gifts for cadets

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by proudmama, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. proudmama

    proudmama Member

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    Hello All...

    As I anticipate my son being a plebe at USMA next year (fingers crossed, he has an LOA, but no nomination yet)...

    WHAT makes good gifts for Christmas and Birthdays this year? What will he be allowed to take with him to USMA? What will he need? I am stumped for things for beyond the final semester of high school. For my older son who went to a "regular" university there were lots of things - handmade quilts, stereos, etc... but for this son...?

    I look forward to your ideas,

    proudmama
     
  2. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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  3. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    It really is difficult to think of gifts for my cadet. We end up giving him money most of the time because it is most useful for him and portable. :smile:

    They can't take much with them to Beast but there are a few items that may be helpful:
    Leatherman or other multi-tool
    Watch (no metal band and something that will withstand rough conditions)
    Electric razor

    After Beast he will be able to have more items but still not like a regular college. The rules on what plebes can have vary by company so it is really hard to know what to suggest. A digital camera is one item that they can all have. Some cadets have an extra monitor for their desk. They may also be able to have computer games, movies on DVD, and an ipod (possibly second semester).

    Another idea is gift cards for Grant Hall or the cadet store. They can get food in Grant Hall if they need a break from the mess hall. These can be purchased over the phone:
    http://www.usma.edu/uscc/dca/Stores/AcademyStores.htm
    http://www.usma.edu/uscc/dca/rest/restaurants.htm

    Or AAFES gift cards to be used in the PX:
    https://shop.aafes.com/gcs/default.aspx
     
  4. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    They still need clothes, too. They will get weekends away, so they will want to look nice. If you are from somewhere warm, your son will need a warmer coat. As a yuk, my son has pretty much been able to have what he wants, including his favorite blanket for his bed. Again, it depends on the company.

    If you want a really cool gift, stalk the mailman and when the appt comes (if it's before C'mas), hijack it and put it under the tree! Good luck w/ that, though!
     
  5. sweettooth

    sweettooth Parent

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    Some gift ideas I'm considering for my plebe include a Kindle or Nook electronic book reader, a hand held gps, and solar charger.
     
  6. proudmama

    proudmama Member

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    great ideas... keep sharing!

    I am taking notes. Thanks for sharing so many ideas, I have SO MUCH to learn!

    What's a yuk?

    A winter jacket is a great idea for Christmas, the warmest thing he owns is a sweatshirt!

    A watch might be a good idea too - if they don't have "standard issue" watches?

    Snatching his appointment would be too cool, but I could NEVER keep it a secret.

    Lots of good ideas... keep 'em coming!

    Proudmama
     
  7. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    Yuk or Yearling is a sophomore in West Point speak. In case you don't know the others:
    Plebe = Freshman
    Cow = Junior
    Firstie = Senior

    I'm glad the others mentioned clothes. Now that I think back, all he took with him to Beast was the pair of shorts he was wearing and two shirts. As a plebe they have to leave post in uniform but can change when they get to the airport or train station. That first Thanksgiving leave he was cold. Luckily he went to see his grandparents in PA and they bought him a winter jacket. If I had been thinking I could have brought him some winter clothes when we went back for A-day.
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    For our two USAFA cadets this year for their October birthday (twins), we sent them a flat-rate box filled with the foods they love (jam it in - same price whether the box weighs 7 or 70 pounds), ski gloves and socks, hand sanitizer, and a small book. For Christmas, both kids asked for larger monitors this year but we don't want them to haul it on a plane. So, we might give them a wrapped photo of a monitor, then order it after Christmas and have it shipped in January.

    We also bought each guy a new suit in October so we're calling that a birthday present too.
     
