There is nothing more heart sinking than to go to my son’s Academy application portal and read these words: “Medically disqualified.”
When he was 6 months old, my son had an allergic reaction to a milk-based formula. He ended up in the emergency room, swelled up with hives but thankfully breathing clearly. Ever since then, he has steered clear of dairy products. On those occasions when he does encounter dairy in something he eats, he knows it right away, usually experiencing an itching sensation in his mouth which can be stopped by drinking water. He has had a few instances when he eats something that has a greater presence of dairy, and that produces a very uncomfortable heartburn sensation. That is controlled with a dose of an antihistamine like Benadryl. And there are those times when small amounts of dairy don’t bother him. We don’t know why.
He’s also allergic to peanuts.
And—this is new within the last year—seafood.
Apparently, the DODMERB doesn’t think that’s an acceptable quality in a candidate.
We’re told it’s not over yet. If the Academy deems him a strong enough candidate, they will apply for a waiver for him. For now, we’re in a wait-and-see stage.
Meanwhile, he has his Congressional nominating committee interviews in the next couple of weeks, and he still has to do his fitness assessment. So he’s plugging ahead, albeit with the feeling that he’s not going to get in.
So what do you tell a young man who has wanted to be a military pilot for the greater part of his life? He has lived ROTC for the past 3+ years. God knew when He made him that he would have these allergies. He also knew this would be a disqualifying attribute. We don’t yet know if it will keep him out of the military.
I asked my son the other day what he wanted to do. He said he didn’t know. It makes my heart sad.
I know that God’s plans are for our good and His glory. But that doesn’t make the process of finding that good any less hard.
God is in control. My son will keep up the application because he definitely won’t get in if he doesn’t apply. And he’ll apply to the other colleges of his choice with the hopes of joining their ROTC program. But if he goes on, after 2 years he will have to go through the medical evaluation process again.
He’s tired. Tired of filling out applications. Tired of trying to get into shape. Tired of doing the work without the assurance that it will pay off.
I get it. I really do. But that’s kind of like life. You just keep doing what you know you’re supposed to, and God will take care of the rest.
Hang in there, Son. You’re not disqualified in our eyes—or God’s. He has a plan for you.