Navy Dads

For those who have kids that might have just shipped to Great Lakes

Prepare yourself emotionally and know that you may not hear your kid's voice for a week, two weeks, even three weeks.  It is not easy for us parents.  My son shipped on June 9th and I have not heard his voice since.  he was gone for Father's Day, my Birthday, and he will be gone for his Birthday.  His first letter was horrible, we cried for a while and then cried a little more and then moved on.  He was homesick, he missed everyone, and he was wondering what he had gotten himself into.  Now he is starting his 5th week and he is in amazing spirits.  Sure he still misses everyone at home, but he has realized that now he is a part of something extremely special.  It is truely amazing to read his letters now and compare them to his first letter or two.  Just know that they are safe, they are being taken care of, and they of course are being tested.  Tested beyond any football camp or other type of training they have ever been trough before.  All of this is for a reason.  To be prepared to defend this great country of ours.

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Based on what I know of Navy Bootcamp No news is good news. Proud of my son's decision to defend and protect the USA

All very true.

Exactly the same situation with my son and the way our call went and the first letter as well.

Since then, he has been in better spirits and is now RWPO (Recruit Weapons Petty Officer) for his division.

It's never easy as a parent to be separated from your child, especially when you hear how homesick and unsure they are.

But, part of Boot Camp is breaking the recruits down mentally, only to build them up stronger and instill in them the confidence that they made it through that and are a stronger person, better sailor, and can achieve things they thought at the time were nearly unattainable.

As parents of these sailors, we all have a great deal to be proud of.

Congratulations and good luck to your son and family.


Scott, my son is also a RWPO for his division.  Ship 09 Div 291 and will PIR on 8/9.  Good luck to you and yours as well.

Indeed.  I thought I was prepared for all this.  I thought I did my homework.  I thought I had "detached" since daughter started going to DEPS.  I think her and I tried detaching without her leaving.  Her replies to texts were not as often and when I called her to check on things at the house while I was at work it was like "it's okay bye mom".  This is the first time she has been away from home for longer than a couple of weeks.  She has been to church camp where there was no phones, but I knew I would get a call if something went wrong and I knew I could call one of the leaders.  

My daughter shipped on June 17 a week before her 18 birthday.  I am fortunate in that I did get one phone call and one letter.  In her letter she indicated that she had not been able to attend any religious service yet. (June 30).  

My bff's (daycare mom for my middle child and my youngest ) son graduated BC in May, and before my daughter shipped - he spent alot of time on the phone with her which I am really glad about.  

Recruiters have been straight forward with me and I appreciate it a lot.

Thanks to all you manly Dad types for letting me join up here. I am just looking for a "dad" perspective, input, advise etc...

My Father was in the Navy during WWII before I was born and I have pictures and memories of my Mom telling stories about him being there.  When my Mom passed away, I found letters from my Dad that I didn't even know she had from when he was there.  Thanks again for letting me get a different view on this from you guys.  I am a  single mom, she is my youngest, 

She has been talking about this since 7th grade.  She spent hours and hours learning the book, watching the videos, but I do not think that all the prep that she got from DEPS or anything else would have truly prepared her for the first couple weeks.  She wouldn't tell anyone she is homesick if she was.  

I am not a very "church" person myself but she is and I didn't think that opportunity would be taken away even in BC.  

I am looking forward to the next call the next letter, when for sure PIR is.  IF she had gotten accustomed to the humidity and can do her run yet.  IF they let her do church service.  In her call she indicated that she helped her Dep buddy study for a test.

Thanks for letting me be here again.  Feed back, input, comments welcome.

Jerri...I don't think that the opportunity to worship is ever "taken away" fact, the SRs are encouraged to participate in Sunday worship. It provides a bit of respite from their daily training. Sundays are usually spent writing letters and studying. You should start receiving more letters this week. Hang in there, Mom!

My daughter is coming up on 2 years. There have been ups and downs to be sure...but she is very happy with her decision to be a United States Sailor! She has been all over the world and experienced things that most of us never will. I wish your daughter the bets of luck as she progresses. Welcome to the Navy family!

I too thought I had prepared myself well for my son's departure but boy was I ever wrong. He left out of the Sacramento MEPS center last Tuesday July 9th so it has not even been a week yet. It has been really tough on his Mom, his sister and me. Thank god I found this website because it has truly been a relief for me to read all the other parent's comments. I was very concerned because he went in undesignated as a PACT Seaman. I have read from different forums where people have said going undesignated these days are not as bad as some may think. I would love to hear from other parents that have a sailor that went in without a rate and hear how they are liking it. I am guessing my son's PIR should be around Sept. 9 but of course I wont know this for until I get form letter. Nevertheless I am very proud of him joining the Navy.

I guess that I am the odd one on this forum.  My son also departed on July 9th from the San Diego MEPS, however, I am not having a hard time.  Having served in two branches of the armed forces, Marine Corps and U.S. Army, and serving a combat tour in Iraq, I am well aware of the challenges of bootcamp and military life.  My son was anxious to leave home, as I was when I was his age, and begin his life in the military.  I am certainly looking forward to his graduation and I'm extremely proud that he is serving his country.   

@ Michael Huff, thank you for being the first one to reply after me. I have waited like 6 days for a response. You are not the "odd" one, you sir are our rock and pillar of strength. Your words are gonna comfort the rest of us. I received my son's box yesterday and that gave me the closure I needed. No secret or clandestine notes saying I gotta get out of here found. That just re-affirmed to me that he is alright. Now all I am waiting for is his Form letter. The first week of Navy Bootcamp in Receiving and Outfitting is the worst. After that? You start your schedule and I know my son cannot wait for week 4 weapons training and week 5 fire school. I am proud of my son serving his country as well and cannot wait for the PIR. I will post the day. I am expecting it to be Sept. 6. If by any chance your son graduates the same day I would love to shake your hand as a Navy Dad and as a respectful civilian paying homage to your military service.