  9. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    LOL - A couple of years ago we were at Stewart Airport waiting for a flight when we saw a group of plebes all headed to the restroom to ditch the uniforms! At least we saw them come out with the uniforms in suit bags.:thumb:

    We just had the unfortunate experience of learning that one of our USMMA plebe's aunts sent him a huge box of baked goods, after we expressly told her not to do that until the plebes get the "all clear" (as I understand, in the Spring). Fortunately he didn't get a mark against him for it (and he and his deckmates even managed some samples:biggrin:), but I'm a little annoyed with the aunt right now. Although I know she meant well.... Anyway, I appreciate the ideas in this thread so we can have an answer when other relatives ask about presents.
     
  10. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    Here are some suggestions:

    Cell phone for those three calls home during plebe summer and then regular use during the school year (if you were thinking of an upgrade, now may be the time to do it).

    Digital camera (can be used after plebe summer).

    Printer and supply of print cartridges - academy provides computer but not a printer.

    Gift cards to mall stores/food stores.

    Address book with the names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of relatives and friends.

    GoNavyMom

    It's not easy.

    Good Luck.

    GoNavyMom
     
  11. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    Hi,

    Just realized you were referring to the USMA. Different school, different rules but hopefully some of my suggestions will still work.

    GoNavyMom
     
  12. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    GoNavyMom had good ideas, except that USMA does supply the printer.
     
  13. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Luigi, don't even suggest CIGARS to my kids!!!!

    Our family tradition (after age 16 for the guys) is to smoke out on the side porch (cigars or pipes, no cigarettes here) no matter what the weather on holidays and the night before anyone leaves (college, Service, etc), or Sunday nights if all the guys just feel like it.

    Last Christmas, one of my sons was in the local tobaccoist's shop, and accidently dropped a $65 cigar. "You break it, you buy it" - he's still half whining/ half bragging about his expensive smoke.

    Are they allowed cigars etc. at AFA?
     
  15. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    If you are interested in watches, there are a couple of styles very popular with the military men. I think the one we ordered for son was a Luminox. He is a plebe at USNA.

    Funny story: Son was traveling with Suburban load of high school kids to high school baseball playoff game last May about 150 miles south of here (things are far apart in west Texas!)..........he has appointment to USNA and we 'rents warned him about being extra cautious with the law: no speeding, etc. No tickets to have to report to USNA. Anyway, he gets stopped coming into a small town. The cop is wearing a Luminox watch which son recognizes. He asks the cop about it and turns out the guy was a marine. Son tells him he is hoping for a Luminox and will be attending USNA. No ticket and cop lets him TRY ON the watch. Me, I would have gotten a ticket!

    jennyp
     
  16. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Digital Camera would be at the top of the list. A pair of those Nike ACU boots would also be nice. They really comfortable and have become really popular here. A webcam would also be nice.

    Snacks are always welcome! :thumb:
     
  17. luv2swim

    luv2swim Member

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    For presents during HS senior year:
    My pre-plebe loved the USMA sweatshirt by Under Armour that I bought him during that waiting-to-go time.

    A watch is a great idea. My plebe used his all during beast and wears it now. I think it is a Casio Waveceptor: tough, solar, has an alarm (important in Beast), and uses an atomic clock signal to keep time accurate. We looked at G-shock too as I recall. I've read about Marines that just throw those in the washing machine with everything else when they get dirty!

    Closer to Beast we also bought a Leatherman. You can order them engraved with their name; he said he used it a lot. We did follow a recommendation online to buy the oxidized version because it is less shiny.

    My plebe would probably say his favorite gift/possession though is his iphone.
     
  18. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

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    Can't go wrong with Casio G-Shock. That's what I wear, and a few others in my squad as well.

    We don't get to have alarm clocks/watches/anything with time during Basic at USAFA. Kinda annoying, but you get good at judging the shadows.
     
  19. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    Oh yes, we've already received a few hints on how good the Nike SFB's are....130$.....:eek: :cool:

    http://store.nike.com/index.jsp?cou...p,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-179377/pgid-192558
     
  20. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Can they wear those instead of their issued boots?
     

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