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my son left for boot camp on sept 25th. On Oct. 4th he called me to tell me he was being discharged for having anxiety attacks (which he has never had one in his life) and that he was going to be home in 2 weeks. He wouldn't give me any details about what happened to him. I could tell he sounded upset over the phone. I found some information that lead me to this group, so i called the SEP addmin. and they said my son has signed a waiver for me to get info concerning him, but they didn't have the legal paper work yet. I asked if they could have my son call me, they said they would give him a message (that was on Oct 5th and today is the 9th) i have still not heard from my son and i'm really worried what is going on. I do not know if he went back to his ship or if he is still having anxiety issues. I do not know if he is on the seperation ship or medical ship. I am very frustrated and upset.. any advise out ther would be greatly appreciated.  thank you

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Hi Melissa. My guess would be if there is a question about anxiety attacks then he is in separations.  A variety of issues seem to come up at BC that never came up for any of these recruits before, and although very frustrating, seems to be a reality of the Navy now.  I would suggest you call Mr. Senko in Legal and tell him you have been trying to reach your son.  He will tell you what you can do -- he was very nice and helpful when my son was in a similar situation. Try not to worry too much; although it is a very upsetting and difficult time for the recruit and their parents, your son will need your strength and support to help him through.  Your son made a huge decision to help his country and he should always be reminded of what a courageous effort that is, whether it works out that he stays in the Navy or not. Take care.

Hi Melissa

I myself was in the same boat.  When my son called me and told me that he was coming home because he was diagnosed with depression, I couldn't do nothing else.  I searched this site high and low for information.  I even went to the recruiters office to see if they could help.  Ok did you call Ship 5 and leave a message for him to call you back?  The way I got my son to call back the same day is I told the person who answered the phone that I hadn't heard from him in a couple of days and the call was returned within 10 minutes.  I found out from my son on August 14 and he came home Sept 5.  It is a long process.  He will meet with legal and then he will sit again on Ship 5 doing nothing awaiting for a ship out date.  The best advice I can give you is to tell him DO NOT GO TO SICK CALL FOR NOTHING!!!! That will delay him coming home.  The number to SHIP 5 is 847-688-7444.  I called that number so much and didn't care, because I needed to know about my son.  So when my son came home he told me that he gave up and that's why they diagnosed him with depression.  Mine is an only child and that was the first time he has not been around family.  I think they should prepare them better than they do.  So my son said he wants to go back in six months, but he has to see a doctor and get clearance from the recruiter.  Also your son will still see the doctor as long as he is there.  My son was cleared three days before he came home.  How ironic that was.  I was hurting for him because he really wanted to be there.  I hope my advice helps.  Please use that number explained to them your story and let them know you want to speak to your son.  I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Take Care

Hi Melissa,

My son called me yesterday to tell me he was suffering from Migraine Headache Clusters, most likely due to stress, and he is being seperated to ship 5. I completely feel your pain. He was on ship 13, div 15. He's an only child too and this was a huge step for him. Hang in there. My son told me that Ship 5 was fine, that they work during the day and have time to write home and call home in the evenings, but there is only one phone and they all have to share it. However everyone told me that if I call ship 5 admin and tell them I need a call back, I will get a call back.


Good luck and hang in there.

Keep in mind, it is better to find out these things while they are in bootcamp instead of finding out while they are out in the middle of the ocean.  Anxiety attacks don't show until they are put serious stress, some people just can't handle that.

You can call legal, and they may or may not have yourson call you back.

