My son made it to boot camp last night, and now I have a few questions. My husband, who was in the USAF, believes the holiday today will delay some of the normal in processing, since some people will be out for the 4th. Does anyone know if that is the case. I know in the long run it doesn’t matter. It just helps me to have some idea of what he’s going though.
We were also also told at his recruiters office that there is a chance he might be able to kep his phone at boot camp, locked up of course, has anyone heard of that happening? I did send a phone card with him, I just can’t believe they would allow them to keep the phone especially a smart phone. It would be nice though.
I really feel like it hasn’t hit me yet that he’s gone. I’ve tried to talk to him several times. I can’t wait till I can get a letter from him.
ShellyMarie, I am not sure on the holiday as far as how it counts towards the Processing Days but hopefully one of the more knowledgeable veterans will. They may be on vacation themselves and away from their computers or phones. I also am not sure on the cell phone. I would not count on them keeping them, even locked up. That said, they may be trying something new, especially with recruits who might be staying in GL for their A school, or those who will be flying out. You just never know.
Mostly, I just wanted to say hi and welcome to N4M and the BC Mom site. There is a lot of information posted on the BC Mom page and the pages / articles listed to the right side of the screen. If you are using your phone mostly instead of a computer, be sure to put your phone screen in desktop mode. It makes it easier to navigate this site. Welcome aboard to the Navy Mom roller coaster ride. There will be highs and lows, days of really missing your recruit and other days that you will be so busy yourself at the end of the day, you will realize, OH, I wonder how he is doing today and say a prayer. Other days, you will find yourself praying all day long. Everyone is different, everyone approaches the BC separation differently, but we are here for you.
Butterfly - she probably was being yelled at while she was putting things in her box and just threw the card in. You can mail it back to her once you get her address. Or she can go to the NEX and buy another one. Hang in there!
Hi Shelly - the phone will definitely be coming home in the box! Hopefully he will keep his calling card. Sometimes things get sent home that they should be able to keep but that's just because when they are getting their boxes ready they are working on no sleep and being yelled at lol! Sometimes they just sort of blank out and throw everything in the box. You should start watching for the official letter in about 9-14 business days. This will have his PIR (graduation) date - once you get that you can join the PIR group. Hold off on making reservations until you get this. In the meantime to guestimate PIR you can count 9 Fridays so you might be looking at an 8/30 PIR. But it could go a week either way.....Read up on the information on the main boot camp page and of course feel free to ask any questions you may have! Hang in there!
Thank you all for your replies. It has been one week since my son left. It has been a crazy week. Does anyone know if they hear stuff on the news while they are there? I live in Southern California, close enough to where the earthquakes are to send my family hiding under tables, but not close enough to have any damage. I was worried at first that he would hear about it and be worried about us. I am hoping that news like that doesn't get relayed to the recruits.
I got my son's box today. It made be cry. I was surprised to find his eye glasses weren't in the box, just his cell phone and clothes. It actually made me feel better to know he still has them as silly as it sounds. Getting that box felt too permanent. It's hard knowing that even once he's out of boot camp he won't be coming home, he'll be headed off to school, then on to the rest of his life.
@chipmunk you are right, I have been wondering how he's doing. I've been sending prayers out every day.
@Butterfly & B'sNukeMom You were right, his phone did come back. I am really puzzled why one of the officers or enlisted (I don't remember his name or rank) would tell us they could keep their phones. Why would he tell us something that? He also told me that I would be able to get all my kids into the graduation ceremony, there are 7 of us, when everything I read says 4 at most, don't bother asking for more!
I am trying to keep busy to help the days go by faster, this week feels like a month already. I'm hoping he'll actually write to us, I can't wait till I can start sending letters to him!
ShellyMarie - I am sorry to hear that the recruiter told you your whole family would be able to get into the graduation ceremony! Even my husband comments that the only job the recruiter has is to get the kids to sign on the dotted line. Unfortunately, there is a lot of information that can be conveyed that is not up to date or accurate. Ours told us the basics that we needed to know but beyond that, I played the waiting game and had to figure things out on my own.
As for graduation, when you know your SR's PIR it will list how many tickets will be available to attend and usually that is only 3 or 4. Things have changed since my son's PIR, but you now also have to have those same tickets to return to RTC if your recruit is flying out for their A school. I think the same is true for dropping off if they stay in GL, but I am less familiar with that process. My point - the entire family will not be able to drive in and drop your sailor back off, so making plans for the entire family trying to go to GL, is something that I am sure you are weighing heavily. My sailor is #4 of 5 and older sisters and grandma had other responsibilities so it was easy to plan for just our youngest son to attend graduation. We live in the Midwest and opted to drive 13 hrs. because that was still cheaper for us and gave us flexibility since he was flying out to his A school. You have even farther to travel, so I know having inadequate information can be frustrating when making travel plans - All which must be kept flexible, refundable, or changeable.
Keep busy and have your children write letters or draw pictures for their brother. As for him writing you, hopefully he will write, but don't be surprised if it is very short. I was just talking to my sailor the other day about writing at BC and they have very limited time to do so. All of their tasks have to be completed, they have to stand watches, they have to be getting what sleep they can, so my son tended to start his letters with "I have 10 min. or I have 20 min. to write." Letters are mailed out every Mon and I would receive mine on Thursday from him. Except the one week when he went to Medical on Sunday morning to have a persistent cough checked out and that did not leave him with enough time to do his chores and also write to us.
I don't know if your son attends any sort of religious services on a regular basis but don't be surprised if he does not keep that up at BC. There may be various reasons for that, so just encourage attendance - as Anti M says "It is one hour where no one is yelling at you."- but don't push it. It was probably a year later before I found out from mine that he was doing some of his bunkmate's cleaning or chores, so that his bunkmate could attend service because he knew how important and needful it was for his bunkmate. That perspective was very helpful!
