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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, April 5, 2017

They're ganging up on me

Dear Tito,

I am 19 years old and about to graduate with a degree in engineeringand both my parents are in the military service. My father is a retired army officer and my mother who is still active in the service is currently assigned in Mindanao.

I am the youngest of 3 siblings. Our oldest brother is also in the navy and my other brother is active in the police force. Even my older brothers have followed the footsteps of our parents.

Now the pressure is on me to follow them. In fact, my father has been telling me to take the entrance examination at the PMA.

Honestly, Tito, I really don't have plans of taking the exams much more joining the military service. All I want is to become an engineer and build my own career. Sad to say, even my girlfriend is telling me to take the exam and obey my parents.

This has really caused a lot of disagreements in our family. Sometimes I would argue with my father and even my older brothers. It really pains me when we discuss this matter all the time. It seems I don't have the freedom to choose the career I want to pursue.

Sometimes after school, I don't want to go home because I know it will be the topic again when we are all together. I even called up my mother and told her that I don't want to be in the military service, but all I hear from my mom is to follow my dad's advice. Tito, I notice they are all in this together. All I can feel now is I am alone, even my girlfriend is not on my side.

Hurting Son

Dear Hurting Son,

It is always an honor and sacrifice to serve your country but serving in the military is not for everyone.

I believe your whole family is called to serve but I see that you don't have the feeling of being part of it.

It will need a lot of process and agreement for your family to understand that your calling or direction in life is not in the service, but the corporate world.

Even if you are in the corporate world, it doesn't mean that you are not serving your country, in fact you are helping the industry that you are part of.

I would suggest that you have a talk with your father and mother privately, share with them what you feel, and clarify what you want in life.

Your girlfriend also needs to understand that she has to stand by your side because you both will build your future and your family if you decide to settle down in the future.

Praying for you.

Tito


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