Our foster carer Tony was a member of the Army Reserve (formerly known as the Territorial Army) for a short time in the late 70s early 80s.
Later, his two sons joined the Regular Army. Their decision came after attending the Army Cadets as young boys through to their late teens. They both felt that this gave them an idea of what they could expect of army life.
‘My eldest son joined the Army Air Corps, and my younger son joined the Royal Military Police. They both did well and attained NCO Corporal rank within 8 -11 years. They had the opportunity to travel, it offered them a new perspective on life, and without a doubt helped them transition in to adulthood.’
Both of Tony’s sons believe it is the best decision they’ve ever made and now have successful careers since leaving.
When Johnathan, Tony’s eldest came home to see the family, or when Tony and family visited his eldest, their foster child J, would be very inquisitive about army life. They would talk about the positive aspects of being in the army, as well as the reality of the challenges faced by those in the army. Johnathan always advocated for joining the army.
‘J and I have spoken a great deal about what he wants to do in life after leaving care, and it seems joining the Regular Army is on the horizon.
We have talked about the benefits that come with this, including the practical skills he will learn, and how he will have accommodation, and be part of the Army family, where his needs as a young man will be met, and if he puts his mind to it, he could also do well and have a good start to adulthood life as well as a good career prospect.
I believe there is a similarity between being fostered and the Army. Your become part of a family, you make new friends, you are given a place to live, all your medical and dental care is provided, and the bonus is you get paid. If J chooses to join the army he will get to travel the world for free and visit many countries he may otherwise never have the chance to do, he can take part in many different sports, and learn to drive. What other job gives you that many benefits?
With a helping hand from the Army, it’s a great way to transition from leaving care to trying to make it in the world.’