Advice for Parents Booking for I-Day

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by TitoRocket, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. TitoRocket

    TitoRocket Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I know there was a discussion about this embedded somewhere in another thread, but I haven't been able to find it yet.

    My family wanted to visit the Springs and tour around the area a few days prior to I-Day; They were planning on seeing me off on I-Day and then leaving that same day.

    However I saw that there's about 50% of the cadets who don't bring their parents on that weekend, I guess because they only get to say goodbye at Doolittle hall and that's it. Would it be normal/allowed for my family (mom, dad, brother) to come and see me off that day? (I know it's only delaying the separation, but they were pretty adamant on coming and quite frankly I'd feel glad to see them off one last time).

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ambition

    Ambition USAFA Class of 2017

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    I would also like to add to this, from a slightly different perspective.

    My parents are a bit older, and money is a bit tight for things like flying across the country, so when I graduate the day before I-day and get on a plane that night, I will only have a few hours to sleep and then begin in-processing.

    Other than the last good-bye, is it even worth it for them to come if they have no intention of sight seeing? While my step-mother is very adamant about saying good-bye at the last possible chance, my father understands the financial implications and the fact that he would have to take off two days from work, one night from sleep, and would only get to see me for a little bit anyway.

    And how is that breakfast in bed thing anyway?:thumb:
     
  3. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    I would say don't have them see you off unless it's very important for them. There's not that much other than good-bye and then the oath the following day (which is only ceremonial). Also, for some people saying good-bye and then getting on the bus shortly thereafter without a time to "mentally readjust" can make for a harder transition into BCT than if they had simply said goodbye at the airport.

    @Stelmack, if money is tight, I'd have your parents wait to come out until parent's weekend.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I always give the same advice; so I'm not going to change now.

    Let the choice of whether your parents come with you to see you off on I-Day, be THEIRS.... 100%!!!

    Reasons:

    1. They are adults. They know if they can afford it or not. You don't need to make decisions for them. Just let it be known that EITHER WAY that THEY CHOOSE, you are OK with.

    2. You did NOT make it to where you are, including getting an appointment, by YOURSELF!!! If not for your family, you would not be the person you are. You might have put in 3-4 years of hard work in school, sports, etc... to make your application/resume acceptable and receive the appointment; but your family put in 17-18 YEARS of raising you. This is just as much about THEM, as it is about YOU.

    3. You don't need closure. You're the one starting a NEW LIFE. Every day from this point on is going to be BRAND NEW. Yet, in the back of your mind, you'll have the comfort to know that when you call home, visit home, are visited by family, etc... that you have some sense of familiarity and continuity to make you feel NORMAL again. Your parents on the other hand have to find a way to CONTINUE their EXISTING LIFE..... But WITHOUT YOU!!! Not to sound morbid, but when you leave, for them, a small piece of them is going to feel like it died. Their lives CONTINUE on WITHOUT YOU. Your life isn't CONTINUING ON. It's a BRAND NEW LIFE. Your parents NEED CLOSURE. More than you. You aren't CLOSING. They are.

    So, let the decision be theirs. if they really want to take you to I-day and see you off one last time; let them. Just make sure they understand that you are OK with any decision they make. You understand if they come. You understand if financially it's too much. You understand if they want to wait until parent's weekend. etc... You are OK with ANYTHING they choose. But in the end; let THEM CHOOSE. Don't be self centered and think that you NEED this time to prepare for I-Day. You don't. There isn't anything you can do that's going to prepare you. No matter how much you think you know what you're getting into;..... YOU DON'T. Your first 72 hours is going to be a blur. Bottom line; there is no pro or con with you going off to I-day by yourself or with your family sending you off. But for your family, it COULD mean everything. They are adults. Let THEM make the decision.
     
  5. Tigger

    Tigger Member

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    CC I agree with almost everything you say but this just doesn't ring true...at least for me and I'm guessing others as well:)

    I don't in any way feel like a part of me "died" when my son went off to college and I certainly don't feel that way as we prepare to send my daughter to USAFA. The only time I have ever felt that a part of me has "died" is when my father died when I was 11 years old and when I suffered two miscarriages in my late 20s.

