A Valliant Effort

This weekend, (the 4th of July weekend) the wayward, prodigal and oft M.I.A. son (#1 of 5) decided to show up for the first time since way before the demise of the 'scort (and his own means of transportation).

One of the "revelations" that came from having him around this weekend, is that he had been considering a career in the military. His (maternal) grandfather is former Navy, and he was actually EXCITED to talk to us about, show us (on the net), and contemplate with us - a life in the Navy.

On Monday - this wayward and prodigal son had asked me to take him to the recruiting office. Not wanting to diminish his enthusiasm in any way - we did just that.

Upon arrival at the Navy Recruiting office, we were met by a shining example of what a Navy officer is all about. He really was a stand up sort of guy.

#1 of 5 and the recruiter talked for a few minutes - about Navy Life, and the recruiter said that he needed to gather some information before they went too much further. He started off by having #1 of 5 fill out a basic information form, and they (the Recruiter and #1 of 5) went through it. After successfully completing that initial form, the Recruiter took out a second form - this was a medical form...

Very quickly we learned that #1 of 5's hearing impairment, and diagnosis of Tourette's Syndrome left him "ineligible" for service. I should have realized this before we even left, but to be honest - he has overcome these things so well, that I forget about them completely. (He wears hearing aids in both ears, and as far as the Tourette's goes, you may never know he has it if he did not tell you)

We thanked the Recruiter for his time, and headed home. The drive home was almost surreal in it's silence - when compared to the dive too the Recruiting office - in which I could not get #1 of 5 to stop talking.

I felt a significant sorrow for his let-down. More than I have felt in a very long time for him... He really found something to motivate, and excite him. Something that would help him move foward, but found yet another road block. I am trying my best to keep his spirits up, and to "shift" his level of enthusiasm from the Military to something else he can find an intrest in, but I fear that this will diminish significantly, and (as much as I do NOT want this to happen) we will see a return of the wayward, prodigal and M.I.A. #1 of 5 that we have come to grips with.

Regardless of the outcome, I am proud of what he TRIED to accomplish.


  1. It seems your Son is at the point he knows he needs to move on and start making a difference. Public service in the Navy can be rewarding and exciting but it isn't the only avenue to fill the need. Now may be the time to approach him about continuing his education - time to lay out short, medium and long term goals (have him write them out). Hopefully you are able to change his description from "wayward" to "motivated" :)

    BTW, very well written blog. :)

  2. Mr. Goering - following your link takes me to a Air Force / Navy Recruiting Blog.

    This leads me to believe that you may be one of these "stand up guys" that I met the other day.

    If this is indeed true - please let me personally thank you for your service to our country. It's men like you who keep my family and I safe.

    Please accept my heartfelt thanks for all that you do.

    I have another post you may be intrested in reading. Out little town lost one of it's own in Iraq - and I wrote a bit about it. My blog post dedicated to Spc Joshua R Anderson has recieved more hits than any other post I have ever written.

    Honoring a Fallen Soldier & An Amazing Sight

    Thank you for your complent on my blog.


  3. That's really too bad for #1 of 5. As a parent, my child's disappointments hurt more than my own.
    I'm not going to worry too much about #1 of 5 though. With his family support, I know he will find and equally fulfilling calling and succeed.
    Good Luck, #1 of 5.

  4. David,
    Very good post. Everything seems more real the closer it gets.

    I actually write a Navy Recruiting/Navy blog (the Air Force post was a comparison :))

    I retired with a little over 26 years in the Navy back in Dec 06. My 1 of 3 did 6 years and my 2 of 3 is currently on the USS GW on the way (soon as they get repaired) to Japan.

    You should approach your local paper with some of your articles, your a talented writer.

    R/Tom Goering
    NCCM USN(ret)


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