I-Day Questions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by wisconsin5, Mar 25, 2016.

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  1. wisconsin5

    wisconsin5 Member

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    As we start our planning for I-day for our DS, we are looking for a little perspective on a couple of things:

    1. We are likely going to be headed to Colorado a few days early to allow for some altitude acclimation. We are considering bringing the whole family as a mini-vacation, but we are unsure if this will just be added emotion and stress for DS. Any thoughts or perspective is appreciated.

    2. Is it worthwhile for parents to stay for the swearing in ceremony on July 1, or is it best to drop them off for I-day and head home until parents weekend?

    I know there are no right answers, but if anyone has experience or thoughts, we would greatly appreciate it.
     
  2. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    You will definitely get varied opinions on this. We are also from Wisconsin so I will give you my thoughts:

    The idea of acclimating to the altitude in a few days is misguided. It takes weeks to start to acclimate and a few days won't make any difference. In fact, my wife's altitude sickness never even kicked in until the second or third day we were there every visit. I never got altitude sickness, but climbing the stairs to the 4th floor of our hotel was always a good way to feel the effects of the atmosphere.

    We did not go to I-day. Our son wanted to go alone so we said our goodbye at the Green Bay airport and he left. That gave him time to get his head into what was going to happen. It was the best choice for him and he did very well at USAFA.

    Stealth_81
     
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  3. ProudDad98

    ProudDad98 Member

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    Wisconsin5, my family is also planning to take that "mini-vacation" with our DS. I asked him about it before booking everything and it seemed like that he also wanted us to be there with him so I went ahead and booked the flights and hotel for the family. We are dropping him off on I-Day, but will not stay for the swearing ceremony.
     
  4. RedDragon

    RedDragon Member

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    My wife and I accompanied our son and for I-Day. We went out 5 days early and made a mini vacation out of the experience. The altitude difference has a huge effect on many flatlanders and our son ran 3-5 miles each day and it really benefitted him. Quite frankly, we never even considered not going and he was happy to have us there..However, every kid/family situation is unique and there is no right answer. My advice is to stay for the swearing in ceremony the next day. It is a day we will never forget....bring those sunglasses for the sun and the watery eyes..:)
     
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  5. Wishful

    Wishful Parent

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    We arrived a day earlier. I believe it will take more than a week for acclimation, so don't worry about it. Our family was present under a tent when "T' Thompson gave us a little speech and then said essentially , "OK, its time for you parents to let them go." She went in, we watched her cross the bridge, and that was that. We did not stay for the swearing in ceremony, but I wish I did. (Didn't understand how everything worked although our leaving might have helped as she told us later that when she was getting yelled at on the bus, she knew we left so she had no way to get home & had to stay.) After dropping her off, we went to the Colorado Parents Club picnic nearby. It was great & I highly recommend it. You can write them a letter & order goodie baskets for delivery during the year. Oh btw: make sure your DS can iron, I rushed through that the nite before in the hotel room!
     
  6. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    Welcome to the forums and Congrats on your DS's appointment. We went to I-day and did stay for the swearing-in. You will not get to interact after you drop them off at Doolittle on I-Day, but we certainly thought it was worth staying the extra night.

    Not sure acclimation is an issue -- no matter where they are on the scale, each Basic will be pushed to their limit. It takes weeks to fully acclimate anyway. USAFA knows most Basics are flatlanders and have been dealing with that for years.

    Regarding going or not - ask your DS what he wants. On I-Day, you will check in, get in line, hear a short speech by Lt.Gen Johnson and the head of AOG, then be given appx 2 minutes to hug and say goodbye. There really is not a lot of time for emotion, and I am sure it is designed that way.

    Personally, for our DD and us, we are all glad we went and that we showed up for the oath administration.
     
  7. Capri120

    Capri120 Member

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    We are also going out a few days early, arriving on the Saturday before I-Day, allowing DD to run a few miles a day "at altitude" to start the acclimation process; will also be a mini-vacation since DH has family in Colorado Springs.
    We plan to bring her to I-Day, report time of 0700. And, even though we will probably not be able to pick her out of the crowd, we plan to attend the swearing in ceremony.
     
  8. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    Actually, you should be able to see her at swearing in (she may not be able to see, or be too tired to recognize you though). If you know her squad, they line up A-H, A being on your left facing away from the chapel. Get there early though, you will see her drilling and you will want to get to the front of the chapel wall for best view.
     
  9. Capri120

    Capri120 Member

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    Thanks Blueblood1. We figured everyone would sort of look alike, but we'll keep that in mind.
     
  10. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    Capri -- easy to pick out -- yours will be in BDUs, shaved head and the (not sure what color we are on this year - Blue?) hat.

    If you know the Squad and Flight, you can narrow it down pretty well (e.g. HellCat Alpha will be front left group in the far right side formation if facing towards the T'Zo). Then the elements tend to line up by height, tallest in front. Make sure you sign up for Webguy. Not only are the pictures great, but his blogs and tips for Basic parents are very helpful. He is generally in the know and if there are changes to procedures, times, etc., he will let you know as well.
     
