign on bonus because of a loophole.

I actually think the military is a good idea for a lot of people, with or without kids these days. In this economy it is a guaranteed job, with housing provided, food provided, no power unless you live off base, cable bill if you choose, and awesome health care for you and any dependents you have.
 freetime2bme
Joined: 1/16/2006
Msg: 7
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/2/2009 4:24:13 AM
http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/a/enlsingparent.htm
Single Parents are not allowed to enlist in the US Military, period. Except for the Army National Guard, waiver approvals are very, very, very rare, and most recruiters won't even submit one. In the "old days," some recruits would try to get around this restriction by giving up legal custody of their child(ren) until after basic training and job school, but the military has wised up to this practice.

"Most of the recruiters are nothing more than guys fresh out of high school who follow procedures they are shown to enlist other guys out of high school"
This is total BS, to qualify to be a recruiter your at least an E-5 with three or more years of service under your belt. The onlt exception to this is a 30-60 day home town recruiter job, but they are not qualified to do any of the interviews or paperwork, they just provide leads to the real recruiters.

If you become a single parent while on active duty you have a vary limited time to put together a contingincy plan, because your job is to be ready to go some place on short notice. I.E. when placed on orders said child's costody goes to the ex, mom, dad or other. These plans are reviewed by lots of people to make sure they are completed.

The military does not want you if your a single parent, but if your all ready in and can have some one take your children when your deployed they will let you stay in.

google if you could not find this info, don't think you will pass the test to get in any ways.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 8
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/2/2009 8:21:50 AM
You will need get it in writing from both dads that they are giving guardianship of your children to your parents in the event of your deployment or death.

And maybe I am a little bit sensitive because I saw what it did to my kids when I nearly bought the farm but are you really ready to leave them without a mother who ever comes back? I do respect people that are in the military because it is their service that allows us to maintain the lives we do but here's the thing.

A woman lost her husband a few years back. He was a police officer killed by a drunk driver. She was a beat cop and she took a desk job because they had only one parent and she didn't want to risk them losing both. Your kids essentially have one parent because while you apparently have a joint parenting arrangement, neither of the men is prepared to be a full-time parent to your kids and unless both are in agreement with it, will not allow your parents to raise them if you are killed.

I can understand your attitude about the benefits and the career but could this possibly at least wait a few more years until they aren't so terribly young? My children were 7, 11 and 14, when I got sick but the hospitalization fell in the middle of their birthdays so they were essentially 8, 12, and 15 when they were dealing with the aftermath of almost losing me. It was very difficult for them and I can't even imagine how hard it would be for a younger child whom you have influenced only for a few short years to actually lose you as a parent. Their dad financially supports them but he would be totally incapable of raising them and they knew it.

In your situation being similar even if you don't go into the military it would seem like a good idea to get both the ex's on board for a will that stipulates your mother raising those kids if something ever happens to you. Unfortunately, most people do not think about this and leave those decisions to the courts.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 9
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/2/2009 8:26:54 AM
I googled how to handle child custody when deployed.

This is the search url, the first two articles spoke to the difficulties involved and the second in particular is a blog, I read the op and first response, you will likely find some information on that one and it seemed like plenty of information came up.

http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GGLS_enUS340US341&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=how+to+handle+child+custody+when+deployed

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/05/AR2007050500673.html

http://www.parentdish.com/2008/01/15/military-deployment-and-child-custody/

A search of military parents also provided many websites.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_enUS340US341&q=military+parents&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g1g-s1g4
 ValkyrieHJR
Joined: 8/8/2009
Msg: 12
Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/2/2009 10:02:02 PM
The military actually offers very good life insurance. And there are a lot of single parents that are in the military. Or at least while I was in. You don't have to give up complete custody of your kids. You just need to have that plan in place so that at a moment's notice, if need be, the kids will be taken care of. It's not as bad as it sounds.

Like I said, free health care, which is actually pretty decent for family members. If you get an apartment out on town, and the government will help pay for it, along with things like your power bill. Not to mention you have the commisary and PX to shop at, which usually has extremely good prices for military. Oh, and big kicker right now.....no chance of being laid off or losing that guaranteed paycheck as long as you have the contract and don't do anything stupid like getting caught doing drugs of some sort.

