Host Families At AF?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Northstream, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Northstream

    Northstream Member

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    We attended a USNA candidate weekend last fall, we parents we introduced to past and present Mid parents. They all felt host families were an important factor in a Mids success at Annapolis, some felt their kids would not have made it that first year without their host families.

    What role do the host families play USAFA, do cadets find quiet time for a few hours on Sunday, take the odd holiday dinner because of canceled flights, etc.

    Would you parents be willing to share the efforts and contributions you made to your cadet's host family?

    thanks
     
  2. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot

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    Very helpful

    Our son's sponsor family has had him over a couple times for dinner and to relax, they also have taken him to the Colorado Springs airport and recently picked him up from Denver International following Christmas break. So, yes, as parent's, we're very thankful for the sponsor family program.
     
  3. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

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    At USAFA they are called Sponsors. Sponsors are a special kind of person. My D's sponsors have given time, support, love ... they truly have become family. Their kids are like younger brothers/sisters that my D never had. I have stayed at the family home on countless occasions. As a 4° and a 3° they would drive up to pick her up several times a month - I think she spent an average of 3 Sundays a month with them. They would go out of their way to bring her to their home, even if it was only for a few hours. When she was sick, they would bring her things to make her feel better. 2° year she brought her car to Colorado so she began driving herself. She has a key to their home. She is welcome to go visit without invite - she walks in as if she lives there, even if they are not home. She babysits their kids so they can take a weekend away. The kids call her when they are struggling in classes (in middle school and now high school). They ask her questions in exactly the same manner they would ask an older sibling. They confide in her and ask for guidance on social issues.

    I cannot imagine how she'd have gotten through some of the ordeals associated with this roller coaster ride if she did not have them. Her sponsor mom is a 2nd mom to her, and I cannot ever thank them enough for what they have done for her. My D is a Firstie now and they are actively planning our graduation celebration as family (I am planning the party - they are helping a lot and hosting family in their home as well as a party for our cadet). They are taking the kids out of school (eldest in HS has already obtained permission to reschedule her final exams in HS) and even her "sponsor grandparents" are flying in to celebrate with us from out of town.

    They always tell me how much they love having her as part of their family, but the real thanks is what our family owes them. Not only did our Cadet gain a 2nd family, but so did we. I know without doubt that we will remain close to her sponsor family for years to come, and am equally certain that our D will always be a member of their family. There is no gift that we can give to equal that which they have given to our D. We do, however, send them a "fruit of the month club" every year (and have since the very beginning). My D has given each member of the family a personal gift with all of her travels as a cadet (and she's been able to travel a LOT all over the globe as a cadet) and she is giving her sponsor parents a saber when she graduates (I sure hope she's thought to give me one too but I am fearful that sponsors get it but not mom and dad!).

    Summation: Sponsor families are a tremendous gift and our entire family has been blessed because of them.
     
  4. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Our son has been very fortunate to have an incredible sponsor family. The sponsor dad is a retired USAFA '63 grad. They were our son's family for Bed and Breakfast, Doolie Day Out and now his regular sponsor. Their house has always been open to him when they were home. They are very big boosters of USAFA so they are often on base and will always call to see if son wants to come home with them after football games, etc. They are available for rides to the airport, for trips to town, or a Saturday night home-made dinner. They also sponsor another 2011, plus a 2013 and a 2014 cadet. The cadets are allowed to bring laundry to do if they come to stay for the night, but they do it themselves. Our son is also concious to make sure he takes them out to dinner on his dime once in a while. The sponsor family also has all of the families of their cadets over to their house in Monument for a big cook-out after the football game during Parents Weekend. Now that son is a Firstie, he still makes sure to contact them once in a while to get together, even though he doesn't really need to rely on them as much. He also checks in with the families other cadets, and takes them from USAFA to the sponsor house if he is heading that way.

    Stealth_81
     
  5. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I loved my sponsor family. They were a great source of support and relaxation. Even now, as a graduate, I still keep in contact with them.

    Not uncommon, many made close friendships with their sponsor families. It is a great program!
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My sons have the greatest sponsor family in the world!!!! They have given my kids their own room, free use of their home, they feed them, lend them cars, bring them cakes for their birthdays, etc. I can't tell you how great great great these folks have been for my sons.

    When we come out for PW, they have completely opened their home to us.

    I could never ever repay them for all the wonderful things they have done for our family, and especially for my boys.
     
  7. tutmom

    tutmom Member

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    My DS is a C4C and he loves his sponsor family too! His sponsor dad is a usafa grad and the sponsor son is also a usafa grad, so the family totally gets what my ds is going through. The sponsor's youngest is the same age as my ds so they just became empty nesters and I think they are loving having someone to feed, nurture and just hang out with.

