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All Hands Magazine's mini-documentary series "Making a Sailor": These six videos follow four recruits through Boot Camp in the spring of 2018 who were assigned to DIV 229, an integrated division, which had PIR on 05/25/2018. 

Making a Sailor: Episode 1 - "Get on the Bus"

Making a Sailor: Episode 2 - "What did I get myself into?"

Making a Sailor: Episode 3 - "Processing Days"

Making a Sailor: Episode 4 - "Forming"

Boot Camp: Making a Sailor - Episode 5

Making a Sailor: Episode 6 - "I'm a U.S. Navy Sailor"

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Hi All,

First I just wanted to say that this site is awesome, and I wish that I had found it a year ago.

 My son is stationed on the Truman and is very very very unhappy. I think he is doing things that might get him into trouble, should he not exercise restraint. He won't call or return calls- and now I think his phone has been cut off possibly due to non payment, is spending all of his money, and won't respond to emails or any other communication. He is not living on the ship, and will not give me his address.  I feel uncomfortable sharing so much, but am really worried about him and am not sure what to do.  Normally we have a decent relationship, and all of this is pretty out of the blue. Can anyone give me any resources for a situation like this? I Is there anyone I can contact to discuss my concerns?

 I know a lot about the navy- father, sister, brother all retired from the navy, and I have 2 nephews currently serving in the marines. All of them were officers though, not enlisted; maybe this is my disconnect?  

Thanks for any info....

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Replies to This Discussion

I went through something similar with my son. The Truman is a wonderful ship but individuals can get lost because of size. You can always contact the chaplain at the base. the first year my son had problems. He, with help from his team pulled it together and made E5. He is no longer on the HST but your post caught my heart as I know how helpless you feel. Another option is through the USO or the Red Cross. If I remember right there is also a family group aside from this that could help you as well. One of the other Moms can get you connections, I no longer have them. I wish you the best. I hope the other moms recognize that this could be their situation and reach out to help. It's hard to feel so helpless. Have faith, the HST family takes care of its own when they know there is a problem. Moms please help.

Hello momdad,  saw your post and was reminded of my son's deployment on the Truman.  He is not specifically with the Truman but with a squadron that sometimes deploys with them.  He did exactly the same thing and is now paying the consequences.  He took up drinking and spending, so now he is paying off credit cards and had no car insurance for a while.  I tried to talk to him, but it fell on deaf ears.  I heard he got in trouble once when on liberty and was on restriction for a while (some hometown boys were also on the ship, so I heard about things occasionally). I did the only thing I could do; pray.  He was 19 at the time, turned 20 on the ship.  I had no control over his life.  We had to do some tough love from home---stopped paying his car insurance or phone bill, told him he was an adult and had to act like one.  Had his address changed to his base, and do not keep mail sent to our home anymore.  I love him bunches, but he is one that apparently has to learn from life experiences, because he doesn't listen to mom or dad.  Finally, 8 months after deployment and almost not making it home for Christmas because of money issues and procrastination in purchasing a plane ticket, he admitted that he was trying to learn how to budget and was thinking about selling his car to pay some bills. I hugged him and told him I loved him, but I could not help him except to give him advice if he wanted it.  Communication between us is sporadic (once I texted him and asked if he was still alive).  To get his address, I called the base and told them what squadron he was in and they gave me his address.  Finally, he called one day and gave it to me himself (he didn't know I already had it.)  He is now 21 and I am finally starting to see some maturity, although he still lives the party lifestyle that I don't condone.  I do feel they are at this age trying to disconnect from being a "mommas boy" so don't get too discouraged!  Things are slowly getting better between us, even though I don't hear from him much.  I do believe our sons love us, they just are trying to find themselves.  Just like a man won't ask for directions, our sons won't ask for advice!    I know lots of navy moms who are in similar situations at least with the communication part if not the finances.  Hang in there!  The Bible says, "Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  I am just living for the day he gets old enough to fulfill this promise!  Haha  Hugs to you.

I am very sorry to hear that your son is so unhappy.  I don't have any suggestions for you as my son just arrived to the Truman in February after 2 years in nuke school.....but I do hope that someone here can steer you in the right direction.  What about the FRG or the Ombudsman - is this something they can help with? 

Continue reaching out to him and hopefully he will come around and realize you are here to help him. Don't give up on him even though he isn't making it easy for you.....hugs to you.