But I also understand the military is not for everyone.
 freetime2bme
Joined: 1/16/2006
Msg: 15
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/3/2009 5:00:25 AM
"I don't know about what that website freetime2beme posted, but my friend Scott is a single parent and he is currently serving in the military. He was able to turn over custody to a family member. If u enlisted you should be able to use the money from the sign on bonus to find a good lawyer who can help you."

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/a/enlsingparent.htm

Gives good information about this topic. Also I had a recruiting company for two years and retired with just short of 25 years of service, so I know a little bit about this topic. If some one gives up custody they can join, each service has a different waiting period and it can be over a year. If that same person latter tries to regain custody, there is a the possibility they will be put out of the service for fraudulent enlistment. I know this because, I put three people out of the army for just this!

If one becomes a single parent while on active duty, they can stay in if and only if they complete a family support contingency package (also covered in the link I provided). This requires coverage not only for deployments, but for alerts or and other events that may come up training or real world. These are also tested and if they do not work the service member can also be put out of the service. I know this too because I had to put two people out of the army for not being able to complete the the process and have a working plan. One of the two had almost 15 years of service, but she missed the required time line twice and was put out. These are not only required for deployments but they are needed for day to day operations, because of alerts, drills or real world events. That is how the army works. Some people with the help of an ex other family members or trusted none military friends can make them work. I had a good friend with over 18 years in and his wife died. He was not about to get kicked out and he took the extra step of getting a full time home care and child provider that lived in his home, between this and his mother who moved near to him he had a plan that worked. Not cheap at all but he made it to retirement and his deployment came and went without incident.

As to using your enlistment bonus to higher a good lawyer lol, bonuses normally come broken up and only after citrine criteria is meet. As an example 1/3 is paid at the end of each year of service for three years and if the service member fails to meet all obligations it must be refunded. The "my friend did this or that", not all ways the best legal advice. Real advice is the military not a good place for a single parent.
 big pacific
Joined: 7/2/2009
Msg: 17
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/3/2009 11:39:53 AM

I mean no disrespect to American troops but as a single mother your first priority is not your country its your children and your children will not benefit from you dying. They will not benefit from you being away. Children need to feel secure to suddenly take away their main care-giver would be to traumatize your children. 7 & 2 those children are way too young to have their life deliberately thrown into turmoil.


I grew up in the military as my father is a 20 year veteran. I am nothing but proud of his service. I'm honored that he's my father. He defended the right of scum like michael moore to have the freedom to slander the people that defend him.

The new commander in chief is PROBABLY someone you love jenn, OBAMA is the one that just upped our deployment in afghanistan by 30k of our brave men and women.

Think long and hard about the service you want to sign up for OP, no matter what these posters say, the national guard knew they could be deployed, recruiters aren't the devil, and their is HONOR in defending our country. (and the people with short term memories will forget we defend a hell of a lot of other countries too) It will have a large impact on your children, although not all will be negative. I grew up in a two parent military family, so your results may vary, but I'm as successful as I am today because of the manner in which i was brought up and the people i met in my travels with my family.

As far as i know jenn, women still aren't combatants in the US military, the odds of her taking a life are VERY VERY slim. I could be wrong in this though, haven't been around the military full time in 5-6 years.
 big pacific
Joined: 7/2/2009
Msg: 18
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/3/2009 11:53:16 AM
So you will be safe Conscious.

Honor. Courage, the ability to stand when others can't. Because without that organization, people you don't know would be sent to kill you, and SOME people are willing to sacrifice so you don't have to. Not everyone has your sensibility when it comes to military service.

The urge to ruin 3 lives? Or the driving desire to protect millions of lives?


OP, again, military service does have some very serious drawbacks, and only you can know what is best for your family. I can only say the best people i've ever met were military, and it's an oppurtunity to better yourself while serving others.
 big pacific
Joined: 7/2/2009
Msg: 19
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/3/2009 12:14:23 PM
As i said to the op, there are serious drawbacks to the military lifestyle. Only she can figure out what is best for her family. Unlike you, I point out that there are 2 sides to this, and that there are rewards and consequences to her decision. Maybe she wants the financial stability offered by the GI bill to continue education, maybe she wants the retirement benefits after 20 years, maybe she wants training in the medical field. Hell maybe she wants to kill osama bin laden, i have no idea her motivation, all i'm offering is my PERSONAL experience having LIVED in a military family.

