I need some advice.

chickenrappa

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Good afternoon gents, I am making this thread mostly because I don't know what else to do, and I am looking for some advice from some of you who may be wiser than myself. For those of you who may not know me, I am a 20 year old male from the Chicagoland area. When I was 14 years old, I went out on Halloween on some dumb shit, when it was below freezing in shorts and a t-shirt. I got pneumonia and was hospitalized.

While I was hospitalized that year in early November, they found that I had a congenital anomalous right coronary artery through all the x-rays and other shit they were doing for my pneumonia. I had surgery to correct my birth defect that next June, which would put the timeline at June 2014. In about October once again, I had pneumonia again, but it was because of the fluid build-up post-op, at least that's what I was told by my doctor. I had always had a desire to serve, but never really knew just how lucky I was until I was an adult. I got a second chance to live life, I went to college at about 265, and left college at about 320lbs after one year. I was pissing it away. I came home for the summer and was working a security job and I decided one day to walk into a recruiters office.

At the time it was the Army Recruiter in my town, and I stated that I had an interest in pursuing a career in the Army, and was looking at SOF options. I am super honest about my medical history with them, because all my records are intertwined during that time period. I have since not stopped working to achieve my goal, which first was to work on my weight and be tape-able, and I am now below regulation weight for my height. Which is about a 120lb drop in about a year. I was thinking everything was going to plan, my recruiters had to get me a waiver after going to MEPS for the second time, due to having two pneumonias within an 18 month period, which led to me being awarded a P3P classification. I was told that it was a USAREC waiver, and after being told that it was going good the week prior in May of this year. I was ready to go. I went in the next week to check on the status and found that it had been denied. My station commander had offered to provide me with civilian job references, be a character reference for me and how hard I have worked, and even offered to take me upstairs and see if another service could help me. I was pretty devastated.

My Army recruiter walked me upstairs as I had said that I would like to pursue a career in the Marine Corps if I was unable to do so in the Army. I began working with the Marines in early June, and I felt like I belonged. I had not been promised anything due to the Army denying my waiver. I was not deterred, I was able to write out an activity statement, explain my situation and have a HQMC waiver sent up. It was also denied and I was told that I could try another service because there was no way that I would be able to get in with a denied HQMC waiver. I was not deterred and went to every other recruiter. I tried the Air Force and National Guard, neither of them were able to do anything about it. They just decided that I wouldn't be allowed in and didn't want to even try.

I am maintaining my level of fitness and still continue to press on. It has been 7 years since my heart surgery and 5 since my last pneumonia. I have never had any issues with either of them. I don't really know what else to do, I was told by my Marine Corps recruiter that the only thing that could change their mind is time. I don't know if there is some sort of appellate process, but at this point I would literally do anything. I am about to get my associates degree from my local community college, I have a competitive ASVAB score, and have competitive PFT scores. Just for reference once again, my document file is somewhere in the 200 page range. I went to my previous heart doctor (Pediatric), my surgeon, a new adult cardiologist, and my primary care provider. All of them cleared me physically fit and when I did a Stress Echocardiogram I was able to run for 20 minutes with no issues, and was asked to stop by the provider because there was nothing wrong with me. I was declared above average for my age group with no issues. I did similar tests to prove that I had no issues with my heart, stress tests, EKGs, CT scans, x-rays, the whole 9 yards.

I just wanted to serve, so I was willing to do anything to make that dream a reality. I have never had any issues post-surgery with my heart, and haven't had any sort of lung issues for at least 5 years. Am I completely sunk and is my dream of being able to serve completely done, or can something be done?

I have been told no for a while, and I continue to have my desire to serve my country, at this point I am willing to try almost anything.
 
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Ooh-Rah

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It took me forever to get through this and find your actual question; so I added some paragraphs.

Hope you are able to make something work.
 

Stretcher Jockey

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You're looking for an easy answer to a complicated question, and that's not going to be something that's entirely possible. If your waivers have been denied by all the different branches then you know the answer to your question already. If I was in your position, I would find something fulfilling to do in the civilian side and continue to try to enter the service. You're in an unfortunate spot, but the only thing you can do is press. The chances of you ever serving are admittedly very small but that doesn't mean you're any less of a valuable asset to wherever you work.
 

chickenrappa

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It took me forever to get through this and find your actual question; so I added some paragraphs.

Hope you are able to make something work.
Appreciated.

