Friday, August 30, 2013

Sometimes, Dreams Need To Adjust To The Reality That Surrounds Them

Dear Tazi:

I am twelve and I want to grow up to be an Air Force pilot. The problem is I have terrible eyesight and you need to have 20/20 uncorrected vision to fly a plane. My Dad is in the Air Force and I asked him if they would make an exception for me but he told me there are no exceptions in the U.s. Air force, only exceptional people. He told me that there are lots of things to do in the Air force besides fly planes, but I want to fly a plane.

My best friend’s Mom just had some kind of surgery where they shoot lasers at her eyes to make her eyesight perfect. I asked my parents if I could have lasers shot at my eyes to make my eyesight perfect so I could fly in the Air Force but my parents said no, that my eyesight will continue to change as I continue to grow and that even if I had the surgery my eyesight would not stay perfect for long. I said I could just have the surgery again but they still said no.

Being an Air Force pilot is all I have ever dreamed of doing. Am I going to have to decide to do something else when I grow up because of my stupid eyes?

Stupid Eyes

Dear Stupid Eyes:

Your eyes may not be perfect but that does not mean that they are stupid! They allow you to see, right? Never take your senses for granted; there are those who have been blinded due to diabetes or other health problems that would love to have your less-than-perfect eyesight.

At twelve years old, you have a long life ahead of you and even though you have wanted to be an air Force pilot for as long as you can remember, your memory is not yet that long. It is okay to mourn a dream lost, but you still need to accept that some dreams are not meant to come true; your dream of being an Air Force pilot appears to be one of them. This does not mean that you cannot join the Air Force – like your father said there are lots of things to do in the Air Force other than fly a plane, and he should know, right?

The surgery your friend’s Mom had is called laser eye surgery, and your description of how it is done is darn near accurate! However, it is also for people whose eyesight is so bad it cannot be easily corrected any other way. If your eyesight ever gets this bad, you can consider laser eye surgery, but even then I am not certain the Air Force will accept you into flight school. According to the U.S. Military’s page anyone who has had laser eye surgery before enlisting in the Air Force will not qualify for flight school unless a special waiver is granted. Active pilots who require the surgery are allowed to continue flying. However, who knows what the case will be six years from now, when you are old enough to enlist? If you are passionate about joining the Air Force, I am not going to suggest you plan to do otherwise, but will suggest that you consider all of the career options the Air Force can offer you.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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