The military propaganda? Yeah it did. I was born on fort bragg and spent 3/4 of my life living in a military family. I guess you can call it propaganda, but i LIVED the life. I'd argue the propaganda they feed you at university from people that haven't been there or lived the life might be a little less informed. I don't remember ever seeing michael moore serve. All he knows to serve is his own checkbook, by selling the propoganda to people like you, who PAY him for the privaledge.

I'm cool that it isn't for you. I get that the idea of risking your own personal safety for others isn't in your makeup, what i'm NOT cool with is you disparaging those that protect YOU with their sacrifice. (your canadian military risks no less than our own as they fight by our side abroad) If canada was ever under a serious threat, we'd be the first there to protect you. I doubt anyone is going to attack a country that borders the US anyway, the very EXISTANCE of our military serves to protect you and yours.

I argue that "ruin" with 100% certainty isn't certain in the SLIGHTEST. What is your idea of success? I certainly don't feel my life was "ruined" growing up the way i did.

I feel safe at night knowing that there are people that have a higher sense of sacrifice than you. Without them, you and I wouldn't have the freedom we currently have. (and some seem to under appreciate.)
 freetime2bme
Joined: 1/16/2006
Msg: 20
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/3/2009 1:05:24 PM
Q: Why are you so much in need to enlist into an organization that will send you abroad to kill people ?
A: I all ways considered that one of the benefits, but I am not a vegan ****.

There are bad people out there and they are plotting bad things against us and are way of life. Glad there are people who are willing to step up. Single parents, not the best pick for the job.
 Allen63DH8
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 21
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/3/2009 8:09:52 PM
Daydreaming, my dad was in the military for 32 years. WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I know what it is to be a kid and have his dad gone for a year at a time. Even after my dad died years after he got out, my brother still isn't close to him.

I was also in the military for eight years, 1990-91 Gulf War included. I'm having the same problem with my younger daughter. (Obviously, I'm a single parent or I wouldn't be here.) Do you really want this kind of problem with your children? My girls have "issues" with abandonment because I was gone for a year, and because their mother left us. Again, do you really want this for your kids? Kids don't understand much more than mom or dad left them. I knew several single parents who joined and had to leave their kids behind while they were deployed. Most, their kids didn't forgive their parents for years if ever. Do you want this for you?

This is really a hard topic for me for several reasons. First, I have always encouraged people to join the military. It teaches you to put something above "self". Enlisting also teaching self-discipline, integrity, self sacrifice, and honor. Granted, not everyone comes out of the military continuing these traits, but they are taught it. When you join, you're putting your country first so your family will have a safe place to live. In a sense, you're looking out for your family, but you'll be doing so by putting them on the back burner. When the military says, "deploy", you go or you go to jail.

When you have children, you have to put them first. They didn't decide to get born. YOU decided to have them. You brought them out in the world. They depend on you. They look up to you. The military isn't a good place for a single parent. That's why I left after serving for eight years.
 ValkyrieHJR
Joined: 8/8/2009
Msg: 22
Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/3/2009 8:29:32 PM
Okay, OP, you need to do what is best for you and your family. You said that you come from a military family, so you know the sacrifices that will be involved in signing up.

And to all of you that are so against the military, there are plenty of good reasons to join the military that have absolutely nothing to do with "brainwashing" as you like to call it. I joined the Navy so that I could see the wold and travel. I still dream about going to the middle east (yes, the middle east) to see some of the most relevant religious cultures in the world.

There are plenty of jobs in any branch of the military that will not put the OP in harm's way, even considering the war in Afghanistan. You can get some extremely good job training in any branch of the military. And when you get out, you do get preferential treatment in the job market.

The military also gives people a chance to grow up and mature before moving on to the next stage of their lives. It can help teach self control and personal discipline. And it can help bring out a sense of self confidence.

