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View Full Version : Did I serve?


shaggyax1
08-04-2009, 8:23 AM
I have a question for everyone. I joined the Army Reserves after 9/11 (August 2002 - August 2003) at the age of 26. At that point I had to do it. Unfortunately right when I signed up I herniated three disc in my lower back. Because of this I never shipped out to Basic or AIT but my reserve unit at Los Alamitos kept me for 1 year in which I still did all the drills during that time. When I received my discharge papers they released me on failing to complete my training thus I never received the DD-214. My question is what would YOU (active and prior service) consider this?? I hardly ever tell anyone I was in the Army because of this situation because I'm not sure for myself if I can ever consider that or not. I never really earned that honor like all of you have and I'm not trying to say I did. I've thought about this everyday for the last 6 years and felt it was time to ask all of you what you thought. Please be completely honest it won't hurt my feelings!

Musclemom
08-04-2009, 8:32 AM
No DD-214 = You didn't serve. While it's great that you joined and intended to complete the training, you didn't.

PatriotnMore
08-04-2009, 8:34 AM
No DD-214 = You didn't serve. While it's great that you joined and intended to complete the training, you didn't.
^This

doc1buc
08-04-2009, 9:33 AM
Add another agree to that ^

Fat_Rat
08-04-2009, 9:51 AM
I've thought about this everyday for the last 6 years and felt it was time to ask all of you what you thought. Please be completely honest it won't hurt my feelings!

Put your mind at ease. The answere is no you didnt serve.

6172crew
08-04-2009, 10:14 AM
I'm sure that if you were never issued an ID card, never paid, or received the dd214 means you were not GI.

That's too bad about your back.

Lancear15
08-04-2009, 10:26 AM
Sorry about your back. Read "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. John Sarno. That book cured my back pain I lived with for over 5 years.

cryoguy
08-04-2009, 10:40 AM
That sucks bro. I think the answer to your question is whatever you believe. It is unfortunate that you did not go to training. I am assuming you are refering to the moment of truth or the right of passage. You never took that path. You never Had the tear jerking deep down feeling of accomplishment. the moment that you know you can accomplish anyhing because everything the world could possably throw at you is nothing compared to the hell you have just been thru. It sucks, and I wanted to agree witht the above.... Don't be a poser and get all dressed up and attend a formal outing and get caught. No DD-214= you didn't serve.

shaggyax1
08-04-2009, 11:24 AM
I appreciate all the feedback. I never want to take anything away from all those who have or are currently serving that's why I've never really talked about it before! I wanted to join for years, but after college got side tracked with a career, however after 9/11 that didn't matter to me anymore. Talk about dumb luck though, I sign up and 1 week later I herniate 3 discs, unbelievable. Last July I had an artificial disc replacement sugery and thankfully I'm finally feeling better but obviously I'll never be 100%.

During the time of training I did get paid so at least that helped! My family and I continue to support all our military branches and again just want to thank you for all your sacrifice!

M47_Dragon
08-04-2009, 7:13 PM
Even though this is an anonymous internet board, still ballsy of you to come forward about this. I've known plenty who say they've served in similar situations (not back issues, per se, but something). In the Marines, if you sign up but don't go to boot camp OR don't make it through boot camp, they call it an ELS (Entry Level Separation), not a discharge. The title of Marine is never earned and therefore, no service.

Still appreciate you for trying to serve. Heart and mind were in the right place.



.

cryoguy
08-04-2009, 7:15 PM
I also feel the same way... very brave of you

11Z50
08-04-2009, 9:28 PM
Yes you did serve. You put your name on the dotted line and volunteered. There are many who don't know what that is like, and certainly don't deserve to render any opinion at all. And those of us who have served, certainly know what it's like to be injured, and see comrades injured. I am myself a disabled veteran.

I have a daughter that was at basic at Ft Jackson when I was at OIF I. (2003) I called her on the sat phone just before the war began, possibly to say goodbye. She joined, and injured her ankle on a road march. Thank God she did. She was going to be a 77F (petroleum truck driver) and would have been at great risk in OIF II and so on.

She was sent home on convalescent leave, and went back two times to attempt to get thru basic. Her ankle would not hold up, and she was medically discharged. Here's the rub: She was a Guardsman, so even though she had more than 180 days of active duty, she is not technically considered a veteran. She got no DD214 for the service she gave to her country, but an NGB 22 instead. I raise the BS flag on that since she has more guts than most men I know, but the regulations and laws are what they are.

