Allow my son to serve his country
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- When my son Jon was diagnosed with keratoconus, a disease that severely impacts your vision, he was devastated. Jon secluded himself as he struggled with school, was unable to get a driving permit, and learned his dream of joining the air force could be in jeopardy. Thankfully, we discovered a procedure to fix his deteriorating vision. I can’t express the joy of hearing Jon exclaim “I can see” after the surgery. Our son was getting his life back. We then learned the diagnosis of keratoconus would permanently prevent him from joining any branch of the military. His vision was returning to normal, but his biggest dream was still being crushed.
People wanting to serve their country should be able to do so based on ability and current health, not an old diagnosis that no longer has an impact. I’m calling on the Department of Defense to change their outdated policies and allow waivers for medical conditions if cleared by a military doctor.
My son has had the dream of joining the Air Force since he was 10. Jon was inspired by generations of his family who have served. Both my parents served in the Army, his paternal grandfather was a Marine, Jon’s father is retired from the Marine Corps, and his brother will be joining the Marines next year. Unless this policy changes, Jon will never put on the uniform and will feel he has broken our family tradition.
We will love and be proud of Jon no matter what he does, but why should he or anybody else be prevented from dedicating their life in service of our country when they are healthy and able? A policy that excludes people who have overcome adversity is not the way to build a strong, proud military.
The solution is clear and within the power of the Department of Defense -- provide medical waivers for individuals if they have been cleared by a military doctor. This will end the blanket discrimination of healthy people like John from serving. Please sign and share my petition today.
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