AFJAGHopeful1988 wrote:I'm currently in law school (went straight through from undergrad to law school), and I am going through the JAG application Process. Unfortunately, my parents are both strongly opposed to any of their children entering the military in any capacity. I've tried to discuss it with them at various times over the past few years as JAG has been something I have been interested in for a long time, but the conversations have gotten very emotional and I usually just end the conversation for the sake of avoiding an argument. At this point I try not to bring it up. That said, I feel very uncomfortable hiding it from them that I am going thorugh the JAG application process and if I do get a commission, springing it on them that I was entering the military would be very difficult for them. I think it's time that they and I had a serious conversation about it. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, how did you deal with this conversation/issue?
Parents like this generally fall into two camps: the first have no fundamental issue with the military but have the perfectly reasonable fear for the safety of their children. The second tend to be the sort that are so "liberal" that they hate the military in some form, despite having no service background or first-hand knowledge about how it functions.
If they are in the first camp - you need to educate them. Consider talking to a nearby AFB Legal Office; ask for a base tour and Q&A from one of the active duty JAGs. Let you parents see first hand what day-to-day on an AFB is like. A lot of civilians also simply do not understand that combat arms positions are a world apart from staff positions - most assume that everyone wearing the uniform can moonlight as a Ranger or SEAL.
They also need to learn about deployments - your folks may assume you would be in some door-kicker position in the AOR. While there is always the risk of indirect fire on a FOB and Green-On-Blue, them understanding you are in legal/advisory role while deployed and realtively safe may go a long way.
This thread is a great place to learn about some aspects JAG service but the information you need to convince your folks is probably going to have to come from somewhere more direct.