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Veteran's Day - happy day for others, depressing for me

As I watched the Veteran's Day parade, I saw some young active duty soldiers. I became depressed when I reflected how hard my life was since I was honorably discharged in '91. My MOS went on a freeze because of cutback. Also, when I presented my DD214 to an interviewer for a job, she commented that most of her hires had 10+ service time. The job was on a point value system. I was only a E4 (Army Specialist) when I separated. I cried hard because I wasn't even considered for the job. I had to work many years in fast food. My daughter has been raised by someone else because of my financial instability. Oh did I not mention that the Army does not accept single mothers?

Today feels so much like experiencing Christmas away from a family (the Army) that has turned away from me. (And yes, my actual father hasn't spoken to me since I separated from the military.)

How do I put these sad feelings into perspective today?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:45 PM on Nov. 11, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (8)
  • I'm sorry for these losses in your life. It sounds like all these years even with your separation from the army you still find your self worth in what you used to have. So if thats true I encourage you to find your worth in something that you can love and be passionate about. Have you tried getting scholarships for school? Medical training programs take as little as 6-9 months and will get you better salary and set you up for a better life. Make new goals for your life and go after them. Love to you!

    Answer by MamaChamp at 12:50 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

  • MamaChamp,

    Thank you. Very Nice.

    I have been through school. I've studies business and CIS. I currently work in finance. I live very close to an army base. There's not much more for the average civilian Joe in the surrounding area. Not only do I see military families of 2-3-4 children, the military is really a social status here. To help myself, I feel that I need to move to a large city that has more of a cultural (and progressive) influence that I don't have to feel like an outsider. Seem that in this town (and my family), it's that you're in or you're out (in relation of the military). And, I'm out. My SO is working for his federal retirement as a DOD police officer in six years. And there were times when he was more attentive to those in uniform than to me. So spousal separation is a reality too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:19 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

  • I don't really know what to say. I am sorry for your sadness. I also want to extend my appreciation for your service to our country. I am sorry that your family has a mental block on loving and accepting you as you are, and not as what you do. We don't get to pick family or tell them how to accept us. We only have a choice of how we accept their behavior, or choose not to accept their behavior. I also have family that are only interested in their family connections when there is an opportunity to benefit. I have left them behind. It was the most liberating thing I have done. I let go of the resentment and decided that they are who they are and I don't have to accept them or their behavior. It was not easy, but it was completely and totally worth it. That's just how it worked for me. I hope that you will be able to find a way to hold your self esteem higher than other's worth in you. I hope that made sense.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:37 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

  • Anon, I am sorry. But I understand the military rule. In the military, the mission always comes first. Single parents in the military are req. to legally have a nonmilitary person (in immediate area at all times) on call at all times, 24-hrs/day,7days/wk, 365 days/yr~, who will legally agree (in writing) to take custody of your child at all times with NO notice. This got complicated and people were being dishonorably discharged and so the military has made it a strict rule to be enforced.

    Sidenote: I have heard the Army National Guard accepts single parents. Have you tried there?


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 1:42 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

  • I twittered your question, and got this link...

    WAIVERS: FOR SINGLE & MILITARY PARENTS (6) Applicants without a spouse and who have custody of dependent (s) or married applicants whose spouse is in any military component, must have a Family Care Plan (DA Form 5305-R and /or DA Form 5960 and accompanying documents) completed per AR 600-20 prior to submission of waiver. Contact a recruiter for waiver information


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 1:44 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

  • grlygrls2, Thank you.

    My daughter is nineteen now. And even when she was young, I had no family support. So, I would have to give up complete custody as an adoption (as far as I understand). Maybe I could have returned duty through the National Guard or the reserves, but I became zombified through trying to find a regular income throughout the years.

    My issue is now more emotional, that I'm reliving my transitional years of hardship (even though I've gotten past them financially).

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:57 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

  • NO! NO! NO! You would not have had to give up custody as in an adoption. You could have given temporary custody to a family member or close friend if no family were available. LOTS of female Marines who are single mothers have done this when they have to deploy.

    I'm so sorry for your sadness over your departure from the Army...and I have to say that I understand it because I felt much the same when I left active duty in the Marine Corps the first time in 1998.

    Perhaps you could find some counseling? Because I don't think that this is something that you want to hold onto.

    I wish you the very best!


    Answer by SterlingLegend at 3:14 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

  • I think some counseling would help you feel better. You might also feel better with a real change of focus. I am very appreciative of your service. Perhaps you can find a way to work with the military without being military. Give some serious thought to the needs of the military in your area. It might just be that YOU are just what is needed.

    My SIL had a hard time adjusting when she got out the military. Her hubby was still in so she went from being an officer to wife/mom. It was hard for her. Her hubby has been out for some time and she runs a hugely successful business that she started herself.

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 5:34 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

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