(If you haven't figured it out, I am very big proponent of people spending the first 2 years out of high school either in the military or the Peace Corps)

And to Freetime, yes, people have been discharged for fraudulent enlistment, but that is one of those loophole discharges. When I say that, the people that were being discharged for trying to get custody of their kids back probaly wanted to get out and were using that for an excuse. Like I said, I knew plenty of people that were single parents in the Navy while I was in.
 ValkyrieHJR
Joined: 8/8/2009
Msg: 24
Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/4/2009 12:28:00 AM
If anyone would like to see a movie that really does show just how devastating war can be to the innocents, try watching an anime flick called Grave of the Fireflies. It's an amazingly sad movie and I don't care how tough you are, if you can make it through this movie without crying then you have absolutely no heart.

If you think that I support the war in Iraq, then you are sadly mistaken. I am outraged by the fact that we even went into that country. But at the same time, I do support our soldiers there. And the soldiers from ANY country that are fighting alongside ours.

As for Obama going out and building bridges, then please explain why he is sending more troops into Afghanistan, when he said he would begin pulling troops out in his presidential campaign.

Anyway, yes there is a chance the OP could get killed in the military. There is also a chance she can get killed by a drunk driver crossing the street tomorrow. If she does her research, and looks into all of her options, it is very likely she can get a completely non combat job.

OP, if this is something you want to do, then by all means, do it. Just make sure it is what you really want and that you will be okay with being away from your children for long periods of time. I still think the best thing you can do is try to find some people that have been through it recently or are still in the military and talk to them about it. You can talk to a recruiter and see what they have to say, but I would take that with a grain of salt.
 big pacific
Joined: 7/2/2009
Msg: 25
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/4/2009 8:52:47 AM

Might is not always right. Violence rarely solves a problem...it only perpetuates more violence. Extremists hatred of the US was born somehow and you can be sure that if all the facts were known about how that birth took place, the "pride" of the US citizens would take a bit of a beating. Your current President is doing so much to fend off future problems for your country by building bridges of peace and yet his critics will say he is weakening the US. The methods used to date have brought your country to where it is today. If history is not an effective teacher....it will continue to create the same result. Sometimes, it is necessary to shake the very foundations of policy and think outside of the box to find a lasting solution.



Look i agree, and i don't support and never DID support any iraq or afghanistan incursion. For the simple fact that i don't see THEIR bickering over thousands of years worth OUR countries citizens dying.

Look, PART of the reason america is targeted isn't just foreign policy, to assume such is infantile at best. They are the biggest kid in school, to prove a point you punch the biggest kid, not the nerd with the pocket protector. I'm sure canada would "mobilize", as they did when they fought valiantly in ww1, ww2 and korea. I'm proud to have our allies to the north.

But a nation to defend yourself effectively you are not. You forget, wars aren't always started about foreign policy. You act like being friendly preempts wars. Ask poland how that shit worked when they signed a treaty with hitler, oh shit, they got invaded what 2 weeks later? Ask vischy france how that works. SOMETIMES people just invade no matter HOW nice your ass was to them. If lets say China decided they wanted your oil reserves, with ZERO standing military you'd be able to defend yourselves eh?

For people that preach about americans having a lack of knowledge of history, we sure do cherry pick the battles don't we? Canada's armed services have had a few dark days too as I recall. I seem to remember back in 93 an entire regiment was disbanded because some of your "peacekeepers" tortured a somali teenager to death. And for the peacekeepers, as a group that didn't want to go to afghanistan until it was approved by the UN, you sure as hell don't support the UN with troops, you rank 51st with 130 troops out of 70,000.

None of that matters though, my point is you can cherry pick and look for the negative all you want, the armed services of our nations are necessary, and the sacrifices are great for those that choose to enlist. I dont' know what her situation with her children are, just trying to impart the first hand knowledge i have of the military system here in the states, not bring in politics to see if it's a "just" war, or blame goverenments for their actions, but to support those that fight and die under orders with the END result of protecting us all. No matter how you feel about the current incursions, that is the purpose of the military.
 freetime2bme
Joined: 1/16/2006
Msg: 26
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/4/2009 3:50:07 PM
" Bin Laden has no beaf with China though, his beef is with the US...."

