silly r day questions

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by another13mom, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. another13mom

    another13mom Member

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    My son has started getting all the paperwork finished per recent mailings but a few questions came up. I recognize these may seem really inane, but any guidance would be really appreciated....

    given that we are trying our best to save some money -

    one of the instructions sheets says that he is to report with his own pair of eyeglasses (presumably if there is a problem w. the lovely bcg's) but his eyes aren't that bad so he only has contacts because it didn't seem to make sense to purchase glasses and contacts (and we only have coverage for one or the other and we already purchased this years contacts) -- so if he can "get by" without glasses at all, can we forego the additional expense of buying glasses when we know he'll receive the official ones?

    we saw that they are permitted to bring sunglasses -- do we need to get him prescription sunglasses or do the official glasses come with some sort of clip on -- it seems a waste to purchase prescription sunglasses if he can wear nonprescription ones with his contacts once the summer is over (am I right that he can wear his contacts after summer?)

    immunizations -- there were a few shots that you either need 6 months between doses (hep A) or need to be over 18 (polio booster?) -- if my son gets the first hep A now, do they administer the second shot 6 months later even though it would be after beast? If he turns 18 days before R day, should we just wait on the booster for him to get there?

    If you take over-the-counter allergy meds (zyrtec) for summer allergies, are you allowed to bring it -- if not, are they supplied and how do you get one each day? -- or can I mail a bottle as soon as I drop him off?

    AP testing -- when do the "validation" tests occur? Can you take a validation test without spending the money on the AP test? Other than calculus, are there any other AP's that a student should take for placement since it seems that most new cadets take the same curriculum?

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Glasses - depends on what you mean by "getting by". He will need to be able to see. If he wears his contacts all the time then have him get a pair of glasses and bring them. During beast good vision is necessary both near and far. He will be taking validation exams early in beast and distance vision is needed for excercises in the field - he can't shoot a target he can't see.

    sunglasses? they can bring sunglasses? wow.

    if he is over 18 have him get the polio booster at home. otherwise they will give it to him on R-day. My understanding is they will give him the Hep A booster appropriately.

    No OTC meds. If he needs them he will go to "sick call" and they will give them to him. If he brings them they will toss them.
    Prescriptions meds - bring them. On R-day they will replace them on the advice of the physician.
    You can't mail medicines during beast. Letters only with few exceptions.

    AP's - IMO, any kids who are taking AP classes should take the exams. Two reasons:
    Validation often depends on the AP score (yes they will want it) and the results of the validations tests.
    Valdation tests are taken early in Beast - during the first few weeks. Usually when they are good and tired. If AP tests are taken the student should have the scores sent directly to West Point. Waiting until the results come in will delay them being received by WP.
    Validation tests will be taken in Chem, Math, English and History.
    If you are in AP classes that are not covered by those subjects - take the AP's anyway. You never know what will happen down the line and if separation occurs you can use the credits at another university. Also, it is my understanding that the test results are used in placement of course sections - not just to be excused from the course.
     
  3. another13mom

    another13mom Member

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    thanks -- he turns 18 a few weeks before so we'll have him get the shot then...

    he usually forgets to put in his lenses, and "gets by" (his vision isn't too bad) but he would need glasses, obviously, for target stuff -- I just wanted to avoid buying a pair if the likelihood of him needing his own glasses was minimal or nonexistant (especially since he'll be getting such an attractive pair when he gets there) -- but since they say he should show up with a pair, I was wondering if they really really need them (given the average cost of $200) ....similarly, w/ AP exams, it is good to know that he really only needs to take the math -- he took history and chem last year... the other AP classes (bio, ap env, stats) don't seem to be classes he would "validate" so given the expense, it probably doesn't make sense for him.

    thanks again.
     
  4. djfrro

    djfrro Member

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    for what it is worth, my son went thru beast last year. He did not want to wear the issued eye glasses and was used to wearing contacts. He went thru beast with neither and was fine, when he finished with beast we mailed his contacts and glasses to him. His eyes are not terrible and his precription is weak, but he was glad to get them when classes started. West Point does have an eye dr. on base and each cadet is permitted to order on pair of glasses per year.
     
  5. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Re: glasses
    Talk to your optometrist; since you've already had the exam, the glasses are all u need. Mine has a rack of "bargain" frames...they are not the latest styles, but not too out of date, either. My son selected from these, since he wears contacts almost exclusively. I have heard of situations where cadets' BCG's are not ready on R day...you wouldn't want to send your son to qualify on the rifle range without access to vision correction. Also, he did not get his contacts until after A day...he was allowed his glasses so he didn't have to wear BCG's, but it was a few days before his contacts were given back. There are many expenses, and ways to cut back...but I'd definitely pony up the $$ for some glasses...in my opinion.
     
  6. another13mom

    another13mom Member

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    thanks for the advice -- sounds like my son is more like dffro's (sp?) so I think we can take our chances that the glasses provided will be ready to go when he arrives..but thanks JAM and m3b -- I will ask him what he feels comfortable doing and spring for the cheapo stock frames if he'd feel better having them. If I bring his contacts with me on A-day, can he start to wear them then?

    also, on the penny pinching line of thought, when can he register for a USAA bank account (we're not military) -- no atm fees is an awesome attraction -- but do we need to wait till R day or can we do it earlier so we can use the USAA account for the USMA direct deposit banking form? (eventually, like July 1, we'd also like to get him a USAA nonowner auto liability policy (so we can take him and his one accident off our insurance (yikes!).
     
  7. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    As soon as he has an appt. you can sign up w/ USAA.
    My son is a corps squad athlete, so he had his contacts in his athletic locker for use during beast; however, he couldn't leave the gym with them in. I brought several boxes to give him on A day.
     
  8. djfrro

    djfrro Member

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    If his eyes are not that bad I would not worry about it, my son had never shot a gun before in his life and did very well on the rifle, I think he was "sharp shooter" or something along those lines. He lost his glasses that I sent to him in NYC on a weekend pass and I was not aware that he could get them at WP so I ordered him a couple of pair at ZenniOptical.com, cheap and decent, he got two pair for 60.00.
     

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