I just wanted to start this forum specifically for those who were questioning about joining the military and how PKU plays a role. I have been in the Army for about 10 years and wanted to start this forum specifically for you all who may contemplate the military as an option. I have classical PKU and have been deployed to Iraq and stationed in Korea. It’s not easy, but it is possible to serve.
I tried to join the army just out of high scool and was told that as a girl I was unable to join due to PKU. They said males were ok since off diet they would not damage anything outside of themselves.
It is just as important for men to remain on diet as it is for women. Being off diet can cause the same neurological issues to men as it can to women. The only difference is that if a woman gets pregnant she could harm her unborn child if she is not on diet.
There is their problem. While the off-diet consequences are the same for men and women, no one else is affected by a man's off-diet symptom. At 17, I did research it further and I was told by several people that while treating the diet may be possible on a base, if a person were to be deployed to war or some major conflict, the can only eat what they are given. They are not given choices many times. Also, food and formula cannot be delivered to some of these feild places. I understand that much of the military is not battle, so though I don't know how, there must be some way for someone with PKU to join if they do not get deployed to field work.
it is good to know that it is possible many of the men in my family including my husband have served their country, my husband was Airforce, it was a sad thought that our kids could not do so if they so wished, at least this gives some knowledge that if it comes up it is possible.