Great Career, May Not Happen (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

Why a potentially great military career may not even get started.


 My oldest nephew John is 15.  He decided a few years ago to turn his love of all things military into an everyday experience.  John decided to attend the Missouri Military Academy.  He's been there for three years now, just finishing up his sophomore year.

This weekend John was presented with the JROTC superior cadet award.  It goes to just one cadet in each class.  His mother and sister were there visiting for the weekend, so his mom Cindy was able to present the medal to him.

Here's the medal.

John excels in academics, athletics, music and other activities.  He's represented his school at leadership seminars at the Missouri State Capitol and in Washington DC.  John also won the school's top award for journalism.  Here he is at that presentation with one of his instructors.

Maybe he'll pursue journalism, follow in my footsteps. He'd really like to follow in his grandfather's footsteps as an officer in the U.S. military. He's already visited the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as a possible place to go after high school at MMA.  He's going to spend a week this summer on a Coast Guard cutter, and another week at a Coast Guard base.  Since John is from Colorado Springs the Air Force Academy is his top choice.

Based on his record and his enthusiasm already...John seems like the kind of young man the U.S. military would questions asked. 

Here's the one question they always ask.  Do you have diabetes? 

For John, the answer to that is yes.  He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 9.

That's why this clearly promising career in the military may never even get started.  The military academies do grant medical waivers for some far almost never for diabetes.  Like millions of other patients with millions of other reasons, John needs a cure.

This weekend the Tour de Cure is happening in Woodland Park.  It's a bike ride, three different distances.  11 Sports Director Jesse Kurtz is doing the long one, 86 miles.  If you can't be part of it, think about maybe making a donation. This link will take you to Jesse's page.

You can do it through Jesse.  You can do it for the millions of Americans who have diabetes.  You can do it for he can serve all of us in the U.S. military.

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward.




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