Navy Dads

Life after A School advice for an empty nesting father

My son just left for boot camp to Great Lakes 4 days ago. Among many other emotions I have been going through I have to say I am very anxious about one thing. I pretty much have been a single parent and raised my kid by myself. He is my only child. This said it goes without saying how much I love him. My question to anyone with knowledge or experience with this is this. He is in the NUKE program which seems very promising. He will be in A School in Charleston SC for 18 months which is not bad considering I live four hours away in Jacksonville, FL. I live here with his fiancé which is another long story. Her mother died while he was awaiting to go to boot camp and she had no one. She is a blessing and they are anticipating marriage in 2 or more years from now. We both worry.

We know we will see him weekends or whenever he is able to step away from his studies for the weekend because I will drive there any time! After school is my concern. He will be active for at least four years and I have no idea what his life will be like post school. Where he will be or what our relationship will be like with respect to this. Will I ever see him? I know it is ultimately his life and we are at a new phase in our lives together as father and son but I don’t know if I will be able to hack not seeing him for 6 months at a time or the unknown.

He hasn’t decided between Submarine or Aircraft Carrier and I really do not know how to approach this without seeming selfish and just wanting to be able to see my boy. I have tried to persuade him to Aircraft Carrier because of a more possible open world experience and maybe getting to come home more than being on a sub for 6 months at a time. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated and I am very sorry about this long post in advance. I guess I am just a little overwhelmed. Thank you.

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I am also in the same "boat" as far as this situation goes. My daughter will be graduating on April 6th of this year from boot camp. She also applied for the Nuke program. As many know on this site I have only known her for 6+ years. At first our relationship was rocky due to trust issues with father figures going in and out of her life. We are pretty much rock solid as far as our relationship goes now. I went through this starting on Feb 7nth when she left. Boy I cant tell you the emotions I went through, I am sure you understand. If it comforts you I am now getting used to her being gone " and the idea of her starting her life". You cant help but feel selfish sometimes. Yes I hope she gets stationed in San Diego, that would be 20 minutes away. Boy would I be happy. But the reality is..it is there time now, we had ours years ago..you remember that feeling of being away from home?, and how great it felt. The world was there for the taking and the excitement of being at the helm and taking your own direction. Why would I deny my daughter that? You have to think about it in that way. And I laugh when I think about it...but being a father of two daughters I couldn't think of any place better than the safe controlled environment of the military...versus some frat house in college. I know for a fact that no one can tell you different. You are going to feel what you are going to feel regardless of what someone says. All of us here have gone through it..you will survive. You have to keep yourself busy for awhile, change some things around the house, and know that you did your best to raise him, you obviously did good he is taking the right step. When it comes to "A" school communication should get a little better..but yes even I have to except the fact that when it comes to ship duty ..communication will become a little thin again. Write those letters, write everyday. It will help them, he will always need you, but not in the frequency you are used to. And I will tell you this and yah have to listen...the best thing you can do for him right now is to be there to take his call when he needs you, to listen to him and give direction. Feel fortunate I live in California, I wont be a couple hour drive away....You are lucky. Stick with this site we are here for you create a page for him and be proud. Everything will be cool ...you will see!

I forgot to say... don't worry about after "A" school that is some time away. Think about what is going on today...take it day by day don't worry about something that is far away. He is really going to need your support for the next 2 months ...write ,write, write.

Hang in there Dominick and just know that he loves and misses you just as much as you miss him :) Stay strong so that he can stay strong and focused. I always try to let my son know that I'm fine and that he needs to stay focused while on mission. This includes his daily life since he is a welder and anything can happen if he doesn't stay focused. Text daily even if you don't get a response because when you do get one you'll be ecstatic :) Also never apologize for long letters we love reading them and have also done it in the past :)

Dominick,

 

I know the feeling, our Matt leaves for basic July 18 and then onto Charleston. We will miss him greatly, especially Dad. Matt spends a lot of time with me in the summer as he mates for me on my Charter boat. Just having him near me is a comfort. We have the double empty nest as his twin sister is away at college.

 

I commend your son for his commitment. Guess we will spend much time writing letters and emails to our boys. Gods speed to your son

 

Bob

Thank you everyone for your kind words of support. I realize this is an adjustment and I am taking it day by day. I will not do anything to make this worse on him and as I always have I will do my best to shield him from unnecessary duress. I have been writing him everyday for the past 6 days since he left. Now if his recruiter would just give me his address already he will have a novel to read during his free time lol. Thank you all again and best wishes to you and yours.

How is everything going Dominick? As far as that address you will get a form letter, or an actual letter from you SR, you will see his name and a ship/division underneath it. That's when you go live as far as sending those letters...do what my wife did if you have a label printer print out labels with his sending info. Because his address is allot to write. You should get this in about 2 to 3 weeks. I know this waiting period sucks. But I guarantee you when you get that first letter...you will read it so many times it will be memorized..lol. Let us know when you get it...

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