You have not read the writings and words of Bin Laden, his beef is with every none islamic nation on earth to include the grate white north and please don't make me work the google for you on this. If you wish you can find then without to much effort. The US has more open boarders then almost all the other prime targets so yes we have been hit, but if you think we are the only ones you are way under schooled on this subjected to be talking about it. From your other post you should also read up on what being a member of NATO means, from them you don't have a real clue also. Take a look what being a member of NATO means, then tell me the one nation that does the most to stand by it. Tell you what not much of a contract any more if you ask me.
 Allen63DH8
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 29
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/7/2009 2:16:37 AM
Daydreaming, if you really want to give your children a good future, go back to school and get a job with the education you get. As a person who's "been there, done that", please trust me when I say it's for not only for your good, but your children's good that you don't join. Please put them first in your life.

The difference between what your sister's kids and your kids will be going through is YOU won't be there with your mom to help raise them. That's one less person to help raise them. Is that really better than having both you and your mom raising your children? In addition to one less person raising your children, you're adding stress on you mom. How is that additional stress going to effect your son with his Autism? I too have a disabled child. That's one of the reason I left the military. However, I didn't just leave. I came to the end of my terms of service. When I had a choice between re-upping or getting out, I got out. My girls needed me more than my country did.

When I returned from the Gulf, Elizabeth, my daughter with cerebral palsy, jumped out of my father-in-law's arms and into mine. She gave me a hug, then looked into my eyes, hugged me again, then looked into my eyes, then hugged me once again, then tried to talk to me. I got the impression that she was trying to say she never wanted me to leave ever again. I kept that promise not to ever leave her. My in-laws, my parents, and my ex said she would go days crying for me. She wouldn't eat for days while she was crying for me. Elizabeth would fixate on the TV, looking for me. Every time she saw soldiers, she would watch closely to see if she could find me. When the news was over, she would go back to crying. Everyone said she never was happy while I was gone. She would push everyone away because she wanted her daddy.

When I got back, my younger daughter would stare at me like she was trying to figure out who I was. To this day, almost 19 years later, there still seems to be an invisible wall between us. We're close, but there's like "something" that keeps us apart. We're not as close as Elizabeth and I. I mean, we're close, but not as close. No matter how hard I've tried, there's this invisible wall between us. It's like how my brother and dad were.

Back in the 60s, while my dad was in Vietnam, a Navy pastor showed up at our door and told us my dad was missing after his riverboat was blown up. I was five or six years old at the time. I remember thinking that I am now the man of the family. My mother didn't know what to do. She ended up stressing big time. She was born and raised in Japan. She left Japan a few years earlier, in 1960, so she didn't have family to turn to. My dad's family was on the east coast, so there was no contact from them. We wouldn't get a hold of them because my dad said he didn't want to have much to do with them. I want to say it was perhaps a month. Maybe three weeks before we got a message from the Navy saying they found my dad onboard a hospital ship. They didn't know who he was because he was brought in without ID. A few months later, he came home only to get orders to go back to Vietnam several months later. A few months later, another Navy pastor stopped by to tell us my dad was missing after his river patrol boat was blown up. It was the same thing all over again. My mom ended up having a nervous breakdown, and on Valium.

After my dad came home, he informed us that his sea duty days were over because he had re-enlisted enough times. I hope you see why I do not recommend single parents to join the military. As for "If you are not willing to stand behind our military men and women, by all means, feel free to stand in front of them." You're not in. I was. I was in the first wave into Iraq back in 1991. When I came back, my dad said he joined the military in hopes that I never would have to. I'm trying to convince you not to join so your children won't have to go through what I did as a kid.

Remember one thing; Once you enlist, you can't back out or quit unless you want to end up in federal prison. When you're in, you're in until the end of your enlistment. If you leave, especially during a deployment, you WILL end up in jail. Starting with your home town, the police will be notified. Next, your social security number will be tagged so you can't get employment. If you do find employment, your social security number will alert the feds of your location. btw... leaving when you've been placed on orders that you're going to be deployed is called desertion. It's punishable by death. More than likely, you'll end up doing life in federal prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

Now, if you still want to join, email me at Allen63DH8 at cs dot com. I'll let you know what you need to do as a single parent to join, starting with your last will and testament. Resign yourself to going to war. That's the purpose of the military.


