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Kim R
My only son is 18 and wants to enlist in the navy I am terrified.How can i talk him out of it?
My only son is 18 he just graduated high school and was all set to start college in the fall.He is a great kid .He just sprung on me that he is enlisting in the navy and i flipped!!!!! Im not sure what to do but i know i need to be very carefull.He is my only child and i have to figure out how to get him to change his mind without bieng to pushy.If it wasnt for this war going on i wouldnt be freaking out so bad.I understand he is 18 and i know i will have to let go and let him be his own person .Please if anyone can help me i would greatly appriciate it. thanks
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i just wanted to add i am not anti-military i grew up in a navy family and i support the troops and i am proud of my son but i am just so scared and need a little advice.

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The only way to talk him out of it is to offer him a job that has comparable pay.

What I mean is that I was once jobless, didn't get my first job until I was 21, and at that point I was willing to do anything.

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Luckily for you the Navy is about the safest service to enlist in these days. Maybe you can gear him toward, appling for some type on in country duty, they have all sorts of different job types that don't required front line or on ship dutys..... theres a lot of desk jobs in the military.

Sorry your distressed over this, and I can understand your fear and worry. Being a parent of 3 daughters, I did try to get all my kids to sign up. My feeling short of some knuckleheaded president starting a war....... I feel the military service is a noble and worthy thing to do, and I encouraged all my girls to join up.... for a lot of different reasons... but I'm glad they declined considering where our country has been lead over the last several years.

Good luck, pray about it, heavenly father can help in these difficult choices, he can guide you in your conversations with your son, and influence your son in his decisions.

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i don't think that you could simply "talk him out of it". but what you can try is to show him how much more opportunities he'd have in the service with a college degree. if you can convince him to go to college first, maybe he will see other options for his life until he is finished. if not, he will at least be a little more mature and have a little more life experience and education going into the service.

navy isn't all that bad and one of the "safe" branches, so you can be "happy" about his choice...

i wish you good luck!

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this guy
you can try, but once your son has his mind made up about joining, theres little you can do to convince him otherwise. the recruiter will tell him all these awesome stories (some may or may not be true) about how awesome the navy is.in respects to the navy, i have only met one sailor who DID NOT like the navy. everyone else swears up and down it is the best thing they ever did with themselves.

the navy has a lot to offer. it will do him some good, give him great benefits towards college (theres a new GI bill that was approved by congress for all service members that served post 9-11), real world skills, great (and free!) travel that the average person would only dream of, he'll met people he'll stay friends with for life, and he'll be proud.

i understand your concern for your sons safety, but as a mother you need to understand your son is no longer the little boy in diapers. i encourage and support his decision.

as for him being your only child, the military will NOT send him to combat. the namesake has to go on. he will still serve and do his part to contribute to the war effort, but he will not be on front lines. depending on the job he picks, he may not even have to worry about that at all.

but if you REALLY want to talk him out of it, getting upset is only going to fuel his fire to join. if you sit down and be calm and rational, explain why it bothers you, ect, that will do more good than getting upset.

good luck with your situation!

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Loquacious Atheist
Honestly you can't. But to ease your worries....I have 3 cousins in the Navy and none of them have done anything more dangerous than use a nail gun.

And thats nothing against the Navy, its just that the Navy isn't the number 1 choice these days to send into combat since they are primarily sea-dwellers (I mean sure, some are still sent, its just not as common as Army/Marines).

When my husband joined the Marines my parents were terrified that he would end up dying, so fear is normal, but it is a useless cause to try and talk him out of it.

Just be glad its the navy and not something more dangerous like the Marines or Army.

I'm sure you will find that as he progresses through basic and into A school and up through the ranks you will be very proud of him and what he is doing with his life. Give him a chance to show you what he is capable of and what he wants to acheive in his lifetime.

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The Mrs.
You really need to calm down. He joined the Navy, not the Marines or Army. A ship is the safest place to be during war times. I do know that there are Navy personnel being sent to Iraq as IA (individual augmentee) but that would probably not happen with him, at least for a few years. He would go to boot camp, then school, and then to his first sea tour. My husband has been through 3 deployments and is about to go on his fourth. I never worry about his safety. If your son wants to serve then let him serve.

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if that's what he wants to do, by all means, encourage him.

i was all set to go to college too. actually, i decided to "go with the flow" that 'smart kids don't go into the military, they go to college."

so what did i do? i went to college for a year. and i hated it, and decided to do what i wanted to originally. i enlisted in the marine corps, and leave for basic training in november. and i can't wait, it'll be way more exciting than school. i've been doing school for thirteen years now, im done for now.

your son will most likely want to complete college, but he can do it later if he wants to enlist now, what with all the education benefits.

i think he's making a good decision. support him and he'll be encouraged to not only make a man of himself in the military, but finish school later on as well.

