Navy Dads

Just curious to see if anyone else has noticed or considered if it is a true psycological condition for parents to have what I am calling "A school blues"?

I know that there have been several threads about the seperation anxiety that occurs when are children leave for Bootcamp as they join the Navy...the 5 stages, etc.  You then go through the tremendous high of their graduation, especially if you are fortunate enough to make the journey to see the PIR in person.

But then they go off to A school and begin their career and settle in.  It seems like there is/was a flurry of communication that occurs immediately after PIR, the "catch up" if you will.  But then they get even more focused on their new life and kind of leave us behind!?  I wonder if this is a form of the "empty nest" syndrome?

My son's PIR was in May, I have two more children still at home, but I am really in a "funk" lately and it seems to be focused around my oldest son being gone.  Again just wondering if others have experienced this?  If so, hw long did it last?

If nothing else, I just felt like writing about it...who knows I may apply for a Federal Grant to study the phenomenon (lol).

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I'm not the one to ask....when my sailors left I was pretty darn happy.  It was time for them to venture out into the wide blue world and make their own mark in the universe! While naturally I missed them, I always figured it is the way nature intended.  Personally, I don't understand those that suffer the throes of the "separation anxiety" thing.....when sons and daughters join the Navy there has to be a realization that Little Johnny and Sweet Susie are leaving the nest. 

My advice would be to not look at your boy being gone, but concentrate on the thought process "I wonder what his new world is like----who he is meeting and what he is experiencing.....I'm envious of him and his adventure!!!".

PapaUrsa you absolutely bring up a great topic and is probably worthy of a federal funded grant study :)

Well the way I see it's no different than your oldest kid (your case is the same as mine) going away for college in another state or let's even say in another country. I know for a fact from my personal point of view it is a degree of separation syndrome we've all experienced in our family when he left. But I also know for a fact that it's a positive one. It will help him grow stronger, smarter and be better prepared for what the future may bring.

I always say life without risk, is no life at all... But of course to some degree we all need to keep that balance. But of course, family will be family and home will always be home as they knew it yesterday and today... :)

   I think most experience this anxiety. In the case of my wife and I, my daughter was the youngest and last at home. I handle it better than I did 10 months ago, but I always have that feeling of an underlying anxiousness. Luckily, we have frequent communication with her. Pride in her accomplishments helps to offset the worries and concerns. I know that she is very good at what she does and am excited to watch her progress. I believe that these feelings are part of being a military family...."comes with the territory" if you will! I agree with Paul...I envy her adventure...

My son arrived to his A school location last Sunday. I went to the PIR and it was great a very proud Dad. I am. As far as communication goes once there in school I expect to maintain writing to him. I know they love to text now that they have their phones again. I think that the writing method requires them to sit down a moment and read your letter or even a short note is good. This will make them answer you directly with no distractions. But yes your right they are grown up and are now learning to spread their wings a little. I'm glad for mine he needed this to get his motor going. I want him to just ride the momentum he has now, not worry about us back home, he or she misses home of course and they love us very much too. But it's there time to shine now. Don't worry it's all good.

Never heard of it, but being a navy vet, I can tell you this - leaving boot camp and then shipping out to "A" school is a very exciting time. I remember feeling very charged up and ready to kick butt in school. You feel a sense of independence because you know a lot of your freedoms are returned to you - you're off on weekends, living in a college style dorm with maybe two others or even less, and it is a lot more relaxed than being in basic.

That, and they're allowed their cell phones, so there will be even more communication after boot camp. If anyone out there ever feels the blues for their recruits in this phase, look at it this way, they're excited and looking forward to moving on. Don't feel depressed for them, be happy for them. My wife never experienced this but I am at least there to tell her to chill out as our son will probably be having the time of his life in this phase of his navy career.


I echo that...what could be better than going to school and getting paid for it!! While I was still active, I made sure to volunteer for every school the Navy would offer me.  Easy days, while getting paid and at the end of a 21 year career I accumulated over 100 college credits!!  I think out of all those years on active I spent something like 2.5 years just going to different schools.



Yeah Patrick, I was totally the same way. Gained my MCP and MS A+ certs just two years before getting out and moved on with an IT career....I miss the navy's structure and organization.


I too miss it, I don't think I was ready to retire although it seemed like the thing to do and has worked out well for me, but I was still enjoying the lifestyle.  I am a contractor for the Air Force now and WOW what a different environment.  My goal was to stay on the Gulf Coast (Pensacola area) and this job allows me to do that, but sometimes it's just annoying in a way that grates my last nerve.  Worse than having duty on your kids birthday, if you know what I mean!?


John Rudolph said:

Yeah Patrick, I was totally the same way. Gained my MCP and MS A+ certs just two years before getting out and moved on with an IT career....I miss the navy's structure and organization.

Patrick, I bet there are quite a few of us Navy dads who are former Navy ourselves. I felt compelled to write a book about my first four years in the navy; working on the second. I had too many sea stories! I have added some photos in here under my profile, some of the good old days when we were in, probably. Going to add some more soon.

You are not the exception. I miss my son Jeff terrible. He has been in a year now. I have been lucky and was able to stop a P-Cola a couple days to visit and we just finished some time together. I was kinda cranky for a couple days when he just left home, back to base in Oklahoma.

My wife explained it like this. Her life didn't change, she still takes care of the family, My pal left. No more Rugby, and sports together, etc. So I continue to get used to it.

The thing making it worthwhile is knowing this is the fine man I raised making it in the world, doing something honorable, with fine shipmates.

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