Being a single parent in the military


All my life I loved the military (well, the Army at least)…Marine Corps tried to recruit me but the Army recruiter got to me first….

When I had my daughter I really wanted to stay in but I was gone quite a bit on field exercises and this wore thin with the babysitters I had at Fort Hood.  So, I made the life changing decision at 21 to get a hardship discharge for being a single parent.  Though the right decision a part of me wondered if I had tried going into the Air Force and remained active would my life be different. We sometimes look back at decisions made and second guess ourselves.

Thinking about the pension I would have received (immediately at 37) I do regret the decision of leaving.  Instead I signed up for college an went into the Army Reserves.

Now with deployment an issue I wonder how my daughter will take it if (or once) that decision comes my way. Though the pay would be great I wonder about the stress I will be placing my family under.  My daughter is an adult but raised Latina family is of the utmost importance to me.

My daughter realizes that deployment is always there…with the political demographics always changing being in the reserves or national guard is no guarantee of staying home.   I realize signing up means I could leave at any time. THAT doesn’t bother me..what bothers me is the emotions I leave behind in my daughter.  I already prepared her for the possibility but wonder at other parents (even single ones) who feel guilty for serving their country (and see it as a calling like myself) and leaving behind family who disagree with their life decisions…………….

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