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WannaBePilot

Leaving family behind for UPT?

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Considering applying to my home guard unit to which I feel like I have a high likelihood or being hired based off previous conversations provided I don’t totally tube the AFOQT & TBAS. 

 I’ll require an age waiver as I’ll be turning 33 in the fall when the board will most likely happen. I’ve been holding off my PPL as my Wife a I have been discussing this. She is an RN and loves the floor she works on which took her many years to get hired on to so she isn’t real keen on the idea of quitting. She can go to an ultra part time status and travel to see me while in training every couple months. The tough part is we have a 3.5 year old son and leaving that dude behind would be tough, but I realize this sacrifice would eventually have a big payoff to our family. 

Anyone else on here have a similar situation or know a bro who left the family behind? I’d be curious to hear how they worked this situation. 

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It's not uncommon here. Two people in my class are in that situation (no kids though).

Guard you should get BAH for your wife's house, and be able to live in the dorms free. So there's that.

Edited by Stoker

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I've been contemplating this same thing. I currently live around extended family so if my wife needs help with (or a break from) the two young kids then there is family nearby but if they come with me then it's just us which should read just her most days since I'll need to focus on training.

Is the BAH situation the same for reserve and guard? 

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6 minutes ago, DifferentViper said:

I've been contemplating this same thing. I currently live around extended family so if my wife needs help with (or a break from) the two young kids then there is family nearby but if they come with me then it's just us which should read just her most days since I'll need to focus on training.

Is the BAH situation the same for reserve and guard? 

Yes BAH is the same across all Compos.  It is based off of your home of record and rank

When I went through Army Flight school my wife was 7 months pregnant.  No family around and I managed.  It was nice having family around and plenty of other guys were there with kids so we were able to develop our own support network for the family to be taken care of when I was busy.  Others had families that stayed back for employment reasons like the OP.  It was awesome having my family there.  When I go to UPT, my wife and two kids will be with me.

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1 hour ago, JustHangingOut said:

Yes BAH is the same across all Compos.  It is based off of your home of record and rank

Not quite. If you're AD with dependents and come to UPT unaccompanied, you lose your BAH if you live in government quarters. So you have to find a house to split, and roommates, at your UPT base, and you only get BAH for the base you're assigned to, not where your family lives. This can be a pretty significant $$$ difference versus the Guard and Reserve folks living in the dorms for free and collecting BAH for their spouse living in Miami, say.

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4 minutes ago, Stoker said:

Not quite. If you're AD with dependents and come to UPT unaccompanied, you lose your BAH if you live in government quarters. So you have to find a house to split, and roommates, at your UPT base, and you only get BAH for the base you're assigned to, not where your family lives. This can be a pretty significant $$$ difference versus the Guard and Reserve folks living in the dorms for free and collecting BAH for their spouse living in Miami, say.

What he said...I stand corrected

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I believe I can be granted a waiver to maintain my BAH for my home of record then yes live in the dorms or rent a place. 

I guess one good thing in this situation would be my mother in law is moving to where we live which would provide the wife with help. 

Just was curious to hear stories of others that have lived through this type of situation and how they dealt with this situation. 

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Something to think about - It's not really "just" one year; you have to consider SERE, FTU, IFF?, etc.  You're looking at 2+ years gone from home...doable, yes, but is it going to suck a lot (especially with a kid), my opinion is yes.  Good luck with whatever you guys decide.

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On 5/17/2018 at 8:44 AM, WannaBePilot said:

Considering applying to my home guard unit to which I feel like I have a high likelihood or being hired based off previous conversations provided I don’t totally tube the AFOQT & TBAS. 

 I’ll require an age waiver as I’ll be turning 33 in the fall when the board will most likely happen. I’ve been holding off my PPL as my Wife a I have been discussing this. She is an RN and loves the floor she works on which took her many years to get hired on to so she isn’t real keen on the idea of quitting. She can go to an ultra part time status and travel to see me while in training every couple months. The tough part is we have a 3.5 year old son and leaving that dude behind would be tough, but I realize this sacrifice would eventually have a big payoff to our family. 

Anyone else on here have a similar situation or know a bro who left the family behind? I’d be curious to hear how they worked this situation. 

Welcome to the military, if you can't stomach this now, don't do it.  I taught T-38's and F-16's for years, it is geared toward a younger crowd that can focus on training for 2 years and outside distractions come in 2nd place.  I've seen it done, I've seen the older dudes do well, it's going to be tough.

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I would never voluntarily leave my family for more than a few months... the military will involuntarily force you to leave them a lot more than that over the course of a career and that is time you will never, ever get back. And then you die. Better to be on your death bed with kids you raised and had the joy of watching grow up. I would say try to find a way to keep them with you. If you can't do that... stay with them.

