I went with my son the the recruiting office for the National Guard.
It's not that he felt insecure. He simply needed a ride.
We didn't talk much on the way there. He sat in the passenger seat with a yellow pad in his lap. He had filled out an entire page with questions for the recruiter. Each question was written neatly and numbered. I've never known C to be so organized. I thought, he's really serious about this.
I was expecting a little store front office, but instead we turned down a road that took us about a half mile beyond the suburbs and out into some open land. Then suddenly, there...with the mountains looming up from behind sat a large sprawling brick building with a gate out in front. A pillar stood near the gate with the words NATIONAL GUARD. We drove through the gates and parked.
"I can wait here," I said. "Unless you want me to come in."
"If you want to come, that's fine." said C. "I don't care."
Actually I thought it would make a better impression if he didn't come in with his mother. But it all looked so interesting that my sense of adventure kicked in. I'd never been to the "National Guard" before.
With the breeze whipping around us we walked up the wide path to the front glass double door. It was locked. And it was so quiet. Nobody was around. C spotted an intercom and contacted the recruiter. While we waited for him to let us in, 2 young men in uniform walked up the path carrying their fast food lunch. They let us in.
A young man who didn't look much older than my son came down the hallway and cheerfully met us. He lead us into his office and C had a seat in front of his desk, while I sat a few feet away. The recruiter (I'll call him Jake) seemed at ease with a "mom" sitting nearby, so I relaxed. After some questions and discussions, he gave C a test, and while C took it, he sat and chatted with me.
Now I've been reading up quite a bit on the Service and have heard all the stories about recruiters...including false promises etc, etc. So I brought it up. Jake assured me that he was telling everything as it truly is. Yes...although C would only be serving one weekend per month, he could (at any time) be deployed into active duty. We spoke of pay, health insurance, college, jobs, Obama and the Swine flu.
C finished his test. He said later it was hard to concentrate on the math section with all the talking in the room. But not to worry...it was a practice test. C did well enough on the test to qualify for the job that interests him. Aviation...more specifically repairing Helicopters. He'll take the "real" test later.
We found out C has to be completely out of debt before joining. This will be an obstacle. Especially since he has not been able to find a job...and we can't lend him any money. But it's a good thing, because if God wants him to do this, it will work out. And if He doesn't, it won't work out.
Where am I at? I feel supportive. C has been drifting...lost...for a long time. It could give him the structure he needs and give him some direction with his mechanical abilities. Yet I know it will be one of the hardest things he will go through in his life. He will go through the same basic training as the Army. And I worry about his strong will.
Mozart doesn't feel good about it, for reasons too long to describe here. I don't feel comfortable that Mozart and I differ.
Well...my son is in God's hands. And God will decide what ultimately happens.
I rest uneasily. But I'm glad that there is some wind in C's sails right now. The sails have been down for so long.
(Those that know our family/live nearby, please keep confidential.)
I came upon this verse one day...and it is such an encouragement to me.
"...yet he kept on in his willful ways. I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him." Isaiah 57:18