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My son left for boot camp on March 1st and he called us last night to let us know he  is in RCU-Ship-04

due to a muscle sprain/possible knee injury. I am worried sick and don't know what to think..my husband

(a former sailor) insists he will be fine and that they are working with him to get him healed. I'm confused about what happens next????  Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Zach'smom and welcome aboard!  I am glad you found this group as the women here are incredibly supportive and understand exactly what you're going through right now.  I'm sorry to hear your son was injured.

My son arrived at boot camp on December 12th and has been at RCU since January 17th for 2 stress fractures (one in each lower leg).  I know what the treatment plan is for stress fractures though not for muscle sprain/possible knee injuries, however there may be another mom on this site who has experience with that type of injury.

My suggestion is for you to read the other posts for this group as there is a wealth of information there.

I agree, it is tough not knowing what is going on with your son.  The day our son was transferred, he got maybe a one minute phone call to tell us he was hurt, was being transferred to the RCU and his new mailing address then he had to go. Did something similar happen to you?

I have to agree with your husband that the staff will work with him to get him healed and back to a division (though maybe not the one he started with) to finish boot camp.

It is the lack of communication that is hard for me especially since my SR doesn't like to write letters - ugh!  He has been able to call us twice since he first went to RCU though he told us he doesn't know how the RDC's decide who can go or not to the phone bank.

I sent you a friend request.  Please ask any questions you might have and we will do our best to answer you

The other moms on this site are fabulous and will be sharing their experience and hope with you soon.

We are here for you, Sharon

Hi Zach'sMom.  My son is in here too, and believe me when I say I share your anxiety and confusion.  Mine has a hip fracture, made it all the way to 1 week before graduation before he was moved.  It's only been a week or so for us here, and like Sharon said, the hardest thing so far is that communication is pretty much non-existent for a time period.  It takes awhile, but read the earlier posts from the other mothers on here, there's a lot of information and it will provide some comfort for you.  So many times in life, our plans don't go as we want them to, we just have to take a deep breath, realize that God is still in control, it's gonna be ok.  Hang in there, and send me a friend request!   

Hi Jill,

My son was starting his 5th week of bootcamp and also has a hip stress fracture. He would have graduated July 19, 2013. He had surgery in the VA hospital on June 25 screws holding his cracked femur, its pretty serious and he will be in the hospital for at least 6-8 weeks, just don't know what will happen at this point??

Hello cleokitty!  So sorry to hear of your son's injury.  I know you have a million questions, I will try to answer what I can, but every situation is different.  My son was in here over a year ago now, he is now deployed overseas.  Although his injury was bad, he never had to have surgery, so your path is going to be a lot different than ours, I'm sure.
What normally happens is that there are 4 stages in RCU that the kids are put through, depending on their level of physical ability.  Each stage is progressive, and sometimes they move forward, only to move back again for awhile if they aren't ready yet.  The kids are being well taken care of, lots of therapy etc.  The main complaint is boredom, so write, write, write.  Include things like newspaper articles, photos printed on plain paper etc.. anything you can think of, just try to send something every single day if you can. 
Ideally, after moving to the last stage in RCU, the kids go back into a division to finish training.  Usually they find a division who is at approximately the same level as your son was when he was injured.  But it all depends on how much training he received prior to the injury.
I know your main question is probably whether or not your son still has a career in the Navy.  I wish I could answer that, but I can't.  I CAN tell you something for certain though.  I remain friends to this day with several other moms whose sons and daughters were in here.  Some made it, some did not.  You just have to know that God has a plan for all these kids, Navy or not.  The ones who didn't make it have since gone on to other things, and are doing fine.  Some on other career paths, some back to school.  I understand, believe me, what you and your son are going through.  It's heartbreaking, and nerve wracking, and you never ever know what's going to happen next sometimes.  Went through all that, and I can tell you, it was one of the hardest things EVER to have to go through.  My son, Danny, tells me that it was actually much harder on me than it was on him.  ha
There will be letters and phone calls that you get that will be discouraging from your son.  That's natural.  You have to remember though, that some days he will be down, and other days aren't so bad.  These kids learn a whole new level of patience, which can aid them later on down the road.  And they also have the opportunity to make friends, very close bonds, with guys in here, that the other recruits never have the chance for. 
If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask, I'll be happy to tell you what I know, but remember that my information is a year old.  A lot can change in that time.  I highly recommend that you read through the past posts on these pages here.  There is a wealth of  information that can ease your mind a little.
Prayers for you and your son!  Hang in there, brighter days are ahead, I promise.