As far as what details anyone can give you, they can't give you any unless your son signs the paper work stating they can talk to you.  So you may never know fully what happened to your son

Hi Melissa,

I don't know if you've heard from your son yet, by now.  But I wanted to post my experience as a Mom who went through the same thing back in May 2012.  My son waited over 2 years to join the military...long story short, it was something he really thought he wanted to do and told everyone he was going in etc...   After 2 weeks, he called me saying he was in SEPS (separated) and that he was now waiting to see legal, sign paperwork and go home. He said it was because he was having anxiety and said he was depressed.  I was honestly upset with him because he had put so much of his life on hold since graduating H.S. because he wanted the military and was waiting for them to get it all together with paperwork to send him and now this.  Anyway, he waited for what seemed to be a very long time to go to legal.   One of the reasons was because they called his name to go visit the legal dept. while they had him at an appt. to see someone else, so they screwed up.  He can't be in 2 places at the same time.  But once he came back from 1st appt. and knew they'd called his name he tried but they wouldn't let him go then and so he had to wait almost 2 weeks to go again-almost like they were punishing him for missing his name called, he felt.  I was one of those Moms that called over there to find out what was going on.  (found the number here on Navy Moms).  It was hard to know if that was the right thing to do, and they gave him some slack about me calling - saying "your Moms calling again-" or, "hey did your Mom call today?"  I didn't want to do anything to get him in trouble or teased, but the not knowing was driving me crazy.  Eventually it worked out in favor that I did call because they got sick of hearing from me and with my, and my sons, persistence finally got him to see legal and got him out of there.  It is such a waste of tax dollars to keep those kids sitting there-doing nothing all day except watch movies- because they are too slow to process them out faster.  It shouldn't take over 3 weeks, but of course it is the military and they don't care about your inconvenience. 

To all the other Moms who've just heard about your son or daughter being in SEPS now, I know how you feel.  It is embarrassing, upsetting and we feel out of control to do anything to help.  I worried about what the heck he was going to do now?!  It is a process we walk through.  I eventually stopped being upset with him, and figured it is better he know now what he's supposed to do with his life than later on and be miserable for 4+ years.  The Navy was not what he thought it would be.  What they 'portray' the military is going to be is different than how it really is sometimes.  The recruiters really don't prepare them well for the psychological crap they're going to get.  Physically, my son could handle it.  One of the RTC's privately told him he was sorry to see him go because he would have made a good sailor.  He had a system down on how to fold, make bed, do all they wanted...but they feel it is never enough.  They are not good enough-that's how they feel, and for some-like my son-that is really hard to take.  I kept thinking "I've spent 21 years trying to build him up and empower him to know he can do anything he sets his mind to, but the Navy is trying to tear him down and make him feel like a piece of crap within a week of being there?!"   that is how it is.   Some kids can take it, some kids can't.  Mine couldn't.  it's just a fact.   He is doing good now-though it was bumpy at first.  He decided to apply to school, and now works full time too at a job he likes  (he's doing school online for now.).   

One thing we were surprised at is that he received a pell grant.  I do believe it is because of that short time he was there, they come home with a DD 214 and it was uncharacterized.  I think as long as it is not an RE-4 dismissal, I think they qualify for some money for school.  Of course, everyone's situation is different.  He would have received more if he went full time AT the community college which he was going to do at first, but decided to work full time and do community college online so they reduced the amount of the grant.  Look into that though.  We were shocked he got any.  Nobody told us he would, so that helped and made up for the many months and years wasted.

Hang in there Moms and Dads.  I know it is hard to watch your son or daughters dreams go down the drain and it's confusing because we don't have all the answers and can't be there with them while they are trying to figure it out.  I realized how emotional all this was for him too...but I don't think he had a clue how emotional it was for us.  We missed him when he left but were accepting this was a good thing for him, and then we get the call that he'll be coming home.  It's like an emotional rollercoaster.   

If anyone needs support or answers, post them here.  Or address them to me- I will try to respond when I see it and can.