I also have a sister-in-law who still is a Guardsman who served on OIF III and was wounded in combat and was awarded Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals. She was an Israeli citizen when I talked her into joining the Guard, and she is now a proud American who has paid the price.

Every generation of my family since we can go back has served. It's time we sat one out. I was serving while my daughter was doing basic, so she gets a freebie in my book. There are plenty of folks who live off the fat of the land, and never serve a day.

IMHO, when you join, you lay it all on the line. If the Gov't sends you on your way, you still offered, and therefore served. I did 21 active and 27 total years so I believe I speak from an informed point of view. Just like most of my career in the Army, I don't give a !@#$%^&*()_+ what the regulations say, it's the intent that counts. If you joined with a clear mind and good heart, you served, no matter what happens.

chris
08-04-2009, 9:45 PM
you have done more than most in this country would do.

imtheomegaman
08-04-2009, 9:49 PM
Where did you injure your back?

Fat_Rat
08-05-2009, 10:44 AM
Yes you did serve. You put your name on the dotted line and volunteered. There are many who don't know what that is like, and certainly don't deserve to render any opinion at all. And those of us who have served, certainly know what it's like to be injured, and see comrades injured. I am myself a disabled veteran.

I guess if what he said makes you feel better. But the reality is you didnt serve. Do yourself a favor dont go around saying you did becouse not all of us veterans will agree with 11Z50.

shaggyax1
08-05-2009, 10:56 AM
11Z50 -

I appreciate your comments, and I thank you and your family for the service you have given this great nation! You're definitely aloud a free pass to sit out for awhile you've all earned it! I can only hope that your injuries haven't impacted your daily life to much. When my back first went out it felt like the life I new was gone forever. It took years to get back some of what I lost, and thankfully with the surgery last July I'm doing much better now. However, there are a lot of limitations to what I can do now and in the future but I'm thankful for where I am now.

My back went out while I was training to go to boot camp for no apparent reason. My heart and mind were committed but my back was not apparently. I tried my best to do what I could and that is why I continued with my reserve unit for an entire year to see if I would heal, but ultimately I couldn't continue. Whenever someone ask about how I injured my back I always tell them from a car accident. Like I said before I've always kept this to myself. I don't pretend that I accomplished what you all have so please don't think I have or ever will do that. I've always supported all of our military and will continue so in the future. Without you I wouldn't have the freedom to even type this.

imtheomegaman
08-05-2009, 11:26 AM
So if I'm reading this right you injured yourself before you went in which prevented you from serving.

I'll agree with the others, you've done (and tried to do) more than most and should take some solace in that fact.

Most who do serve, I would guess, do not do it to be able to later say "I served".

professionalcoyotehunter
08-05-2009, 11:31 AM
Thanks for considering to do the right thing but I would have to agree and say no.

shaggyax1
08-05-2009, 11:37 AM
I signed up at MEPS in August with a ship out date in October, however about 2 weeks after I signed up my back went out while running to get into shape before I shipped out. The week after I signed up I reported to my reserve unit and signed into them, and at that time I had to start reporting to the drills. This is why they kept me for a year with the hope that I would heal. After a year though I was released due to failure to complete the neccessary training. I didn't sign up with an injury just to say I served that obviously was not the intention. Hopefully this makes sense.

professionalcoyotehunter
08-05-2009, 11:38 AM
Thanks for at least being honest.

Vacaville
08-05-2009, 11:50 AM
When I was in they called it a Trainee Discharge if you left before completing your training. No shame for being discharged for medical reasons, but I wouldn't say you served.

gn3hz3ku1*
08-05-2009, 11:56 AM
if you showed up in uniform..in my book you served... but then legally you didn't

professionalcoyotehunter
08-05-2009, 11:57 AM
You are always so confusing gnehzekul.

socaldsal
08-05-2009, 11:58 AM
you have done more than most in this country would do.

This is it.

