Thursday, October 9, 2008

Daughter of a son of a sailor man

I mentioned, waaaaay back in the first entry of this silly little blog, that my daughter had applied to the Naval Academy for the second time. Once again, she was not accepted. I think she found it harder the second time and we tried to console her as best we could.

I admit that many times I wondered if her wish to attend the Academy was more due to a desire to please her father, and less due to a sincere desire to join the service. And I also admit that I selfishly hoped that if she started college locally, she'd decide she loved it and would stay close to home FOREVER. I mean, she's my favorite, er, only, daughter and the thought of her leaving home kinda freaked me out.

She had been talking about meeting with a Naval recruiter for awhile, and she up and did it in mid-September. She took the ASVAB (the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) and scored pretty darn high, so her recruiter said she could pick just about any career in the Navy (excepting one that would put her in a submarine). Before she took the physical and met with a Naval career counselor, my husband counseled her not to sign anything before coming home to discuss it with us.

You know where this is going, don't you?

She came home with a done deal - all sworn in and signed on the dotted line. So, she's going to be a sailor. For six years.

Saying I needed some time to get over the shock is putting it quite mildly. In fact, I admit to some tears.

Don't get me wrong - I'm incredibly proud of my daughter for wanting to serve our country. And I don't think that everyone's kid BUT MINE should do so. I'm just going to miss her so very much when she's gone.

She initially decided to be a sonar operator/technician since she would have a marketable skill (electronics) should she decide to leave the service after her initial inlistment term, but she'd be able to spend a goodly amount of time on ships during her enlistment. She loves learning languages (she's picked up a little bit from each of our exchange students, and speaks German relatively fluently after two years of high school and one semester of college study), so she decided to take the DLAB (the Defense Language Aptitude Battery). She rocked that test too (the guy who administered it said he had never seen a score as high as hers).

So now she'll be attending the Defense Language Institute after graduating from basic training. Her score qualified her for one of the "strategic" languages. She'll learn either Russian, Korean, Arabic or Chinese. She won't know which until she arrives at DLI.

I'm still not totally sure what she'll be doing when she graduates from DLI. I think she could tell me. But then she'd have to kill me.

Or something like that.


1 comment:

Roger said...

I've recently retired from the navy after 20 years as a sonar technician. your daughter made the right choice. as a CTI (which is what she'll be, when she completes her training)she'll be deeply involved in the intelligence side of the navy which will give her some very marketable skills a after she completes her service. and they live well while in the service. she'll get paid extra for the languages shes learns, so she should learn as many as possible. she will spend significant portions of her time overseas, both on deployments and permanently assigned. not counting 6-8 month deployments i was assigned overseas for 10 years of my career. add in the deployments and it was 14 years i was overseas. but i loved every minute of it. i wish her fair winds and following seas. if you or her would like to ask me any questions you can reach me at regor1_1966 at yahoo.com.