Stepping Onto the Roller Coaster ...

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by 4BoysMama, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. 4BoysMama

    4BoysMama New Member

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    My oldest DS is just finishing his third week of attending Service Academy summer seminars. He did NASS, then SLE, and is currently at USAFA. He has always had a vague interest in the Service Academies, and applied for the summer programs to see if it is something he really wants to pursue or not. He has loved these last three weeks and will be pursuing a nomination and working on applications when he returns.

    We are not a military family, but have always been very supportive of our military and of the idea of a service-oriented life.

    Like some of those in the "Whip-sawed parents" thread, I feel conflicting emotions from day to day, but realize that this is 100% my son's decision, and he has my full support in whatever that decision may be.
     
  2. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Welcome to the forums. Buckle in and hold on tight!

    Stealth_81
     
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  3. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    Welcome! And take the time to do searches and read through the many post here. There is a wealth of information here, granted you may have ot sort through the fluff to find an answer but I bet you can find it here.
     
  4. AuxNoob

    AuxNoob CGA Admissions Partner

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    Did he apply for AIM at USCGA? Quite a different experience, and eye opener.
     
  5. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Welcome Aboard. It is an amazing ride. Conflicting emotions even for a service family are not unusual. It is the choice they make on their own.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    IMPO, as a military family the only difference we are compared to non-military families, is understanding that at 18 they are legally an adult in their eyes.

    It is an insane ride.
    Get a nomination....yea! Two weeks later see on this site that some one on the same MOC slate got appointed....boo!
    Get the letter for a DoDMERB exam...yea! 2 weeks after the exam get a remedial....boo!
    Get a letter from MOC #2 for an interview...yea! Letter says if you have a nomination in hand, we will not nominate you...boo!
    MoC #3 nomination...yea! Silence from the SA...boo!
    Send the DoDMERB remedial info...yea! DoDMERB DQs....boo!
    ROTC awards scholarship as plan B...yea! Crap DoDMERB has him DQd...boo!
    ROTC Waiver comes through...yea! SA hasn't...boo!
    Waiver for SA is in...yea! No word from SA regarding an appointment...boo!
    It is Mass Mailing March...yea, the rollercoaster is almost over!

    This is a year long ride, where one day you feel confident, and the next day you don't.

    I have 3 children, our eldest is now an O2 AF pilot. His was the hardest because it was constant deadlines...MOCs, CFA, PFA, ROTC applications, etc. There was really no down time impo. The younger 2 were just apply on common apps, and wait.

    We are a military family btw.

    I wish your family the very best. Thank you for wanting to defend this great nation. We are here for you whenever you need us.
     
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  7. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    They are 18 and an adult in the eyes of the service and any school they attend. You can't get their grades even if they are attending a civilian college unless they "authorize" it. That made me mad as I was paying the freight for my son. The ride continues after commission as DD is stationed as Company commander Paris Island and her husband is Osprey Pilot out of San Diego and now deployed. Son is Ensign Navy Reserve (Commissioned on board USS Constitution) out of Mass Maritime and now on board a container carrier bound for Singapore. They have their own ride and we can only watch, pray and send packages.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Strap in!

    My two sons are USAFA grads and one is now stationed with PIMA's son. You will meet amazing people here!

    Read the stickies, go to USAFA.EDU, and ask away.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    FWIW the rollercoaster ride does not end for years. After their path is determined (SA or ROTC), than it is the next 4 years with the little rollercoaster, the big wave is their career field assignment. If he goes rated (flier) the ride will not end for @2 more years after commissioning. Pilot training is a whole new roller coaster ride.

    I now jokingly call this phase like pregnancy. It lasts about that long, and you learn along the way.
    ~ IE, while your pregnant you will never sleep through the night again, because of the need to go to the bathroom. It prepares you for not sleeping when the baby is born
    ~~ You have the baby, and now that ride is over, but when you come home with the baby, you are on a much bigger ride that lasts for much longer. All new fears and questions pop up.

    The thing is you now long for that pregnancy roller coaster. That newborn, no sleep, trying to find time for a shower makes you wish for those pregnancy days. The toddler roller coaster starts right after commissioning.

    Fencer and I met 7 years after we joined this board. Our DS went AFROTC, hers went USAFA. They are not only stationed together, flying the same airframe now, and close friends, but they also were in the same UPT class.
    ~ DS called right after class started and was talking about a guy that was a twin from PA. I asked him the name...it turned out to be fencers DS.
    ~~ At their winging, we met her DSs fiance. She looked at me and said you must be Pima. She turned to my DH and said you must be Bullet. She was a member here too. Fencer and our boys never were. Now imagine meeting your fiance and slowly placing 2+2 together, knowing you have been chatting with your future MIL for years on this site.

    I met Hornetguy on this site. Not only did he attend Bullet's retirement, but Bullet was the one to administer his oath of office at USAFA. Hornet also flew out to attend our DSs commissioning party.

    Raimius spent Thanksgiving with us one year.

    I say this because you will find that even military families understand this is a unique world. Our friends and family understood the military life, but it is different when it is your child going through the process.
    ~ Even military parents know that the branch they entered decades ago is not the same branch now.
    ~~Fencer and Stealth had children stationed at the same UPT base. (Stealths was there a year earlier). They, along with raimius, understood the emotional ride I was feeling, whereas, my BFF could only say he'll be fine. She could not understand that not hearing from your child during the middle of the week was what you prayed for.

    Use this site not only to learn, but also embrace the friendships that you will create. That is the best part of the military. You immediately have a new family. You may disagree with them, but if they call you needing help, your answer will be what do you need me to do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
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