You didn't serve and get a DD214, but you agreed to get on a contract and you volunteered during wartime. If only more people had the grapes to at least try to do this much. Don't dwell on it, things played out the way they did. Hopefully your back heals up and you're good to go. Thank you for being honest about it.

gn3hz3ku1*
08-05-2009, 12:03 PM
You are always so confusing gnehzekul.

okay bud here we go:

if the OP showed up in uniform:


to me: he served our country

to the gov lawyers: he did not serve in the military of the United States.

professionalcoyotehunter
08-05-2009, 12:05 PM
There was no uniform issued unless you make it to Boot Camp. No time served I am glad he took a step so many are unwilling to make.

docsmileyface
08-05-2009, 12:40 PM
talk to Capo I believe - hes a recruiter for the CA State Military Reserve. They help out the CAARNG a lot, if you can't serve your country due to injury I'm sure you can still serve your state.

shaggyax1
08-05-2009, 12:57 PM
I was issued a uniform by the supply sergeant and wore it every drill weekend. Again I do appreciate the input, as you can see I just wanted to hear your opinion. I know I''m not a veteran and never thought I was, just never really knew how to consider my little time I did.

I actually sent Capo an email yesterday telling him I'm interested in the CSMR so we'll see how that goes!

professionalcoyotehunter
08-05-2009, 12:59 PM
Never knew they gave uniforms before Boot Camp.

chris
08-05-2009, 1:44 PM
Never knew they gave uniforms before Boot Camp.

my unit has done that for troops before they go to basic. usually it's only 1 but they fit in and don't stand out so much.

professionalcoyotehunter
08-05-2009, 1:54 PM
That's cool. Dress Right Dress I guess is the best.

Musclemom
08-05-2009, 2:46 PM
I actually sent Capo an email yesterday telling him I'm interested in the CSMR so we'll see how that goes!
Go for it! I wish you luck.


Never knew they gave uniforms before Boot Camp.

Reserve and guard units issue them to people who've signed up, but have not shipped out to basic yet, so that they can participate in drill.

I joined a Reserve unit after I got off of active duty. It was pretty common for us to have a new recruit drill with us a time or two before they shipped out. It was also not uncommon for them to just disappear after a few drills too. :rolleyes: Then we got mobilized for 2 years and didn't get a single new soldier the entire time.

goathead
08-05-2009, 5:30 PM
WoW

mattman
08-06-2009, 3:46 PM
I am a little surprised you didn't get a blank dd-214. I've seen those from people with similar situations.

Rob454
08-06-2009, 4:29 PM
yeah if you didnt go to basic AIT and no service record then you werent really in. your heart was in the right place.
Dont feel bad my buddy was in the same sort of thing. he cracked his spine falling off a motorcycle two days before. he wanted to ride one last day cause he knew he wasnt gonna see home for 6 months or so.
To this day he beats himself up for it but i tell him look at it this way youre a actual producing member of society and that also counts for a lot.

eviioiive
08-06-2009, 5:49 PM
I know someone with a DD214 that is filled with SF crap and he didnt work a single day for the government in any capacity...

socaldsal
08-06-2009, 8:48 PM
I know someone with a DD214 that is filled with SF crap and he didnt work a single day for the government in any capacity...

That's some FBI/felony business. Stolen Valor. If he used that to gain a job that's a double negative. FOIA his actual DD214 and burn his arse.

Fedor_King
08-06-2009, 9:39 PM
I liked reading your post and the responses.

I too often wonder if I served.

I was @ West Point Military Academy for over 2 years before leaving in 2004 before I signed the next 7 years away. I got an honorable discharge (not booted out there for honor violations, etc). They put me on inactive reserve for three years and told me I could come back anytime to finish before I turned 23 (I did pretty good there). I never did-- I finished a regular college and have a corporate job now.

I have my DD214, had dozens of uniforms, did a lot of different type of training (including the USMA version of bootcamp (Beast) and AIT (Camp Buckner)., riding tanks in Fort Knox, etc.

However, I often wonder if I can claim that I am a veteran when four of my close friends from West Point were KIA defending the US and putting it all on the line. There are people in Iraq right now who I personally trained in one way or another, however-- I am here now and not there with them. That is something I have to deal with on a daily basis.

Your heart is in the right place.

You are probably many great things-- not a veteran though.

capo
08-09-2009, 11:10 PM
I actually sent Capo an email yesterday telling him I'm interested in the CSMR so we'll see how that goes!

I responded to an email on my .mil account today, if that was you, come see me this Saturday at the armory in Long Beach and we'll assess your situation. You won't serve federally with us, but you will serve your state, and you will serve those who serve...