With my sons, our MEPS was about an hour an half away..so they took them the day before and they spent the evening at a hotel, the next morning they went to MEPS..We got there about 8 am..so we could see the swearing in and take pics..They took them by groups, so it was a long day..We hung out waiting till it was time for them to leave for the airport.
We had 2 boys go in at diff times , but I am very glad that we went to MEPS and saw them swear in :)
Like I say, on both occasions it was a long day, but well worth it. They get to spend some time with us..and it was very moving to see them swear in. After they swear in as a group, they let you take pictures of just your Recruit with whomever swore them in...it was really very nice and they took the time to answer questions for us too.
We just got there at 8 am the morning he swore in..I know some Moms (not at my sons swearing in) that went the night before, but we felt that he needed to do his own thing the night before, they usually bunk with someone else that is swearing in the next day. I know neither one of my sons would have wanted us there the evening before, I'm sure that they didn't want Mom and Dad kind of "breathing down their neck.
If you get there at 8 am, you won't miss anything. Like I say, most of the day is waiting around for his turn to swear in. As Gulf Coast Mom mentioned not alot of parents go to the swearing in which is really to bad. Everyone at MEPS was extremely nice to us.
My husband and I would have loved to have been at the swearing in. We didn't know it was going to be so fast. Neither did our son. The last step to get acceptance into the Officer Candidate Program as a nuke officer is a series of interview with various department heads culminating with an interview with an admiral - all in Washington DC. As soon as the admiral gave the thumb up, they took him to an adjoining room, signed him up and swore him in. That was it. No photos. Nothing. The local recruiting office would not repeat the occasion even for parents. :(
Aaron's mom, in your shoes I would be there without a doubt.
Melisa - I don't know specifically about Jacksonville but if that MEPS facility is like the others I have been to;
It is a secure facility where entry is restricted to authorized folks. Parents, friends and family can be admitted to the secure building usually by requesting entry by means of an intercom.
Once you are buzzed in, you must report to the main desk where you will need to sign in and present valid ID. Most areas of the MEPS facility are off-limits to you however, you will have access to a waiting room, restrooms, maybe a small break room and the room used for the swearing in.
ps - this thread is almost 5 years old. ;)