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**UPDATE 4/26/2022** Effective with the May 6, 2022 PIR 4 guests will be allowed.  Still must be fully vaccinated to attend.

**UPDATE 7/29/2021** You now must be fully vaccinated in order to attend PIR:

In light of observed changes and impact of the Coronavirus Delta Variant and out of an abundance of caution for our recruits, Sailors, staff, and guests, Recruit Training Command is restricting Pass-in-Review (recruit graduation) to ONLY fully immunized guests (14-days post final COVID vaccination dose).  

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When my son/daughter first spoke about joining the service I…

Story Time anyone?
I know when you first join N4M’s one of our standard Q’s is: When my son/daughter first spoke about joining the service I…

And then usually there are the standard answers like:
Was concerned or afraid, Was confused, Needed to learn more about it, Was proud, Was relieved, Encouraged him/her, Said “No way!”

But I'm starting this thread- because I wanted to hear the stories and memories behind these standard answers! Things like: How did they bring it up to you? What was the reasoning? I see your responses to this question and I think things like "I wonder why they were confused. Or if they said “no way” how did still end up joining?" Heh. Plus, I think every mom on here has an interesting story to tell.
So (pretty please) take us back to that moment…

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Replies to This Discussion

My husband is retired Navy, and he always hoped our sons would join. The oldest one was close, but decided on Penn State instead. Our youngest one - well, he'd be the last one you would expect to join. He first brought the subject up with some subtle questions about the military and benefits to my husband, and I froze! Didn't even look at my son, I pretended I didn't hear the discussion. After he and Dad chatted a little bit and our son went out for the evening, I "warned" my husband "Don't push it, don't sugar coat it. This is something he has to decide on his own." I was impressed, Josh researched it very thoroughly and when he went to MEPS, he was ready for the commitment, with eyes wide open.
I remember secretly wishing our son would come to his own conclusion about joining the Navy and he did. Knew exactly what HE wanted by the time he went to MEPS.
This should be an interesting thread Catherine -

In our case, we were visiting our family in Michigan so our son and my nephew got a chance to spend some time together. Both had been out of high school for a couple of years, going to college and working at the same time. Both thinking school was expensive and they were not loving it so they decided they would join the Navy Reserve program on the buddy system, do boot camp together, A school, get an apartment together after A school and then let the Navy pay for their education.

They did not share this plan with the family while we were there but the day that we returned home, my sister called to say...did Nick tell you his plans yet? (Oh that sibling rivalry still exists! ) I had to hear from my sister what MY son's plans were!!!

So we quickly cornered our son and said...anything you might want to tell US? He grinned in his usual manner and said yep, that's what we are thinking about. With his dad being former Navy, we both felt like the Navy could provide a great future for him but it was a conclusion that Nick needed to come to on his own. He had done alot of research and shared with us what he had found at that point and he had called the local recruiter here but was waiting to hear back from him.

He did schedule the appointment with the recruiter and asked his dad (not mom) to join him and it wasn't long before he was enrolled in the DEP program as ENLISTED, based on the information that he gathered and talking to different folks (including his dad) our son decided enlisted was the best fit for him.

So doing the buddy program with his cousin didn't work out, Nick went enlisted and Joey went Reserves but they were in boot camp together for a few weeks.

As his parents, we had thought for a couple of years the Navy would provide him with a great opportunity for education, career, travel and discipline - it did a great job for his dad and now he is following in dad's footsteps - same job rate and all! Who knows where the future will take our sons and daughters but in our son's case, he is happy with his decision and we are pleased to support it.
Really nice Kathy and two sons to be very proud of.
Hello, I have two sons and my oldest (19) just left for boot camp in Illinois. I am scared and don't have much of an appetite. I miss him so much. I know this is the best thing for him but it hurts so much. I am inspired by what you said, that the Navy made your sons into 2 fine young men.
lol kathy, i told the recruiter that he could take mine/ but I expected him back exactly as he was when he left.
Now I think,,,,,,,, thank God had different plans!! Could i deal with the teen that wouldn't pick up; couldn't cook' raced around town, etc etc. nope..i'll take my older son back,,, with his experience and wisdom; one that will tell mom to get out of her kitchen so he can cook............. ohhhhhhhh I love it. And when they do come back they bring a wife, that leaves me laughing and gabbing,,,,,,,,,and need I say anything about all the grandbabies?? life is good........... we may not know it during enlistment/ bootcamp/ training,,,, but it shows up the wonderful sons/daughters that we have raised to be so proud of!!!
Sailor son knew that college wasn't for him. He did the research and he did the talking and I was just along for the ride. His friends thought he was crazy for doing this but he had words to the effect of, "Just who else would you rather have defending you than me." After his success at BC, A school and then C school, where he thought that beating out 3 Third Class Officers was great. He commented that if he had studied that hard in HS who knows where he would have ended up at. Missing him is still a part of my everyday thoughts but knowing that he was safe and busy and being productive in his life makes those thoughts less painful. Proud doesn't even begin to touch what I feel for him and his chosen profession.
The friends he has already made in 9 months and those to come for the next 4+ years at least, will last him a lifetime. Oh the memories he will store.
Definitely lifelong friends Jeanine! My husband has been out of the Navy for about 17 years now and those friendship continue today. Three of his shipmates actually moved here families here so they could continue working together in the civilian world and the friendships have continued to flourish.
Do you think there will be room on the ship for that rolltop desk CCR?!! Okay, probably not! I think we raised a generation of independent children who want to make a difference and clearly Patrick will be one of those!
If you want a short answer to your question, just read this. I asked questions of anyone and everyone I saw. I even stopped a Coast Guard man (he was still in uniform) in Hobby Lobby and talked with him for over an hour. His wife probably enjoyed the time shopping without him hurrying her along. I talked to every military recruiter that came to the high school - I didn't care what branch they were. I went to the recruiter's office - sometimes with cookes, so they would not get tired of me!!
I read on the internet. I asked lots and lots of questions!!

