Simple military question.

ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 BannedPosts: 2,645 Senior Member
I'm just curious since I've fallen to the discrimination myself, but why can't an insulin dependant diabetic that IS in GOOD control of his health join the military? I know the gov't can do as they please, but talk about a slap in the face. I remember when I was 17, two men in uniform came to the house looking for my brother (probably to recruit.) Once I told them he wasn't there, they asked me very persistently if I was interested in serving my country. Being a smarta?$, I said "nah you boys don't want me." They insisted they did with a bewildered look for a minute or so until I told them I was diabetic. I got a "good day sir," and they left. Wth?
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Replies

  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Same medical discrimination the DOT uses Jeff.....you can be an epileptic......but it's hard to get a CDL as a diabetic. I think it has something to do with the "uncertainess" in which you can go into "diabetic shock".....which to me seems silly since a diabetic is pretty much aware of their condition, and takes extreme measures to prevent their own death. Given the Military field environment, you may well not get that luxury of being able to control your diet, nor the means to keep insulin refrigerated and close by. Too much of a medical liability.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    Because if you were in the middle of no where on a mission they would have to ensure you have the propercare and meds to perform your job and they can't.
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,426 Senior Member
    Because of the relatively high chance of you ending up in a situation where you stay somewhere much longer than you (and your leaders) expected, with minimal to no resupply (IE air dropping in MRE's and water, and that's it). They aren't going to "special order" your insulin. Even in a "POG" position, it's possible.

    If you want a good illustration of these types of situations, watch the documentary "Restrepo."
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    No but I can keep my health at check with a single vial of insulin for a month (max.) and it needs refrigerated not after opened. And some, such as myself, know their blood sugar levels just by physical means such as frequency to urinate, drink, color of urine, etc.... without even checking my sugar level. I think it's BS that certain people get the shaft. Even without seeing action, are there not other duties that are less risky?
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,099 Senior Member
    Think about it this way Ghost - the mountaintop firebase is being shelled, and is in danger of being overrun. The relief Blackhawk is being loaded down with magazines, belted 7.62, bandages, MRE's, batteries for night vision goggles, and a bundle of sharpened sticks. You think a radio call to throw a baggie of insulin syringes is going to be heard by ANYONE?

    Not to make light of your situation, but military service often calls for the need to adapt, and even the desk-**** REMFs can find themselves having to do some serious adapting. A biochemical imbalance like diabetes SERIOUSLY cuts down on ability to roll with the changes. It is one of those things that can very well get OTHER people killed. It's not as obvious as a leg with a birth defect, but it's the same basic category. Don't get bent by it - it's to protect you as well as others.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Even without seeing action, are there not other duties that are less risky?

    Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard.....not saying those branches have no risk.....but a better controlled environment.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,408 Senior Member
    It sucks, but they consider the worst-case scenario when it comes to things like diabetes and women in combat. With women, it's the fact that they WILL be raped with almost total certainly in the event they are captured, and we don't need the fallout of wives and mothers being knocked up by the enemy. With chronic, potentially deadly (if uncontrolled) conditions like diabetes, if you were captured by say, Al Qaeda, you can hang up any ideas of proper care or access to syringes, let alone a steady supply of insulin when they have you tied up in a Pakistani mountian pass. At that point, you're pretty much a walking casualty waiting to die a slow, suffering, provided they don't do something worse to you before your body shuts down on its own.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    That really sucks.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,426 Senior Member
    No but I can keep my health at check with a single vial of insulin for a month (max.) and it needs refrigerated not after opened. And some, such as myself, know their blood sugar levels just by physical means such as frequency to urinate, drink, color of urine, etc.... without even checking my sugar level.

    Maybe you do, but many don't. It is way too big of a "what if" to take the chance. I understand and appreciate your desire to serve, but think big picture. Joe Soldier's life is relatively micro-managed by his/her Team Leader, who answers to the Squad Leader, who answers to the Platoon Sergeant, who answers to the 1SG and the PL, who answers to the... I could go on and on. The respective "Leaders" already have to track each Soldiers' food, water, weapons, ammo, mission/job specific items, health concerns, etc. Now throw in another item, insulin, that is very specific and requires the leader to learn the very specific implied tasks that go along with insulin. After the amount of money the military will spend training you, they are not going to rely on "I'm good Corporal, my urine was [this color] this morning." It's not a slight against you personally, it's a simple question of numbers.