I'm RoseMamma

:)  sorry this is so long

I have made two attempts to contact my son since he called me on Oct. 4th to tell me he was being discharged for anxiety. I called on the 5th & 10th,and both times they said they would have my son call me..NO CALL YET.. Yesterday i explained how worried i was because i haven't heard from him and i'm unsure of whats going on with him. I asked how long before i could expect a call from him and she said it takes about 30 minutes to inform him to call home. I did call legal and left a message with Mr Senko. Hopefully he can help shed some light on whats happening with my son. I am so frustrated and upset.. I am wondering if my son is to ashamed to call home now.. When i spoke to him last i told him we would figure out his next plan when he got home.. "As long as he was ok, thats what is important"      Thanks so much for listening:)      Melissa

Hi Melissa,

My son just told me that he needs to get on a list to use the phone and it's not always easy to get on the list...there are lines to even sign up.  However, when I've called there, they got the message to him and allowed him to call me back..  My son said that actually helped him be able to call me- because I called there and they figured they would have him call me back right away or I'd keep bugging them.  So be persistent.   If he is getting nowhere, tell them you have a family emergency and need him to come home son was there in SEPS almost 3 weeks, because of their screw up in not getting him into legal on time.  

I know it's a difficult thing to wait right now Melissa.  I don't know if he is ashamed to call home.  It sounds like you were understanding when you spoke to him- probably more so than I was.  But he is just wanting to come home now, I can guarantee that.  Pray for strength and peace, it helped me.


My son also spent 18 months of his life post high school getting into the military.  At first we were so angry and upset and it felt such a waste of time.  3 months later now- since he was seperated and we have finally come to grips with it all (it took me as a mom much longer than my husband/dad). We know that God sees the big picture and we don't, and we can trust Him.

Melissa,  again, don't worry. He's safe and no longer in a stressful situation. If you don't hear from him for a few days, don't worry. Honestly, I'm more upset over the fact that they have my son sitting there doing nothing. If he can't be in the regular RTC because he could not take the pressure (nothing wrong with that, not everyone is cut out for this lifestyle) then let him get his butt back home so he can register for school and get a job. 3 weeks of sitting around watching movies and talking to his buddies on the tax payers dime? That's just stupid! IMO.

I got a message in email from Terri and can't figure out how to reply to her but found this where many people are in the same situation. My son was right where your sons and daughters are now about 2 years ago. He survived hell the first few weeks of boot camp and ended up having his knees give out on him and never recovered from that. He ended up in separation, which he later described as being worse than jail. But they do get through it and eventually come home. So what next? Everything I read said he would be depressed so I was prepared for that. While he was still there I started looking around for schools that might interest him learning the same kind of skills he would learn in the Navy. He was going to be an engineman. I was fortunate to find a technical school in Rhode Island. Internation Yacht Restoration School ( They had a 9 month course in marine systems where he could learn to work on boats and yachts on a smaller scale from what he would do in the navy. When we talked on the phone while he was in separation I told him about it and he thought it sounded like a good idea. It gave him something to focus on to have a future and not be so depressed. Flash forward. Two years later, he was accepted at the school, went through the program and now has a job he loves in Newport, RI. He has his own apartment, a new girlfriend, and feels pretty good about his life. And when I here about ships moving into a war zone I am so relived he is not on one of those ships. He got student loans and grants for school. It is easier for tech school as less time is required to before you can get a job. Just make sure you research the school well and there are really jobs available in the profession he might choose. It may feel like the end of the world to you right now, but when I look at where he is now and where he was then, I am so glad it worked out the way it did. He is happy and his life has taken a turn he did not plan, but it has worked out well for him. Good luck to all of you and I hope you have good stories in 2 years as well.  

Melissa, I to have been going through a similar situation as yours. Im not sure whats going on with my son. Tho I posted earlier today and no one has replied... I have learned alot by reading the replies to yours. Thank you for sharing your concerns. The information that has come from them has been very helpful. We all love our sons so much and want what's best for them. My son put alot of time,and thought into his decision to join the Navy, so I can only imagine how he's feeling at this time. I'm going to wait another day and if I don't hear from him I'll call the # posted and Mr.Senko.  I hope that you hear from your son soon!

Just so you are aware, and maybe this does not happen all the time, but when I called, they taunted him after about being a "mama's boy" because of my trying to reach him.


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