Tough Moments...

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Ex.BT.USN, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. Ex.BT.USN

    Ex.BT.USN Member

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    A long time ago I was given some sound advice that I am glad I took.

    PIMA told me that it was important to build memories because the time our DS started working on this journey and the time waiting for the journey to begin would be a flash memory.

    I now have the experience of saying building memories is so important.

    On Wednesday our DS checked in with his NROTC unit. There was an ever so brief ceremony with an intro to the NROTC staff as well as an intro to the impressive senior midshipman who will be in charge.

    One word: Impressive.

    At the end of the ceremony the skipper allowed the families to say goodbye to their one time civilian children and from there they were pulled into the new culture of learning the military way.

    The only moment in my life that I can recall that was as special was the day my DS was born.

    There was an overwhelming / consuming amount of thought that ran through my head. My wife and daughter stood there with tears in their eyes; he looked to me and said “are they crying?”

    I saw it in his eyes that he too was caught up in a moment of reality and if I let it go he might have done the same. As a father I knew he needed that foundation of strength and that everything would be okay. I smiled and said yes. We held it together son and father.

    It was and remains a tough difficult moment. We got home last night and I went to his room directly, I had to just be in there. I opened his door and was consumed by all of him. The sight of the room and how it smelled of him (a good smell…nothing stinky). It was like he was there but I could not see, touch, or hug him.

    I could not get out of the room fast enough but I still wanted to remain inside, I did not want to leave! More thoughts of: “Was I a good enough father,, Where is my son, What is he doing, I just want to give him one more hug, just one more, but he was not home.

    I sit here now and remember the LT going out of his way to come over to my wife and me to say: I meet """"" over the summer and shared emails with him we will take good care of """"". It was a very personal and we felt lucky to have had it.

    I have the memories of the last year and our DS going through the application process.... I have pictures of him from the time he was a baby to the night prior to leaving standing with his siblings and dog. They are great memories but I still miss him.

    This is an adjustment for him as well for us. I have already written a letter just thinking of the suggestions of what they say for the service academies.

    He is our son, we love and miss him. As much as I want to get him home it is important for him to grow into an adult and Naval midshipman and hopeful Naval officer.

    Take the advice of PIMA…build the memories with your children and parents because when you check in at the NROTC all that you worked for will be a fast distant memory.

    Cheers all the the best to you parents and candidates...
     
  2. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    You thought that was good? Just wait until the commissioning ceremony...an **unbelievably** proud moment :thumb:

    ....and congrats to you, your wife and your son on a job well done!!!
     
  3. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Great story. Now pull your socks up and start baking his favorite cookies to send him.
     
  4. Ex.BT.USN

    Ex.BT.USN Member

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    Good times, socks are up...lemon squares are his gig.

    I have to paint the bedroom, start an new employment offer, take care of the lawn and get ready for my DD 1st day of HS.

    I told the wife she can fly out whenever she wants to see him.
     
  5. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Great Posts, Congrats and Best Wishes!
     
  6. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Tough Moments....

    Ex.BT.USN

    You are a great Dad. Tell your DS, thanks for defending the freedom of the United States of America, the greatest country in the world. And thank you to you and your family, as well.

    RGK
     
  7. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    Thank you for sharing this. We will be following in your footsteps next Sunday as we too watch a short ceremony and say goodbye to our soon-to-be midshipman. In church today, the thoughts running through my head were....keep him safe, I hope we did enough to help him on this journey, I hope he is happy....and I already know I'm going to cry like an idiot (as will his 2 little sisters who adore him and his overly sappy father). Not sure any of us can be strong for him but I will give it my best shot.
     
  8. kmaidaho

    kmaidaho Member

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    I'm telling you...time DOES fly! DS is entering his FINAL semester and is Battalion Commander. It has been an unbelievably long road in some respects (DS was a college programmer for 2 years when scholarship funding was nearly non-existent), but I am amazed and humbled by the man my son has become.

    My 'dropping DS off for O-week' story is a little different. He has wanted USNA soooooo badly and was dropped by both USNA and NROTC Scholarship late in his Senior year. With no other options available, he was 'forced' to take the academic scholarships offered by the college 100 miles away. It was the last place he wanted to be. But, he joined the NROTC unit there without scholarship and reported with every intention of working his tail off so he could get a recommendation from the CO for a re-application to USNA. The XO met with the parents as the new midshipmen were promptly directed away and given instruction on basic marching, standing at attention, saluting, etc. Through the open windows in the Navy building classroom, I could hear the new group being yelled at...and it was oddly comforting!! I knew things would work out and be okay. I WAS incredibly proud and still am, but I didn't cry that day. (I'm not promising the same when Commissioning comes up in December!)

    Congratulations to all new parents embarking on this journey!