    I think it's BS that certain people get the shaft. Even without seeing action, are there not other duties that are less risky?

    Maybe on paper, but in today's war there is no front line. Remember Jessica Lynch? She was in one of those "less risky" duties and still ended up not only in an intense firefight, but captured by the enemy. If she had been insulin dependent, she would have died. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessica_Lynch

    I know it sucks, especially if you have the intense desire to serve and wear the uniform. I fought for two years to get my waiver to join the Army. Don't forget, there are other ways to serve the military in a civilian role here stateside where you have the luxury of the Americans With Disabilities Act, etc...
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,509 Senior Member
    No but I can keep my health at check with a single vial of insulin for a month (max.) and it needs refrigerated not after opened. And some, such as myself, know their blood sugar levels just by physical means such as frequency to urinate, drink, color of urine, etc.... without even checking my sugar level. I think it's BS that certain people get the shaft. Even without seeing action, are there not other duties that are less risky?

    There are about 200 plus reasons why you can't join as a Diabetic. Most of the good ones have been said. A huge one that not many people think of is DIET!! The Army diet during operations of any sort are not hospitable to Diabetic needs. it is plan and simple. You are either getting stuffed with Carbohydrate rich foods packed with calories in order for you to sustain operations that require such foods, or you are being deprived of food because you are in the middle of operations and can't eat. On one end your blood sugar is jacked way up there, on the other end your blood sugar is in the dirt. Your body can't handle that. And, I am not talking about sustained Troop in contact operations. I am talking about normal, lets go to the field, do a Communications exercise, some Army Warrior Training (required by all MOSs), and come home.

    Sustained Army Diets have produced Diabetes in three people that I know. Two of them had a family history, but were doing fine for all of their 13-18 years of service. One came from the SOF Community, the other two from light fight divisions.

    I am not trying to be high and mighty cause out of 8 grandkids (male and female), I was the only one medically fit to join...Odd though, cause one of them got into the FBI....

    There is a reason we are the 1%
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,509 Senior Member
    on a side note....Matt is right, look into the GS workforce....ACTUALLY, I am sure you have a good trade...Welding, metal work, machine guy....IF you do, go to the nearest Ship yard that makes Cruisers, virginia class subs, or Carriers. The Navy just got approved for funding over the next "x" amount of years to produce 10 of each. The Navy came out very good in the new NDAA.

    Oh and Matt....Read the NDAA spots about Active reserve....Then determine if you should see and an inservice recruiter and go active....Seriously.
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    My daughter Debby did her best to join the Air Force at age 18, but she had an 8" long scar down the middle of her chest where she had heart surgery as a 6-year-old. She really raked the recruiter over the coals- - - - -"I know my heart is good- - - -they fixed it! How good is yours?" Bottom line- - - -some medical conditions just won't allow you to enlist. My son has a 3" long stainless steel screw holding his right ankle together from a 4-wheeler accident while he was working with a tobacco harvesting crew. Same thing- - - -"Physically unqualified for military service"!

    Joe Namath, the famous pro football quarterback, was also unqualified for military service. He had knees that required constant attention from the team trainers, and other medical professionals. He could run around a football field and make millions of dollars, but Uncle Sam wouldn't have him!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,351 Senior Member
    I tried, but they wouldn't take me with the heart murmur I had (now I just tick like a bomb). I really wanted to, but it wasn't in the cards that I was dealt. You just got to be grateful for whatever hand you were given and play them the best you can.
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Hey y'all don't fret with regrets...plenty of whippersnappers out there to do the deed......Navy wouldn't take me for UDT cause they said I had asthma when it was just a short lung ailment from breathing fiberglass and acetone...even passed the methacolene tests....it cleared up and I joined the Army instead to become super-tanker....I showed THEM! :tooth:
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,110 Senior Member
    its unfortunate there is no cure at this time for diabetes but you never know whats tomorrow brings. i can imagine its ia PIA to deal with too.