If you want the rest of the story, read below.
Thanks for starting this forum, I love to talk about Derek.
Well - here it goes. One day the phone rang and it was a recorded message that went something like this. “This is the attendance office of Nederland High School, your child was marked absent or tardy for one or more periods today. If you have any questions about this absence . . . .”

Questions about the absence, of course I did - just not for them. Ah, don’t get me wrong, Derek was a great kid who never got in trouble. It was just usually if he was going to skip school to go hunting or fishing, I knew ahead of time. So, I went to talk to him and found out that he had gone to Houston and enlisted in the DEP program. Man, on man - did I have questions, comments and concerns!!! That was the first I had even heard Derek talk about joining the military. He had watched You-Tube videos of the Navy SEALS, but I thought that was just a guy thing he did with his friends. I want to add that Derek’s dad (my ex-) is in the picture, but not someone that my boys could go to for guidance or leadership.

In the area we live there is a great deal of good paying jobs available because of all the oil refineries and new construction on them. We have one of the best Universities in the state about 20 miles from the house. Kids around here go to the University or Technical school and then get a job in the refinery making wonderful money with great benefits. Generation after generation!! Derek said that he did not want to be like everyone else. He wanted to be able to say he did something with his life, that he made a difference.
(If you are curious, yes, I am crying now!!)

He was to leave in June after his high school graduation. Well, in February, they found a tumor in my lung and I had to have surgery. Derek started having second thoughts and maybe he needed to stay here for his mom. The surgery came out fine (no tumor, just a cyst). I started going to the recruiter office and talking with them. The first time, I probably scared them. I had just gotten out of the shower, wet hair stringing down my back, and barefoot. I don’t remember why I was out - but I passed their office and just went in and talked to them (and cried). They made an appointment and came to the house when I was more composed. Derek started (and passed) all the physical and academic tests to become a SEAL. Then, I started making appointments to talk to the SEAL recruiters from Houston. Derek still wants to be a SEAL, I think, but he realizes his chances of making it are better if he has a few years under his belt. Then, he also talks about doing his 5 years and coming home to be a fireman or a teacher. (Sounds like a little kid, when you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up).

I guess, to complete the sentence - When my son first spoke about joining the service, I tried to be sure that is was really what he wanted to do with his life. It was such a big commitment, that you could not just back out if you did not like it. I started asking questions of anyone I could find with any idea!! I work in a high school that always has recruiters representing all branches of the armed forces. I think I pestered everyone of them. My grandfather was in the Navy and my dad in the Air Force, but neither made a career out of it and times have changed since then. I spent hours on the internet researching - but I knew that they would only say good things about the Navy. It is unfortunate for me that Navy for Mom’s was not available when Derek shipped out in December of 2007. Both sides of the picture are presented here - and in (sometimes) true fashion!!

I guess this is more than what you asked for - but I love to talk about Derek.
Oh those automated calls and to a teacher's house! Bet you loved that! Our school used to make me crazy, their message says "One or More" of your children was not in attendance. They both would pay the price when they walked thru the door! And so glad we only had two to question.

I am amazed at how many of our Sailors just took the bull by the horns and went and enlisted. They know what they want and just not interested in taking the easy road or doing what...everyone else has done.

Don't know if Derek will make that Seal program or not down the road but I am sure whichever field he decides to follow - he will have a great future ahead for him.

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