  11. Capri120

    Capri120 Member

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    I truly hope not a shaved head, especially since this will be my daughter:eek:
     
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  12. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    Sorry if I scared you -- Thought I was on the USNA forum. No shaved head for DD -- she will have the not to exceed 3" bun neatly protruding from the back of the (Blue?) cap. When my DD went in, I did photoshop a pic of our DD's face over a male cadet's pic in the barber's chair, so it looked like she did go GI Jane. Showed it to my wife and other daughters and they completely flipped out. That was some good fun!
     
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  13. Capri120

    Capri120 Member

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    that was cruel, sounds like something DH would do. She's been working on how to best put the hair up.
     
  14. serendipity

    serendipity Member

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    My two cents: ask your child. For me personally, I've always been really independent, so I didn't really feel like I needed my parents there. I stayed in a Bed & Breakfast home (something the AOG does), got along with that family really well, and now they are my sponsor family. They took me to USAFA for I-Day, and the thought of "Man, I really wish my parents were here," never crossed my mind. But that's me.

    I've heard mixed reviews on "altitude acclimation," but from my experience, running does get better but not quickly. We ran the AFT (1.5 miles) on the 2nd or 3rd day, so I had been in CO for 3-4 days at this point, and it was awful. Going a couple of days early probably won't help. It took a few weeks for running to be okay. And the dryness of the air STILL gets to me. While running does get better, stairs do not. Going from the 2nd floor to the 5th floor for class (or, heaven forbid, the 6th floor to talk to a teacher) still makes breathing hard. I've heard from upperclassmen that this doesn't ever really stop.

    Take what you will from this, but I hope it was slightly helpful or at least insightful.

    Also, for the swearing in ceremony, everyone will be in ABUs with blue hats. I think everyone is pretty easy to tell apart (I mean, their faces are all still different from each other), but it is slightly easier for the girls because you can also look at their hair.
     
  15. VeryProudParentOfSix

    VeryProudParentOfSix Member

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    Does anyone know what time the swearing in ceremony will be on July 1?
     
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  16. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    The mini vacation thing....good for the family but I would guess most appointees are pretty nervous and may not want to do much touristy stuff. We went with DD, she definitely wanted us there, and stayed for swearing in. If anything I think I would go just a day or so early then stay longer after and do the vacation stuff. It will take your mind off leaving them behind, but go see Colorado, don't stay too close and be sure they know you are not close by :)
    Can't believe we are coming up on two years...time does fly.
     
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  17. jwest182

    jwest182 USAFA Cadet C/O 2019

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    Correct! 2020 will be a blue class!
     
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  18. Capri120

    Capri120 Member

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    It is DD's idea to go out a few days ahead of time. She wants to run every day while there as well as enjoy a few "last meals" that would not necessarily be common fare at the Academy (such as Sushi). Probably won't be doing a lot of touristy stuff, since she has been there a few times and enjoyed some of the natural attractions in the area with her Dad after SS this past summer.
     
  19. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    Read this from a couple years back. http://www.serviceacademyforums.com...ts-booking-for-i-day.31184/page-2#post-301696

    Here is what I posted:

    "As I mentioned before, my DS was adamant about going at it alone. He later changed his mind after taking to another mom who had two West Point cadets (he leaned on their family for SA advice). It didn't matter much to me but it deeply mattered to my wife.

    That said, his rational was that he wanted a clear head to focus. I think that "focus" was centered around the fear of getting emotional in front of upper classmen. I could picture female basic cadets having that same concern (not showing any "weakness" in front of their male counter parts).

    If it was only about dropping them off, I say hug them at home and save the money. But we spent all day watching the events from a distance as well as the next mornings parade. It was priceless. It's not like you follow them around with your eyes peeled on them. You get an occasional glimps here and there. It's hard to miss something that you never experienced. So if we didn't attend, I'd have the same take as others (we looked at webguy photos and we respected his wishes).

    I will say with confidence it was a better and more interesting day than his previous high school graduation, any sporting event, or any of his birthday parties. It was a proud experience that is hard to put in words. That's about all I can say.

    To the mom's and dad's who are reading this. Free advice: borrow some great binoculars. We brought a few. One was a scope from a hunter friend. About 20 parents borrowed that scope to get an incredible view of their freshly shaven basic cadets head.:wink: They had SE (scope envy)."
    :biggrin:
     
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  20. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    I like the above advice. My wife is running a large event at work so she can't drive out with the family. The rest of us (our DS and his two younger brothers) are driving out the day before I-Day and picking my wife up at the airport. We plan a nice dinner with our DS.

    I think our being there is more about us than him. We are staying a few days and vacationing on the western slope. I am sure we will hang around and watch activities from afar and stay for the Swearing-in the next morning. It really seems to be hitting home these days that his time of living with us is coming to an end. It is a little surreal as the process of applying takes years and seems so far off that when it happens the DS seems to be the least affected of our family.
     

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