    And I don't need closure! Nothing is "closing":) Our relationships are changing but that is natural and I look forward to this next phase. My daughter isn't worried about calling home and checking on us to see if we've made it off the sofa that day and managed to go one with our boring, mundane lives. We were just laughing last night about the fact that I will be graduating with my doctoral degree the same year she is graduating from USAFA:) My husband and I train and run marathons, ski, travel and get into all kinds of stuff!

    Her life is OPENING and so is ours:) We will each have new experiences and we will get to share and celebrate each other along the way.

    It's the end of a phase and nothing has died:)

     
  6. Delta

    Delta Member

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    Agreed 100%

    I agree with CC 100%.
    This is the second best post from Christcorp.
    Thank you.
     
  7. BelowRadar

    BelowRadar Member

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    Need a link to the first best now....:biggrin:
     
  8. Blue Skies

    Blue Skies Member

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    Yes, it should be your candidate's decision. However... It's also super fun to go out and vacation a few days beforehand (if it's in the budget), have brunch at the Broodmor, and get accustomed to the altitude (sort of). If you can, and it's not going to be emotionally overwhelming to bc or parents, I say go! My oldest son and I made a deal- absolutely no tears while he was at the academy. I reserved the right to bawl at graduation, though. I held up my end of the bargain :)
     
  9. Candace

    Candace Member

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    parents and I Day

    We have sent two sons to I Day. I agree totally with CC!! The main thing is just do what works best for your family; it will be fine in the end. We sent the older son on the plane; we delivered the younger son to the Academy. I'm glad that we got to go, but both boys made it through BCT and are doing fine.

    Candace
     
  10. aseanag

    aseanag Eagle2013

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    I agree 1000%. For parent who decide not to accompany their DS/DD to I-day, Webguy, cadet media, and local news stations will have highlight of the day and maybe you will be able to get an idea of the process.
     
  11. Delta

    Delta Member

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  12. BelowRadar

    BelowRadar Member

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    Thanks Delta. :smile:
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Tigger; that's why it has to be the parent's decision 100%. For you, it was no big deal. To be honest, for our family, it probably wouldn't have been a big deal either. We're a military family and are use to moving and separating. Been doing it our whole lives. "But we also only live 2 hours from the academy, so not taking my son to the academy was not even an option".

    So sorry Blue Skies, but I have to continue to disagree. It's shouldn't be the candidate's decision. That's just selfish and self centered.

    When we brought our son, we spent 2 hours driving, about 30 minutes eating some breakfast, and about an hour and a half in the long line waiting for our son to leave up, go upstairs, go outside, go over the bridge, and get on the bus and leave us for good. In that 4 hour time period, we probably didn't exchange 5 minutes worth of talk. I knew what he was thinking and going through. Totally stressed and didn't want to talk about it. Been there. I told my wife and daughter ahead of time that it's going to be a very quiet trip. Even though it was 4 hours of basically no communications; the few minutes of hugs, kisses, and saying goodby; along with the eye contact with him as he came over the bridge and climbed aboard the bus; was priceless for mom, sister, and me.

    See; the shock and numbness that you, the trainee, are going to go through is going to be the same no matter if you go there by yourself or if your parents take you. Nothing will be different. You will be brain damaged. The smartest kids in the country, and you're NOT going to be able to accomplish the simplest task when you get off that bus. The cadre will tell you to do something or ask you a question, and you'll have MORE than just a deer in the headlight look. You won't even know what a headlight is.

    So, let your parents make the decision. it isn't going to affect you negatively either way. But it could be that extra little bit that your parents need. It may even be that extra that you need when you're standing in that long line. But this is why it's important that it's your parent's choice. Someone like Tigger might not have a problem with simply shipping your butt off onto a plane. For others, it's very important. The point is: it should NOT BE YOUR DECISION. Let it be THEIR decision. You'll be a stalk of frozen vegetable no matter what. Might as well at least help your family through the change if they need it.
     
  14. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    Last year, my DS was firm about cutting the ties back in MN. As in very firm. My wife got a lot of recommendations to go from other parents. It was important to her.

