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.
We went to grandson's graduation on 7/31 and wished we had more info before going. So here's some feedback. We arrived in Milwaukee on Thur and drove down to Great Lakes, about an hour trip. Had heard about the chaos at Chicago's airports, none at Milwaukee. We checked out the base that night, were in line the next morning at 6:30 a.m., already a long line waiting to get in the gate. Graduation was WONDERFUL and so THRILLING!! We were told it would take from 1 to 5 hours for him to ck in to A School as he's staying in Great Lakes. It took 4 hours. Here's the part no one mentioned. THERE ARE TWO BASES IN GREAT LAKES!! One is the Recruit Training Command and the other is the regular base. They are next two each other but you need to drive from one gate to the other. After grad, the sailors are bussed to the regular base. There is a museum and visitors center at the regular base where you can wait. The sailors are escorted out in groups through the pedestrian gate next to the main gate. Most people just stood around or sat on the ground for hours waiting for their sailor. Don't think that will work in November. If you're staying close-by, she could call you when she's on liberty. Liberty lasted the whole weekend, which we did not know. We were leaving Milwaukee Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Would have stayed another day had we known. We spent Friday 4:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with him. His liberty end at 8:00 and he wanted to be sure to be back. Next morning picked him up at 8:30 and visited until 12:00 noon when we left for Milwaukee. He was exhausted on both days and was looking forward to doing nothing and taking a nap. Hope this helps!
Everything you didn't know is covered in the page PIR Day and Liberty during PIR Weekend. Sorry you missed that one.
Wow - there's a lot to know. This is great info. Thank you so much!
So many details! This is great info. Thank you so much! :)
That's great! I will book our flights around that. Very exciting. Thank you! :)
I went to PIR last Friday (10/2/2015) I read many reviews about how cold the drill hall could be so I dressed in layers. Thank goodness I was able to shed some clothes because the drill hall was hot. The doors did not stay open. They only opened them to let the divisions enter at the beginning. They had the heat on inside. We parked in the parking deck and it was a quick walk to the visitors center. I ended up sitting in front of my child's division. I only got a glimpse of child twice. Unless your child is in the front, you will want to sit to the left or right of the division sign. If you sit to the right you can get a glimpse of any colored stripes on their left sleeve to help you identify your sailor.
I couldn't see what's the best hotel to stay in? Im not big on price as long as its not over $400 a night. Whats the best option?
How many nights should I book the hotel for PIR? If we fly in the day before PIR, then when should we plan on flying back home? Everything I am reading leads me to believe I only see my son the day of PIR liberty and no other time. Can someone shed some light on this?
hammcam, Plan to arrive the day before PIR and attend Sarge's Meet and Greet. Plan to leave late Saturday or on Sunday since your Sailor will most likely fly out the day after PIR and you will want to spend time with him at the airport as well. See PIR Day and Liberty During PIR Weekend.