Parents on R-Day

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by abeastlybeast, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. abeastlybeast

    abeastlybeast USMA Class of 2015

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    My dad and I live in Florida and he's wondering if he should bother booking a flight for R-Day. He wants to know if there are any special activities for parents or if he should only come for the March Back. Any info is appreciated.
     
  2. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    My mom will be coming to R-day. From what I understand, there are briefings/tours available for parents on R-day before they get to see the oath ceremony
     
  3. USMAallDay

    USMAallDay West Point Class of 2015

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    No one is coming with me on R-Day. I think one or both of my parents are going to try and make it for the March Back, though.
     
  4. FallenAngel77

    FallenAngel77 Member

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    As a parent, I would not trade the experience for anything. It is totally different than R day. There are plenty of things to do and see, the most important of which are dropping your new cadet off in the morning and then seeing them taking the oath that evening (around 6). There are briefings, the chance to explore the campus, and the opportunity to meet other parents. I do not think your father will be disappointed if he goes.
     
  5. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Wondering if you mean A-Day?

    Your parents only get to watch you march past; they can't spend any time with you. It is great to be there and wave in support of surviving Beast, however, they don't get to be with you until A-Day.

    R-Day is a very worthwhile trip if parents can afford it. Yes, it's bittersweet in the morning but so amazing to see the transformation at the end of the day. Like FallenAngel77 said, there are tours, briefings, shopping, trying to spot your new cadet----it was time well spent for us. DH had never visited WP and we had an outstanding tour with an excellent, knowledgeable guide. Go if you can manage it. The Hudson River Valley is also an historic, beautiful area to explore with lots of fun, interesting things to do.
     
  6. cadetmom2015

    cadetmom2015 New Member

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    I am also a parent and I agree I think for the parents it's a great experience but for your child (at least the cadets I talked to) not so much. Most said they were so focused on what was going to happen having mom standing there crying or whatever was distracting. IF you haven't had a chance to visit campus I think this is a great time to do it, but you won't be spending much if any time with your child. Since I've been there and had the grand tour etc. I'm waiting and going in August when they come back. I've heard the kids are very glad to see you then. I can't afford to take off work and fly across the country for both so that's what I'm doing.
     
  7. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Fortunately that wasn't our experience----we stood in line together and made small talk with a few other families. (We were unfortunately "treated" to an amorous couple saying good-bye the whole time we were in line. Ew.) We went in the Holleder Center, had our briefing, the 90-second good-bye, and watched as they left. Don't remember anyone in line or in the arena during our time slot having an exceptionally difficult time of it. Yes, there were some tears at the end but it didn't seem to affect the new cadets as they squared their shoulders and ran up the stairs, out of sight.

    Obviously, time, travel distance, and finances play a huge role in what families are able to manage, and A-Day is wonderful since you can be with your cadet. But once the A-Day parade is over, there is nothing else offered at WP for families. You can explore on your own and visit the PX but the emphasis is on family time. By Sunday, my cadet was getting very antsy because classes started the next day and we ended up taking him back to the barracks around 6:00 because he had things he needed to do.
     
  8. cadetmom2015

    cadetmom2015 New Member

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    I haven't been there for R day, I'm only going off what some plebes told me when I was there. I think if you can afford it you should go, but if you can't don't feel guilty, which is what I was feeling before I talked to the plebes.
     
  9. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Please don't feel guilty! You have to do what's best for your family and with gas and airfare through the roof, you have to pick and choose when and what to attend. You will find out that there are some parents who go to everything, others who will wait until Plebe-Parent weekend to make a return visit, and some just can't get back at all. Our return visits have been few and far between, opting instead to save those travel expenses for our cadet to fly home so we could enjoy him here.
     
  10. NV_USMA_Mom

    NV_USMA_Mom Member

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    We took our cadet (class of 2014) to WP from Nevada for his visit in April of 2010. When it came time to book for R-day, he preferred to go on his own. I think it helped him mentally to take that step, transitioning from being a civilian to becoming military.

    As a mom, I was worried that I would be 'mushy' and that would have been one more stresser for him. He did great (even making it on the video for R-day with an attitude)!

    There is no right or wrong answer. Each family needs to do what is right for them and their cadet. We were there for A-day and I am so glad we were able to experience that with him.
     
  11. USMADAD2015

    USMADAD2015 Banned

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    R DAY

    Hi. So for RDAY, you will drop your loved one off and say goodbye. at the end of the day, there will be a parade and the New Cadets will take the oath. As a former USMA grad, I can tell you that I dont even remember saying goodbye on RDAy. I know my mom was there and my dad had to work, but I cant remember it now, it was all a blur.

    Things will move so quickly for your loved one the minute they say good bye that I dont think it will be traumatic if you werent there. But, everyone is different. They will be looking more forward to phone calls, letters, and packages!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2011
  12. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    No packages during Beast, only letters! The exceptions are items approved in advance by cadre such as insoles, moleskin,etc. After A-Day they can get the good stuff!
     
