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My son is 29 and heading to Boot Camp as an enlisted recruit.  He's concerned that he will be the oldest recruit.  I'm hoping there are other moms out there who can assure me that 29 is not the oldest or all that rare.  Thanks in advance!

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Hi Sewmom!

I will tell you that my new Sailor former SR told me that one of his best friends during Boot Camp was 31.  He is only just 18.  He was the youngest in his division according to him.  So, no, 29 is not too old and he will make friends no matter what.  They are bonding in a way that we do not understand, having not gone through it.  I am hoping to meet his friend at PIR this Friday!!

My son is 29 also and heading to Boot Camp on Monday. He always wanted to join military and for a variety of reasons it didn’t work out. He graduated college in 2012 and worked in insurance in Boston for 6+ years and decided about 7-8 months ago that he was going to do this. Very proud of him but heart aching that he will soon be gone. I am remarried now but raised him by myself as a single Mom and we are super close. He is my only child. These Christmas songs are killing me. I think we are both just ready to rip off the bandaid! Early Christmas with my family this Friday night. Pit in my stomach and I could cry at the drop of a hat...but keep telling myself to keep it together and just be proud and strong for him. I will just miss him so much :(

It might actually be to his advantage to be a little older. Your mind-set is stronger and life experience always helps in any situation. 

TMC we share similar stories. My son will be 26 soon. He shipped this Monday.  Did you see the blue candle event over on the side bar? I think it might help me get through Christmas. It might help you too.  I don’t think that it matters that they are grown men with life experience behind them when it comes to missing them. My son hasn’t lived at home since he left for college seven years ago. Now his old room is full of his old life, his pickup is gathering snow in our driveway, and we spent most of the weekend alternating between laughing at silly stupid stuff and crying our eyes out. Honestly, sometimes it felt like a wake instead of a preparation celebration.  Don’t be surprised if he breaks down too.  It may be harder for those recruits who’ve been on their own in the real world because they may find themselves questioning their choice.   Remind him that he made his choice to sign when he was stone cold rationale and with open eyes.  It was a sound decision then and it is a sound decision now.  Don’t let emotions add doubt to the moment.  My son told me that is what he needed to hear.  I hope it will help your son stay grounded through the leave taking part of this. 

TMC  My son arrived at BC last year at this time and I clearly remember how my stomach felt.  Ugh.  My emotions were high and there were tears.  I tried hard to keep it in check before he let - sometimes cried when I didn't want to.  I took the day off from work when I dropped him at the recruiters office (drove to the beach after even though it was cold) and also took the next day off. I needed that time to process all of it and felt better after I knew he arrived safe and sound.  I sent him a text today as it is is Navy birthday.  I feel for you, but you will be so happy to see him at PIR and he will have such an appreciation for everything after boot camp.  Wish you the best.

My husband is in BC now, and he is 31. So NO, 29 is still a good age

My son is 21 but said that he met guys and ladies that were older than him when he was at MEPS so it's safe to say no :-)

Welcome Sewmom! My son is nearing the age of 22. He just finished boot camp on 11/08 and is now waiting for Nuke School to start. His brothers are 26 and 28. I think the fact that your son has made this choice at this point in his young life is admirable, and he will most likely be able to bring something to the table for a lot of the younger SR's in his Division, and certainly beyond. My son lost his father suddenly when he was only twelve. One rarely has a full understanding of the life circumstances others have experienced, so let your son know his own life experiences and perspective are likely to be valued in ways he might never suspect. I think he will do great and send you best wishes on this journey ahead!

mine was 24 when he went to BC  - he wasn't the oldest but yes, many of the SRs were younger. He felt being older was an advantage - he was more mature. had a bit more life experience (and that continued to hold true when he went to his first duty station).  He's been in 4 years now  

My son also left today and is 24. I think your son will be fine. But boy I’m just as anxious as you! It’s been a long emotional day here.
My daughter is 30! Started 12/18. They will rock boot camp!

Sewmom-- It's not common but not rare either!  My son said he will likely be made the Master At Arms-- His job is to help maintain good order and discipline and help the recruits work out their issues.  He will have the advantage in that his age may help to ease any homesickness that is so common with the younger ones!  (Mine was 18 when he went in and is only 24 -almost 25 now!)  IF he goes in knowing that he may need to help encourage the younger recruits that will help him.  The Biggest thing they need to learn in BC is Team First, Self last! That can be a hard lesson for a teen, where as a more mature recruit has life experience to draw on.  HE may be the oldest in his DIV or even PIR but that may well work in his favor.  He can still make friends and he will still be learning right along with the rest.  And they will Yell at him just as much!!


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