military service and PA

Posted on: Tue, 05/09/2000 - 4:19am
jolene's picture
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Joined: 11/19/1999 - 09:00

I am new here and hoping someone can offer help or that this story will be of help to someone else. I have an 18yr old son who we knew was allergic to peanuts since infancy but it was never a problem. (didn't like peanuts or pb or candy or whathave you). He is quite bright and applied for military ROTC scholarships for college. He received offers for FULL payment of tuition!! However, he cannot activate the scholarships because of the allergy to peanuts. It is a non waiverable condition!!! WE had him tested last November, just to be sure he was still allergic. (HE has outgrown milk and egg allergies). His test showed a +4 reaction which is supposed to be severe. However, I can cook with peanut oil and he has no reaction whatsoever. How can this be? I am trying to find out how my highly qualified son can be denied a military career simply because he can't eat peanuts. Could I have your input please?

Posted on: Tue, 05/09/2000 - 10:01am
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Peanut oil that is highly refined, pure, contains no proteins and therefore has no allergens so that answers that question. As for the rest I have no answers. Sorry.

Posted on: Wed, 05/10/2000 - 6:15am
DavisGal's picture
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Joined: 07/12/1999 - 09:00

How disappointing! Don't have any answers, but sure do feel for you. Please keep us posted.

Posted on: Wed, 05/10/2000 - 6:15am
ihatepeanuts's picture
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Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

What a shame that they are refusing to take
him because of his peanut allergy. I really
don't know what to say about that either.
Has your son ever had any bad reactions to
peanuts (or dairy or egg) while growing up.
I am also very curious about his outgrowing
his egg allergy. My son is allergic to
peanuts and eggs. The allergist said they
both are usually never outgrown. Can your
son actually eat an egg now? Sorry for all
the questions but it is nice to hear about
someone who is 18 now and has grown up with
allergies like my son.
Tracy

Posted on: Wed, 05/10/2000 - 8:30am
jolene's picture
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Joined: 11/19/1999 - 09:00

Tracy, thanks for your reply. We realized my son was allergic to milk at 3 months (failure to thrive and I was nursing). We gradually realized he had the allergies to eggs and peanut(butter). He mainly broke out in hives, threw up, and produced lots of mucous. He never had an incident where I was afraid for his life. (no respiratory distress)He grew up a very picky eater, so we never worried about him eating something he was allergic to. By the time he was 12, I knew he had outgrown his allergy to eggs and milk. He strted eating eggs but refused to try milk. He was on Prosobee forever. In fact, he used it on his cereal until he was at least 14!! By the time he was 14 he started using milk on his cereal. He still WILL not drink a glass. He eats tons of eggs with no reaction. Because of his aversion to peanut butter, we sort wondered whether he had outgrown the allergy (like the others). When we started filling out applications for the military scholarships, they wanted FULL case hx notes. Dumb me, I was honest. They disqualified him for HISTORY of food allergy. They will not waiver a current allergy. They say it is because of the foods HE MIGHT have to eat in the field. Can't risk the soldier dropping dead you know. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img].However, they ARE willing to arrange for a vegetarian to have meatless meals and for a jewish person to have Kosher meals. DUH! Seems like a no brainer to have a peanut-free meal. Oh well. Maybe this was God's way of directing my son's chosen path. We are trying to look at it that way.
I hope you find comfort in the fact that your boy may very well outgrow some of the allergies he has now. Take care.

Posted on: Wed, 05/10/2000 - 9:09am
melissa's picture
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Joined: 07/05/2004 - 09:00

I am so sorry for your son. What a shame. I don't see how the government could allow such a terrible thing. Being PA does not interfere with your ability to protect and serve your country. Have you questioned the proper authority or contacted a lawyer? I would probably do that and see what they have to say. When are people going to understand this allergy, probabley never. Sorry!!!

Posted on: Wed, 05/10/2000 - 11:21am
mkruby's picture
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Joined: 05/01/2000 - 09:00

I am sorry that your son is missing out on such a wonderful opportunity, it stinks! You know I feel kind of bad now, My sons are 8 and 6, and we were talking about the draft..etc..(I tend to have some grown up conversation with them...lol) and they asked if they would ever get drafted and I told them no because of their allergy to peanuts, and I gave them the exact words you used above...because of the being out in the field or at war, they can't worry about a life threatening allergy. You know though...why can't they train him in an area where battle would not be an issue, but he would still be a main person in the military? It doesn't make sense though, looking at it from your point of view. Why cater to religious beliefs and not food allergy? The government does a lot of discrimination when it comes to the military or armed forces, I wonder if you could sue for discrimination. Your son's being punished for something he has no control over and he has obviously worked hard for it, it's a real shame. I wish your son the best.

Posted on: Wed, 05/10/2000 - 1:43pm
ihatepeanuts's picture
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Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

Thanks Jolene for your experience. It gives
me hope that maybe my son will someday
at least outgrow the egg allergy. It would
be so nice if he could at least eat them in
baked goods. My son used to be allergic to
wheat but has outgrown that. He was allergic
to dairy products but is beginning to outgrow
that. He hates milk! I have tried to give
him just a little and he still refuses. He
will not drink anything but Isomil Soy
Formula. I mix it everyday for him. He
won't even drink other cartons of soy milk
that are available at the stores. It can be frustrating because this formula powder costs
us about $20 a month ($240 a year!!). But
he just refuses to drink anything else. He
will be 5 in a few weeks. Thanks again for
your post. I mentioned your situation to my
husband and he also commented, like some of
the others here, that it definitely sounds
like discrimination. Hope it works out well
or that he can find happiness doing something
else.
Take Care!
Tracy

Posted on: Wed, 05/10/2000 - 10:24pm
jolene's picture
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Joined: 11/19/1999 - 09:00

I really want to thank you all for your responses. Wish I had found this site long ago, then again, it wasn't an issue until all this military stuff came up. Anyway, I appreciate all your supportive comments. I had not even thought about suing for discrimination! Hey, everyone else does! By the time it was settled, he would be too old to take advantage of the benefits though.

Posted on: Wed, 05/10/2000 - 10:24pm
mkruby's picture
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Joined: 05/01/2000 - 09:00

Just a thought...any way you could find others that were turned down? Contact media sources as it may be of interest to them? Just a thought...

Posted on: Thu, 05/11/2000 - 5:00am
mstyron's picture
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Joined: 05/11/2000 - 09:00

It is easy since most of the oily products proably get burnt out while cooking. The military also denies astmatics admission into the service.
The problem is if he had a reaction to peanuts on a submarine there is nothing they can do. Or if he was in the field they could not get him to the hospital.
Quote:Originally posted by jolene:
[b]I am new here and hoping someone can offer help or that this story will be of help to someone else. I have an 18yr old son who we knew was allergic to peanuts since infancy but it was never a problem. (didn't like peanuts or pb or candy or whathave you). He is quite bright and applied for military ROTC scholarships for college. He received offers for FULL payment of tuition!! However, he cannot activate the scholarships because of the allergy to peanuts. It is a non waiverable condition!!! WE had him tested last November, just to be sure he was still allergic. (HE has outgrown milk and egg allergies). His test showed a +4 reaction which is supposed to be severe. However, I can cook with peanut oil and he has no reaction whatsoever. How can this be? I am trying to find out how my highly qualified son can be denied a military career simply because he can't eat peanuts. Could I have your input please?[/b]

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