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My ELS story.

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  • My ELS story.

    Hello everyone, I would first like to say good luck to anyone who is getting ready to join the USAF, and thanks to anyone who has or currently is serving. I was an original member on these forums, my old username was airmen_jon, I joined here a few weeks before I shipped out. I'm here today to give my story on how I was ELS (entry level separated) from the USAF during BMT.

    Writing this post is taking a lot of courage because I am ashamed of what happened and it has haunted me for over a year now. I started BMT on May 10, 2011. It was hard, but it was also a lot of fun. I was top 10 in my Flight for fitness during our initial test, 2nd week test and 4th(my final) week test. In BMT you take your PT test every two weeks on Monday. During my 4th week fitness test we were on the running portion. My usual time was 9 minutes and about 35 seconds. I forget the total laps of the track to make a mile and half but I believe it was 6 laps. Around my 3rd lap I felt a burning in my lungs, if you stop during your test you fail so I kept going and the pain got worse. My final time was 10 minutes and 58 seconds. After PT you go back to your dorm use the latrine and shower. Then you go outside and line up for chow. After chow I told my MTI I needed to see the squadron medical doctor because my lungs were burning. When I arrived at the squadron medical station they took my temperature which read at 105 degrees F. Immediately they took me into the back patient room and laid me down. After signing a few medical papers for them to test on me I knew this wasn't going to be good. They took samples of my saliva and blood and shipped them off to a lab. They then sent me to the base medical center for the rest of the day. At the med center they took more tests and finally diagnose me with severe pneumonia.

    When you get ill in BMT you get sent to Squadron 319 where all the sick, injured trainee's go to recover. You get 3 days to rest and you return to the doctor. If you pass your illness test you get sent back to your original flight. My first night at the 319 wasn't too bad, just felt sick. The next day I woke up for rolecall and as soon as I stood up I started throwing up blood all over the place. I got very fatigued and couldnt stand on my own. After the trainee's carried me into the bathroom they called squadron headquarters, who sent me to the hospital the next day. I spent two days in the hospital so they could keep an eye on me and make sure nothing serious happened. On June 15 they had me sign my ELS papers for having lung damage and not being able to be fit for duty.

    When you sign your ELS they keep you until you are safe and healthy to be sent out of their care. Your papers then have to be sent all over the base to different Airmen for their signatures. After those few days I signed my LON (Leave of Notice) which signifies the time for me to prepare my uniforms and other belongings to be returned to the base. On June 28 I was called down to the squadron headquarters and they go through all of your belongings to make sure your not taking anything you aren't suppose to take. They also inspect your uniforms to check for damages which you would have to pay for. That afternoon you are taken to the bank to close your bank account, and to another building on base where you get your medical papers and plane tickets printed out. You usually leave with a group of trainee's. You'd be surprised how many people leave everyday. From there they drive you in a bus to San Antonio Airport and drop you off.

    I was sent home 12 days before my flight graduated. I apologize for the long story above, but I want people to see what it's like. I spent a lot of time in the 319 and if you can try not to go there, its the most depressing place I've ever been in my life. I havent been the same since then, my dream of being an Airman is gone, I may try and get papers signed in the future so I can try again, but for now I'm living as a civilian. I was in training for four solid weeks, and in 319 for another 3 weeks. If anyone has any questions for me about either one please feel free to message or comment on here. I will take requests for other posts if you want me to do a whole post on something. Thanks for reading and best of luck to everyone the military is worth trouble.

    -Jon
    Last edited by jon_der; November 7th, 2012, 20:23.

  • #2
    So my question is, what did you do for which you need to feel shame?

    There are two kinds of people that get ELS discharges - dirtbags that quit, and people that get either medical problems or had admin errors in their enlistment. You got SICK - you did NOT quit. Jesus, man, you were PUKING BLOOD - you didn't do anything that even suggests that you quit on your wingmen! Get over the guilt, you didn't do anything.

    What was your RE code? What did they say about the possibility of you getting back in? Was/is your condition temporary or do you have perma-lung damage?

    Even if they sent you home for a non-recoverable reason (perma-lung damage), you can still hold your head up - you JOINED. You tried to do what most people either can't or won't do, and you should feel a sense of pride.

    I come off as a hard-hearted jerk at times, and I don't have a lot of sympathy for dirt-bags... but you don't qualify as a dirt-bag. The unvarnished truth about this situation is that you TRIED - and for that, I salute you.
    Last edited by BRaini; November 13th, 2012, 21:09. Reason: I are no grammar friend with be.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the encouragement BRaini, it means a lot. My friends and family are all still proud of me because they know I worked hard and tried my best. I'm not sure if it says I can or can not join. I have my papers tucked away in one of my drawers. I'm sure there is something me and a recruiter could work out if I do decided to enlist again. I still carry and act as if I'm representing the USAF. Pretty much follow the rules and procedures we had in camp every day. Walk tall with your chin up! Thanks again I appreciate it.

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      • #4
        I was in Med Hold as well... For about a month and a half. That place really does suck your life force out. We might have actually been there at the same time. Good luck to you.

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