Staying Positive: 5 Points to Remember When Your Child Enlists in the Military
It’s happened: your child has decided to enlist in the military.
This decision brings with it a mixture of anxiety surrounding the unknown as well as an eagerness to support them in their journey.
Balancing these emotions can certainly be difficult. Even with all of the resources that we have available to us in this modern age, it is hard when your child tells you they want to enlist in the military.
By focusing more on the positive aspects that will coincide with your child’s enlistment, you are more apt to approach the situation from an optimistic, mindful standpoint. After all, it is certainly not “bad” news!
Your child is about to embark on an honorable journey that will leave them more disciplined, educated, and well-rounded than they were before they left. Below are some key encouraging points to keep in mind when coming to terms with your child’s enlistment:
1. Advancements in technology equate to more communication.
Your son or daughter may not be able to consistently communicate with you during training. However, there are many ways to keep in touch with them during their time on base.
Although many military personnel still love getting snail mail, innovative technology gives us a variety of options to thoroughly communicate. Whether it be video chatting, e-mail, texting, or even engagement on social media, you are sure to have the means to communicate on various platforms.
It is important to note that internet access is not always reliable, especially overseas. But most military personnel do have the ability to check in with their family to ease their worries at fairly regular intervals.
2. Enlistment opens the door to free education.
Thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, military personnel are eligible for up to $50,000 toward their education costs.
These funds can go toward college coursework, vocational classes, on-site job training, and even tutoring resources, if necessary. The only stipulation is that they have to adhere to the payment obligations that are set forth during their first year of service.
We all know how student loan debt can often hold individuals back for a long time before they have access to financial freedom.
Having the military pay for your child’s education fully, or even partially, is a fantastic benefit that will serve them well over their lifetime.
3. Your child will never worry about job security.
Wondering if our children will have financial independence and stability when without us is easily at the forefront of our minds as parents.
Enlisting in the military gives your son or daughter the ultimate job security due to the nature of the contracts that recruits sign. This binds them to their service for a set period. It is very rare for personnel to be fired unless the reasons approach treason, corruption, or some other seriously heinous act.
As an active duty military member, your child will receive a dependable salary along with compensation for amenities such as rent, utilities, and even fuel costs. This is much more than what most young adults gain directly upon finishing school.
Some struggle with securing these needs for their entire lives. You can find peace in knowing that your child will not.
4. Healthcare is always within reach.
Military personnel are offered policies by a company called TRICARE which gives them access to free or affordable healthcare, including dental. Situations, where they may need an ambulance, will be completely covered and should never result in hefty bills or other unexpected healthcare costs.
The military relies on the strength and well-being of its service members; therefore, the best care is available to them to keep them up to high military standards!
Knowing that your child’s health will always be a priority is imperative to any parent. Military personnel are provided with inexpensive or free care with military-specific HMO plans.
5. Support groups are always available.
If you’re ever feeling like you need to talk with others who understand, there are many support groups, both online and locally-based, that can meet you with the empathy that you need.
Other military parents can give you insightful tips. Like avoiding too much media consumption! They also provide reassurance like knowing that you will be first to be notified if anything should go wrong.
They’ve been there, done that, and know the drills. Hearing tips from someone who is in your shoes, or has been in the past, will give comfort. Sometimes you just need someone to give you peace of mind.
It is normal to feel a sense of fear and uncertainty when your child is about to enlist. These emotions are warranted. However, it is important to realize the significant benefits that go along with your child building a future involving the military.
While we live in an era where we have access to unlimited forms of support and resources it sometimes makes it even scarier. Even the most uncertain times can become a bit more bearable with the right tools and support.
Heather Lomax is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Challenge Coins. She writes for a variety of military and lifestyle blogs and is especially interested in ensuring military families have all the tools they need to cope with the potential challenges that accompany the military lifestyle.