Friday, June 01, 2007

You can do [almost] anything...

For as much as I do not like being diabetic I can usually put up with it. Sure, me and my diabetes have a love-hate relationship but we get along for the most but there is one thing that I will never be able to forgive my diabetes for and that is stripping me of being able to enlist in a branch of our armed forces. Ever since I was young (young like 6 or 7) I knew I was going to serve our country. It was a devastating day when I realized I would not be able to. I understand to a point why any given branch will not accept diabetics, however, it kills me to know that I am more physically fit than some of the recruits that enlist. Growing up being told that I can do anything without letting diabetes get in the way it pains me to know that this one thing I want to do I am told I will never be able to. It is almost as if we have a plague. An Army recruiter called me shortly after turning 18 and asked if I was interested in serving our country. I said very much so, however, I am diabetic. He could not get off the phone fast enough. “Thank you. Do you have any friends that are interested?” No. ...but I am.

I have started my internship with JDRF and love it. So far they have me doing grunt work but I am assured that I will be working on other, more fun projects. I am currently helping with the golf outing and the upcoming walks.


Blogger George said...

I am with you 100%. I just posted about this subject on memorial day. I feel so shut out. My recruiter almost hung up on me when I told him. :(

Good luck with the JDRF!

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally understand! My son is a senior in high school in San Diego. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 12. At the time, he was excelling in the Young Marine program with aspirations to join the military like his father, step-father, uncles and many other men in our family. The first thing he said after being diagnosed in the ER was, "I guess I can't join the Marines now". I was heart-broken. He grew up on Marine bases and dreamed of the day he could continue our family tradition. He too is an athlete - a varsity wrestler in excellent physical condition. When the recruiters come to his school to do their fitness challenge, he always gets the highest score. Now that he is about to graduate, many of his friends are joining the military. Ironically, they come to with questions about how to march, drill, and what to expect. While I understand the general reasons for not allowing diabetics to join the military, it sure seems like they could make exceptions on a case by case basis. It seems like they are missing out on some top notch recruits all over the country.

3:53 AM  

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