It's been 2 1/2 years since JD signed the DD-214, the form that ended his active duty with the Marine Corps. For someone who'd planned on the military being his one and only career path, it was a tough decision to make and left him feeling a little lost once he got home. Although I always held on to the idea that everything happens for a reason, I was always worried that nothing would fulfill him the way the Marine Corps did.
He originally applied for a firefighting position, which we were both confident he would get. He'd spent his 4 years in the Marine Corps with Crash, Fire, and Rescue, so he certainly had experience. Similar to the police department, the application process was lengthy and involved several rounds of testing and interviews. He made it all the way to the final interview but wasn't offered a position. It was a devastating blow.
Soon after, he got a job as a 911 operator/dispatcher with the city. It was a good job, but he didn't love it. Between his ADHD and his previous experience with the Marine Corps, it was hard for him to just sit and take 911 calls or dispatch someone else to an emergency. He wanted to get out there and do something. He was helping people, but not in the hands-on way he wanted to be.
This is how he decided he wanted to be a police officer. After another lengthy application process and a difficult first month in the academy, things finally feel like they're falling into place. Last night at dinner, he told me that he was starting to feel the same kind of brotherhood he felt with the USMC. I could have cried right there at the dinner table, because I knew he'd finally found the missing piece. The academy isn't always fun or easy, but he finally feels like he's where he needs to be. He's finally found something that fulfills the void the Marine Corps left.
So, it's true that everything happens for a reason. We both thought he was meant to be a firefighter, but the truth is, that wasn't his life path. As unhappy as he was with 911, it's what he needed to point him in the right direction.
As long as he can stay healthy and injury-free, we'll be all set :)