Navy Mom hugs as you navigate the next several weeks till PIR!
Thank you Chipmunk!
It actually wasn't his recruiter who told us the misinformation. It was the morning my son left, we were supposed to meet with the Chief, but he ended up having a medical appt, and his recruiter was actually out at a DEP meeting with the other recruits. The person we had the meeting with was not someone my son had met before. I wish his recruiter had been there, I spoke to his recruiter a few times and he seemed honest, and helpful. I guess in the long run it didn't change anything. It did give me a bit of false hope, but I knew better than to believe him fully.
I hope my son is able to make it to church. He asked me to buy him a smaller bible before he left, so he could take one with him. I hope he will have time to read it, but from the sound of it, I think he might be too busy and too exhausted to even do that much.
I'm not expecting a letter, but desperately hoping for one. Either way he will get letters from all his siblings, and even his aunts and grandparents want to write to him.
We are planning on a huge road trip to see him graduate. My husband is going to use up vacation time and we are going to drive up there. It might break the bank but I feel it will be worth it. Even if only 3 of us can see the graduation. Do you know if they normally get the whole weekend before flying out to A-school? Or will we only get to see him that Friday night?
Thank you again.
ShellyMarie - I have been out all day and now headed to VBS tonight. Where will your son be flying to A School?
I will respond to your questions tonight, hopefully.
ShellyMarie - It sounds like you had a similar situation at MEPS with the phone, that I had with being told I we could not go to the airport with our recruit. (Yes, I knew we could not take him or ride with him but the recruiter had told us we could be with him.) Anyway, not everyone has the correct information. I am glad your son actually had a really good recruiter, and I am sorry that he was not able to be with him. Ours was not able to be there either.
Hopefully your son will be able to go to church. I had picked up a small Bible for my son before he left for BC and then they had some small NT at MEPS. I don't recall, my son sent one of them home in his box, I think but kept the other. Because I knew that my son was not finding it easy to get to church, and for his division at least, there was something about if they signed up to go and then didn't have all of their chores done, they would get in trouble. I never did understand it all - but it did give me a different perspective on what my son was actually going through. So, I prayed a lot for him, sent him encouraging words from scripture in my actual letters to him and I also typed out the lyrics to some of his favorite inspirational songs so that when he was having trouble remembering the words in the midst of so many other things they were learning he could refresh his mind with them.
Once I had my son's form letter, I gave his address to many people in our church who asked to be able to write to him and family members as well.
It sounds like your husband thinks like mine -a road trip to see your sailor - will mean all the world to him. Be sure to check out my discussion on BC Mom - What PIR Graduation Weekend might look like for those flying out. (I think I have the wording correctly.) My son is a Nuke and at the time of his PIR, there were several things that were causing some delays and so my PIR weekend, looked a lot different than the "normal" that is described on BC Moms, or what it is like for those that are staying in GL. Their flights out will depend on what the Navy is able to secure for cheap and where they are flying to. If there are natural disasters going on in the area they are flying to, then sometimes they are held in GL. Usually they fly out the Sat after, but sometimes not till Sunday.
Just an FYI - only your sailor can give you their actual orders and information related to it, especially their flight information and which of the 3 airports they may fly from. Also, the buses leave from RTC very very early in the morning . After my son's PIR it was after midnight and so we went back to our motel, packed up our car, except for our change of clothes, told the motel we were doing an early check out and went to bed for a few hours and got up and met him at the airport. We spent more time with him at the airport than we actually did after his PIR, due to the delay with getting his actual orders finalized.
Ours was sort of a "worse case scenario" but I like to tell it, to remind everyone you must stay flexible and you are not the one in control. Some motels, maybe the Navy Lodge and I think Renaissance will live feed the graduation but I have heard that they are not always dependable. We stayed in one of the very cheap motels that was the closest to RTC and they had a free shuttle, but they never wrote our name down. So the next morning, we made a quick adjustment and thankfully had our own vehicle so that we could drive to RTC at the last minute. We still had plenty of time and as it turned out, it was for the best with the delay with our son.
Also, you will not have the entire evening on Friday night with your sailor. My son said he needed to be back at RTC before 7:30 pm because he had told his quartermaster he would be back to the ship by 8 pm and so we left the hotel and got in line waiting to get him back. He made it on time with a fast walk, but was pushing it. The longer you wait to get back to RTC the longer the line will be and the risk that your sailor could be late. They will sometimes have different return times than other sailors as well, as was my son's case.
I hope I am not painting a too negative of a picture, I am trying to be realistic, because I know you are traveling a long distance with lots of people. And I want you to be able to be as prepared as possible. It is definitely worth going and doing whatever you can to be there, even if you only see your sailor for a short amount of time.
You seem to have a wealth of information! I still haven't received the form letter, so I can't mail anything to my son. I love the idea of putting scripture in his letters. It's been 15 days since he left, yes I am counting the days. At least until I hear from him.
We are very much looking forward to our road trip. I know that we probably won't have more than an afternoon with him, but I think it will be worth it to see him. My son is also entering as a Nuke. The intense nuke program has a completely different set of concerns for me, but I just push that to the back of my mind, I'll worry about that after he gets there. (His schooling was very laid back and casual, I've been warned that it will be hard for him to adjust). I think we will try to follow your example and meet him at the airport, if that is an option for us. I'll take all the time I can get with him.
Thank you again for all the information, You are not painting a negative picture, it helps to know what to expect. I'm a plan for the worst and hope for the best kind of person. My family says I'm pessimistic, I call it being prepared. :)