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All Hands Magazine's mini-documentary series "Making a Sailor": These six videos follow four recruits through Boot Camp in the spring of 2018 who were assigned to DIV 229, an integrated division, which had PIR on 05/25/2018. 

Making a Sailor: Episode 1 - "Get on the Bus"

Making a Sailor: Episode 2 - "What did I get myself into?"

Making a Sailor: Episode 3 - "Processing Days"

Making a Sailor: Episode 4 - "Forming"

Boot Camp: Making a Sailor - Episode 5

Making a Sailor: Episode 6 - "I'm a U.S. Navy Sailor"

...and visit Navy.com - America's Navy and Navy.mil to learn more.

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Always keep Navy Operations Security in mind.  In the Navy, it's essential to remember that "loose lips sink ships."  OPSEC is everyone's responsibility. 

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Hi fellow Michiganders. I have a SR at GL in Week 3/Day 1.  I am sure most of you here are seasoned veterans who rarely check in but I was hoping to find the few strays that can relate or share their early experiences with my husband and I.  My daughter is our baby, the youngest with 3 older brothers and the only to chose a military career.  Our nest went from full to empty all in the same week, with our son moving out as well. So, we have had to find our bearings on many levels. The biggest adjustment has been the lack of communication from our daughter and the little knowledge we have with what is happening in her life on a day to day level.  Well...I have rambled enough. Anyone out there???

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Yep, that's what happens in Boot Camp.  The only time our Sailor called was the week of graduation and I wasn't home.  You write letters - lots of them.  Don't send a box of goodies - they probably won't get to have it.  Go to PIR and bring tissues.  I know if it's tough not hearing from them, but it does show you what it's going to like when they go on deployment.  You don't hear from them for long stretches of time.  And this time in Boot Camp is what every recruit needs to become a Sailor.    But PIR is wonderful!  You will notice a HUGE change in your daughter, so respectful or more if she was already.  More reserved and boy, do they look fabulous in uniform!  You'll get through this.  The reward is worth it.

Thank-you Colleen for you thoughtful response. I have a niece who is former Navy, works as a civilian for the Navy now and married to a lifer. So, we were well prepared (as well as one can be) for our daughter to leave. I think I just never realized the depth of what this all meant or how big the void would be until she was gone. I know that sounds crazy but she is my only girl and the baby. I think I may need therapy. Lol I'm sure I'm not the first mom to have this happen. I am counting the days until PIR and live for the mail to be delivered. Either myself or her dad write something everyday even if we just talk about the weather. He sent her a piece of her favorite candy that made it through the sorters and she is so honest that she turned it in to her RDC. He commended her on what v an honorable Sailor she is rounding in to. She said it was one of those great moments. Thank-you again for your response.

Take heart and know that she misses you just as much as you miss her! Write to her every day. My son (who told me when he left not to write every day and I did anyway) said that getting those letters meant everything to him. He said that at night was the hardest because that's the only time they had down time. She is learning the finer art of listening, cleaning, folding laundry (the attached is my son right before a big inspection-the base photographer was taking pics for FB), becoming stronger physically and mentally, and, if she didn't already know it, the importance of having her family behind her. I was blessed that my son's Division got to make four phone calls during boot camp. I pray your daughter's Division will earn calls as well. I highly recommend going to Sarge's meet and greet the night before graduation. You will sit with the other Division member's families and it's just a good time. I also recommend the Great Lakes Naval Lodge. It's clean, the staff is very friendly, cheap and offers breakfast. They also have a shuttle available for graduation that drops you right off at the gate. And sit upstairs for graduation-that's the best view. Don't forget to enjoy your empty nest - treat yourselves to a weekend away or a nice vacation!

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You're welcome.  You aren't crazy.  Our son is the oldest of our 2 and just as anything else - we went through all the "firsts" with him.  First one to leave the house.  Even though he was in the DEP program during his senior yr., I sobbed as I watched him get on the bus in Lansing to go to GL, but when he turned around as he got on that bus with the biggest smile on his face and waved goodbye, I knew we had done our job as parents - he was ready to leave and start his own life.  He is getting out in July after 7 years.  I couldn't be more proud.  He got his bachelor's degree while in, served in 4 deployments and he has a plan afterwards.  Makes a Mom smile.

What you are experiencing is the Navy normal process and your regular letters will be your daughter's lifeline. Definitely attend PIR and enjoy what your SR has accomplished. I was so proud my youngest (son) joined the Navy. This will be an adventure for all of you and hard on us moms to miss them at birthdays and many holidays. Seek out other Navy or military moms to share with. If you're on FB we also have a Michigan group.
Thank-you Colleen, LaurieV and Lorraine for all of your support, compassion and great information! My prayer this year has been for God to fill the gaps and you ladies are helping to do just that! Thank-you, Laurie V,for the great pic of Parker at boot camp! Oh what I would give to see a photo of Kenzie at GL! Please provide the additional information for the Michigan mom's Facebook group. I am anxious to connect with other Navy mom's to do life with.☺

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