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Old 10-20-2010, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default Thinking Army...advice

I have wanted to go into the military for about 7 or 8 years now but didnt at first due to wanting to get married. I now have 2 kids and divorced so I didnt think there was any way that I could still join. I have talked to recruiters from every branch except Navy and feel that the Army has the best option for me job wise. They told me that I would have to give up custody of my kids to my parents and then would be able to get them back once I get to my first duty station. I have heard conflicting things from different people. Some people say that that is true others say its not and that I have to wait till I reenlist to get them back and other people like my friend that is in the Marines say that I only have to get a poa for my parents stating that they are to have the rights to do what they need to take care of the kids till I get to my first duty station. Has anyone delt with this? My parents are willing to help me out so that I can make a better life for them but are not willing to raise them for me or beyond when I get settled at my first duty station. I do plan on getting remarried about this time next year (after I finish basic) so there will be someone to be there for my kids but till then my parents are willing to temp help with them.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Seriously? I mean seriously? I am sorry, but steam just went out of my ears on this one.

Have you read or googled any about single parents in the military? Sure the kids can be on base with you at some point -- BUT if you ARE DEPLOYED -- so long. And they cannot promise you that there will be no deployment. If some recruitor tells you that, they are lying. Then what happens? What if you are killed? What happens to your kids?

Beyond that, you are going to leave your little baby for basic training? Really? How is that going to help you?

This may sound harsh, but there are some wishes and dreams that no longer are anything other than selfish to pursue after we have children and are single parents -- this is one of them.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I am retired Navy, I took an early retirement because I did not want to deploy and leave my family State Side. I may get dumped on but Active Duty and marriage does not work. One Unit I was assigned to had a Divorce Rate of 95%. I could not leave my kids behind ever.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I NEVER said that I WANTED to leave my kids at any point but whenn you hit a road where no one wants to hire you cuz your 23 and havent held a job longer then a few months and havent had one at all since you were 19 and cuz you dont have any type of degree...add in the fact that I have tried over and over to get money for college and cant cuz i have a $2500 school loan from when I tried to go back to school when I was married and failed out so now I am over due by over a year and my credit is going to heck...you look for the best way to support your family. I know that the military aint easy ad I know that I will get deployed but I will be supporting my kids and be able to go to school without worrying about money and get my degree so that when I get out I can get a GOOD job to be able to support them without help. I cry every night thinking about how I cant support my kids and how I have 2 years to get in better standing then my daughter's dad as far as having a job to support her and a place for her to live or I will end up losing her 100% and he prob will not be so nice to let me see her. I would rather spend time away from here due to a job and doing something to support her then to lose her to her dad and never see her again. If that makes me selfish then so be it. I just cant see my life without being able to have her in it. As for leaving my son...I hate to miss small things in his first year and I know he wont remember who I am and it breaks my heart but I just keep thinking that I am doing what I have to to be able to support him without my family constantly giving me money to get him things as small as cloths. My parents are going to take tons of pictures and video so that I miss as little as possible. The military is a sacrifice and my kids are the world to me and I am willing to make any sacrifice to be able to support them without relying on my parents' money. I am just mostly asking people who know for a face what is true about what I was told or not cuz I truly wanted to do the coast guard or the air force but they BOTH told me I would have to give my kids up for the WHOLE time I was in the service and could never get them back or be kicked out of the service. I am sorry but NO service that tells me to give my kids up for good will get my support.

Last edited by mamabear87; 10-20-2010 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I can understand. We all make sacrifices for our kids. Just do the best you can!!!
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

DaddyCakes may be able to best answer your questions. I'll ask my friend next time I talk to her....but I know she got out of the military before getting preggy because she didn't want to get deployed again with a little one at home.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

You are in a tough situation, no doubt. But from what I have read if your goal is to support and not lose custody of your kids, you might want to try and find another way. I have heard horror stories of good parents coming back after being deployed and not getting their kids back. I don't think, and I might be wrong, that they can stay with the man you are marrying while you are deployed. I think they will go with the bio dad if he wants them to during that time. Then you have to get them back from my understanding.

http://www.examiner.com/cps-and-fami...n-by-goverment

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/...134697,00.html

If you can get any job anywhere and pay off the $2500 and get back in school, a program for sonogram technician or dental hygienist or anything like that you can be done in less than two years.

I know it isn't really the answer to the question you are looking for. We have had some military moms on here in the past, but I haven't seen any of them in a while.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Also, I want to point out you just went through a huge custody battle with your daughter, right? You think he is going to stand for that? Seriously.... there are other ways.