    Kat
     
  9. jiller59

    jiller59 Member

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    We have attended the commissioning ceremonies of the classes of 2013 and 2014 since we were at school anyway to move DS home. I didn't know any of the midshipmen and still cried! It is such a moving experience. I joke that I am getting the tears/emotion out of my system, but somehow I know there will be plenty left for commissioning in April 2016 - a mere 20 months away.
     
  10. JMS

    JMS Member

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    Great post. And good advice about building memories.
    My DS raises his hand this Friday. He is starting his Soph year as a 3 yr scholarship winner.
    We (his parents) were not sure we could swing the work arrangements to get there to see it in person, but today, all the pieces fell into place.
     
  11. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    Congrats JMS!

    Our son raised his hand today. Thought I would share the experience.

    Had a nice reception last night at the union for anyone who was in town and the parents. Great to meet the staff casually. They are all very impressive. The CO, XO and AMOI are all new this year. Even after the fire alarm that kicked us out, we continued to socialize outside the union. Also gave some of the kids time to break a little ice.

    Today we had 90 min. to move in the dorm stuff (lay carpet, loft 2 beds, build a futon and get everything into the room....most of it put away!) and then after a quick shower we headed over to the NROTC building where the captain gave a powerpoint about the overall program. I knew most of the info. I did learn that since DS is a tier 1 engineering major, he'll graduate with a minor in naval science as well. That was cool.

    Then it was time for the scholarship kids to take the oath. There were 12 (one was delayed in route but was on his way) and I thought 15 had scholarships but we watched 12 amazing young adults swear to serve.

    Ex, I did my best to follow your advice. I took my photos, but held it together through the oath and only cried a bit when I hugged him goodbye. He was SOOOO excited. The schedule changed recently (hence the 90 min. window for move in) that allowed the entire battalion to head up to a military base for their indoc. So he's living the military life right now and with all his excitement, it was hard to be sad for long. I am sure it'll hit me in waves in the coming weeks.

    I look forward to the first call/text next Thursday when they get back to campus.
     
  12. Ex.BT.USN

    Ex.BT.USN Member

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    Good times...

    Navymomwannabe,

    Congrats and welcome to the start of whatever else we get to experience for the next few years.

    Now that he took his oath it is time for you to change your signature from "Proud Mom of DS-NROTC scholarship 2014" to read "Proud Mom of a 2014 NROTC 4th class midshipman."

    Ous DS completed his NSO and when it was over he said the Marines turned it off and became friendly. He could not get over how they were able to go from one extream to another. Since NSO ended he took the swim test and passed and is now doing laps in the pool on his own. He also spent Friday getting his uniforms ready for Monday! He said they were turning him into a morning person. Haaaaaaaaaaaa, yea can't wait to see that. That kid is a professional naper!

    Cheers, and all the very best!
     
  13. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    I didn't cry! Lol

    So proud of all these kids! What a scary, awesome day!

    DS has dreamed of saying, "aye aye, sir!" Since he left NASS a very short/long year ago. He said he said it about four hundred times by lunch. Was cracking himself up. Such anticipation!

    Advice to the future NSO participants, follow instructions! "Uniform" for reporting was dress shoes, khaki dress pants (Dockers style), and collared shirt. There were 25 men and women who started the day. One boy wore khaki cargo shorts. Imagine how his day went! He stood out like he was wearing neon pink amongst everyone else in pants. Don't be that guy! Good news for everyone else tho as that kid took everyone's attention for most of the day!
     
  14. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    My son just called after surviving NSO and although he was tired and sore, he sounded pretty good. Funny about the dress code, our unit didn't have one and I have to tell you, I wish they had! DS wore a polo and black dress pants and there were a few other kids in khakis and polos but some guys just showed up in crappy shorts and t-shirts. But the CO said casual so I guess it was ok.

    I think scary,awesome is the perfect description! Best of luck to your DS Dial the Gate!
     
  15. Ex.BT.USN

    Ex.BT.USN Member

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    Same

    My DS was in khakis and polo as well... I was a bit surprised to see how some showed up!

    Now post NSO and a 2nd week of PT class and the swim test my DS is down 10lbs. He was not an big eater prior, that has changed. He is getting involved with the color guard and a club for mids that want to fly. He is so busy he does not even have time to talk which is fine. We can live on a text message as long as he is happy.
     
  16. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Ahhh... the joys of Cockpit Club AND Color Guard. Its good to be involved.
     
  17. jiller59

    jiller59 Member

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    Welcome:thumb:
     
  18. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Navymom, thank you! Good luck to your son as well! So cool, isn't it? I am trying really hard to not inundate my son with questions...but I wanna know everything! So proud of him and so excited for all he is doing. And he loves it soooo much...course that could be because classes haven't started and the school is still treating them to the red carpet service!

    Ex.BT.USN, so agree about that occasional text! I told him I will text and say hello and good night, because that is for me, but he is to call and text when he wants to or is able to. I know he is happiest when he is busy and not hearing from him means he is out doing things a hundred miles an hour.

    jiller, thank you! Sent you a pm.
     

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