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allan s
please the navy is the safest of three,the most problem he will have is getting back on ship after a night out in some foreign port,

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Chuck G
The Navy is pretty safe, unless he wants to be a Seal. The Air Force is safer, only if enlisted.

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support his decision. you do NOT have the right to 'talk him out of it'

and for your information " This war" has had less than 3% of ALL people directly involved injured or killed. more people died during the invasion of Normandy than have died in the years since we invaded Iraq.

you are allowed to worry. you are NOT allowed to dictate what he does with his life. your job is over. be grateful that you raised someone with enough morals and a sense of duty to his country.

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I'll try to say this as respectfully as possible, but some of you people have no idea what you're talking about. I just got out of the Navy after nine years and the hospital I worked at had sent lots of sailors (up to 17% our staff) to places like Iraq and Afghanistan to do 6 month and 1 year tours. They're doing the same things that Soldiers and Marines are doing so, ma'am, don't automatically assume he's safe because he's 'just in the Navy'. I don't think it'll be such a bad experience. Especially if he just does four years, gets some experience and money for college, and gets out.

Some people are right though, to talk him out of it, you've got to offer better incentives than they do. Are you going to take him to see the world, pay for his college, give him independence, pride in serving? It's going to be tough. Good luck.

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Ghost of Tom Joad
Don't try to talk him either in or out of it, just offer as much accurate information as you can about it so he can make an informed decision. If you talk him out of it, he'll likely just regret it later and get upset if it's based off of false information.

Ultimately, somewhere along the line your son will have to take risks in life just as assuredly as you will worry about such risks, it just how things go. But statistically, your son is pretty safe in the Navy. When you are losing about thirty soldiers a month in Iraq (mostly army and marines), and there are hundreds of thousands of soldiers deployed in the region, it's still a tragedy, but the risks become alot smaller then you seem to be making it out to be.

BTW, the only son bit is an urban legend, http://www.snopes.com/military/onlyson.asp
being an only child doesn't exempt you from serving on the frontline if that were required, but again, that's unlikely to happen anyway for navy personnel.

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If Anything...
Honestly I don't get it, you're posting an avatar which is clearly displaying an American flag in the background yet you're not willing to let your son defend his country. So long as its someone else is son, father, husband or brother, or grandfather you're willing to wave that flag, but when it comes to your own son you're against it. Sounds like some of these senators and other people who are in high positions who won't allow their sons to go, but have no problem sending someone else. I wouldn't try to talk him out of it, I know how you feel, but its a noble, courageous thing for him to do. Not many people now-a-days are willing to fight for their country, yet they're the first ones to start pointing fingers, saying we should do this or that. Out of all the branches, I'd say the Navy is one of the safest branches he could enlist in. You're more likely to die in a car crash or something as a civilian than you are as a soldier, if anything I'd say to stand behind him and support him.

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Don't talk him out of it. He wants to serve, you should be proud of that.

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First off ma'am...uh it's the Navy. What is it that you're worried about? Unless he's going SEAL, or EOD then he's not going to see anything other than the Persian Gulf. Second off, I believe you're looking for the "anti-military" section of yahoo since you came into a forum mainly inhabited by people in the military/former/those aspiring/spouses of military. If his mind is set then fighting him on it will only produce resentment in your relationship ma'am. Let him go hang out on a boat for 4 years if it's what he wants to do! If nothing else it'll take some of the financial burden off the family when he does go to college during or after his Naval tour. Best of luck!

*EDIT* Chuck G- The Air Force is so far from being safer than the Navy that it's like comparing the Marines to the Coast Guard. The Air Force has taken over 1/4 of the convoy routes in Iraq there big guy. In case you're unaware..which I'm guessing you are, running convoys is the most dangerous jobs in Iraq currently. So, sitting on a boat for 6 months in the Persian gulf or running fuel across the highways of Iraq, you decide which is safer.

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Guess who
I am a mom, that has a young Marine, she was 17 when she shipped, 16 when decided to dep in, so , I know, I did not want her to go, no way, and especially not into the Marine corps, so I can empathize, but I want to ask you something, did you raise a good kid, did you teach him to be responsible and make good decisions, did you teach him to be a man and to be ready to have that responsibility. Did you raise a moral and outstanding an individual that you could, Then now is not the time to try and raise him the second time, your job is over,

It is now time, like the mother bird, to watch your bird soar, to watch him become the man he is suppose to be, the man that he is destined to be, do you want to damage your relationship with him by not respecting his choices/ by not respecting his decisions, by saying that he does not know what he wants, that you are smarter than he is, that is what he will hear, that you don’t trust him

SO take a deep breathe, and let him talk, You need to listen, see his rational, see his reason and try, try the best you can to be supportive, to say, I don’t like it, but its your life, and I will always be here, the net to catch you, the one to support you < I WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR BIGGEST FAN,

That is my advice,


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