    i would have to agree with certain things for now that i sure wouldnt want a diabetic in control of. i know its petty, but ive had experience with a diabetic on my first job. a co worker found one of the engineers laying on one of the catwalks looking at the ceiling. it would have been funny, but he was in diabetic shock. another time the same engineer was at his desk reclined back on his chair staring up at the ceiling again and again, he was in shock. it really didnt get any better until he got the pump. even then everyone of us was on close lookout for him. any strange behavior of him really got some attention from us.

    keep fighting. afterall, when youre at bottom, there is only one way to go, up.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Never, ever in my 27 years of being diabetic (since age 2,) been hospitalized or anything else diabetic related. I am very resilient. Who's call is it other than my own if I'm willing to risk my health, safety or death for my country??? Still think its BS. Couldn't one contact their state senator or congressman on such a matter?
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Also to add. The lowest blood sugar I ever had at the age of eight btw was 11. Should have been in a coma, but I was still standing and coherent. Just felt "shaky."
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,599 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Its not only about YOU. It would be not only you that would be down, but the guy having to take care of you as well.


    :that:

    You might be good to go 99.9% of the time, but things can get bad quick in combat. That .1% could get you and others killed.

    Does the Coast Guard have the same requirements???
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,206 Senior Member
    Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard.....not saying those branches have no risk.....but a better controlled environment.

    Dude! Are you seriously saying these branches would consider taking on an insulin dependent diabetic? Really?
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,206 Senior Member
    Ghost, As usual partner, folks aren't telling you what you want to hear so you're not listening (reading) It has already been explained, multiple times, why diabetics are not qualified for active military service. I understand you are not a "brittle" diabetic...but in the end, this isn't about you, this is about the guys you serve with. If you are willing to serve in the military, why would you hesitate to move to an area where you can get a job supporting the military with your skills at a pay scale that is a hell of a lot more lucrative than what you're doing now?
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    There are several more ways to serve your country than the Army.
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,987 Senior Member
    Never, ever in my 27 years of being diabetic (since age 2,) been hospitalized or anything else diabetic related. I am very resilient. Who's call is it other than my own if I'm willing to risk my health, safety or death for my country??? Still think its BS. Couldn't one contact their state senator or congressman on such a matter?
    Actually, you should drop the idea, sort your life out, and proceed to get
    on with a satisfying civilian career.

    Don't you have a bunch of tattoos, some of which may be in the wrong place
    for the military?
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    No but I can keep my health at check with a single vial of insulin for a month (max.) and it needs refrigerated not after opened. And some, such as myself, know their blood sugar levels just by physical means such as frequency to urinate, drink, color of urine, etc.... without even checking my sugar level. I think it's BS that certain people get the shaft. Even without seeing action, are there not other duties that are less risky?
    It is a "murphy's law" deal, even if you are "in the rear with the gear" or some office in Washington there is no guarantee they can keep up with your supply of insulin, the military reason to be is to go to war, and or that they need able bodies, you can have a dozen insulin vials in a number of protected cases and they can get left behind, lost, destroyed regardles of your location, too many "IFS" to secure your health.

    Now in countries like Canada, France, China, Panama, England, Switzerland, etc. they CURE diabetes, China is done at their military hospital and it costs foreigners around 20 grand, if I came up with the $$$ I would find which is the more reliable place, I gather that would be Switzerland and get myself and my brother there first thing.
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,426 Senior Member
    https://www.usajobs.gov/

    Like a few people here have said, there are other ways to serve.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,110 Senior Member
    i forgot to add.

    when i was starting college, i was a "stay in school" civilian employee for the US Army Corps of Engineers at the Portland District Office. Even tho it was a supply clerk position, it was lot of fun and i was able to get around and meet everyone including the officers in our building and the others. One thing great about the COE is that they have most if not all of the Engineering disciplines under one roof. They also offer to pay for schooling too. I was fortunate to be working during the Mt St Helens eruption and my boss told me we may go on alert. Fortunately we didnt, but we did have to re outfit our St Helens office that was destroyed and i had to do the some of the paperwork for the equipment lost. We also had the opportunity to see the area before they opened it up for the public.

    it may not be what you want, but its a way to serve. fwiw, the only previous knowledge i had of the US Army was from watching MASH. The COE is sometimes like that, but they do know their jobs.