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18 hours ago, matmacwc said:

Welcome to the military, if you can't stomach this now, don't do it.  I taught T-38's and F-16's for years, it is geared toward a younger crowd that can focus on training for 2 years and outside distractions come in 2nd place.  I've seen it done, I've seen the older dudes do well, it's going to be tough.

Your response is spot on and I’m coming to terms with the fact it may not be the best decision for me despite the high likelihood I would be hired by my unit. My internal turmoil of this decision is ultimately caused by my failure to act sooner. It is what is and I own that. 

 

17 hours ago, Klepto said:

I would never voluntarily leave my family for more than a few months... the military will involuntarily force you to leave them a lot more than that over the course of a career and that is time you will never, ever get back. And then you die. Better to be on your death bed with kids you raised and had the joy of watching grow up. I would say try to find a way to keep them with you. If you can't do that... stay with them.

The voluntarily leaving them is what gets me. I’ve lately come to the conclusion that if the family isn’t willing to move that I’d much rather be in my backyard teaching my son how to toss a ball than to be repetively kicked in my own at UPT. 

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14 minutes ago, WannaBePilot said:

Your response is spot on and I’m coming to terms with the fact it may not be the best decision for me despite the high likelihood I would be hired by my unit. My internal turmoil of this decision is ultimately caused by my failure to act sooner.

Is the cart is before the horse here? You don't have a decision to make until you're actually hired by your unit. If it's something you want to do, take the AFOQT & TBAS, get hired by your unit, then start working out the details of your training. Even on the best of timelines you're 1-2 years away from starting UPT.

I personally wouldn't do the ~2 years of training apart from my family.

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28 minutes ago, Sit On Acorns said:

Is the cart is before the horse here? You don't have a decision to make until you're actually hired by your unit. If it's something you want to do, take the AFOQT & TBAS, get hired by your unit, then start working out the details of your training. Even on the best of timelines you're 1-2 years away from starting UPT.

I personally wouldn't do the ~2 years of training apart from my family.

Yes & no I would say to the cart before the horse question. No reason to even apply if I’m having doubts now about leaving my family behind. Even more pointless to drop $8k in flight training to obtain my PPL if I’m not on board 100%. 

I also feel it to be a shitty move if I were to be hired then have a change of heart and decide to decline going to UPT while awaiting class dates.

 

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, WannaBePilot said:

Yes & no I would say to the cart before the horse question. No reason to even apply if I’m having doubts now about leaving my family behind. Even more pointless to drop $8k in flight training to obtain my PPL if I’m not on board 100%. 

I also feel it to be a shitty move if I were to be hired then have a change of heart and decide to decline going to UPT while awaiting class dates.

 

 

 

 

Here's my 2 cents, I'm still in the circuit so take it as you will. With the attitude you are displaying, it shows a huge lack of commitment. Guard units want guys who are balls to the wall passionate about flying! If you even hint at having doubts about flying for the guard, you will be ranked low among candidates after coming out of an interview. You have to show that you're willing to execute on each mission. Maybe this is quibbling over semantics but I don't like hearing that I have to sacrifice my family for this dream. I think of it more as a way to provide for my family as best as I can, and if I am defending the country then I am defending them as well. 

 

Stop going back and forth on the cost of the PPL, $8k (it will probably be more) is a small price to pay for chasing a once in a lifetime dream. If you can't even get past that point then you really have to ask yourself why you are doing this and if you even want to do it. Guard units will definitely see if you aren't passionate about this so do your due diligence and see if this is really for you. 

 

 

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@Engineer2Pilot

Maybe your post was generally good natured I however read it as “you’re being a bitch & here’s why” style of response. 

 

56 minutes ago, Engineer2Pilot said:

With the attitude you are displaying, it shows a huge lack of commitment. 

Since making the original post your’re correct. Trust the fact I’ve had several honest conversations with my Wife over this topic and lay awake at night thinking of this. If I’m not committed to something 100% I’ve never done them. That last statement is mostly true with exception to a few women in college. 

 

1 hour ago, Engineer2Pilot said:

Maybe this is quibbling over semantics but I don't like hearing that I have to sacrifice my family for this dream. 

The first comment that comes to mind on this statement is I don’t give a shit what you like to hear on any matter but I especially don’t care when it involves my or anyone else’s family. 

1 hour ago, Engineer2Pilot said:

Stop going back and forth on the cost of the PPL, $8k (it will probably be more) is a small price to pay for chasing a once in a lifetime dream.