  13. PotentialParent

    PotentialParent Member

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    My ranking of the experiences, as a plebe parent this year:

    1) A-Day weekend, and the word weekend is key here. The anticipation for the A-Day parade, and then waiting to see my son for the first time in many weeks was very special. A-day tops R-day for me, because you then get to spend Saturday evening, and Sunday until about 5:00 PM with your plebe.

    2) R-day, is a unique experience, as there is fear, apprehension, and nervousness in the air....and that is just with the parents!! The long wait in the line until they get to go in for the 4 minute "boiler plate" speech, the quick goodbye, and wow it is only 7:50 AM, and now what do we do? There is actually plenty to do, and see during the day, and it goes by pretty quickly. Then the oath ceremony was very special. It is a great day, but it is not spent with your plebe, at all, after you say goodbye in the early morning.

    3) Plebe-Parent weekend, was very fun, but I rank it third for a few reasons. One reason is that you are mostly on post, and although some of the activities are interesting, there was something lacking. I think it was the fact that the Plebes just really wanted to get out of there, and get home for spring break! It was very much worth the trip, so I am not trying to knock the experience, just liked the other days better.

    4) Marchback, was great to see, but that is all you get to do is see the historic event. If you are in the area, or able to make the trip without to much hassle, I recommend it, but again realize there is no interaction with your plebe. Probably will not even see them.

    Ok, this is my longest post to date, so hopefully will help someone. We live in Maryland, so it is not that big of a deal to get up to West Point. If we lived farther away, and had to pick one or two events to attend, above is our list using hindsight.
     
  14. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Wasn't that the truth! They were dying to get away, weren't they?:shake: I wish Plebe-Parent weekend was in October like it used to be and let the plebes have those extra days at home.

    My cadet raced us through the receiving line at the hop, circled us out the door we came in, and parted ways with us at the top of the hill so he could go back to his room and enjoy it without upperclassmen. By the time we got to our car and headed out, there was a steady stream of cadets heading back to the barracks to enjoy some freedom.
     
  15. PotentialParent

    PotentialParent Member

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    Had a very similar experience at the hop. Although my wife forced our son to sit with us for 30 minutes in the lounge with the live band. Who, by the way, were very good. After that it was, goodbye, see you in the morning. Great part of Sunday was that they kicked them out of Grant Hall at about 8:00 AM. Meanwhile my wife and I were enjoying a casual breakfast at the Inn we stayed at, and got to Grant circle around 9:30 AM. Grant Hall was closed, so he and several others waited in the cold for 90 minutes. :shake:
     
  16. Livinlarger

    Livinlarger Member

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    Agree about the Hop, with one exception. They have a professional photographer set up in the auditorium. If you get over there quickly after the dinner and get in line before going through the receiving line you will have an opportunity to get pictures with your cadet, you all dressed up and them in their dress uniform (the basic package was relatively inexpensive). We were in line for maybe 10 minutes before our turn. By the time we were done they were lined up all the way to the door (for those not familiar, that is a LONG line). Also remember that the receiving line is the cadet’s first chance to "practice" military protocol for such an event.
     
  17. oldcorpsdad

    oldcorpsdad Member

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    Try a football weekend

    R Day – quick goodbye. See the academy. Watch them come out transformed at the end and realize he/she belongs to the Army now. Good to see if you can do it.

    A Day – Nice transition for the cadet but also a huge transition to classes. They will have lots to do before Monday so you may not be their sole priority. They will want a good chunk off Sunday to get ready for classes and other duties.

    Plebe Parent – depends on the Cadet but many will want to get out of there.

    Football Weekend. If you can get tickets – go. See the cadets parade, walk around the Academy in the fall when its beautiful with the leaves changing. The cadets are better adjusted. Have brunch or eat someplace else with your cadet. Have a picnic by the river. This is a way better way to spend time with your cadet.
     
  18. abeastlybeast

    abeastlybeast USMA Class of 2015

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    PotentialParent and oldcorpsdad thanks for the detailed information. I'm sure my dad will want to come to R-Day knowing there's many things to do and see for parents.
     
  19. PotentialParent

    PotentialParent Member

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    You are welcome. Your dad will have a great day. West Point does not disappoint. It is a beautiful place, full of history and tradition. I enjoy every trip.

    Best of luck this summer and in the future.
     
  20. proudmama

    proudmama Member

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    parent visits...

    In my opinion this year as my son was a plebe we were fortunate to visit for R Day, A Day and Plebe-Parent Weekend.

    I loved them all.

    R-Day was for us as parents... we needed to see him growing and changing in just that one day. We needed to see the post, take the tours, meet other parents etc.

    A-Day was a do-not-miss for us. Time spent with our son was precious, appreciated and welcomed by all. Lots of relaxed time spent chatting and learning about his new life.

    Plebe-Parent Weekend... a must for us. A chance to see his barracks, meet his buddies and see where he is and how his life is. The hop - well, we mostly skipped it like so many others... just not for us.

    We know that next year, while he is a yuk, we will not likely visit at all, so the expense of this year is not replicated EVERY year!
     

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