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My son is scheduled for boot camp starting April 5, 2010. In reading various posts, I am confused about two things. Is he not allowed to look for or obtain a job between now and April 5 because he is going into the Navy? Also, why are their wisdom teeth pulled and should he have this done by our family dentist beforehand or wait until boot camp? It seems to me that it would be better to have them pulled before so he is not suffering through recovery while in boot camp. Thanks for your help.

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Not every Recruit has their wisdom teeth pulled during boot camp. Some do because they need it, others have it done because of where they are being stationed, or the specific commands they are going to. Operationally, it can be tough to get a Sailor to emergency dental care at sea.

With respect to finding a job, there is no reason he can't start a job while he is waiting to go to boot camp.

Thank you for your help, Justin. My son is going to be in Nuke School for 18 months after boot camp, so I would assume there would be no need to pull his wisdom teeth during boot camp. I will have him see our dentist to see if there are any potential problems. Thanks.
Sorry, your assumption is wrong Marie. All our new Sailors spend a certain amount of time at "A" schools and receiving further training after Boot Camp. So that doesn't play into having them pulled or not. As Justin indicated, they pull them because they don't want something to "flare up" while they are on deployment and/or away from adequate dental care. My son was one of the few in his Division (out of 85 Recruits) who did not have them pulled. They will recheck him each year. If he needs it done now, the Navy pays for it. That's the advantage of waiting. The advantage to doing it at home of course is having the time to heal as you need to and letting Mom take care of you. :-)

Doesn't hurt to check for problems now. Even if his dentist says he is fine, don't be surprised if they still get pulled. It's very common, happens more often then not. However, they usually bounce back pretty quickly. They tend to kick the heavy pain meds in favor of OTC meds. They can remain SIQ (sick in quarters) if necessary, but they don't want to lose any training time and just deal with the discomfort and having swollen cheeks. :) They are pretty focused on their BC mission, you'll be amazed at what they endure and accomplish even while exhausted, injured, in pain or sick!

As far as a job, lots of non military kids get jobs and keep them for much less time than the 9 months he's got. Understandable he would want some Christmas cash and such. =) Up to him whether he mentions something up front about his departure date. They can't discriminate though. His employer would be required by law to allow him time off to attend his DEP meetings, tests etc. One thing to keep in mind is that occasionally a slot opens up sooner than the original Ship Out date, so he could possibly end up choosing to leave sooner. Also, many of out DEPpers like to quit a month or so ahead of their ship out date to spend time with family, friends and just chill as they prepare to leave. Just tell him to plan accordingly, set aside some funds. Oh, one tip... if you haven't already, spend some time talking about good money management too. Give him opportunities to learn, become more independent and have oversight of his money. Fiscal responsibility is a huge issue among our Sailors and the Navy spends much time training our Recruits/new Sailors about it, with mixed success. Good Luck and congrats to him on getting a Nuke spot! Obviously he had a great ASVAB score.

Be sure to connect with Karen Gallagher (she has 3 Nuke sons) and the other Nuke Moms and feel free to join our DEPper Moms Group as well. We'll help get both of you well informed, ready, connected and supported before April. Best wishes to your son and you as you begin his Navy journey! :-)
Hi Angie,
Thank you for taking the time to write such an informative note! I appreciate all the advice and will be setting up an appointment with our dentist. I will definitely connect with Karen Gallagher as I am sure there will be more questions arising over the coming months. I am so glad I found Navy for Moms - it is letters like yours that make this site such a wonderful resource! Thanks!
Please have a good dentist x-ray and pull wisdon teeth months before going to BC. Unless they are in perfect condition and have already "come out". The Navy will pull the majority of kids wisdom teeth. My son had his pulled(all impacted) a month or so prior to reporting. However, he had a bone fragment left in a socket. It got infected and they had to do oral surgery week 1 of boot camp. That snowballed and he got pnuemonia, temp over 103. He has been sick for approximately 4 wks of BC. He lost his rank, almost got put back, a felt like poop! Now he has stomach problems. So, please don't take any chances. Do it soon, in case there are any complications. You don't wnat to chance your child not graduating on time. Kristin~
Hi Kristin,
Thank you for your advice. I will definitely have our dentist look at his teeth sooner rather than later. What a terrible way to start boot camp! I hope your son is fully recovered soon. This must have been (or still is) very difficult for you, too. I wish you both much better days ahead!
Wow Kristin, so sorry to hear your son's story! What a rough ride for him. :( His result is certainly the exception rather than the rule. We wouldn't want Moms to panic, but your warning is well heeded and appreciated! It's certainly not unusual for the "Ricky Crud"-various illnesses- to strike during BC, but that truly sounds miserable! BC is stressful enough! When you say he lost his "rank" (technically an incorrect term for enlisted Navy btw) do you mean he lost his "Rate" i.e. Job OR he lost a "Paygrade", i.e. E-3 or 2 down to the next level?

There's really no shame in needing more time to finish BC. The bummer in being put back is the change of PIR date (just when you've bonded with your Div mates and Mom is getting connected to other Div and PIR date Moms/Wives etc. here) and the need for folks back home to change their plans. That is why we always recommend that loved ones purchase refundable or exchangeable tickets! The PIR date is set for a Division, but things can always change for an individual Recruit as you came close to finding out, it still could, but we'll pray not! Hope he's back to 100% real soon, he'll need to be feeling much better to be able to get though the long 24 hours of Battle Stations and to make his final run before PIR. Please drop an update here when he gets closer to though those. We like to know how things turn out. :-) Best wishes and God Bless.

Marie K, you're welcome. Glad my wordy note was helpful to you! =)


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