I will agree that the cost of the license isn’t important if it provides you the opportunity to be more competitive for a slot. In a previous post some advice was given to get hired and worry about the details later. My opinion is to be absolutely positive this is what you want prior to ever submitting an app. With the amount of doubt I have it’s growing to be more certain I will not apply. Which is why I made the comment that it would be pointless to drop that kind of coin on the license which would have limited use to me. 

All in all this wasn’t an opportunity that I wasn’t actively seeking out. Over the years I pondered getting my PPL and applying just never acted on it. I’ve been working in the Fighter Squdron now for 12 years and apparently liked well enough to have pilots approach me about UPT. 

I’m perfectly fine with sacrifice on my behalf, but I’m fully aware that my Wife & Son will be the ones who are truly bearing the brunt of the sacrifice. 

 

 

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It doesn't hurt to apply while you contemplate your life choices.

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1 hour ago, WannaBePilot said:

@Engineer2Pilot

Maybe your post was generally good natured I however read it as “you’re being a bitch & here’s why” style of response. 

You must be new here.😀

The advice you've received wasn't wrong. You're 33. Shit or get off the pot. Especially if you've got a unit saying they'd hire you if you apply. Also, if you truly enjoy aviation enough to consider it as a 12+ year career, go get your PPL - AF or not. It's awesome and a reward in itself. The ability to just go mess around for an hour in the sky (like I did yesterday) is a blast.

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6 minutes ago, Sit On Acorns said:

You must be new here.😀

The advice you've received wasn't wrong. You're 33. Shit or get off the pot. Especially if you've got a unit saying they'd hire you if you apply. Also, if you truly enjoy aviation enough to consider it as a 12+ year career, go get your PPL - AF or not. It's awesome and a reward in itself. The ability to just go mess around for an hour in the sky (like I did yesterday) is a blast.

Having some poor weather down here in the south. Ive been looking for any excuse just to go burn some gas.  I literally ran out of friends to show everything that Ive learned and my mom is not quite ready to go up yet lol.

@WannaBePilot The PPL has been an awesome investment. Im sure when you take your wife up flying for the first time it will be all worth it. 

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22 minutes ago, Sit On Acorns said:

You must be new here.😀

The advice you've received wasn't wrong. You're 33. Shit or get off the pot. Especially if you've got a unit saying they'd hire you if you apply. Also, if you truly enjoy aviation enough to consider it as a 12+ year career, go get your PPL - AF or not. It's awesome and a reward in itself. The ability to just go mess around for an hour in the sky (like I did yesterday) is a blast.

I completely get the, “shit or get off the pot” statement man. 

Most of me is saying f*ck it do the ppl regardless of it is career driven or not as I do believe it would be a fun and rewarding challenge. 

7 minutes ago, Prayforwaves321 said:

Im sure when you take your wife up flying for the first time it will be all worth it. 

We flew to Florida a couple weeks ago and I swear she almost had a nervous breakdown thinking we would die in a plane crash. No way she’ll go up in a little plane. You’re right though it would be a blast. 

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38 minutes ago, Prayforwaves321 said:

Having some poor weather down here in the south. Ive been looking for any excuse just to go burn some gas.  I literally ran out of friends to show everything that Ive learned and my mom is not quite ready to go up yet lol.

Tell me about it. I've scrubbed two long XCs in the past month and this weekend isn't looking better.

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As a father of 3 who did the whole have a child while in UPT thing and then went on multiple deployments with young kids, I can’t advise to do the UPT without the family thing. I also did a tour as a UPT IP and saw the long distance relationship thing multiple times. That is a ton of stress to put on a wife and a young child. I don’t think you realize just how busy you are gonna be for 2+ years. Just wait till something goes wrong at home and you can’t be there to handle it because you are in Del Rio. My suggestion is that you guys go all in and do it as a family or don’t do it at all.

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As a father of 3 who did the whole have a child while in UPT thing and then went on multiple deployments with young kids, I can’t advise to do the UPT without the family thing. I also did a tour as a UPT IP and saw the long distance relationship thing multiple times. That is a ton of stress to put on a wife and a young child. I don’t think you realize just how busy you are gonna be for 2+ years. Just wait till something goes wrong at home and you can’t be there to handle it because you are in Del Rio. My suggestion is that you guys go all in and do it as a family or don’t do it at all.

This... I completely agree.
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Thanks for the words fellas. That logic makes complete sense. Time to make her quit the job!

I realize you say this tongue in cheek(that’s a saying right?) but I would do my best to get her on board first. If she is established and happy, asking her to uproot for 2 years is a tall task. She needs to see that this is truly best for the family and be supportive, otherwise your time at training is gonna be absolute hell. I could tell you tons of stories of guys who ended up dragging their wife/SO to UPT only to end up divorced, washed out of training and wondering why they pursued it in the first place.

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