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The hardest thing in life is to say goodbye to your child...we try to do it in baby steps starting at pre-school (oh how they cried) through high school, small trips here and there and then college.

Joining the military, however, is a completely different goodbye. It's almost like an abduction, no contact, only a quick call to confirm arrival and a box of their "proof of life" arriving, sometimes with no note.

This is tough,and feels foreign, against all parental instinct. I hear the pain in all the posts on this website. We have handed over our kids and they are gone.
But let's put this in perspective, they are 18 years of age or older, think back to when you were that age, you were more capable than your parents ever imagined, and so are our kids. And if you have doubts about their capabilities, the Navy doesn't, the Navy will help them find their way...and the brutal truth is, the Navy won't keep anyone that would not be able to make it through.

I had to force myself to stay busy and upbeat the first few weeks until we got our initial phone call...after that, all anxiety dissipated. Our recruit sounded so clear and present and there was a new sound of confidence in his voice. A change was happening, and it was good.
By the time we got our next call and a letter, it was evident that this decision, that he made,was one of the best ever. He is fast tracking into the young man he always hoped to be.

Yes there will always be worry about war and conflicts and where are they now, but we must accept their decision to serve and tap into the that place of great pride. Pride has to override fear.

This process also brings out complicated family dynamics, and we have to face some things we would rather not deal with. But really, we have to face them sometime, let's clear out the cobwebs and make a clean sweep of it, just like our recruits are doing with their lives. It's boot camp for everybody!

We are nearing PIR and can't wait to meet the new and improved version of our son. He dug deep in his faith and found strength that he never knew he had, and he did this on his own. He now knows how far he can can go in life, he was tested and came through it. This is valuable beyond any experience we can think of.

So, hold tight, trust the process and trust your recruit, they are more capable than you know.

Hooyah for them and Hooyah for you!

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Comment by momto navymat on May 5, 2017 at 6:39pm

thanks for the encouraging words. My son leaves Sunday and I feel like my heart is being ripped from my body. I  am so so proud of him but will miss him so so so much. I will keep in mind the things you said. Thanks again

Comment by Voxtrot on May 7, 2017 at 1:53pm
All I can say is stay busy busy busy and keep your phone charged and beside you . I even started an online language course and cleaned out he house for a yard sale. Then bam! When you expect it least, you get that call and it's amazing. Hang in there, pray , and do sit ups ! ;)
Comment by PeanutsMama on May 7, 2017 at 2:33pm
Thank you for writing that. I miss her so much and unfortunately we didn't get handbooks when they were born and especially now that they are gone. I haven't heard her voice since she landed in Chicago. I got the pir note with a very small three lines. That made me feel so much better but I need to hear her voice. I was born and live in a navy town and I'm sure all the sailors that come through my work might think I have lost it. I ask for a hug and everyone of them give it to me. They spend a few minutes with me talking and telling me about bootcamp. I hope it's as good for them as it is for me. I tell them if they ever need a hug, please come see me that I'm a proud Navy mom. ❤️
Comment by Voxtrot on May 7, 2017 at 3:35pm
Amanda, we are all in this together, it's not an easty club to be in but one of the most awesome ones out there. As my son said to me as he is counting down his days, awards and collar devices (pins ) " I received the national defense medal, for being in the military. Something that not many people can claim." So true, so true. Your daughter will fell the same way when she passes each test and sees how far she can go and how deep she can dig into her strengths. This feels very different form when they go to college or away form teh summer because of the limited contact, but this is what is needed for them to concentrate on only themselves and their divisions. Hang in there, your daughter is about to do amazing things, and all that you taught her will kick in as she works through boot camp.
Comment by PeanutsMama on May 7, 2017 at 7:03pm
Voxtrot - thank you so much for your kind words. When I talked to her I had read this before and when we both started crying. I stopped and told her. You got this. You make me so proud. I almost had instant relief and my heart was proud and happy. Big big hugs and thank you for writing this. I hope others will be able to feel the strength I did from it. ❤️❤️❤️
Comment by Voxtrot on May 8, 2017 at 8:31am
Thanks Amanda! You go, Navy Mom!
Comment by Stephanie on May 10, 2017 at 10:18am

Hi,

New to the Navy.  Son left on May 1st for boot camp... the first three days, I was a mess.  Monday, I received his box and I am back to square one... I keep my phone at my side 24/7(which is no not me normally).  What happens if you miss the call?  Can the recruit call again?

I am already writing letters...waiting patiently for the 'letter' to come so I can start sending them to my son. 

miss my child.

Comment by Voxtrot on May 10, 2017 at 12:56pm
I don't know what happens, if you miss the call, maybe someone can chime in and tell. The caller ID will read Waukegan...
Comment by Voxtrot on May 10, 2017 at 1:04pm
so far all our calls ( the first one) have been at different times, then once they get about halfway through, it seems the calls fall on weekends. I don't know if that helps, keep that phone glued to your side!
Comment by Sethsmom on May 10, 2017 at 1:54pm

Thank you for that.  As I read it, tears formed in my eyes.  You are so right.  He will become a better man than he was when he left.  Your words are inspirational and have enforced what I knew from the start, but, as a mom (and we all know it) I miss my baby.  Graduation is June 23 and I find myself wishing my time away so I can get to him.  Thanks again!

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