My son is doing ROTC at Wheaton College. Allow me a moment to be an advertisement for them. Wheaton's ROTC program is in the top 10 in the country. It is the only program in the country made up exclusively of private schools, most of which are religious. They regularly win Ranger Challenge competitions (think army ROTC Olympics). When Jake finishes college he will be one of the few people who can actually say that he is guaranteed a job upon graduation. And he will begin his service as an officer.
I think this last part is what really struck me last weekend. He is training for a job. His service in the military won't be something he does before he starts working but will be the beginning of his work. He may stay in the military his entire career or leave after 4 years but either way, and whatever degree he gets, he will have a job upon graduation. I feel weirdly relieved by that thought. Is anyone with me here?
There are so many other great things about the ROTC program which mirror the great things about Wheaton in general. The big thing is that Jake has someone monitoring his progress, making sure he succeeds and graduates in 4 years, no dilly dallying in the army. All they while teaching leadership skills from a biblical base. SO awesome.
We didn't get around to taking him for the army haircut before we left so they did it for him. WOW, that is an army cut. Good looking kid but I guess I always liked him with long hair...
And, of course, I am stalking the Facebook page for the Rolling Thunder Battalion for pictures of my son. I almost missed this one. Front and center running around the corner. Still not 100% but that does look to be our name on his chest. Where did his hair go???
He has a long road ahead of him this next month as he did not pass the physical fitness test when we arrived and will need to do so by the end of September. But we are confident that he is more than capable of doing so as long as he commits to the process. Right now he isn't contracted, he isn't getting the scholarship this year, which means he could walk away at any time. But I pray he sticks with it, puts in the effort and follows this dream he has had for many years.