How I Nearly Became A Member Of The Austrian Military

When I was seventeen I wanted to move back to Austria and claim my citizenship, due to the law I was entitled to Austrian Citizenship before I turned eighteen. But I was dealing with the consulate in Calgary and the application process took so many months that by the time everything was submitted I had turned eighteen.

If I had moved back to Austria (which I did for a while without citizenship a few years later) I would have been drafted into the military or civil service, since Austria has had conscription in place since the founding of the second republic. I was set on joining the military, which my father thought was a good idea. I didn’t start experiencing schizophrenic symptoms until I was twenty, so if I had decided to just do the mandatory service time I would have been in and out before I would have been ejected due to being medically unfit to serve, I was otherwise in fine health at the time, so it is likely they would have taken me.

It’s strange how a few weeks of sending documents back and forth had such influence on what probably would have been a profound change to my entire life.

I was recently able to obtain Austrian citizenship again due to a temporary change in laws, but since I am on disability benefits here in Canada I wouldn’t have qualified.

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