Teenage son with peanut allergy military

Posted on: Mon, 12/08/2014 - 4:15am
MarieC's picture
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Joined: 12/08/2014 - 10:53

We always suspected that my son was allergic to peanuts since he was small, but we never got him officially tested, as we just avoided peanuts and products that contained peanuts. (Why I never tested him, I don't know!) Any way, he has wanted to join the Navy since he was in third grade, he's now a sophomore in HS. I looked up the list of disqualifiers from the military, and having food allergy is a disqualifier. So, we took him to a asthma/allergy doctor to verify if he was allergic to peanuts. He got skin tested for peanuts and also received a blood test to check for peanuts. He tested positive for both. (We are in the process of getting a second opinion, although I am fairly certain the results that the results will be the same) My son was devastated with the results. I have been doing research and I found that the FDA currently doesn't not have an approved peanut allergy desensitizing shots for the peanut protein. :( Any how, I am wondering, who else has gone through this problem and what did you do? What advise can you give me to help my son through this? Joining the military was and is whole life! What other options does my son have that may be military related to do for a career? He's healthy other than the allergy.

Posted on: Wed, 12/17/2014 - 10:32pm
dkaschyk's picture
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Joined: 12/18/2014 - 05:29

My brother-in-law was in a similar situation. He has Crohn's Disease. He was able to do ROTC at college. He is now a police officer.
It is not the same, however, it is still keeping our country safe.

Posted on: Tue, 12/23/2014 - 5:52am
smithdcrk's picture
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Joined: 03/13/2014 - 16:46

Hats off to your son and your support for his Navy aspirations. I am sorry to hear of his disappointment. As the mother of children with food allergies I know that the allergy may not just be a social or eating barrier, it can influence their choice of schools and careers.
From my experience as a military family, I can report that Military food service oftens serve thousands quickly under less than ideal conditions, and food allergies even under ideal conditions put the service member at risk. MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat - standard combat rations) are made by multiple vendors and batched - a food allergy nightmare.
Not sure whether he loves the seafaring or the sailor/warrior part best of the Navy. He can serve as a civilian by earning a degree or certificate in technology, aviation, or mechanics and applying for jobs that serve or build for the Navy. The DoD Police are a part of most military installation security. What about NOAA? That is more the science side, but it is totally the Ocean! For a complete list of civilian opportunities visit: http://www.secnav.navy.mil/donhr/Pages/Default.aspx
I wish him the best, and look forward to hearing how he decides to serve hs country.

Posted on: Tue, 12/30/2014 - 8:14am
cantufamily's picture
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Joined: 02/06/2013 - 11:21

One of my twin boys has peanut allergies and I do understand your concern I know that Chicago Laurie Children Hospital has a desensitizing program that they begin around your son age, 15 years old and above. You may want to check with your local hospital. I believe they introduce peanuts in small amounts under a Dr. care with staff. They have had good success and though most kids are never cured it brings hope. With this your son may still have a chance to Live his Dreams. I will pray for him, many blessing and well wishes.

Posted on: Mon, 03/16/2015 - 10:33pm
jebb's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2015 - 05:15

Hi I'm Jules and I am 16 years old. I recently met with an Army recruiter. We had a very nice conversation and as we kept talking I got more and more excited to join the Army Reserves the summer before I go to college. Towards the end of the meeting, my mom mentioned that I had severe peanut and nut allergies and asthma and we were told immediately that I was not qualified to serve. This was something I have been excited about and looking forward to for a long time and it was shut down in an instant. I want to pursue a career in counterintelligence and the Army would have been a priceless experience for it. This is something we can't change about ourselves. Does anyone know of a branch that may accept someone with food allergies? Ideally, I am looking for a reserves job to keep me on my toes while I try to start my career. If not, any other suggestions?

Posted on: Tue, 03/17/2015 - 12:55am
smithdcrk's picture
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Joined: 03/13/2014 - 16:46

Not all who serve wear a uniform. I know this.
Research college or technical programs that would support a career in intelligence and counter intelligence such as cybersecurity (just read the papers), military science, science technology & society, international studies (think Jack Ryan & Patriot Games), foriegn languages (esp Arab, Chinese and Russian) or advanced mathematics such as Number Theory (think Imitation Game and Bletchley Circle). Find your passion and go beyond the coursework.
The department of the defense, NSA and the Pentagon hire civilians who are selected not just for their physical ability to serve in combat or clandestine ops, but for their intellect and skills.

Posted on: Tue, 03/17/2015 - 11:15pm
jebb's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2015 - 05:15

Thank you! I appreciate your input. I will definitely look into those things and try to find a different path.

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