Tomorrow is a big day for our family, our son deploys for basic training in the United States Air Force. If you are parenting a millennial then you might want to read this for an idea.

Our son is not a bad kid, he causes us no classic problems such as underage drinking, drug use, and he is not in any gang. Sometimes he actually listens, that is when I can pry him away from his video game. Kids now prefer electronic communication versus an actual face to face conversation or a phone conversation. This does drive me just a little crazy because I was around before floppy discs. I know, I am just barely younger than a Neanderthal. He loves texting, snapchat, twitter and above all the fantasy world of gaming.

Talking with some of my co-workers he is no different than their children. I tried, like all parents do, to get him to understand the value of making good grades in high school. He did okay but he had the ability to do much better. I would ask him repeatedly how are your grades, his answer was, ” I am passing.” This answer made me want to commit violent acts on him, but, I restrained myself for fear of rebellion.

He never was sports minded so I encouraged him to find some interest to develop his interactive skills. He ended up liking ROTC in high school. He enjoyed the competitions and the skills they taught. I was happy and many Saturday mornings I got up early to take him to competitions. He ended up with a leadership role during his senior year.

During his junior year we began to ask him what he wanted to do about college and what possible career he was interested in. Naturally, he didn’t know. Time rolled on and before we knew it, he was a senior. Crunch time.

I told him I would be happy to send him to a junior college so he could get some basics out of the way and perhaps he could decide what career he wanted to pursue. This did not really excite him. Well, I said if no college, you will have to work. High school is over and the real world beacons you. After many conversations about possibilities and the requirements of each, he took the ASVAB military entrance exam. He did pretty well and decided he would join.

Then the big decision on which branch. He did his due diligence and ended up enlisting in the Air Force. They all have good programs, but the Air Force recruiter made an impression on him and he seemed most comfortable with this decision.

Of course I never stop trying to offer advice, because after all, I have seen a lot and learned a lot from the prehistoric times. I told him when he gets to his base he might explore the possibility of taking some college classes. With many classes available online the possibilities were endless. If he ended up getting a degree, then he could then entertain getting a commission to become an officer.

I write all of this so if you are a parent you might want to plant the seed of military service. They can serve the country, get some training, learn how to interact, learn teamwork, and get some good benefits when they get out if they choose to leave the military. I work with many veterans, and many have told me that it was the best decision of their life.

Having a Honorable discharge looks very good on a resume, trust me I know, because I have been on many hiring committees and having served does carry some weight.