Navy Dads

Well. We hand our daughter over to the Navy tomorrow. She checks into a hotel tomorrow evening, goes to MEPS Tuesday morning and off she goes. Lots of mixed emotions tonight. Nobody really said as much, but we all seemed to stretch today out as long as we could. It was a nice day. I'm very proud and excited for the opportunity that lies ahead of her, but still nervous for my little girl. I can't help but wonder if I have done enough for her. I had the opportunity to attend her last DEP meeting this past week. Being able to talk to the Navy personnel helped a lot. I recommend that every parent take the time to go to at least one DEP meeting and the recruiters said they wish more parents would do so. Even though I'm excited and nervous for her to go, I have been preparing myself for the day. Gonna miss her being home and it's yet another sign that I'm getting older. She's the first to leave the nest. Haha. What I realized tonight though is that I hadn't even considered that I wouldn't be seeing her friends/boyfriend anymore either. I was surprised that I was sad to say goodbye to her boyfriend tonight, that guy that I've watched like a hawk, as he has to return to school tomorrow. What a weird feeling. Never crossed my mind until that moment. Gonna miss him and all her friends rummaging through the fridge as if it was their home. I wonder what else I haven't prepared for. I know my wife is going to be a mess. She's already broken down a few times. I really hope I am able to find the right words and do the right things to help her. It's gonna be an interesting couple of days, that's for sure. Never thought you could feel emotions on both ends of the spectrum at the same time, sad yet so excited for her adventure.

My apologies for rambling...just needed to talk.

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No need to apologize. You are on that emotional roller coaster that a lot of moms and dads ride during this stage. Honestly, you just brought a new perspective to this that I can't recall anyone else ever talking about. The part about the boy friend and all of her friends that spent time at your home. Sounds like you were more than a dad of just one girl! I'm on a different computer this morning, and I wanted to share something with you, but I can't right now. Hopefully Paul will see this and put it on here for you, but it's something that was written by another dad some time ago that is still relevant today. 

Rest assured, you are not alone in this new adventure.


Craig, You are not alone in feeling this way. When my son went to boot camp my wife was a basket case for about a week. I didn't let my feelings show cause I had to be strong for my wife and his siblings. I too missed his friends and his quirky since of humor. I missed playing Call of Duty with him and his best friend. It just makes it more enjoyable and you get a great deal of pride when you go to their graduation and when they get to go on liberty with you. Now that my son is out of boot camp and has been since 2012. I love every time I get to see him.

Good luck to your daughter. My daughter graduates September 23
I felt the same way you do when my daughter left. All I can say is when I got her address to write that helped a lot. I write my daughter everyday. She has told me the letters she received helped her get thru boot camp so much.
I , like Glenn have a son Graduating on 23 Sept. (Glenn what div?Mine is 821...I will throw out an extra cheer for your daughter!)
And yes it is exactly like Christmas to a ten year old....that date just seems to always be just out of reach.
My NAVY son's identical twin is currently serving at Ft Benning finishing his Army basic and graduates from A school in October. I have a unique perspective, we sent two off in the span of about a month.
We got to see the Army son for 2 days over Labor Day and I wouldn't have traded that moment when we picked him out of the crowd for anything in the world. This time away truly will make you appreciate the time you get with your daughter and that first hug will stick with you forever!!!!!....write tons of letters( it really is as good for you as it is for her....just like talking to her) and don't get discouraged at that first call home. I have had two now and they get that call at the rock bottom intentionally both son's wondered what they got into but love every second of it now. Congrats and good luck my friend!
My daughter is in division 327. Good luck to your son. And can not wait till I see my daughter. Just 11 more days.
Well...she's gone and should be landing at O'Hare as I type. Thank you to everyone for your comments. It was nice to know that what I was feeling is normal as I was a bit surprised by the emotions. dropping her off at the hotel last night was rough but today was much easier. I'm extremely proud of her and I already can't wait to see her at PIR. Gonna take a bit to get used to the hole in the family though. How tough has it been for younger siblings and how have you helped them deal with it? Thanks again!

....And so it begins....I don't know how much younger your children are, but involve them in writing to their Sister. Make them feel included in the whole process. It is a good thing for them and your recruit!

My daughter will PIR September 30. I know just what you are going through. Remember this, it means So much to them--WRITE WRITE WRITE and don't forget pictures. It gets easier...

This site is an amazing resource and know there are always those of us on here who know what you are going thru. Share when you need to. Someone will listen and relate. We have all been there and it does not end after PIR. It just begins. So the habits you make now will help you tremendously dealing with life as a Military parent. These next 8 weeks will be filled with lots and will seem to move like molasses in the beginning as you anxiously await everything. Suddenly you can't stop the days from passing and before you know it you are saying goodbye again after PIR. Mine just graduated 9/2 and it will be 9 months until I see him again. Yes write lots. I had to send mine a mailer to return letters home because he ran out of room. But he said the love and support of his family got him through. They will get homesick and during those first 2 weeks and you will have no contact. By the time they can write, they have already made it farther than they thought they would. And they don't know it yet, but they are on their way to becoming a sailor. The I am here call is quick so be prepared if you haven't already gotten it. Good luck. God will see your child, your wife, your family and you through this.

You are not alone.  I felt similar feelings when our daughter left on July 6th.  That 4th of July celebration was very emotional, to say the least.  I really did not know how I would handle things when our only daughter left for boot camp, but there were certainly times when I broke down.  Write your daughter letters, lots of them.  Send pictures if you can and if you run out of things to talk about just tell her some things that are happening in the world.  They like that.  My wife and I wrote some letters to friends our daughter made in boot camp too, a couple of other girls who were not receiving mail.  We sent NEX cards and phone cards and stamps just to help those girls get by a little easier.  Be encouraging and positive in everything you write.  No news is good news!  Our daughter is now in Pensacola at Corry Station and enjoying her Navy experience a lot more.  She phased up and gets to go off base for liberty this weekend and wear civilian clothes.  She still tells us she misses us, but is so excited to embark on her journey as an adult too.  It has been a crazy ride and we are proud parents for sure and I bet you are as well.  Go Navy!  Good luck to your daughter!


Thanks for sharing Craig. Your feelings are the same that I have had and will have soon. My son ships out this Wednesday 9/21. Will get to spend the eve with him and then see him swear in the next morning before he leaves. So proud of all our kids making such an awesome commitment!

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