First, thanks for approving me and I look forward to spending a lot of time on this site! My son will leave for Great Lakes on Tuesday April 12th. We are all starting to get a little nervous and excited all at the same time. We thought that there may be some time to support our son and spend some extra time together on the 12th but he has stated not much goes on for parents and he will be busy. He has requested we drop him off at the hotel in San Diego the night of the 11th and say out good-buys there. I am not sure if we should push a little to be there on the 12th, if the other young people will be surrounded by loved ones or if we should honor his wishes and wrap it up on the 11th. I realize he is becoming a man and I want to honor his wishes but I don't want him to be the only one standing around alone. Anyone that has been thru this and has any advice we would really appreciate! Thanks Again!
I would go to MEPS and watch him get sworn in the 12th.....you might not have much time, but it will be most memorable.
I would agree with Paul. We didn't get to go to MEPS for our son's swearing in. I wish we had, but didn't even know how that all worked. His recruiter hardly spoke to us.
I would go to MEPS if I were you. It is a proud moment (and emotional) to watch your Son take his oath. It is hard to watch them head off into the unknown....that's where Navy Dads comes in! Watch the videos in the Boot Camp group to get a feel for what your Son will be doing. We got to spend a last few hours with our Daughter before she left....and I wouldn't have missed it!
We did get a chance at the end of last summer to see him take his oath at a big event. We had a local rodeo in our town and during the event each branch of the service brought a group out and was sworn into their respective branch by a commander. He gave a great speech about country, duty service and sacrifice. It was a great ceremony and the flags were flying, the horses were racing around the group and blasting patriotic songs. Not a dry eye in the house, everyone in the crowd was moved. I don't know if we can beat that but I sure want to be there for him and spend every moment possible with him.
Honestly....his request is probably more for his benefit...will be tough saying goodbye....but he will appreciate it....
totally concur with Tom's comment.....the ceremony you saw is not as impactful as the official "welcome" to the US Navy....
I concur with these other fine fellows. Go to MEPS, video the swearing in. I still watch Kami's and tear up the moment she turns to us with that " omg, what am I doing look ". She was then taken to the hotel, we met her there and went to dinner for our goodbyes. Whether you go to dinner or not, the goodbyes are the same. Everyone is left with a sense of wonderment, pride, love and a fear of the unknown and uncontrollable. It's a beautiful moment as your child feigns a stoic moment when you know all she wants to do is break down in your arms.
my wife and I will be attending our son, Jerry, swearing in this coming Tuesday morning in Brooklyn, ny. he has been in the sea cadet program since the 9th grade, where he went away for a boot camp as well as other trainings. those times were tough seeing such a young man leave to follow his dreams. now he heads to the GL for an amazing journey. we cannot express how proud we are of him. it will be hard watching our oldest leave the nest, but he will become part of another family that will also be there for life.
thanks for all your help on this website to prepare us for his departure.
Definitely go to MEPS for the swearing in. We didn't know what the process for the day would be but it turned out that he stayed with us for about 30 min. prior to the "ceremony" then he got his bag lunch and ate with us in the family room for maybe an hour? if that. Then the "Shippers" were all called away and next thing we knew he was lining up to get on the airport shuttle.
The time spent during that day went a long way to easing my feelings about him leaving. I only nearly lost control when he was on line with his processing papers ready to walk out.
We were all there for him (siblings, parents & grandfather)....most everyone had at least one person there for them.
My son also ships out on April 12th.
Here is how his mother and I played the we want to attend the swearing in ceremony game.
As all "grown up" sons his age, he didn't want us there ... wanted to do it himself ... I'm big and don't need my parents holding my hand ... yadda yadda yadda.
Sooooo we told him that we would find out what hotel they were staying at the night of the 11th and we would make reservations to stay at the same hotel so we could buy him dinner and maybe hang out a little bit in the evening with him and some of his new found friends and future shipmates. Needless to say he was mortified, so we "made a compromise" and his mother and I will only attend the swearing in (win/win).
With both young men swearing in the 12th, it's a darn good chance they will be going through this together, maybe we can hook up for a celebratory adult beverage at their PIR.
As you said Dan.....Win/Win !!!!! Trust me...It's all because it is hard for him to say "goodbye" to Mom & Dad....You have earned the right as parents to get him to this point. He will look back on it fondly some day.....
I want to give a big THANKS to everyone that has commented! We will be at the swearing in with all cameras and video charged up! I am so glad I found navydads.com as I got great advice and I am sure this will just be the start of my questions and posts. It is so nice to know we are not the first to go through this and many parents experience a similar situation. Thank again and Dan I will be looking for you on the 12th! I will probably need an "adult beverage" after that morning :)