The truth of the matter is this: Uncle Sam owns your ___, kids or no kids. You say you can provide better for them: can you if you are dead? Nope. How is providing for your children mentally and emotionally going to be done 1000's of miles away? It's not. It won't. It can't be. Then, you are going to have to petition the courts to remove your daughter from the father out of the state you are in. You think he is going to allow that? Doubt it.

Talk to mommarose, I think it is. She went away, leaving her kids with her ex with the understanding that she would get them back as soon as she finished 18 months later --- and she can't. The court won't allow her right now and she is in the fight of her life.

http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/genfa...familycare.htm Interestingly enough, this article says that single parents are no longer allowed to enlist. Another source saying it's not allowed: http://www.ehow.com/about_4597418_si...-military.html. Looks like you would have to sign over your custodial rights in any branch of active duty military.

I am sorry, I am just incensed by this. I really am. Military life is tough! Hugely tough. Watching my sister adjust to becoming a military wife and it's ugly.

There are other ways around your issues.... time to use some wits and smarts to problem solve. 2500 is not that much money in the grand scheme of things..... there has to be a way to do something about it and a good planner can help you.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

To the OP, one question - do you smoke cigarettes?
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Single Parents and The Military...

Having grown up in a Navy Town and even working on base, I have known a great many people that were in.

One case that I know of where a Single Mom was allowed to enlist but here's what she had to do...

1. A FORMAL Guardianship setup. She set it as a 5 year temporary guardianship with her mother and it worked out fairly well for her BUT...you never know.

A Guardianship can be risky because the Father can approve of it or contest it. If he contests it, and you're already enlisted...that gets ugly because you could lose custody right there. The Father MUST be notified when anything like that is done. If he approves it, then he still must make Child Support Payments.

Here's a better option if you MUST enlist...
National Guard/Reserves.
I woukld recommend the "Air National Guard" as you're much less likely to be deployed to the sandbox. You get training, some benefits, and may only have to let your have Power of Attorney when you're in training and the 2 weeks during the summer.


Hope this helps!


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Old 10-21-2010, 12:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Great info DC.... one thing though, the Air National Guard in my state is deploying like crazy. It's scariness........ And I still think you have to have a family plan with guardianship -- and the father would still have to approve.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Thank you DC for the info. Sadly even if I did reserves or national guard I would be deployed due to going MP. I have talked to my daughter's father about all this and he just wishes that my parents stay civil with him and let him keep his current visitation sched. As for him going after custody, I have talked to 4 lawyers and even though my situation will be changing and so will hers due to military no judge in GA or FL would change custody till its close to time for her to start pre-k. With that being said, he couldnt turn around and try to take her while I am at boot camp. I know the ins and outs of military life from a child's point of view and a military wife's point of view. I have been in both situations (former navy wife and my dad was a marine). If I was to go to school for something for only 2 years I would go for what I want to (criminal justice) but I CANT. I cant get ANY money for school due to that loan and I CANT find someone to hire me so I can pay off the loan. The only other option I have looked at is the police academy BUT I have already been turned down by local academies due to not having a degree in criminal justice or being almost done with one.

Oh and with the questioning on if I was to remarry and him getting to keep the kids while I deploy, I am sure that Ash would prob go to her dad and visit the new hubby and William but William's dad is signing over his rights so that when I remarry he can adopt William legally. So William would stay with him for sure.

---------- Post added at 01:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:31 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba'sDad View Post
To the OP, one question - do you smoke cigarettes?
I do not smoke currently but did for about a month back before I got pregnant with my son (a year ago) and during that time I smoked only about 9 cigarettes. I havent smoked since and refuse to pick up that habit again for the heath of my kids.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

What the ____ does the OP smoking have to do with anything, BD?
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by idig View Post
What the ____ does the OP smoking have to do with anything, BD?
Thinking the OP reminds him of BM. Just sayin'
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Money, i would assume
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I would assume the withdrawls during basic
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Lyndz is right. I know more people who complain about not having money for what's needed, but literally burn $3-$5 thousand a year.

I was just curious. But she answered.

And yes, BM is one of those people.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I smoked for over 17 years and I estimate I wasted $20,000. And that was when they were $1 a pack.

One other thought.... Are you willing to shoot another human? It is a importaint thing to think about.....
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Ooh, ooh, I will. But only when they lean a little too far left. My scope is off a little
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:00 PM   #20
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Quote:
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I smoked for over 17 years and I estimate I wasted $20,000. And that was when they were $1 a pack.

One other thought.... Are you willing to shoot another human? It is a importaint thing to think about.....
Crazy thing is lack of moey and the health of my kids is what made me quit smokin.

