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Leaving the coast guard
Last Post 20 Apr 2019 09:14 AM by nengland. 7 Replies.
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AcrmetalUser is Offline
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Acrmetal

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14 Apr 2019 11:26 PM
    My son was accepted into the surfman program and given orders on the orher side of the country.   Due to some life changes and an ill family member he does not want to be so far away.  He loves the coast guard but he loves his family also.   Now what?  He is told that if he refuses his orders he will be out in five days , a general discharge, can't even stay in the reserves.  No such thing as special circumstances.   My heart aches for him because the coast guard is what he has always wanted to do,  he has advanced quickly, and he is really good at what he does.  Does he have any choices here?  The government has invested plenty in training him but they are willing to throw him out the door?
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    15 Apr 2019 07:27 AM
    Yes, they will throw him out. I understand ill family. We were stationed in Kodiak and my grandmother fell very ill. I flew home, I stayed as long as I could and then I went home. I was just a dependent but my family, my husband, my child, even my dog, needed me back home to do what I needed to do. Your son needs to do what he needs to do. If that is surfman school and be apart from family for a while, that's what it is. You are right, they have invested in a lot of training in him, a lot of time, a lot of money now he wants to refuse what they are offering. So that's that, take it or leave it, done. That probably sounds harsh but it is reality. If family is more important than a career, then there is the decision.

    Life changes each and every day. We have to accept what it is as it comes. Some days it is easy, some days it is hard. This is one of those hard decisions. But I can tell you my grandmother, when she was dying, was more concerned that my life was happy, not holding her hand. My mom just passed away about 3 months ago. Some of her last words to me were "Just go live life and be happy, I'll always love you." Our lives don't end when someone else falls ill, or God Forbid, dies. We go on. The great circle of life. I feel for your family but I would encourage my child to continue with HIS LIFE, HIS PATH. We will always be here for you but you need to do you and be great at it. That is the greatest reward for a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle. Sitting and holding a hand while losing a career and being unemployed, is not rewarding at all.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    AcrmetalUser is Offline
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    Acrmetal

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    15 Apr 2019 09:19 AM
    We told him that also.  Follow your dream.  we will always be here if possible.    I think I just have a hard time understanding the whole military way of thinking.   When we invest a lot of time and money in an employee we do things differently.  But you are correct part of living your kids is letting them go and he will have to make the decision.  It's his life.   Thanks for the response.
    jdhuskerUser is Offline
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    15 Apr 2019 08:24 PM
    Since joining I have missed birthdays, holidays, and deaths in the family. I knew I would miss important things when I joined and that is part of the sacrifice of serving. But just like anything else in life you have to do what's best for you in the end.
    reiss_pieces11User is Offline
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    16 Apr 2019 08:22 PM
    I'll answer how my SO would since he is not on the forum.

    As jdhusker and Old Guard have said, joining the military requires sacrifices. My SO and I have never been together for each other's birthdays or significant anniversaries. We miss many holidays together as well. Having a loved one in the military can be tough, since you want what's best for them, but also want what you think is best for you/ your family. My SO was told his grandmother only had a few days left to live last year and was denied leave to travel across the country to see her (the good news is she got better, but still has her bad days which concerns him). Family is important and a commitment. A career is important and a commitment as well. Ultimately it is up to him what he thinks he needs to do. Now, the Coast Guard will try to accommodate leave days for immediate family members if there is a serious illness. That being said if the family member declines he could apply for leave days to go back home. I know that can be a hassle, so it is up to him whether he could stand the process or not.

    I wish him and your family the best of luck deciding, and hope everything is okay. He needs to do what is right for him.
    Keep Calm and Love a Coastie!
    AcrmetalUser is Offline
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    Acrmetal

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    18 Apr 2019 07:42 AM
    Thanks everyone for your answers. I really feel badly for my son because this is a big decision. I won't tell him that I feel badly because I don't want to influence him one way or another. He is young, a new baby and some serious sickness issues here at home. All that being said it is HIS life and as you said he will have to decide if this is something that he can make work.
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    18 Apr 2019 08:13 AM
    Maybe you can gently remind him of what he could be giving up. Especially if he has a new baby, that is a good life with a good income that he could be forfeiting. Also gently remind him that his is not the first baby born into a military family. That has been going on for centuries and will continue for centuries.

    Story - because I have a million of them... Our son was born February 1989 on Kodiak. In March of 1989 the Exxon Valdez ran aground. My ex was an MST, the Exxon Valdez running aground had a possibility of great impact on our life. Well, it seemed like it was going to pass us by on Kodiak, big whew! Well, then a storm started. Blew the oil right towards us. Jim went to work one day in April and with the exception of Mother's Day, his boss was awesome and understood it was my first mother's day, I really didn't see him again until August. He came home every night but he was gone in the morning by 4am and wasn't home until 8 or 9 at night, 7 days a week. This was our first and only child's first 6 months of life. There is no overtime pay, no compensation days, just go to work and do your job, regardless of the hours, the life situation, this is the military. We've all been there with some story, something similar. But we come out on the other side stronger, better, wiser... Please encourage him to really consider all options and not do something in haste. Best of luck to him whichever decision he makes.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    nenglandUser is Offline
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    20 Apr 2019 09:14 AM
    Deeply sorry to hear about your family's illness. In boot camp I was told our priorities should always be "God, Family, then Coast Guard". Personally I thought this was pretty solid advice.

    I don't know why it hasn't been mentioned yet but your son could apply for TEMPSEP. It provides a break of up to two years, places him into the reserves (inactive or SELRES), and then guarantees him a spot back in active duty in that two year window. I'm not sure how this would work out with orders already in process but it's certainly worth checking out. Aside from his yeoman or SPO, PSC (EPM-1) would be the POC for this and might be able to help out. He can find the EPM-1 contacts by just searching "EPM-1" at work.


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