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Old 05-17-2009, 11:25 AM
cekud cekud is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2
Default Am I qualified or not?

In 2001 I hurt my back playing soccer and had to have a spinal fusion (L5 & S1) in my lumbar section. Since, I've been completely released, have full mobility, and for the past 5 years have played hockey and rugby for different traveling teams. Just giving my background. (A military surgeon actually did my surgery.) I am now 21, soon to be 22, and for the past three years have been trying to join the military in the medical field. I am in excellent shape and have no health issues at all. Here is my issue:

Three years ago I was interested in the Coast Guard and called around trying to see what I had to do to join only to be told I was disqualified because of my back injury. However over the past two years I have spoken to other branches and tons of other recruiters, some telling me right away I'm disqualified and others telling me that no one can disqualify me but the doctors at MEPS. Right now I am talking to an Army recruiter who is getting all my medical records together to send to MEPS to try and receive a waiver. From what we both have found and a few other recruiters I have spoken to in the process, I would be qualified as long as it wasn't more than two vertebras which it wasn't. Also, the rules are a bit misleading because it stats a fusion is disqualifying yet it isn't if it wasn't more than two vertebras, which is contradicting to begin with. The recruiter I am talking to got in touch with another recruiter who put someone through with a spinal fusion and I have found two other recruiters who have done the same, so now I am wondering if this is just a case by case thing or what. Does anyone have any insight on this for me?

I feel as if being in the military if what I was meant to do, and am prepared to fight for a chance to join. Obviously, since I have talked to so many people and am so persistent. I don't feel as if I am prepared to take no for an answer right now just because I am also still getting many people telling me I am qualified and many people saying they are not sure, which still gives me hope. But, I'm not sure if there is even much I can do because of my situation. Any type of knowledge about this type of stuff or a possible point in a good direction would be very helpful. Thank you.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:33 AM
Armygirl4Ever's Avatar
Armygirl4Ever Armygirl4Ever is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Home is Where You Hang Your Dog Tags!
Posts: 927

I believe the confusion lies in the type of spinal fusion surgery you had as there are a few different ones. I don't know about the difference in them but my friend who is a recruiter said it depends on which areas of your spine are fused. If your recruiter is willing to send your paperwork to MEPS then that is a good sign, go for it!
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