    It took my son awhile to get used to calling them and asking them to come get him with little notice, but they kept encouraging him. So now he knows that he can call them anytime and if they can come and take him to their house they will. He has spent many weekends already at their house and he plans to go there as often as possible this winter.

    The sponsor family's grown daughter lives in our town so we have had her and her husband for dinner one night and will be getting together again soon.

    People in Colorado Springs are generally wonderful to the cadets. The first day back from Winter break, the heat was broken in my son's dorm hall. The AOC gave them all a discretionary pass to go somewhere warm and come back the next day. My son's roomates sponsor's family came and picked up my son, his roommate and 3 other guys and fed them and put them up for the night.
     
  8. Bundy

    Bundy Member

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    Our 4* son also has an incredible sponsor family. I can't say enough about what they've done for him. They have definitely made his first semester much more enjoyable and less stressful.

    He frequently goes to their home on Sundays to watch their DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket package (to catch the Chicago Bears games). He usually falls asleep watching the game, but that's almost to be expected after the tough school weeks they have. They just chuckle and wake him up in time for dinner, which is usually a big steak / potatoes meal that he LOVES.

    I'm sure we will all be lifelong friends. God bless all the USAFA sponsor families for what they do!
     
  9. firmament

    firmament Member

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    We are a sponsor family and have been for many years. We have done everything from airport shuttles for cadet and family members, to picking up cadet for church or just to do laundry and sleep for a few hours. We have housed friends of our sponsored cadets, and during the summer a spot in our garage acts as a storage unit. Sponsors come in all shapes and sizes. Some sponsor one cadet at a time, some sponsor their own cadets and a few more. Some cadets need little from their sponsor families, some need more. Most are good matches, but every now and again you hear about a match that isn't working, but those usually end up hanging out with a fellow cadet's sponsor. We have a support group of friends that are also sponsors so we often "buddy up" to make sure the cadets get what they need. Fortunately Colorado Springs loves USAFA and are very supportive of "their" cadets. Hope this information is useful to you.
     
  10. urbonmom

    urbonmom Member

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    Our son's sponser family is absolutely wonderful! They sponser our 4C along with at least one other 4C, a 3C and a Firstie. They invited all of the cadets and their families to their house for a get together and dinner over Parent's weekend. Our son has spent several weekends at their house and he always raves about the great food he's offered! This is a young couple with two young children, neither ever attended the AFA, they just love to be a part of the Academy in this way and offer their support. They have taken our son to and from COS airport for Thanksgiving and Christmas - very early departures on both! They've allowed our son to have packages delivered to their house when needed....I can't say enough about how wonderful they've been. We sent a small thank you gift at Thanksgiving and presents to the whole family for Christmas - it just felt right to do so.
     
  11. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Here's a funny story about my kids' sponsor family:

    So, sponsordad is former colonel ARMY JAG, and they have a USMA son and an Army ROTC son. Lots of inter-service rivalry jokes, etc. between my kids and the Sponsors. Well, sponsor family gets a huge 12-person hottub last summer and invites my kids over for big BBQ but neglected to tell kids about the new hottub. Kids get there and Sponsordad says, don't worry! We have bathing suits for everyone here! He pulls out 2 dozen ARMY trunks in various sizes! So, everyone's in the tub and all sporting army trunks.

    My sons were in an accident on I25 Tues before Thanksgiving and called their Sponsor family, which was on their way out of town. Sponsors turned around, helped kids get their riders to DIA, got the car towed, and left my kids alone in their home while they restarted their trip. They even lent them their car to take to DIA the next day.

    These folks represent security, family, fun, trust, support, and more to our kids and I can't say enough good things about them!
     
  12. Northstream

    Northstream Member

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    Wow

    Thank you for the feed back, this was very good to learn. What generous people these sponsor families are! To do all that for someone, it seems the kids get adopted right into the family, and to find time when they have kids at home, WOW !
     
  13. eagle36

    eagle36 USAFA Alumnus

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    I absolutely love my sponsor family from when I was there. they were wonderful, and really were a "home away from home". I miss the dearly, and plan to keep in touch and visit for many many years to come.
     
  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I remember reading about a cadet, Garret?, who became ill with a horrific virus, and was hospitalized for weeks, then lots of PT to get back on track, etc. His sponsor family, especially the mom, shuffled the cadet from doctors, PT, to the Hill, etc. and housed Garret's family while he was ill.

    They are just great folks.
     
  15. academymom

    academymom New Member

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    sponsor family

    Our son begins the asafa at the end of June, is there a specific application that is required for my sister-in-law to be appointed sponsor parents.

    thanks,

    megan
     
  16. Tman910

    Tman910 Member

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    speaking at the cadet side of things, what do we have to do to get in this program? Is it different since I'm going to the P school?
     
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Have her try this Sponsor Site. Relatives can be a Cadet's sponsor.
     

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