Jill

Hi Cathy, 
Oh I soooooo remember that upset phone call.  Not a good day.
I'm a bit confused too.  Probably because I have no medical training, but if he requires surgery, why are they waiting?  It can't possibly take that long for any swelling to go down.  
One piece of advice though, the diagnosis and treatment tend to change frequently in RCU.  I don't know if at some point, they start planning for the worst case scenario, or what, but I remember seeing that a lot.  It's a roller coaster.  My son broke his pelvis, so I assumed the healing time would be a lot longer than it really was, and at one point, surgery with metal pins was talked about, but of course never happened.  So hang in there cause you never know.....I think sometimes the diagnosis changes when they end up seeing a different doctor, and find out it may not be as bad as it first looked...
THU, (short for The Holding Unit, and I'm not kidding)  is both for recruits who are medically discharged and waiting to go home, BUT it's also for Sailors who have been in RCU, went on to graduate, and are waiting to be assigned to a specific class for whatever training they need for their particular job.  I've seen the stays at THU range from just a couple days to three or four months.  It just depends on when the next round of classes starts for their individual jobs.  
Remember that my information is a year old, but THU is much better for the kids.  More priviledges, phone calls, some computer time, more general freedom, but it IS still boring if you have to stay there for a long time.  
Best all around advice I can give you, is don't make the mistake of thinking the roller coaster will be over when your son gets out of RCU.....it is the Navy.....and there are always surprises, and changes of plans.
I have lost track of the times I've had to make and cancel hotel reservations in the last 2 years.
My son's homecoming from deployment was recently cancelled due to the situation in the Middle East, so he's still out there, and once again I can't communicate with him, just like you guys in RCU. Sure makes you appreciate every single little email or FB post when you have them.
Hang in there, Miss Cathy.  Feel free to vent to me anytime.

cleokitty93....Jill, you hit all the key areas and hope your sailor is doing well. Cleokittly, know that these ladies here are some of the best you can ever find. Although I don't keep in touch as I should, I developed several friendships as well. The most important thing is to give all the encouragement you can to your son. Our son spent nearly a year in RCU with a broken fibula. He became extremely discouraged and disheartened and often said that he had let us down. Just be prepared for this and be as positive as you can and tell him how proud you are of him. As Jill said, God has a plan and it may not be the path that your son chose, but have the faith and courage to power through.

Our son went in with a Spec Ops contract for EOD. He was doing great. Prepared for a year through a DEP training with a SEAL Motivator and was well on his way when he broke his leg. Needless to say, he lost his contract. He is now a MA in Bahrain. Not what he wants to do and we still have to continually provide motivation and encouragement for him because he is so unhappy. We hope to be able to see him sometime this Fall, but not sure.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. You can depend on these ladies to help you through and I as well as Jill, I am sure, will stay in touch. Please lean on these wonderful ladies for encouragement as you send encouragement to your son. It is truly one of the toughest roads you will travel. Best wishes for you. Susan

Zach's Mom,,,I am so sorry to hear about your son.  We have been where you are. Our son went in RCU in Oct. with a broken fibula. He finally was able to pass his PFA and Battle Stations in late Dec. He was on Medical Hold until mid Feb. They will take care of him. One thing I have learned through this process is that everything moves at a snail's pace. The only thing that got us through was lots of prayers and support from these wonderful ladies who are going through this experience with you.

