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A life of service.

Here in the U.S., as you know, we recently celebrated Veterans Day. Did you know that in the average high school these days, approximately only 25% of graduates are medically qualified to join the military? Of that 25%, some may have legal troubles. Of those left, only a tiny percentage would actually choose to join the military.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my high school used to make the recruiters stay by the cafeteria to limit their access to students. The schools didn’t seem to want people to join the military, back then—it was seen as a fall-back for those who couldn’t make it in college. I found it so strange that on/around Veterans Day, many people from my hometown posted photos of their parents and grandparents in recognition and celebration. I learned that even a few of my teachers also served. How did I miss all of that?!? Nowadays, it seems society almost wants young adults to join the military, but many of them aren’t qualified. The armed forces are growing smaller and smaller, and it’s becoming a legitimate concern that in the future, Veterans Day may not be celebrating as many veterans, because there simply won’t be that many from the previous generations who joined the military. We're somewhat of a dying breed.

There are also ASVAB scores to consider. Only a certain percentage of students score high enough on the ASVAB to even be recruited. When they offered the ASVAB at my high school, I took it because I thought, Get out of class half a day? Sure. There was no pressure, at the time, to join the military. But now, if kids take the ASVAB through a public school, the school or county is obligated to provide results to armed forces, and recruiters contact any students who score high enough. Parents have to file a form to opt out. The score is good for two years, so recruiters even set aside a time in the year to follow up with the high-scoring students who said they were planning to attend college, just in case they’re unhappy in college and want to join the military, instead.

Where the military is in retention and recruiting quotas can drive how active they are in recruiting—even what they set as the minimum score. Allegedly, no one can join if they don’t at least meet the minimum scores, although there have always been rumors about waivers and whatnot, but plenty do tutoring or study for the ASVAB, and retake it until they score high enough. This is the same if they are simply to score high enough in a certain area to get a specific job.

Some kids are recruited—whether from the ASVAB or elsewhere—and join the military without even telling their parents. In fact, I joined without telling my mom. I was 19 when I joined, and up and left for the military well before my mom called and my dad told her, “Yeah, she’s in boot camp.” Oh, the things we do to our parents.

All that said, being in military is not for everybody. I chose to join. It was a strategic choice, one I made freely, and one that changed my life. I’m proud of my service—and as an estate planning attorney, I’m also proud of how I serve my clients. I want my clients to feel I’m qualified, not that I’m low on the totem pole, or only chose this career as a fall-back. I want them to have confidence that they have a highly qualified person handling their estate.

When I joined the military, I planned to only be in for a few years - four MAX I think my fellow vets can relate. I never imagined I’d be in the military for as long as I was, or that I would one day be where I am now—an attorney, serving in a new way, using my education and my military experience planning for the unexpected to now help clients prepare for the unexpected in their lives. But I’m grateful for all of it - even the bumps and bruises along the way.

I’ve come a long way since that high school student who only took the ASVAB to get out of class. I know what it’s like to face the unexpected in life, and I work hard to ensure my clients can have peace of mind knowing they have a comprehensive plan in place, no matter what life may throw at them.

We can never be certain what our future holds… but it helps to have a plan. If you’re in need of someone to help you get your estate in order and create a plan for your own future, whatever it might hold, I’m here to help.

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