Family Visiting USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jtferrell7, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. jtferrell7

    jtferrell7 New Member

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    I am an incoming member of the class of 2019, and I have several family members asking when they can come to campus to see me and USAFA. I was wondering what times I will be able to show family around, if any, as a doolie. I know Parent's Weekend is a good time, but are there any other times for family to visit AND see me? Thanks for any help!
     
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  2. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    That's the purpose of Parents Weekend - to show Mom & Dad and bro and sis and auntie and unclie and grandma and grandpap around...

    Your squadron will let you know if you have five other minutes available for visiting.
     
  3. jtferrell7

    jtferrell7 New Member

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    That is what I expected, but I wanted to make sure! Thank you for the help!
     
  4. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

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    So your Doolie year, the only guaranteed weekend where you will have time to show your family around is parent's weekend. Weekends aren't considered a given "free time" as there are silver weekends (military/wing/squadron training weekends) and blue weekends (nothing usafa official scheduled weekend, so "free time"). Just because a weekend is "free time"/blue weekend doesn't mean you can do what you wish. You can still be restricted. As a Doolie, you will have far more restrictions and rules than the upper classmen. What you can do and when will be dependent upon USAFA rules and your squadron's rules. Once you are there for a month or so, you will have a handle on the expectations, and will know if and when you can make "plans" for a day or a few hours on a weekend. It would be nice if there was a set or pat answer to this question, as it was one I had about visiting my son. But it really is squadron specific and dependent upon what is going on at the time.

    One other thing. Things are fluid. So one weekend where you might have been able to leave base for the day (visit your sponsor) may suddenly become restricted through no fault of your own. The only "given" your Doolie year is Thanksgiving, Spring and Christmas break. Though if you are an IC, you may not have these times free.
     
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  5. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Hi JT,

    First... congrats. Well done on earning an appointment and on your desire to serve your country.

    As for your questions.... Mostly covered above. Parents Weekend is the big-deal event designed for exactly what you describe.

    That being said, some parents do go out for A-day as well. But if I remember correctly, for A-day you will only have a maximum of about 90 minutes to spend picnicking with your family (typically on/near the parade ground). While it's a nice day to see, it is can be a lot of travel/hassle/expense to spend a little more than an hour with the cadet in a limited setting. But if a family is close to CS, or the travel expense is not a burden, some do go. I would estimate perhaps only 1/3 of parents or less attend (other guesses, anyone?), so PLEASE let your parents know they shouldn't feel bad if they choose not to. Cadets with no family present will typically be "adopted" for that hour on A-day by other squaddie families, so all good. :)
     
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  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    You may visit your sponsor family, usually on Sundays, and generally not restricted. If your family is nearby, I assume they too could visit you at your sponsor fam's.

    However, remember, USAFA is NOT Flagship U; don't presume and don't try to fudge those rules.
     
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  7. jtferrell7

    jtferrell7 New Member

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    Thank you all so very much! I have a situation with a grandparent that cannot attend Parent's Weekend but will need to visit as soon as possible due to health reasons. I was seeing if I had any options I could plan for in advance. I really appreciate your wisdom. Again, thank you.
     
  8. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    JT, sorry to hear about the situation.

    One thing to keep in mind... Unless things have changed, USAFA is open to visitors on a fairly regular basis. Guests can go shopping, see the stadium and other sights, go the visitor center, etc. The issue is going to be your availability as cadet during the first 6 months.... those opportunities are pretty much prescribed.

    One thing you may want to consider for your situation.... go out this summer before you report for I-day. Take the tour (guided tours are sometimes available), drive around, get a feel for the place. There will likely be certain places inside the cadet area you might not have access to, but you and your family could see most of USAFA.

    Further idea.... the families/cadets that are part of the USAFA family are truly some of the most amazing people we've had the privilege associate with. Reach out to your state's local USAFA Parent's Group and see if one of the older cadets wouldn't be available to take you around. You will be amazed by how helpful the folks in those groups are....betting they will arrange something with one of their cadets faster than you can confirm travel reservations. :)

    In any case, use that same drive and resourcefulness that got you appointed to make this happen for your family. Well done, sir.
     
  9. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Oh my gosh thank you for that post! It's very exciting to me! My brother will be in town during A-Day, but has to go back to Alaska where he is stationed with the US Army before Parent's Weekend! It'll be so cool to get to see him! I though I wouldn't be able to see him until Christmas due to his Army training and the training I have coming up! Thanks for the info!!!!!!!
     
  10. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    If you know that a particular weekend is blue (no official training) and you have some special circumstance for wanting to see your family (either out here or at home), there's a pretty good chance you could send up paperwork well in advance to basically guarantee you'd be allowed to leave. It's trickier if there is training, but if it's a very compelling reason (terminally ill family/graduations/weddings), there's always a chance you can leave, even as a freshman.

    I left the state for the majority of Parent's Weekend (yes, missing the game) this year, and I know a cadet who's going to miss all of graduation week for family reasons. Sometimes the needs of USAFA win, but if you have serious family reasons, I wouldn't be shy about asking all the way up through your AOC.
     
  11. jtferrell7

    jtferrell7 New Member

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    Sorry I haven't checked this earlier! I really appreciate the blue weekend and special case info. I'll keep that in mind when the time comes. Thank you MedB and BlahuKahuna!
     
  12. Cannonball

    Cannonball Member

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    Does it work the same for the summers? My sister is getting married next summer (2106) and I was wondering how it works for summer training. Do I have to make arrangements to be allowed to go?
     
  13. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    Yup, but weddings are one of the most frequently approved exceptions. You'll send up paperwork when summer schedule requests start coming out-basically just a form explaining that you need your leave during a specific time in order to attend a "once in a lifetime family event." These are generally approved.
     
  14. waiting game

    waiting game Member

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    My DS is Class of 18 and we have visited several (5 or 6?) times, as have his grandparents. We always scheduled it for blue weekends, of course. We are only a 6 hour drive, so the risk of a last-minute change wasn't too daunting. He needed permission if he wanted to leave campus and stay with us (I think he called it Triple-S), but we never had a problem. I know that if Doolies don't get 80% on their Knowledge tests on Sunday nights, they would not be able to leave the following weekend unless it was pre-approved. We even went during the week for his birthday once. He couldn't leave campus but we all happened to be in Arnold Hall for the evening.
     
  15. waiting game

    waiting game Member

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    FYI...visiting the cadet area of USAFA could be very difficult for someone in poor health. The altitude, for one thing. But there's also no good access to campus without a hearty walk - either up a hill, or across an awkward restricted parking area then down a big flight of stairs - even if you have a handicap placard. We go up five flights of steps to our son's room. And the campus is not really wheelchair friendly.
     
  16. Cannonball

    Cannonball Member

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    Thanks!
     

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