As for shootin someone. If its out of self defense or due to them being a danger to themselves or someone else, heck yes! I wouldnt hesitate.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:09 AM   #21
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/6723713.html

Please read this one too
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:37 PM   #22
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I agree with the DaddyCakes - the Guard is the answer. You can get the benefits of being in the military without being full time. But please understand - the National Guard (Army) is on a rotation. This means you may get deployed every 3 - 5 yrs. Check with the recruiters in your area. At different times they will offer sign-on bonuses. Army and Air Guards are quite different so talk to both. Also, National Guard units have Family Assistance and Wing Family Coordinators. They can answer the "family" questions your recruiter may not be able to.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:15 AM   #23
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I want to thank everyone for the input. After some resurch an talking to different recruiters I have made the choice to go Air Force reserve. It will give me heath insurance for us and money for school and I will be getting a part time job soon and going back to school soon too.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:29 AM   #24
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

HEY! Mamabear!! Congrats, now get running!!! Double Time!
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:16 PM   #25
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

. I do need to get my ____ in gear with getting in shape. I have to get an official copy of my divorce before we can start any paperwork and he told me that on average it is taking about a year from signing to leaving for boot camp.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:10 PM   #26
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I'm 9 years USAF. Any branch has the same rules and anyone with a child has to legally give up custody. You can get custody back after training is complete.

Regardless, deployments are hardly compatible with family life; I would never choose it. If you go Guard, talk to some people in the unit you are looking to join and ask THEM (not recruiter) about deployment policies and frequencies. Also, pay attention to deployment rates for each career field you are considering (eg: SP/MP vs. medical or admin..

Air Force is the only branch I would choose for the fact that it is far more accommodating to families. Also compare guard benefits in nearby states...some have more benefits than others.

Godspeed!

Last edited by wanderphx; 01-01-2011 at 09:17 PM. Reason: added
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:35 AM   #27
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

So after you give up legal custody of ur child when u return from training do u have to fights for it again or do they give it back legal custody?
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:46 PM   #28
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Not sure of the exact process, but the single mothers I knew just said they had to fill out paperwork to sign custody back over.

Whoever you give custody to you should trust entirely because otherwise you could run into issues and have to fight for custody.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:48 AM   #29
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

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Originally Posted by wanderphx View Post
I'm 9 years USAF. Any branch has the same rules and anyone with a child has to legally give up custody. You can get custody back after training is complete.

Regardless, deployments are hardly compatible with family life; I would never choose it. If you go Guard, talk to some people in the unit you are looking to join and ask THEM (not recruiter) about deployment policies and frequencies. Also, pay attention to deployment rates for each career field you are considering (eg: SP/MP vs. medical or admin..

Air Force is the only branch I would choose for the fact that it is far more accommodating to families. Also compare guard benefits in nearby states...some have more benefits than others.

Godspeed!
with the reserve I do not have to give up custody, just give my parents a poa and sign a family separation plan stating who is caring for my children and who the back up is. that is the big reason i chose the reserve over active duty. Might go active one day but not right now.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:30 PM   #30
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

UM wow. Im not judging but you want to give up custody, possibly be killed and leave your children w/o a mother,or kill another?-guess moms have to multi-task!
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:22 AM   #31
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

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UM wow. Im not judging but you want to give up custody, possibly be killed and leave your children w/o a mother,or kill another?-guess moms have to multi-task!
I am not giving up custody.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:35 AM   #32
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Spent 13 years in the army 8 years active and another 5 years in the reserves. My last 3 years of active duty I was a single parent and went through ____ because of it. Was stationed in Germany so had no easy family support. I would have to leave where I was stationed on a regular basis due to training and each time I would have to leave my son with different Family Care Providers that were approved by the military.

Also had to leave my son over 9 months stateside because of a 6 month deployment to Kosovo. 9 months due to not being able to get leave time and having to purchase commercial airline tickets to travel with when I got redeployed. I left active duty and joined the reserves because I felt that I had a lot of time invested and wanted to keep those doors open in case active duty ended up being a better option. Well it was about a year after I had left active duty that I was missing the money that I had been earning as an active duty soldier plus many of the benefits also. I spoke to a recruiter about rejoining and they told me the same thing about giving custody to a family member and then I could rejoin and later get custody back.

There is a massive flaw in this workaround though. If you do this and try to regain custody later you can be put out of the military. It is considered a false enlistment because they are aware that people will change custody just to enter the military. Recruiters are hard to trust at times, they want to get you in and have you make it through training with no problems past that many do not care what kind of career experience you actually have.

The reserves worked for me to a point but I ended up having to spend another year away from my son due to a deployment and many times for training. If you are getting remarried and you have the confidence that the relationship can withstand the pressures of a military lifestyle (mine couldn't) it is a great career. With approval you can drop your reserves contract and enter into active duty.

