Welcome aboard to NavyDads.com Machelle! When my son first enlisted, I was a little scared and worried for him. Not coming from a military family at all, I had no idea what to expect. What I found out was that he had made the most mature decision of his life! I found lots of answers to my questions right here on NavyDads.com.
My son Stephen was an AWO2 in the P-3 community. However, after 6 years of service, he was medically discharged in July of 2014. We are proud of our son and his service to our country.
Be sure to check out our events section for information to the Meet and Greet the night before PIR.
Quick story....When my Daughter was at Basic and I was new to Navy Dads, I got friendly with another Dad. We met up at PIR....turned out that our Daughters were bunk mates. Never underestimate the smallness of the World....LOL!
I had posted this for Chris...you need to read it as well-
lest you think you are alone, this was posted by a dad to another member dealing with separation anxiety....
"I know you have seen some encouraging comments from other members, but I wanted to weigh in here too. On 28 January, a month after completing college, my son was sworn in to the Navy DEP. It was a couple of days after that when it hit me....after 23 years of a daily relationship with him everything was about to change! I knew joining the Navy was going to be the absolute best thing for him. But in spite of that, I became very depressed. I had no idea what I was doing but googled Navy support groups. I found this site. I remember posting my first comments.....reluctantly because I thought others would think of me as less of a man.....how depressed I was already at the thought of my son leaving and he was not leaving for boot until 1 May. Well the responses were surprising! All the admins and a number of other members put me at ease when they responded that every dad on this site, if they are honest with themselves, experienced the same thing. I also followed the great advice from the admins to read as much as possible on this site. All of this really helped! But then came the week before he left. I became very upset and just wasn't sure how I was going to cope. It really took some work to get it under control. Then the day came to put him on that plane to Great Lakes. As the tears flowed, it was my son in a bit of a role reversal that said, "dad, it's going to be just fine." Well from that point everything happened just as it was described by the admins and other members on this site from receiving the "kid in a box" to the form letter to the first phone call. The best advice I received after his departure was to write often. I didn't really think my son would care that much because my son has always been very independent and not the "home sick" type. But I found out two things in writing the letters: he loved them and encouraged it and they were very therapeutic for me! In the 7 weeks after I received his address I wrote 16 letters. All typed, no spacing, and not one under 4 pages long! I would never have imagined being able to come up with that much to write about....but you will be surprised. It truly helped the time move along as well. Then believe it or not, PIR was upon us. My son graduated on 28 June. The only thing I can say about PIR is that as it relates to my son, it was the second greatest day of my life......second ONLY to witnessing his birth! When you see your sailor march into that hall and you realize he/she is now a part of something greater than themselves, it is an indescribable feeling of pride. A feeling that washes away all the tears and angst of the previous 8 1/2 weeks of separation. Now as I look back, I am amazed how time has passed so quickly! As of today my son has been out of boot camp almost as long as he was in it. He is in Pensacola attending IT A school. This is totally different from boot camp. It resembles being away to college as you can communicate freely (voice, text, e-mail) with the exception of when they are in class. So to wrap this up, as others have said, hang in there! You too before you know it will be in the same shoes as many of us....looking back wondering where the time went and posting comments to help parents going through that which you have endured. I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful this site is to help you through it.....from really good information to Navy FAMILY who are there for moral support. God Bless you and your son for his service to our great country!"
Thanks! I haven't joined the boot camp group I will have to do that! Intelligence Specialist sounds exciting! You both must be so proud! I was especially close to Brandon he used to help me out at the cafe a lot so we spent more time together than me and my other boys it seemed. It is hard but I know he is doing what he wanted to do. I will just keep anxiously waiting for that first letter!
We are a combined family too! We "adopted" my daughter and her four special needs kids when she was an adult (we met at church instantly bonded and we have been mom and dad ever since! People can't tell we didn't raise her she fits in so well lol) Christopher is 21 and works as a local missionary with kids and an EMT, Andrew is 18 and is active in Civil Air Patrol (he wanted to do Air Force but was disqualified for having metal in is elbow), and Zachary who is 15 and autistic. My husband works for an armored car company and is also active in Civil Air Patrol. I manage a vegan cafe tat is about 15 miles from home. Brandon is going to A school in SAN Antonio for Master at Arms. Where is Alexis doing her school? I am also still learning abbreviations and lingo so what is IS?
No, I'm not the Creator, but am part of your admin cadre! Glad you've found the site useful- just remember, there is long journey ahead of your sailor and many new things you'll learn over the years----if you have questions, you be sure to post them! We might not be able to answer everything, but we'll sure try!
Hi Machelle! I am so glad you found me! Yes Thanksgiving was very different! I found myself getting weepy from time to time. I a, not sure how Christmas will be! I have two other sons who are still home and a son and daughter who have moved out but live locally. Brandon is 20. How old is your daughter? Do you have any other children? I look forward to talking with you more and seeing you at PIR