INTRODUCTION: A place for parents and others who have attended PIR and graduation weekend to share comments, suggestions and ideas that will hopefully make it easier and more enjoyable for other familes who are preparing for their own PIR events.
WHAT TO DO: This is an 'interactive' forum, with each person encouraged to start new topics (by posting your comments in the 'blank' at the top of each page) -and- respond to individual posts (by clicking 'reply' on that particular post).
ALSO: Over time, I will be organizing some of the posts herein as a sort of 'guide' which will be static -- that is, there will be no new posts to that discussion... thus it will not actually be a 'discussion' but more of a factual and flowing narrative that takes the reader, moment by moment, through happy hours of PIR, covering the basics with good recommendations about what to do, what not to do, and how to do (or avoid) doing it.
To get started on this process, it would be very useful to hear from you regarding which posts and/or particular information do you think should be included? Sincerely, I look forward to hearing from you and transcribing our collective wisdom for those who will attend PIR soon.
Copdogsmom when does your recruit graduate? There is a PIR group with LOTS of support and info...just go to my page and leave me a message as to your grad date. To do that point your mouse at my icon or name and then scroll down on my page till you see my comment wall.
Copdogsmom, Remember your Sailor will be in dress blues and you want to look nice in the pictures. You also want to be comfortable. Business casual is what I suggest with comfortable shoes for all the standing and walking you will be doing. Also, remember that you will be sitting in bleachers. You will see everything from very casual to very dressy. It is cool, some say cold, in the Drill Hall at this time of year so think of that as well. Since you should be getting close to PIR, go to GROUPS: Listed By PIR Date thru March 16, 2012 (Pass In Review, ie ... and click on the PIR date and then join to connect with others with loved ones training with your SR. You will lso find a lot of good info in Boot Camp Mom's and PIR Reference Information. (Underlined words indicate clickable links.)
PIR FEB 3, 2012: we stayed at the Residence Inn in Waukegan. Very nice, staff very helpful, clean and quiet. Rented a car at the airport which was great!! used GPS to get around. Base close. The only thing was the taxi service that shuttles you to the graduation was vague about pick up, we and another family waited 1 and 1/2 hour in the cold for one to come and finally caught another company that would take us back at the same rates. I called 3 times. Other than that it was a great expierience. Have on good walking shoes, you walk alot. Ate at steak house by Great Mills Mall, very courteous and even gave a military discount to us!! Drove the magnificent Mile while our son was on liberty with us and ate at Lou Malnati's pizza place. Very good chicago style pizza!!! use your GPS to find places. There is a Wal Mart super center close to the hotel for extras you might need. Our son was on liberty after Grad, Sat and Sun until 8 each night. He went back early Sunday as the base had a Super bowl party for them. He is very glad he has taken this path and proud to have made it through boot camp. He is on to VA for A school now. Good Luck to all the new and soon to be graduating Sailors!! Hooyah!!!
We stayed onbase at The Gateway Suites. The rooms were clean and nice! KCup coffee makers was nice to have. The staff was wonderful!
Instead of waiting in line to park at graduation the Metro parking lot at the top of the drive way is great!!! Be there before 600am to get a space. Meet and Greet with Sarge is fun and you do learn a few things. Did not have a GPS but found our way around with no issues everything connects to Buckley and Martin Luther King Jr
My son PIR was 02/17/2012 and this was our experience, hopefully it helps others. Lodging we stayed in Gurnee it only 8 miles away from base (about 15 min) it has a lot more to do than wakaugen, there is a nice mall with a skating rink, lots of national chain restaurants, large supermarket etc. we stayed at the Bestwestern, we got the 3 night special $60.00 per night for 3 adults had a separate room with a Tv and a livingroom area with a TV also, refrigerator and microwave, continental breakfst that was adecuate. We rented our car from ACE using the discount code on the little Navy flyer we got with our first letter. it was $110 for 4 days including the GPS unit (a life saver is a must if you are not familiar with the area), and we spent $40 in gas, it was a deal. we got a compact car a Nissan Sentra, it was comfortable for us and I'm 5'10.
Graduation: we got there at 6:25 our plan was to park in the train station and walk in, but we got in the wrong car line, and were waved thru the gate, no problem, we were waved to a parking garage behind the visitor center so the walk was very short and out of the weather. Ceremony was wonderful. My only advise is sit high up and not directly infront of your division, if not yo will not be able to see their faces, just their hats, unless your sailor is a foot taller than the rest. Be sure to tell you sailor to have his pictures mailed home, if not after gratution he/she will have to walk all the way back to his ship to go get them (30 + minutes) ours had to go get it, so we went to the small nex to get souveniers, be prepared is a mad house. Our Salior just wanted to go out to eat and relax so we did not go sightseeing. He was due back by 7:30 so his commander suggested parents brought them back about 6:30 we were allowed back in the base and hang out with our sailors in the Nex and game room area. (you can get your souveniers then, is less busy) The next day we were able to meet him at the airport, he got there about 4 am they hang out at the USO, (terminal 2) we met him there about 8am, we where able to get a pass from the airline and go to the gate with him, and give him all his electronics. He did not fly out until 3 pm, so it is a nice time to visit.
Wow Selina, great info. thanks for sharing. My son's PIR is April 13, can't wait!!
My son graduates May 4 so I am wondering how do you know where to sit so you are in front of their division? My son is 6'3" but would like to see him and not hats just in case he still isn't tall enough so we can see him. Never thought about that. Also all the pics I have seen from the balcony I see all railing. Can you move around to get your pictures or not?
Thanks for your help in advance!
There are signs to tell you where the divisions will be, but you choose your own seat. Sitting slightly off to the side rather than right in front of the divison may help you to see your Sailor better. No, you cannot move around and are encouraged to stay seated so that you do not block others who will also want to see their new Sailors. If you are in the balcony and move up next to the railing, you will be asked to move back and be seated. The best way to know where your Sailor will be standing is to ask him in a letter so you will know. Some have even sent drawings to help. Know that the taller ones are in the back, but they still look so much alike in uniform.
We are staying at Ramada in Waukegan. Has anyone stayed there? Is this a good area and hotel? PIR date 4-6 so I have time to change hotels, I hope....
On your personal page (click MY PAGE tab), you'll find a link to the survival guide. Open that and scroll down to the link PIR Information Reference group. This group has tons of info on PIR.
I have two questions about PIR. On the paperwork my son sent home with his address and graduation date there is a list with 4 spots available for family members to be noted as attendees for graduation. If one person on the list will not be attending does this need to be changed with the person's name that will be attending? I suppose for security reasons, right?
Also, am I allowed to bring my son's cell phone with me to give back to him after his PIR?
Answers at this point are greatly appreciated.
On your own page, I left you a link to the survival guide. Click on the underlined link. You probably haven't looked at it. There is a link to the Recruit Training Command website. Please review their information. Many of your questions will be answered. It's best to start with the official word on things.