Regardless though good luck in your training.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:06 AM   #33
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

That's a tough decision. . . what about waiting till married again, then basic?
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:40 PM   #34
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I have to agree that it's a bad idea if you have kids. Will cause a lot of problems. One friend of mine basically went AWOL cuz of it.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:08 PM   #35
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

Such negativity and mostly from people who have never done or experienced being a single parent in the military!

If you do your research and make the right decisions, a career in the military as a single parent is possible. I've been in the Navy for 11 years most of the time as a single parent of 3 kids. I only had 1 when I joined which I did have to give up custody for basic, but got custody back immediately after. In the past 11 years I have never spent more than 6 months away from my. If you add up my deployments, the total time away is 1.5 years in an 11 year career. Right now I'm an instructor on shore duty for the next 3 years. I work from 7:30am until 2pm (give or take an hour), and get paid pretty decently I might add. My kids medical and dental are taken care of, there's schools on base, daycare, youth/teen programs. With all the extra pay and incentives we receive, it's way better than most civilian jobs, especially for people with no degrees and no real work experience. There are shore based jobs in the Navy and Air Force that never deploy. By the way, the Navy is paying 100% of my tuition for my Bachelors, without me having to touch my GI Bill (that I will use for my masters). I know plenty of single parents who have made the military work for them.

So again, if you do your research you can absolutely make uncle sam work for you instead of letting him take everything away from you. I agree with wander though, I would definitely choose Air Force or Navy.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:14 PM   #36
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I was a single parent in the military for 2 years. I did it, but was hard and wasn't conducive to the type of parent I wanted to be.

friend of mine was enlisted and now is a Major, the whole time he was a single parent, he was really dedicated to his career, has a great kid and he pulled it off. Besides your attitude, conviction and discipline, it really depends on your job, the mission your assigned to, your supervisors and how established your career is. Your rank and class (officer/enlisted) also have varying demands based on assignment.

It is possible, but you just can't expect anything...just hold on for the ride and stay on top of everything 200%
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:51 PM   #37
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

What about the kids' father? Unless he has completely abandoned them, he will get them over your parents. And chances are, if he lives in the same general area as you, he will retain custody when you are stationed elsewhere and you will be a long-distance parent. If he's out of the picture, well, then this is something that you don't have to worry about.

You just have to worry about the possible constant moves and being deployed to a war zone.
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:18 PM   #38
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

I thought this was a recent thread, but see it was started last Oct.

What ever happened? Did you enlist?

I see LSL did mention my situation, its a little different, but she is right, I have been fighting like ____ for almost a year now to keep my ex from taking custody of the kids.
I don't think he has a chance of that anymore since he has screwed up so much, but Im also fighting to get more time, and help my kids with the issues they have.

I had a court document in place before I left about custody, but it was pretty much ignored by the referee. I thought I was protected, but this wasn't the case.

So if you are still planning to do this, I would think long and hard about it. I think the only reason I have a chance right now is because my ex has screwed up so much.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:48 PM   #39
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Default Re: Thinking Army...advice

DON'T DO IT. YOU WILL NEVER SEE YOUR KIDS AGAIN.

I hope there is an update on this case, too. Anybody reading this and contemplating giving up custody of their kids to join the military, DON'T DO IT!!! You are better off going on welfare. You know why? Because families in the military are often on welfare when their spouses deploy! There are plenty of resources for single parents, just look for them.

---------- Post added at 09:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:44 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by navymomx3 View Post
Such negativity and mostly from people who have never done or experienced being a single parent in the military!

If you do your research and make the right decisions, a career in the military as a single parent is possible. I've been in the Navy for 11 years most of the time as a single parent of 3 kids. I only had 1 when I joined which I did have to give up custody for basic, but got custody back immediately after. In the past 11 years I have never spent more than 6 months away from my. If you add up my deployments, the total time away is 1.5 years in an 11 year career. Right now I'm an instructor on shore duty for the next 3 years. I work from 7:30am until 2pm (give or take an hour), and get paid pretty decently I might add. My kids medical and dental are taken care of, there's schools on base, daycare, youth/teen programs. With all the extra pay and incentives we receive, it's way better than most civilian jobs, especially for people with no degrees and no real work experience. There are shore based jobs in the Navy and Air Force that never deploy. By the way, the Navy is paying 100% of my tuition for my Bachelors, without me having to touch my GI Bill (that I will use for my masters). I know plenty of single parents who have made the military work for them.

So again, if you do your research you can absolutely make uncle sam work for you instead of letting him take everything away from you. I agree with wander though, I would definitely choose Air Force or Navy.
Hmm...didn't read anything about you being deployed. Maybe the OP should consider the Navy or AF. Seems like the Army wants to deploy everybody all the time.
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