@ Brian Nelson, I understand what you are feeling. I was just there 1 week ago today. I used to always tell my 2 kids that when they finish High School they need to either go to college or go in the military. My daughter (who is younger) made it clear at an early age she is gonna go the college route. My son did not want college and wanted the military. He signed up for DEP back in December '12 and I knew he was leaving but it still hurt. He is my first born. He has only been out of High School barely over a month. I would suggest that you read the stories from the other parents on this site and if you have specific questions? Ask the people from NavyDads or Google it. It has really helped me. Also, look up the boot camp schedule. Knowing what they do will relieve your mind. The first week sucks because you are in Receiving and Outfitting but once you get assigned to your company (normally by the 4th or 5th day) and start week 2 it starts to turn into a fun challenge. The finish line is in sight. You should get your daughter's belongings in a week or so. I just got my son's yesterday. The form letter which has all their ship, division info on it is to follow. I am still waiting myself (only been 8 days). Any questions or concerns please ask. I am a newbie and don't know jack but I am a future sailor's parent as well so if I don't know I have no problem polling the audience if need be.

Brian Nelson said:

My daughter left Indianapolis MEPS just today. At this writing she is still at the Chicago USO. I have a thousand different feelings going through my head, but none of them is stronger than the pride I have in her decision. 

This my friends and Fellow naval parents is the whole reason that this site was started. So that new parents coming into fold could read and share experiences that they can look forward to. I myself went through all of the same exact emotions and feelings when my son left for boot Camp 5 years ago. He and his brother wold go spend a month with my mom during the summer but they were only 60 miles away and could call any time they wanted to. When Trevor left for Basic, even though he was married, had a family and had been out of our house for 9 months, I couldn't talk to him to see how he was doing or drive by on my way home to make sure everything was ok. He only lived a half mile away and if he needed anything we could be right there, I did drive by on my way to work and on my way home to check on m daughter in law and grand daughter every day without them knowing.
Now Trevor has 5 years under his belt and every time I read a post or comment from one of the new parents about how bad they are missing their SR's it brings back those same feelings that I had 5 yrs ago. I can speak from experience and tell you that this will be the longest 8 weeks of your life. You will go through every emotion you can think of and some that you never knew of. the 1st day it utter hell watching with pride as your son/daughter/spouse walks away from meps inn that line of recruits and knowing you won't see them for 8 weeks turns the tears of pride into tears of fear and pain. How will they make it, are they ok, are they eating enough, are they getting enough rest, are they handling the breaking down period from individual to team player aspect, Do they know that we still love and support their decision? So many things are going through your mind at this time and then you set up all night waiting on that 15 second call that says mom/dad I'm in Chicago and safe bye, click. We didn't receive this call it went to Sage and she called us to let us know he had made it to Chicago. She was in tears as she didn't get the chance to tell him that she loved him before the click at the end.
We rocked along for about a week or so and Sage got the sailor in a box she cried, mom cried and dad played support for his girls. Then came the form letter in week #2 and we had something to look forward to. We had an address we could write and letters were written and sent everyday, and we waited. Week #3 came around and on Wednesday I opened the mail box and there was a familiar hand writing on a little white envelope with a Navy emblem on it. I ran inside and gave it to mom as I knew she was in need of a lift in spirits. She opened that letter and the first words she read was Mom i love you but what did I get myself into. The water works flowed for the rest of the evening. Nothing I could do except read the letter myself and try to assure her that he was just homesick and that we had always known this day was coming when he would be away and nothing we could do but support him. She wrote seemed like a hundred page letter to him that night that had tear stains all over it. When letter #2 came the following Wednesday the mood had changed and he was starting to get comfortable with his surroundings and was actually helping other SR's out that were struggling with some of their tasks.
By the time week 5 rolled around you could tell by his letter that he was doing as I had always taught him and grabbing the bull by the horns and making lemonade out of the lemons that were in front of him. He was rolling with the punches and his demeanor had taken a 180 and he was now challenging himself to get more out of this than he had ever expected he would get. PIR rolls around and when he walked into the Drill hall with the other 88 sailors in his division, He was in the Band so it was easy to pick out his division, I saw right away that the 18 year old kid that had left MEPS back in June was no where to be found and this fine, nicely dressed young man/sailor stood before the world ready to conquer anything and everything it could throw at him and defeat it.
trust me parents when you get to the point with your sailor that we are now with Trevor. As much as you wanted them to be the outstanding citizen and always do the right thing,i t will never compare to what they are doing. My grandmother always said she wanted to live long enough to see what Trevor became as an adult because she knew he was bound for great things. She carried around a small copy of his graduation picture with her until the day she passed and would tell everyone how proud she was of him. I hope this helps some of you out to know that at the end of this 8 week journey you will have a completely different person from what you dropped off at MEPS a short 8 weeks ago.

All I can say is WOW- Well written and I needed to read that.  Thanks from a Navy Mom.  I think this is week #4, I got the box, got the form letter, got a call, got a letter, then last Thursday I got another call indicating she didn't think she would be able to have another call.  At that call she indicated she "couldn't" march and she almost got sent home because she didn't make her run time---in the same breath she said she got put on "Ship Staff" which I later found out was a "good thing".  At first, I had thought that "Ship Staff" was some form of punishment for not making the run time.  Thanks to all you guys on here that are letting a Navy Boot Camp Mom hang out and I appreciate all of your insight and input.  Just have to change my settings so that I know when there is a new comment or reply.

I just received my son's form letter. He has been assigned to Ship 03 Div 338 with a PIR date set at September 6. WOO HOO !!!

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