You will not hear from him but about every two to three weeks and then it may be for only a minute or two.  He will begin to doubt himself and become extremely discouraged. He will need all the encouragement you and your family can give him. It is very difficult there. Write him as often as you can. They are allowed to write letters and we stalked our mailbox every Thursday for that letter. When ours was there, they wrote every Sunday. 

I know this is hard on you, but your husband is correct. They will take care of him. We will keep you in our prayers and if you would like to talk, friend me. Sue

Hello Sue, just wanted to say that I really appreciated your post to Zach's Mom as well.  The concrete info about "what happens next", and how long it will be before you hear from your recruit, and what their mind frame will probably be was extremely helpful to me.  I'm one of these people that would rather hear the reality of what needs to be faced, even if it isn't rosy.  It's easier to deal with that way.  Thank you again, and congratulations on your son's progress.  :)

Jill

Jill...  You are welcome.  This had to be one of the most difficult and heart wrenching times I have ever been through. I know our son is older (24) than most of the SR's but it made it no less painful. You want hold them and hug them and tell them that everything is going to be okay. Not being able to do that puts all your emotions into overload. I was a complete wreck during this time.  Having to keep your emotions in check when you were able to talk with them was also very hard. You want to make sure that you give all the encouragement you can.

Thank you for the congratulations.  We are not out of the woods yet, though.  Our son re-injured his leg 2 weeks after going to PREP. He is now in a transition unit and is on light duty. We are waiting to hear what they are going to do next. He has lost his EOD contract. He was devastated and is just now beginning to be open to other options. It is all he has wanted to do since he was little. He has had to re-think his all his goals for life. The upside is that he can now contact us when he wants. We talk with him at least a couple times a week.

There is light at the end of the tunnel., although, you may not feel like it now. My advice to my son every time we talk is to take one day at a time and there is a reason you are where you are. He is so tired of hearing that I know, but it has kept him going.  God has a plan and we have to trust. Still praying for all the SR's and their families. Friend me if you would like to.

Hugs and Prayers, Sue

hey ladies, i am so glad i found this group my son didnt pass his swim test on time for graduation march 2nd, but he did pass it the 5th, so now we get a letter saying he sprained his ankle and it will be another two weeks before he can do his running test and then do battle stations, i know its frustrating for them i know they are so ready to get out of boot camp but luckily he has found someone to team up with from misissippi, i am just ready to see him, and i know he is ready to see us, do they get any free time like the other sr's before they go to a-school?

 

Hi Mattsmom, Welcome aboard and I am glad you found this group.  I'm sorry to hear about your son's injury and set back.  Is he in the RCU (Recruit Convalescent Unit)?  I ask because my SR called us to tell us of his injuries and transfer to the convalescent unit and you wrote you heard about it in a letter.  Just curious. 

Have you read through the posts? it might take you awhile, however, there is a wealth of information here and the ladies are very supportive.  

I am not sure about time to see you before he goes to A school.  Perhaps one of the other moms can help you with that question or you might find the answer reading through the posts.  

Sharon

Zach's mom,

Hi! I know how you feel.  We got a phone call from our SR this past Thur.evening saying that he was in RCU with a stress fracture to his femur.  He called us again today to say that he is doing ok with minimal pain but did not know how long he would be in RCU. He said it could be up to 8 weeks but feels that he is progressing with leg feeling better.  His PIR was supposed to be April 6th.  It is just so frustrating not knowing what will happen next.  Will he get moved back to a division if he continues to progress or I think he mentioned that there is a possibility of graduating from RDU????  I guess that is life though you never know what is going to happen from day to day.  He said they were allowed to read  and he has been reading alot.  Does anyone know if we can send books?  I wish the best for your son and I know they are in good hands- it is just the not knowing that is the hardest part. 

Also thank you Sharon for directing me to this forum!

 

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