Wednesday, July 21, 2010

After Today, I Believe

I will be the mother of a military son. Over the weekend, on the way to visit my ailing mother, we talked about the different branches of the military, what each unit is known for, and what he was interested in. At first he said bomb making in the Marines but I think it is the utter stoicness that instills a desire in him to join, not the actual bomb making. As we talked it became clearer:

He does not know what he wants to do, knows that he is wicked smart, knows that he is far more capable of doing great things than he is doing now.

One point in time it was intelligence, another it was being a Navy Seal as he thought, and still thinks, the final test of getting shot out of a torpedo tube (is that even real?!?!!?) sounds pretty amazing.

Ultimately, he's always wanted to fly. At 6'8" that is not going to happen. He wanted to be an astronaut when he was a little boy and often remarked on our weekend trips to Cape Canaveral that he wondered if he'd fit when he grew up. He inspected the shuttles, watched the videos, we watched a live launch of Discovery, he did an entire research project as a 6th grader on Johnson where we are connected to the in-flight director of NASA (he owns everything that flies off the ground for NASA up to and including the shuttles, international space station, and ...). We were photographed by the Tampa Tribune when we visited the memorial to astronauts; my eyes watered as I remembered to the horrible day the Challenger broke apart; the photographer caught that moment... my young son said he wanted to be like them... only land safely back on Earth.

Today, he will sign up for one of the military branches. I hope he chooses one that will allow him to aspire to something greater than he is doing now, allow him to somehow fulfill that youngster's dream of flying... for we all know how hard it is to let our dreams go.

2 comments:

Old MD Girl said...

Is there a height limit for being in the armed forces? I know that you can't be a pilot if you're taller than 6'4, but I wondered about the other branches as well.

A Doc 2 Be said...

There is a height limit on flying in all branches as the aircraft are primarily built by Boeing or Mc-D.

He could fly drones for Navy/AF...

As for overall height limit, no there is not.

He will need to take the ASVAB test which the military uses to align an enlistees brains with job opportunities.

I could see him flying drones, working on computers, ... we'll see what each branch has to offer :)