In the meantime, start running, and do push-ups and sit-ups. You need to be able to run two miles in 19:42 minutes, and do at least 19 push ups in two minutes to graduate basic training. I think women have to do at least 47 sit-ups in two minutes to graduate basic.
http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/apa/rc/apft.htm

Here's the weight standards for the Army:
http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/apa/rc/weight.htm

Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is delightful to those who have no experience of it]
-Erasmus
"The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars."
-William Westmoreland
 Allen63DH8
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 30
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/7/2009 2:49:09 AM
ConsciousSoul, I may not like your views on the military or the US, but I agree with what you say about how military life is not great for children. In one sense, I don't regret seeing the world and experiencing other cultures. In fact, I enjoyed the hell out of the experiences. I feel it made me more tolerant and understanding of other cultures because I lived in other countries. Also, I got to see things many people never get to see or experience. However, I don't have any childhood friends. I don't have family beyond my mom (dad died from cancer from agent orange contamination) and my siblings. I don't have childhood toys because we had to get rid of them every time we moved. I don't have a "home town". I don't have a place where I "grew up". I was always the "new kid" every few years when we moved. Mostly, I''m a vague memory in my former classmate's minds because I didn't attend schools for more than a few years. I have problems making friends; I gave up on making them at an early age because I knew I was only going to lose them when I move with-in a few years. A rich life? YES! But at what price?

I hope the OP reads this so she'll know what she'll put her children through.

btw... The rumors of the US invading to plunder the Canadian resources are not true. (The plans are top secret, and we'd have to kill you if you ever found out about them. )
 big pacific
Joined: 7/2/2009
Msg: 32
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/9/2009 7:53:35 AM

I don't have childhood toys because we had to get rid of them every time we moved. I don't have a "home town". I don't have a place where I "grew up". I was always the "new kid" every few years when we moved. Mostly, I''m a vague memory in my former classmate's minds because I didn't attend schools for more than a few years. I have problems making friends; I gave up on making them at an early age because I knew I was only going to lose them when I move with-in a few years.


