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Our son is graduation on Dec 5th....any guidance/suggestions on dress for the day?  Our daughter will be attending with us.  Can't wait to see him!  Also, we've not heard from him, but it appears from the letter we got that he will leave the day after graduation for A School.....does anyone know if they get leave for that Friday (day of PIR)?  Trying to see if we can schedule a little dinner/lunch out word from our son yet!

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Hi, since they're all going to be in uniform and looking fabulous, I suggest dressing up nicely, since it's a very special occasion and the pictures will look great. You will be inside but sitting in bleachers, so wear safe shoes and bring a cushion to sit on. They will be flown out the next day but you will have @ 7-8 hours with him after the graduation.  We had time to drive into downtown Chicago, had a wonderful lunch and walked around a bit. Ask your son to find out if you can meet him at the airport the following morning...At the airport, you can get a pass to walk him all the way to the gate.  It's a wonderful experience, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Congratulations to you and your family!

Hi my son Graduates on Dec 5th too, and I have only received one letter and he did not say when for sure he leaves.  And that makes it hard to book the room.  He will be going to Texas for his A school and from what I have read he leaves on Sat am.  

PIR is so exciting and stressful. Especially when you have so many questions. I went through the same thing this past february for my boyfriend. We since got married and I now live in Waukegan IL.

I have a lot of information about PIR in my blog: PIR For Dummies: Navy Boot Camp Graduation. (too much to post here) What to wear, where to stay, restaurants. I also linked another blog to mine filled with cheap/free things to do in the area. Just a lot of information I wish I had when I went up to Great lakes for PIR. My husband stayed in Great Lakes for A-school. So I don't talk a whole lot about what happens if they go to Texas or Florida. Id recommend, if your sailor leaves for A-school, go visit Chicago. Its a beautiful city and you're already so close.

As for boot camp. My husband definitely wasn't happy at all. I think thats the point. I received some letters and phone calls where he was miserable, he even cried. (and thats not like him) BUT I promise you, they're fine. He's the same old goof that he was before he left for boot camp. Some people just have a harder time adapting to change than others. It isn't supposed to be enjoyable, they just have to take it one day at a time. And if you think about it, its a good thing. My husband for instance, was never on his own or away from home for an extended period of time before bootcamp. He still lived with his parents and they took care of him! Great parents but not the best thing for a 21 year old man or anyone growing up. Him going away and having to deal with the changes on his own was a blessing. It was the best thing for him! Kids can never grow up to be the strong independent adults you want them to someday be if they never have a chance to learn how to be strong and independent. So, if they sound miserable, don't worry. Just reassure them that it will get significantly better. Don't cry! And don't let them know you're sad. My husband told me the hardest thing for him was when his mom would start crying if he called or write him letters saying how sad she was. Keep upbeat and positive! 

As for PIR: I would like to mention that we had 4 people come to PIR and 3 people stayed at the hotel (The Navy Lodge) and were able to watch PIR in the lobby. I don't know if they still do this but they did in Feb. 2014. 

My daughter will graduate with your son and I have not heard from her, As soon as I do I PROMISE I will let you know

The Navy doctors are well trained and competent. If your daughter informed you, "She was told once she is healed  she will start right where she left off with another division to finish her bootcamp." You should encourage her to let her injuries heal properly. Rushing back to complete the training and risk re-injurying her ankles would be unwise. Tell her to follow the instructions from the doctors and therapist. Just let her body do what it was intended to do. Keep reminding her that she has not been separated because of her injuries.

I am new to this sight as well (son leaves Jan 7th), but from reading around I think that what they can have at A school is specific to which one they are going to. You could probably find a group on here that is specific to whatever A school your SR is going to. There may be information there that could answer some of your questions. For what is worth, I hope this helps.

We just got back from my son's PIR, he graduated 11/7. It is very cramped in the bleachers, my advice is to get going early, the line into the base is pretty long but moves quickly. Parking in the garage and a short walk into drill hall. You have to show your ID's as you enter and have your sailor's name and division. Then you proceed into the drill hall. I think sitting on the upper deck is better, you can see the whole hall from there. As you enter, there are signs with the division numbers so you can try to sit in front of your sailor's division. It is pretty hard to pick them out, they all look alike! Dress warm and comfortable. After the PIR, you have to exit the drill hall quickly, you can go down and meet your son chances are he will be scanning the crowd looking for you so he will know where you are. I wore a red sweater and told him so he could find us in the crowd. After leaving, we went to the exchange to shop, pretty much everyone goes there it is crowded, but again it goes fast. You son will have to report back to his barracks and can't go to get processed until his entire division is back. We met him off just off base at the Navy Museum and Visitor's Center. There is a gate from where all of the sailors walk out of to meet their families. It will be cold, make sure you all have winter gear. You can wait in the museum, they are very friendly. We waited 3 hours for my son to meet us. Everyone is on liberty but they have to be back on base by 10:00 pm. We did see some sailors leaving with their families right after PIR, I think they find out that day where they need to go. Sorry this is so long, just wish I had known more before , hope this helps, if you want more info, I can tell you! Good luck and congratulations! 

Yes, dress comfortably. You will be sitting in bleachers for awhile. Also, when you enter the hall, there will be signs with the division numbers. If possible try and sit in front on your son's division sign. We did not know about this when we went to PIR two weeks ago. But the section was already filled to the brim went we got there.

Also, yes you will have time to spend with your son. Unless he is on guard duty or some other duty. We had about 6 hrs. with our son. He did not want to hassle going sight seeing or anything like that. We just had lunch at the hotel and spent quality time back in our room visiting and resting. 

He had to be at the airport in the wee hours and flew out to his A School early Sat. morning. 


Great Tip -  Jennysings with meeting up with your new Sailor immediately following PIR.  I was wondering how in the world would we ever find one another with over 1100 sailors,  not including all of the family members in the bleachers. 


Hi Barb,  I am new at this too.  My son graduates this Friday, 11/14.  You will learn more the closer he gets to graduation.  Our son also leaves the day after graduation to A School and then Nuke School.  Your son, like ours will have some liberty on Friday following graduation and after moving his bag to a holding area for the sailors that leave the next day.  From what our son told us, the normal curfew is 8  pm that Friday night but he might be able to stay out later since they are receiving an award that grants them an extra two hours.  He then has to return to base and get on a shuttle to the airport the next morning between 1 am and 3 am.  We will then meet him at the airport to sit and wait with him, which could be hours.  He hasn't told us the time he flies out on Saturday yet.  I hope this helps clear some things up.  We are so excited to see him.  He is so happy and proud.  We are currently awaiting our "I'm a Sailor" call as he did Battle Stations last night.  I  hope this helps a little.  Hang in there.  Our sailors are on to great things!


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