Regarding Military service, a story.
Hello everyone, this is my first post on the forum.
My name is Kyle, I am an 18 year old teenage boy who has a severe peanut allergy, I am aware many of you have sons and daughters with peanut allergies, and many of them will be looking at Military Service for a career when they are older perhaps. My story will detail and outline the issues you may and probably will run into if your son/daughter or you decide to try for the Service.
Lo and behold a 17 year old teenager going into his 12th year of High School (Hey it's me lol). I had a half semester co op set up for the Armed Forces and was looking forward to it, I had spent six months pursuing and filling out paperwork. I had also been to the recruitment center on several occasions and explained my peanut allergy, the severity of it and no one there saw this as an issue. So comes October 2007 and I have an aptitude and medical test set up for the Armed Forces, I arrive thirty minutes early, fill out the nesc paperwork and then go to see the Medic who's office is within the back. He read through my file (Transcripts from school, what I filled out etc) and noticed I had a peanut allergy. I casually explained to him that it was life threatening and I did carry an epipen around. It was at that moment he told me I was "Unfit for duty".
This was especially hard for me to swallow, just those three words as it had been a dream of mine to serve in the armed forces since I was in grade 4. I knew I could get in, and pass everything. I thought after six months of prep to get in that I could take any additional last minute paperwork they threw at me. But I couldn't take that. So I gathered my things, signed out of the co op and off their information sheets and left; I don't think I ever had such a long walk home. Apparently the reason I was unfit is because I carried an epipen, it wasn't just the peanut allergy alone. As all their Improvised Rations are individually sealed, but it was the epipen. They don't want soldiers that are a liability without getting shot at as is I guess.
So, to you parents and people with peanut allergies out there. If your son or daughter or even you are looking for a career in the Armed Forces then I seriously urge them/you to ask the medic at the recruiting center first. Don't make the same mistake I did and just ask the first person you see. I think personally they should change their policy regarding epipens; as we know in the near future there will be a lot more people needing them, for asthma, for allergies or what not.