Navy Dads

Thanks to all who gave me advice that first week when I was really feeling that sense of loss. I was wondering how I could handle 8 weeks of it. As time went by and after that first written contact and then verbal contact the emotions dchange to pride. I am looking forward to the PIR and our weekend (hopefully) now instead of the present without him. I still miss him a lot but I could hear the difference it has made in him. Wow. The Navy knows what they are doing .

Thank you.

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This is Charles Bailey my son is on his third week of boot camp and the first week was really tough for me because we are really close I was used to getting a text or a calleveryday and today we recieved his first letter because it missed mail call last week. Cannot wait till pir which is sept 11. But at least with letters you kinda know what is going on. I am just proud and can't wait to see the end result from boot camp.
I echo your emotions. The macho part of me did not want to show it but I am glad I did. I do miss him terribly but pride has also set in. I commented on Facebook that my son had left for basic training and the response was great. I am looking forward to his first letter and the letter from the Navy about PIR. Our recruiter said there won't be a dry eye in the house. I'm looking forward to it!
I definately understand that sense of loss you are experiencing. I am not sure if there is anything someone else can say with regards to your own personal feelings, some of which only you can know...but in general, I think we all go through the same thing. This is the second summer in a row our family has given up a member to the Very willingly. Our daughter is currently in her 4th week of boot...and last summer my son joined.

Letters from your recruit will become big events. Our family (we have 4 kids) gather around and read them out loud...even the ones specifically addressed. It made us all feel closer. Writing letters as well. In both of my kids cases, I got into the habit of having stationary close at hand so that I could sit down and write whenever I felt like it. Even if all I could crank out was a page, I figured they would appreciate it. Sometimes I write a book. But the point is, write whenever you feel the urge. It will help you feel close and express things you wish to express...and it will be happily received by your recruit, I guarantee. Mail call is huge for them and can really turn a bad day or week into a good one for them.

It helps to keep in mind that it really is only 9 weeks. 2 months. It seems like more...for us and for them...but at some point you will blink and realize it is almost over. I think the thing that makes it seem longer is just how serious and important the whole thing is. It is not summer camp or vacation...our kids are being trained to be serving members of our nations armed forces. That is pretty serious stuff. To get to where they want to go there is this big speed bump called boot camp...and while they are there, we not only miss many cases our kids have not been on their own for this long before...but we also feel nervousness and trepidation about what they are doing...I hope they pass...I hope they keep a good attitude....and of course as parents, I hope I have taught them all they need in order for them to do this and begin making their own life. So, for many reasons, boot camp feels longer than it is because of the magnitude of importance on our kids plans, and of course the vested interest we have in those plans as parents. is still a mere 2 months.

I think the thing that helps my wife and I the most is knowing a few things. We have been raising our kids to ultimately follow their own path. With all of the paths out there for kids to choose, our kids chose to serve their country. They chose to sacrifice and endure these hardships in order to realize certain goals and dreams. That fact alone fills me with pride. The Navy is a really great place to start...and even finish...a career. I know very few people who regret boot camp. Most people I know, including myself, see Navy boot camp as one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of their lives. Oh, it was sucked...I could not wait to get out...but what it did for me as far as maturity and preparing me to have a good Navy career and life after the Navy was invlauable. Knowing my kids are also getting that kind of training to start their adult lives off, gives me a sense of satisfaction.

Not sure if any of this helps. After saying all of this...I still miss my little girl too...and missed my son last summer, even when I felt proud and happy for him. I suppose we will never stop missing them...but I don't worry about them. I have full faith in the Navy and my kids. Between those two things, I know they are getting what they need, and will have wonderful Navy jobs as a result.
Thanks Larry. I really appreciated your response. It helped both my wife and I.

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