Unusual Discharge Papers

Dateline: 5 June 2013

As I noted in my previous post, my son is now out of the Army. He spent a year in Korea and the rest of his four years in the the U.S. He decided he had enough of the Army and got out just before his unit was sent to the Middle East. All in all, I would have to say the Army was good for him. And, except for a severely broken ankle, he came out of the experience physically and mentally undamaged. Unfortunately, he has friends who were not so fortunate. 

Getting out of the military is something of an ordeal. A lot of paperwork and other things have to be done. When they're all done as required, the final step is to get your DD214, which is a "Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty." When the Army gives you that form, that's it—you are officially out of the service.

When my son went to the proper place, at the proper time, on the appointed day, to finally get his DD214, he met with a man who took care of issuing the final paperwork. He was a civilian employee of the Army, but my son said he was "an older veteran." 

The man explained what he needed to explain, and issued the DD214. All of this was the usual protocol. But then the man broke with protocol and handed my son another piece of paper. He said, "Here's some hope for the future."

That piece of paper is shown above. You can click the picture to see an enlarged view. But here is what the paper says...

Are You Concerned About 
The Future? Don't Worry!
You're in Good Hands!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

The old veteran then shook my son's hand and thanked him for his service.

My son wants to frame the paper. 

I was blessed to hear this story—to know that there is an old veteran out there who is ignoring political correctness and giving true words of hope to the soldiers he is discharging back into the civilian world.


Lynn Bartlett said...

Such a neat story, and what a blessing!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your son's return from the Army!

David Smith

Paul @ Pastured Providence Farmstead said...

What a blessing, and so nice that it wasn't "lost" on your son. That could be a very big deal for that man in today's military culture (I'm speaking from experience as an Air Force Major), and so his simple act stands out in my mind as courageous as well. Congratulations and thank you to your son for his service to our nation, and God-speed to him in whatever is next!

Anonymous said...

Thank your son for his service to our country and thank you both as his parents for entrusting you most precious investment to the State apparatus.

Please make sure he files that DD214 at any courthouse, whether it's in OK or in NY or anywhere else. Whether he needs it next month or when he's 79, it'll always be on file as public record and available. That DD214 could be the only enduring official document and a testament to his service.

I love the blog by the way!

Staff Sergeant James Baker, Augusta, GA

Anonymous said...

That's Awesome

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize you could just "decide you had had enough of the Army" and get out.

Herrick Kimball said...

When your "hitch" is up and you are faced with the choice to re-enlist, or not, you can decide you've had enough, and they will let you out.