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!"
Welcome to Navy Dads, Susan! Rebekah is taking a big step forward towards her future! You are becoming part of a very big family here.....the Navy family. We are all here to offer insight and support. Please let us be of help if you need it! Learn as much as you can....and write her often. It really helps you both!
Welcome to NavyDads.com Susan ! When my daughter enlisted in 2005 and left for RTC, I had virtually no knowledge of Navy life or how the Navy did things. By the time her PIR rolled around, I was starting to get the hang of things and understand some of the language and abbreviations, but still felt like a fish out of water when dealing with most topics concerning the US Navy. When my son enlisted and left for Great Lakes in 2007, I got serious about trying to learn as much as possible about the Navy. Now, several years into my journey, I’m blessed to say I have two sailors in the family - my son Eric (AM2) was on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), was attached to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37) in Hawaii, and is now attached to VAW-125 ("The Tigertails"). My daughter Kat is now a Navy veteran and was stationed on the carrier Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) as a Mass Communications Specialist(MC3). If NavyDads.com were around in those early days, it would have made my first days as a Navy parent much easier!
I'm sure you'll find NavyDads.com as useful, educational and informative as I have over the past few years. Click How To Get Started for a guide on getting going in your NavyDads.com experience! I hope you take the time to explore the site and make some new friends. Read the discussions and add your comments. Browse through the postings in the various groups or start a new one. If you have any comments, questions or concerns about your sailor and what she is going through...be sure to post them! In my experience someone here can answer your questions or concerns or can point you in the direction to find out. And Susan this is a great place to brag as well! So join in, get active, and be sure to let us know how your daughter is doing! Please remember that we talk about the Navy here and we must keep the security and safety of our sailors and the fleet in mind. On the right or starboard side of every NavyDads page is an area we call Key Information. Please take a minute and read through the Operations Security (OPSEC) link for some guidelines as to what we should not talk about in a public forum like NavyDads.com.
As a parent of a sailor currently or soon to be at Great Lakes you'll have many questions about what Rebekah is going through. In the Navy Bootcamp group is a discussion called A MUST READ for all New Navy Parents. Read through this post as it will do a lot to give you some understanding about what your sailor is learning and why. And be sure to check out the videos available in the Bootcamp Group as well and as PIR nears be sure to spend time in the PIR group for hints and helps!
Best Regards- Paul
"To raise a child, who is comfortable enough to leave you, means you've done your job. They are not ours to keep, but to teach them to soar on their own"
Welcome aboard to NavyDads.com Susan! 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.