Tonight I joined as a new member, and I wanted to say thank you to all you mom's for letting me read and learn. I was afraid to join before because, well because I was scared I wouldn't make it to the Navy mom position and just didn't know how to proceed.
Please forgive me if this is long, but I really hope that our experiences can somehow help someone else, as many of the experiences I have read about helped me keep going. I am sure my lack of military knowledge will show as I fumble through :)
My daughter took her ASVAB the beginning of September and scored in the 90's for overall and within 10% of the top in every breakdown catagory. But brains don't equal brawn and the military is physically demanding, and unfortunatly she ran into problems on the medical end.
She is only 5'3" and was just 94lbs... that put her within 1% of the minimum BMI of 17%. She got her first DQ a temporary DQ, and was given 6 weeks to improve her BMI. We went to our family dr and worked with him to develope a safe healthy plan for muscle gain, through nutrition and a weight program. We weren't sure if she could get there in that time frame, but her father and I refused to budge on doing it healthy and not just stuffing extra calories. After 6 weeks she hit 99lbs and put herself over the BMI at 17.6%. We were so excited! She had been working so hard.
Thats when she got her second DQ. A permanent one this time, but we didn't realize that Temporary & Permanent refer to the circumstance that caused the DQ, not the DQ itself. So after a considerable amount of freaking out, and much discussion with MEPS, she learned that she still had an appeal process available because of the first temp DQ (not sure how that worked just trying to pass on anything that may assist someone else in the future). The 2nd DQ was because she had had an intestinal bypass surgery at birth, and gastroitestinal history is apparently one of the worst DQ's and often doesn't even make it past the initial MEPS screening. Again I am no expert, just going by countless hours of research, discussions, phone calls etc. She has no lasting effects, no restrictions on activity, food etc.. and although her father and I are both near 6ft, we have many women and men on both sides of the family built very slight... her build is hereditary, not caused by the bypass at birth. She'd have to try for a Medical Waiver.
At this point we started loosing hope. With 2 DQ's and not finding much support and all the information coming negativly from all sources, but she refused to give up and we said we'd back her every step of the way. She learned that often Medical Waivers are lost because the recruiters are so restricted by procedure and often their superiors do not follow through as well as they could. Most of this information came from other people's experiences, but that does seem to be a very common belief. Fortunatly her recriuter and his officer were not slackers, and they did research and took it yet another command level higher. Meanwhile, she continued on her BMI improvement plan, went to the MEPS station weekly for weigh-ins and attended any DEP activity she could.
Then came #3, another permanent DQ for the same reasons and this time it was from the National level. They did NOT (in capitals and underlined) recommend her for approval, BUT this time they were willing to accept specific additional input including special photo's, afadavidits, more medical info etc etc. and that info "would determine wether they would even consider reviewing further".
OK, here we go... hoops everywhere, the poor kid is jumping through so many she's starting to rival the AKC champions... But jump she did, she got more afadavidts, including from our family dr who retired out of the Air Force as a military physician and his RN who also had military background, both stating their medical opinion there was no reason the she could not have a fully sucessful military career etc etc. We could nt trrack down the surgeon who did the bypass 17 years ago, and without a more extended time frame she could not get additional medical input. She wrote personal statements detailing her physical abilities, (push-ups, sit-ups, ability to run a mile in this much, weightlifting etc etc) with no restrictions, as well as her ability to eat just about everything made of food without ill effect, her general health through her life... you name it, she put it in there. The earlier this week,,, the Hardy Boys (as I now call her recriutment force) showed up with more papers, digital camera's, sign this, come down to MEPS again for another work up... uurrggghhhh the poor kid, she was working 10 times harder than most ever have to, and it still wasn't enough! I was beginning to feel the Navy did not deserve someone of her calibur! but were standing behind her and giving her any and all the support she deserves.
Then came yesterday... they were waiting for her as she got out of school.. HER WAIVER WAS GRANTED!!! The whole school was in an uproar, she's had the support of the entire student an faculty...Her calculus class had been holding and icecream break every week to help support her, we didn't realize how big it had become until confrences when other parents started pointing her out...
So here I sit full of pride (and tears) writing this to tell you that at 5am she makes yet another trip to MEPS and this times it's to swear in!
It may take some more than 3 months, but don't ever give up, your child IS worth it!