    I volunteer at our local Oregon Food Bank 2x per week. Its alot of fun and i meet alot of new people and some regulars. Its not glamours but help thousands everytime i work. im trying to break the 1k hour mark, but at 3 hours/shift its slooooow going. just an fyi, there are people with 2k+ hours volunteers. you may not see it directly, but when you and your shift process 15k pounds of food in 3 hours, you feel like youve done something. if not, you must not have done anything. In our OFB there are regular paying jobs too, but alot of the front line food processing is volunteer only.

    theres the Peacecorps and others NPO like that. iirc, theres one called Engineers across borders too. if those interest you, you can checkup on those.

    good luck in your quest.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    To touch on a few: Scott, I am listening to what ya'll are saying and it makes perfect sense. Just stating that it really sucks to be in my shoes at times. Can't even get a damn life insurance policy. Ned, my life is totally screwed right now (what's new,) but that wasn't my reason for inquiring. And yes, now that you mention it, since I forgot, I am riddled with visible tattoos which would disqualify me anyways. Very good points all, and thanks for the responses (especially those of you that are serving or have served our country.) God bless
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    You may want to look into a holistic approach to a cure too, the most that can happen is it will not work, however, that and a special diabetic diet and exercise and loosing weight if you are overweight will help a great deal, I have been told that the leaf of the medlar tree yields good results.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,509 Senior Member
    Serious dude ....start looking above and beyond...hell they are hiring for rough necks on the northern slope here in Alaska....and a few other places. Do you know what type of money those people make...! It is so much, that when the single guys come off of their two week shift, they fly to Hawaii or Vegas and LIVE...I went TDY to Hawaii and the plane was chalked full of roughnecks...and when they get to Hawaii, they stayed in places like the Hilton village, trump hotel, and the Hyatt. My brother works a rig out in the gulf, he makes enough to do what ever he wants when he gets off the rig....And all he does is fetch tools!

    Look at the shipyards in the east coast, DuPont in Mississippi ( hell the shipyards there are in bear tracker's back yard almost), and I think there is still a sub yard in New Brunswick ....the navy just got a reprieve and is going to start turning out ships over the next few years like crazy....plus the money they are getting to refit a few aircraft carriers and maintain the ships that are in dry dock. We are going back to a large navy...we have funded China's navy through Walmart and a few other stores..and now we know that we need a navy that can continue to project force presence in the pacific.

    In the famous words of Outcast, "you have to get up, get out, and get something. Don't let the days of your life pass you by..."

    I can understand that you are at a low....trust me, if I told you guys how bad I have fracked up my marriage and my personal life you would be shocked. It will pass. One day at a time, but, it will pass.
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    I sometimes feel a little disappointed in myself for never serving. My father, grandfather, most of my uncles, ect all did. I went straight out of high school to the FD. You know something, those 343 that died on 9/11 were front line soldiers that day. I don't feel as bad when I look at it like that. Now I work DoD and love it. Protecting those that defend America.

    You might want to look into the fire service. Just a thought. Most municipal guys make over 30k in the door a year and only work 10 days a month. With your benefits and a retirement plan, it's not a bad gig.....
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,186 Senior Member
    Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard.....not saying those branches have no risk.....but a better controlled environment.

    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Dude! Are you seriously saying these branches would consider taking on an insulin dependent diabetic? Really?

    What Jayhawker said is serious stuff. Can't speak to the other two services, but the Navy would be a really lousy choice for a diabetic. Long hours of work, lots of carbs to keep you stoked for the long hours, and sleep can be a luxury at times. And when the poo hits the fan, it is not unusual to go a month before having to refuel and take on supplies due to the tempo of operations. About the only ship a diabetic could possibly serve on with any hope of success would be a carrier. They have large enough medical facilities to deal with that if something went wrong. There are lots of opportunities for not seeing land for three months, and only doing underway refueling and stores replenishment is SOP for that. As far as a balanced diet went when I was in the Navy, that consisted of resting your tray on your knees and eating because the mess deck was crowded. I doubt it's any better now. I highly suspect that they still serve beans at least twice a day. Fresh food was what you had for only two weeks out of port; the rest of the time it was frozen or came out of a can.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



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