My wonderful bonus son is leaving for RTC on Feb 5th. I am feeling very overwhelmed on how to plan this.... do we make reservations now or wait until we get his letter? Do we purchase tickets to Great Lakes now or wait????????
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Hi. Congratulations. Waaaaaaaaaait to make plane reservations. I'm going to tell you something I wish someone had told me. My son had his pass in review November 15. I read all the family literature on the Pass in review - it laid out the schedule for the day, 'your recruit is done at 10:30 am, must return to post by 7 pm.' After my son's first letter home specifying one date, the Navy consolidated his class with another class that changed the date of PIR two weeks into training. I waiting until four weeks before PIR and made reservations to fly in day before and fly out late Friday night.(Waukegan Illinois is not my idea of a vacation spot.) What I never saw mentioned is that recruits are divided into 3 groups - Group 1, Group 2, Group 3. Group 1 falls in the first category I mentioned. Group 2 is a holdover group - graduated but waiting for some type of medical clearance or paperwork to go through. They stay over - but have liberty all weekend. Group 3 graduates - but is staying in Great Lakes for the next school - so after 10:30 you see them for an hour - then they report to their new base and dorm, move in, go through basic orientation, and you don't get them till 3 pm (or as late as 6 pm depending on how processing goes.) Then . . . . they have liberty until 10 pm Friday and all weekend. Oops - we'd planned all day with him on Friday - didn't happen. So while he had liberty all weekend, we flew back home, and I cried the whole way home for the missed time with him. Oh - and planning around the navy? He didn't know until less than 24 hours before PIR which group he'd be in because his paper didn't clear until the last minute. Needs of the Navy will always come before family travel arrangements.
My suggestion - make hotel reservations in the area - over 800 recruits will graduate in each PIR - so that's 800 families flocking to the area. (But wait till you hear from your recruit - they'll send you a standard brochure of hotels that give Navy discounts.) But those can be cancelled fairly easily if plans change. Wait as long as possible to make plane reservations even if you have to pay more. And - the most helpful information came from Sarge - who I found on this web site under Events - 10 days before I left. He hosts a dinner Thursday night prior for families - VERY helpful information was gained, including where to sit in ceremony, where to park, what will happen, etc. I found all the information on PIR on this web site extremely dated (e.g. 2011)