You're looking for an easy answer to a complicated question, and that's not going to be something that's entirely possible. If your waivers have been denied by all the different branches then you know the answer to your question already. If I was in your position, I would find something fulfilling to do in the civilian side and continue to try to enter the service. You're in an unfortunate spot, but the only thing you can do is press. The chances of you ever serving are admittedly very small but that doesn't mean you're any less of a valuable asset to wherever you work.
I know it's quite a difficult spot I was in, I was told different timeframes by different branches. Some said never, some said 5 years, some said 3 years. I was just wondering if there was a way that I could go now while I have nothing in the way. But nevertheless, I will do my best to try and press and see if maybe I can find a way to push forward. Side note: I have also sought civilian employment in the civil service/LE area, and in fact the guy that told me the Air Force wouldn't allow me in the military told me that he might be able to get me a job working for the air force as a civilian contractor, which I said I would look into if he sent me details. Thanks for replying.
 

Kaldak

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You're only 20, correct?

You've got a lot of time left to join. Keep trying. That may require a drive to a different recruiting office, but keep trying. It's cheesey, but true: the best things in life take time and hard work.
 

chickenrappa

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You're only 20, correct?

You've got a lot of time left to join. Keep trying. That may require a drive to a different recruiting office, but keep trying. It's cheesey, but true: the best things in life take time and hard work.
That's correct sir. I won't give up. Thanks.
 

Gunz

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Have you considered serving your country in other ways? EMT? Firefighter? Police? You're only 20, lots of time. Some community colleges offer EMT or criminal justice courses and financial aid. If I were you and it turned out the military was not an option for me, I'd look into courses for first responders.
 
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chickenrappa

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Have you considered serving your country in other ways? EMT? Firefighter? Police? You're only 20, lots of time. Some community colleges offer EMT or criminal justice courses and financial aid. If I were you and it turned out the military was not an option for me, I'd look into courses for first responders.

(PS I took an EMT-B course at a community college at age 62. They all thought I was some weird old dude (which of course is true) but I wanted to do it to train-up and add some skills...and it wasn't that expensive.)
I have considered Police, and will probably be applying next month when I turn 21, which is the age requirement for most agencies. I have some college credit already, and will be on track to graduate with an associates this spring.
 

Arf

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Go to the doctor and have them write a statement that your earlier medical issues in no way impact any physical performance and that you have completely healed from any prior issues.
They want a doctor to write a statement that absolves them from making that call.
I didn’t have a heart issue when I had that done, but it’s worth a shot.
 

chickenrappa

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Go to the doctor and have them write a statement that your earlier medical issues in no way impact any physical performance and that you have completely healed from any prior issues.
They want a doctor to write a statement that absolves them from making that call.
I didn’t have a heart issue when I had that done, but it’s worth a shot.
My Army recruiter required it from my primary care doctor, my original cardiologist, my surgeon, and a new adult cardiologist. I did a CT scan with contrast, I did a stress echocardiogram. All were ruled normal or above average, with zero complications. My packet was quite large, I wonder if they even read all 200-something pages of it. I have never had any incidents or problems with my heart since I got the surgery, and I never had problems before it was diagnosed, and it was found by a fluke pneumonia that was gotten by me being an idiot and not dressing for the weather. I may be relocating soon, do you think that a different area with a different CMO and a different CGRC would make a difference perhaps?
 

chickenrappa

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Has the recruiter even tried to send it to MEPS?
Both the Army and Marine Corps recruiters have sent all of my medical records up, with activity statements, changes in weight, PFT scores, etc up. Nothing has worked. That's partially why I made this thread, because I thought maybe somebody would know if they actually maybe didn't check everything out, or if it would be worth finding a different area, with a different recruiting and medical command staff to take another look rather than just look at the red stamp I got from the Army and say yeah no thanks.
 

ecag

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The MEPS doctors at one location review records regardless of branch. I have friends who had medical “issues” not get approval at one MEPS, only to have another MEPS clear them. Granted none of them had heart surgeries, but it’s definitely something to look into. Not sure how close the next MEPS is to you, but all it takes is a determined recruiter.
 

chickenrappa

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The MEPS doctors at one location review records regardless of branch. I have friends who had medical “issues” not get approval at one MEPS, only to have another MEPS clear them. Granted none of them had heart surgeries, but it’s definitely something to look into. Not sure how close the next MEPS is to you, but all it takes is a determined recruiter.
That's definitely something I might look into once I move. Thanks for your insight.
 

chickenrappa

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Try calling the “Inspector General” on the back of the recruiting card and tell him your dilemma. That’s who I called, and he got my waiver moving. The recruiters are not supposed to tell you about it for some reason. @chickenrappa
The recruiting cards that I received did not have an Inspector General on it, neither Army, Air Force or Marine Corps recruiting cards.

Edit: I removed the part where I said I didn't know what an inspector general is, because I didn't look it up before I replied. That's my bad.
 
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