    In the end, my son talked with a two time USMA mom (wife of his hockey coach) who said in no uncertain terms not to deny his mom of this memory. He came around and said he wanted us to go. Personally, at that point I didn't care. That said, we both went and my son said he was glad we came. Very glad. It was one our best memories EVER. I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo(and a few more oooooooo) glad we attended. No question about it. It's not just giving that last hug. It's watching a new chapter begin for hours after that last hug that I found fascinating and emotional. IMHO, it's just as important as the pending graduation.

    Your mileage will vary and conclude something else. I'm glad that West Point mom who he respects had a talk with him. :)
     
  15. Tigger

    Tigger Member

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  16. Tigger

    Tigger Member

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    Well that sounds awfully cold and not how I imagine saying goodbye to my daughter when we drop her off at USAFA:rolleyes:

    I was just trying to offer some perspective in that I don't see it as something "dying" but rather "transforming". That's all I was trying to say:wink:

    Trust me, I'm a crier and if anyone wants to make some money they could probably invest in waterproof mascara stock and make a killing this summer!

     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Tigger; don't read into it and don't take it personal. Most of my posts, i post in the 3rd person. I don't really reply to individuals. Because usually, for every one person posting, there's 10 others who have a similar question. I respond openly to anyone reading. Whether you "Ship their Butt off" or not, is not important. What's important is that each parent family is different.

    With all the support and involvement many parents do on this forum and with their kids who go off to become cadets; there's also some that provide NO SUPPORT whatsoever. I am not kidding and I am not exaggerating.

    The same day we were dropping off our son, we spoke with a young girl who was in line too. We said the basic Hi's, How ya doing, etc... I asked if she was here by herself. She said yes. No big deal. But then she said that her parents were 100% against her going in the military. They would not support her at all. This too isn't unheard of. One cadet said his parents said he wasn't welcomed back home. If he leaves for the military, don't come back.

    The problem is we base our opinions of others on our own experiences. That's normal. Unfortunately, we learn quickly, especially in such a diverse environment as the military, that there are way too many variables.

    So I'm not saying you don't care or that you'd ship your kid off. But some people do. Some people don't care. And that's the point and that's why the appointee must allow their parent's to make the decision.
     
  18. Enlisted_Programmer

    Enlisted_Programmer 323rd Mustangs

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    Exception

    I have another opinion, although I agree 100% with allowing the parents to decide. When I left for MEPS before BMT, I had told my mom not to worry about taking off to be with me at the recruiter's office(she took off and came). I didn't mind either way, but I didn't want her thinking she should be there. I loved what I was headed into. I do not come from a military family, but I have been raised with discipline and expected hardship. It was much better than anything I had expected. I enjoyed being away permanently for the first time.

    One of the ideas I agree with most from my recruiter is that it's less than 25% physical and more than 75% mental. I had no teary eyes and my mom held it together at least in front of me. The thought of how exciting military would be made me want to leave sooner. I also had a year and a half with my recruiter preparing me since junior year.
     
  19. Tigger

    Tigger Member

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    Well it is a little hard to not take it personally when you used me as an example:eek:

    I agree that everyone experiences things differently! So that's why when you said that parents would feel that a part of them had "died" I wanted to say that MY experience was different. Sure, I felt a LOT of emotions when my son left a few years ago and I'm sure I will have an "emotional hangover" after we drop off our daughter at USAFA. But I will not feel like a part of me has "died'.

    Also, on further reflection I have to say that if my adult daughter came to me and said, "you know, it is really important that I report by myself" that I would really have to listen to her and respect her decision.


     
  20. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Well Tigger; I'm sorry you took it personal. This is a forum. Hundreds of anonymous individuals posting opinions. You've got 4 different opinions going on at the same time. Just because your name is mentioned, doesn't mean it's personal. Anyway; enough of that.

    And yes, if your adult daughter was to say: "I want to go by myself and don't want you to see me off", then yes, you should respect that. However; I would hope that your adult daughter wouldn't be so self centered, and would respect her parent's "POSSIBLE" needs. Or at least INQUIRE prior to making such a request. But then again; MOST appointees aren't on the forums; they aren't getting the perspective of past cadets, alumni, and families. And many have no other perspective to consider except for their own. So not considering their family's perspective or needs is very common. Especially with today's generation. "Generation is a multi-year comment". Not just this class.
     

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