From Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA:
I am a 17 year old male with type 1 diabetes who plays high school football and is very athletic. My most troubling problem is that I have always wanted to be in the military, but people with diabetes are not allowed to be in the military. I write and talk to military personnel quite often, and they all say the same thing. A great many of my friends, family, and other personal contacts agree that this is a strong case of discrimination. Is there any information or advice you can give me on this issue?
As for the military, that is a tough issue. Discriminatory? Possibly, but if you were my cover while buried in a foxhole, I want to only worry about the folks shooting at me, not "can I trust that my pal will not suddenly get a hypoglycemia seizure just as he throws a grenade."
This issue of military service has been explored previously on this website. I think different branches of the service have different policies. Check out the Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and National Guard. I know for a fact that there are army reservists with diabetes, but they are reservists and in more professional roles (doctors). I'd think, for instance, if your role in the service was to be in the Marine Band, it would not matter if you had diabetes. Keep exploring things with your recruiters. Sometimes, they don't know all the nuances and special circumstances.
Original posting 22 Feb 2002
Posted to Other Social Issues
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:30
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