My experience is quite different. I'm very outgoing and make friends VERY easily. It also allowed my brother and I to become closer than any set of siblings i've ever seen. Some people give up, others flourish. Just like normal kids.
 jellybean2
Joined: 1/19/2009
Msg: 33
Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/10/2009 12:11:27 AM
I'm ex military myself, but I got out when my son was born, almost 10 years ago. I still miss the life, but I'd miss my son more. Last year I was made redundant, and did consider going back, but ultimately, I landed a Civilian job at a Military base, and now I couldn't be happier! I have a lot of the benefits, I feel like I'm back where I belong, and I have job security, but without all the crap that goes with being in uniform. AND, I don't have to worry about being deployed somewhere for months at a time.
 Globalgirl78
Joined: 11/29/2008
Msg: 34
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History
Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 12/10/2009 6:43:01 PM
I'm in the Army Reserves now, I was active duty until last year. I'm a captain and I was commissioned through ROTC. To enter the Army if you have children, you sign over custody of your children to whomever you choose. I personally suggest your mother and stepfather because of their stability and preparedness. You will have plenty of paperwork to sign and for them to sign explaining the proceedure and what is required of you. Your contracts will be VERY clear, be sure to take your time and always read everything you sign through your whole career. Giving them parental rights would mean you would not be able to cover your children under Tricare unless you have custody of them or some kind of child support is established (if you can do that). You be sure to choose what career field you want. Don't let anyone choose for you or let you think that you can't wait until that career field opens up. You have until your Oath of Enlistment to change your mind about enlisting also.
Once you are enlisted (if you choose Army), you will go through basic training, then your AIT, or whatever it is called now, which will take you away from your family for about a year or more, depending on the career you choose. You will live on post in the barracks as a young soldier. You will recieve your basic pay and BAS (subsistance allowance). BAH is for when you live off post and COLA is for when you are stationed in an area where the cost of living is high, like CA, CT, NY, etc. Once you achieve the rank of E5 or you get married, you can move off post. Opinion here... Things can change over the course of 1-3 years and if you have the rank or the new spouse and it is feasible for you to gain custody of your children because your parents can no longer or are no longer willing to care for them, you can regain custody of them. There is probably that "fraudulent enlistment" policy, but you do your research. If you have your children in your custody, you will be required to have a Family Care Plan (Army), a will, a living will etc to cover you and your family for training excercises and deployments. They will have you update your records about every 6 months or so to screen for changes.
There are careers you can choose that will keep you on a camp if you should have to deploy. When I was in Iraq, I went on 3 convoys, one was to go to a party. I'm not going to insinuate that it is safe to deploy, but there are those with cushy jobs and those with more dangerous jobs, even for females. The Airforce, Navy and Marines were right out there with us doing the same work.
Understand, first and foremost, we are soldiers and we are trained to kill. You have to be physically and mentally prepared to do that. The physical may be cake for you or you may dread it (I for one dread it, but it makes me look soooo good). The mental part, you may shine at your job, but if you meet the point where your life is at steak, you are trained to react and you will. You may be a hero or you may be a victim in many ways.
If you know this is what you want to do, like the Navy woman said, Go for it! I'm sure you will be a great service member, but it is definately not for everyone. There will be plenty of opportunites for you to see your children. You have people that have posted who are "military brats". Many of them adjust very well because it is all they know, and some struggle, I'm sure you will do what is best for them. Just know the order, "Duty First", then your family.
 barefootkitten
Joined: 12/17/2009
Msg: 35
Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 1/6/2010 8:43:52 PM
While I have every respect for those who fight for their country, your prime responsibility is to your children. Have you considered the (very) real possibility that if (or should I say when) you are deployed elsewhere, you are putting your life in danger? Your children only have one full-time parent, are you willing to take that away from them? Have you even considered the genuine risk to your life? As parents, it is our responsibility to take care for our health and safety. There is an obligation to our children, that we chose to make when we had them, to be there for them. Why would you do anything to jeopardize your ability to be there for them as they grow? You shouldn't be asking yourself who will watch them if you get deployed, but rather, who will raise them if you do and are killed?
 freetime2bme
Joined: 1/16/2006
Msg: 40
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History
Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 2/15/2010 4:24:09 AM
When Afghanistan starts looking like the best option, your not likely the best single parent out there. It is with good reasons the military does not enlist single parents. The OP would need to give up custody of her children and she has stated on other threads that at least one of them has special needs. It would be a lot to ask a family member to take on normal healthy kids, but it would really be a lot to ask for this with special needs children. If some one is ready to quit on their kids, bet they would not be ready for the hardships of military service and if their kids can't depend on them, do you think the service members serving with them could? I don't.
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 43
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Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 2/16/2010 8:13:29 AM
Active military need a written and signed plan in case of deployment. Can you get the fathers to sign a document stating your Mother is an acceptable guardian in your absence?
 TheArmyLife
Joined: 10/17/2008
Msg: 46
Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 2/24/2010 9:19:22 AM
As a single parent, you cannot join the active duty military. People will say, "Oh, you can just give up custody and get it back later." No, that will not work. I know people in the Army who've tried it, and they failed. Your chain of commande wasn't born yesterday. When you try to get custody back, you will get chaptered (kicked out) out of the Army for fraudulent enlistment. Quite possibly, your discharge would be an other-than-honorable discharge (considering you lied on official documents), which pretty much will prevent you from getting any decent job in the future.
 TheArmyLife
Joined: 10/17/2008
Msg: 47
Military Life and the Single Parent?
Posted: 2/24/2010 9:28:45 AM

Then join the National Guard or reserve. You'll Get training, education benefits among others and you're gone from home for short stints.


Yeah, because it's not like the National Guard gets deployed or anything.

My National Guard unit spent 23 straight months gone (Sep 05 - Aug 07) to 6 months of predeployment training and a 17 month combat tour. Now, they are back in Iraq again. Basically, they will have been deployed 3.5 of the last 5 years when they get back.

Don't beleive anyone who says that the National Guard or Reserves are "one weekend a month, two weeks a year." It hasn't been like that for years.
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