Hi, Cliff - and welcome.
I'm sorry you're one of the relatively few folks to be diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma each year but I'm pleased to see you searching for information. I believe you'll find a lot of it, here. In addition, we've all been where you are, today, and can certainly relate to your concerns. You've been given an excellent overview of the situation from two military men - Dan and Kenneth - and I cannot add much to their inclusive comments. AN removal surgery is definitely serious business and demands a skilled, experienced surgeon. Recovery is sometimes slow and frankly, varies widely from patient to patient. Some AN surgical patients are in the hospital for a few days, return home to recuperate and resume their normal activities within a few weeks. Others take a bit longer and some have lingering problems that can affect their quality of life. Something I always attempt to make clear to newly diagnosed AN patients is that, as much as I wish it weren't so, with acoustic neuroma removal surgery, there are no guarantees on the outcome. The good news is that the tumor is almost always benign (not cancerous) and certainly treatable. Size and location are the determining factors, but irradiation may be an option for you. Radiation is, by it's nature, non-invasive but of course, not risk-free. What is? As a fit young man I would assume you'll experience a rapid post-op recovery. I have no military experience to draw on but I have to doubt you'll be cleared for combat duty, however, you may well be able to remain in the military. That is something you'll have to consider as you plan your future, post-surgery. Although I believe the important points have been addressed I'm sure others will hasten to add any salient information in response to further questions that may arise on the thread. Let me reiterate that, collectively and individually, we understand your emotions and can certainly empathize with you because we've all been where you are, today. We're still here and most of us are doing just fine, even 'senior citizens' (ahem) who still greatly respect those who serve their country in the military. I wish you all the best.