MomDad.  Contact the ombudsman.  https://www.facebook.com/USSHarrySTrumanOmbudsman  If he happened to live in the same apartment complex as my son, I could have him check on him...  I agree with the other comments.  Red Cross and the ombudsman could help if you truly are afraid for him.  Wish I could help more.

I want to thank everyone for all of the support. I can't accurately express how much all of the support has meant to me.  His dad is uninterested and while my husband does care, its just different, having all of these thoughtful words and sentiments sent my way.  So thank you so much.  

I will be contacting the ombudsman today as well as the chaplain, if I can locate. Any links on that would be great. Thanks BoomMom for the ombudsman link.  

I did get an email from him this am early saying that he was just trying to disappear from everything.  It broke my heart, but at least he got in touch right?  I am also going to get a mattress topper. Maybe some kind of creature comforts might make things be better.  Thanks Winski for the reminders that he has to disconnect and that I have to practice loving detachment.  I have also had to ask if even was alive.  How horrible when they are not even deployed.  This might sound awful, but I think that going into the fray and danger of a deployment during a military crises might help him stop being so focused on his own misery.  Its strange, growing up, my boys had little to nothing- so they were both definitely familiar with financial hardship and all that that entails. I would have thought that that would have hardened him some, but maybe it just made him sick to death of discomfort... I don't know....

Anyway, thanks again everyone for your words- will definitely keep you posted.  

By the way, when talking to the ombudsman, should i keep specific concerns to myself, or should I give details?  I don't want to be the one to get him into trouble..... I d rather that be on him if it has to happen....

I found this link - it gives the contact info for the Chaplain.....hope this helps!  I hate to hear that he is feeling like this....good luck and let us know what happens.

http://www.public.navy.mil/airfor/cvn75/Pages/ContactInfo.aspx

Sorry to hear your son going thru this. Let me know if you want my son to reach out to him. :) hugs mom!!

Hi momdad - just following up to see how things are going with your sailor?  Were you able to make contact with him?  I hope things have improved for him.....

Hello Everyone, 

Though I haven't responded to comments made re: my son, please know that I appreciated everyone's input.   Truthfully, I just do not spend a ton of time on social media- however, I do read all  of the alerts that come through my inbox,and find much of it really informative. To respond to B'Nuke and any others who reached out:  He is still not really communicating with me, but I did get a very long email @ 2 wks ago, about the experience he is having in general.  That is pretty much it.  When I read other's posts about accomplishments I feel very and happy for those kids and very wishful for my own, that  he could learn without too much suffering, or in spite of the suffering I should say, that "Life Is Hard", so hard, bu that there is much beauty in it also.- Even on an aircraft carrier out at sea, there is beauty to be had, we just have to learn how to look for it.  Anyway, I am hopeful that he will be able to open his eyes to the possibilities, not just to the negatives.  I am having to just lay off and hope that he figures it out.  It is just hard is all.  Anyway thanks for listening.  One thing I think I can do, and would like to do is make his rack a bit more comfy if possible- am wanting to know how the mattress topper thing went- are they allowed to have one? etc.  Any info posted will be great.... Be well all and live long and prosper

momdad, my sailor still is not enthralled with ship duty and he's been in 13 years. It's not for everyone.  Hoping it's his last time and rest of his career can be with squadron or on land.  When they port in other cities, he has learned to stay on board except for one excursion to buy souvenirs.  It's a tough life, a tough adjustment, but the vast majority of them do adjust, do survive and so does family.   Our emails are like texts.  Short and back and forth.  No real long emails, but you take what you can get.  Are you on the HST FB site - lots of good pictures so you can see the life they are living.  Have faith.

Dear Jan C and everyone else!  

I think my son has turned a corner.  He invited me to come and see him just before they left for this last underway, and I bought him a matress topper and some sheets.  I think it made him feel cared for.  Who knew?  Anyway, I was so happy to do it, and thanks to all who brought mattress toppers to my attention.  He has written me several long emails, and has agreed that he needs to get himself together, stop whining and make the most of his time more or less.  Thank God!   I know the Navy is a challenging experience, but I do believe that a shift in attitude can help people see the benefits of the challenge, instead of the drawbacks.  

Yes, I am on the site.  You know, as difficult as being underway is, I think it has been really helpful for my son.  It feels like there are less distractions and opportunities to gripe.  Have you ever noticed that if left alone to figure things out, people tend to overcome obstacles, but if the misery if fed by other miserable people, it continues and becomes its own obstacle.  Whew! this has been a ride.... hopefully it is all downhill from here....

Where do the mattress toppers come from?

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