Hello everyone! I wanted to tell you of my son's journey post-PIR.
TRANSFER TO 'A' SCHOOL:
My son's PIR was June 13th, and his 'A' school is in Great Lakes, so he just transferred over from one side of base to the other. I wrote a separate post about the ceremony, etc. but neglected to say a few things.
When I waited to pick up B. and his friend T. after transferring to 'A' school, there were dozens of parents & loved ones waiting for their new Sailors to finish processing and meet them at the visitor's center. Nobody knew exactly how long this would take, so don't expect to get much info from the Sailors in the visitor's center.
One thing that's a major, major 'no no', and that's photography. A safe bet is don't take pictures at all at the visitor's center, just wait til you're off-base. A security guard had high powered binocs checking out the crowd at the visitor's center.
We could hear groups of Sailors marching in cadence, and weren't sure who was where or what, so hang out and talk with the other parents while you wait, because you don't know who's walking through the gates. Finally, your son, daughter or loved one will be in the group, outside the gates, and finally free on liberty!
Good to hug & embarass my son with hugs and pats on the back. When we finally got in the car, B. said to me "Dad, this is first time I've been in a car in 8 weeks!". What also is striking is that, apparently, the RDC's curse like a second language and this rubbed off on B. and T. They were literally cursing like sailors. At least now I know where that expression comes from. I told them they need to button it up, their moms won't like that a bit.
When I drove them back to base (they had to be back I think by 10pm), I was impressed by the base itself, and the quality of life. It's nothing, not even close, it's like a different universe, compared to the living hell they endured in boot camp haha! There's a movie theatre, a McDonald's, a night club (yes, a night club, but I don't think they serve alcohol), I saw grills, games, a nice looking football/soccer field. I thought "What the heck is this?!?!". But realized they earned it, it's time to chill out a little and focus up on school work. In other words, it's like a college campus.
I finally earned my props, and bought these for myself:
'A' SCHOOL, ABOUT 1 MONTH IN:
B.'s never been the best student, he'll admit it. Test taking is scary, something he ran from. Well, now, it's time to pay the piper. The Sailors are in a classroom environment, where they learn by studying 'modules'. Then, they're tested on each module. The Sailors have to get at least a 70% on each module's test to pass. He got a 69% and was bummed out. I gave him some study hints, and he retook the test and passed with I think an 83%. I believe you get 3 chances to retake the test or the Navy kicks you out. He's learning to be a good student. He'll be fine.
August 19th, he'll be done with 'A' school and be home for ~2 weeks! Can't wait. I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks for hanging in there, and believe me, your son, daughter or loved one will be fine. Boot camp was scary for him and me, but that seems like years ago compared to how he is now. He went in an immature young man, and came out a mature, young man, a U.S. Navy Sailor.
Interesting because the Marine DI's don't cuss. I'm wondering if it was just his division.