🌟 Countdown to commissioning ‘23: ARE YOU READY??

Blues rehearsal today, same show and usually same closures, FAA rules.

Can’t wait to hear the “sound of freedom” reverberate my breastbone. Clear day, no ceiling. They’ll do the high show!

Around noon they’ll take a few spotting passes, do the show st 1400. We live 6 miles from Gate 8. I can sit out on the deck and watch for the ones who exit passes in our direction, catch glimpses of the high maneuvers. Love that sound ripping through the air.

Every 2-3 years we go to one of the shows, especially if we are invited to one of the tents. It’s a logistics pain but always worth it. For the record, I like all the flight demo teams. They work hard and have a relentless schedule. And they can’t put one ounce of excess weight on those custom-fit flight suits!
 
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The overhead rumbling has begun for location passes! Glimpses of blue on blue overhead! So distinctive. An entire different engine roar from the BWI flight corridor regulars. DH heard them first, of course, sitting out on the deck with his book and his binocs.
 
Love that for you guys…well deserved!!
It’s just the best sound. I think it’s the only time DH allows himself to miss flying fighters. Objectively, you can’t do that forever, but I think most pilots love what they do up there.

Dedicated to the future aviators in the class of 2023:

High Flight​

BY JOHN GILLESPIE MAGEE JR.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds,—and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air ....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew—
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
 
Well, you know, since this is just the practice run for next year's class... any suggestions on how to keep us 24 parents from stressing?
Well, nothing about stressing. But encourage your mid to go for some big billets, e.g. brigade, regiment. Might land you good seating for Commissioning Week events such as color parade, Blue Angels, etc. 😉
 
Well, you know, since this is just the practice run for next year's class... any suggestions on how to keep us 24 parents from stressing?

Or, do we just need to hope less?
For your advice list for next year, assumptions and expectations of both mid and family, management of.

We have seen stress generated in our sponsor family between graduating mid and family members who expect mid to be giving tours of the Yard, attending scheduled events and spending all available time with family, when the mid wants to be attending friends’ grad parties, meeting up with various company mates, teammates, classmates, for “one last X,” or spending time with GF or BF, and if that person is a classmate, add additional competing options. Family also may not be prepared for all the last-minute admin and “military stuff” required of their mid. Mid may be frustrated by parents planning parties with other parents without consulting mid, reverting to outmoded HS patterns of parenting, when mid has outgrown that by some years. Sprinkle in tension and concern about Real Life starting very soon, and the Fleet and Corps await, well, you see what can happen.

The schedule is roughly the same each year, now that we are post-COVID. Sometime in winter, after the New Year, have a candid, relaxed review of potential plans, adult to adult, with a broad approach to start the discussion. Break out last year’s schedule and look at it together. Mid should feel free to say, yes, I will eat dinner with you, but I plan to go out and meet up with friends after, and I don’t know if or when I’ll be back at the Comm Week house that night or any night. Parents might negotiate attendance at the Glee Club concert, because that’s something Grandma really wants to do, and she would like to have her grand-mid sit next to her. (Most mids, if they haven’t had much exposure to the Glee Club except football game anthem, are pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoy that show). Assumptions and expectations, discussed and agreed upon, with flexibility built in on both sides.

This is a time of significant transition for both mid and family. Acknowledge that and prepare to adjust.

Just like the annual Plebe Summer Home pages get updated every year, the Comm Week pages get updated too. Here is this year’s as a starting point for 2024 family discussions.

 
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Yeah, we are a year out and we've already had conversations about him being busy, not necessarily staying with us or seeing us daily. He may stay with his sponsors and leave another bed for a guest in our rental. We just want to chill out, attend what fits us, and not put too much energy into perfection.

He text me this am that the Blues were in town. I'm sure if his military obligations allow he will be watching.
 
We have seen stress generated in our sponsor family between graduating mid and family members who expect mid to be giving tours of the Yard, attending scheduled events and spending all available time with family, when the mid wants to be attending friends’ grad parties, meeting up with various company mates, teammates, classmates, for “one last X,” or spending time with GF or BF, and if that person is a classmate, add additional competing options. Family also may not be prepared for all the last-minute admin and “military stuff” required of their mid. Mid may be frustrated by parents planning parties with other parents without consulting mid, reverting to outmoded HS patterns of parenting, when mid has outgrown that by some years. Sprinkle in tension and concern about Real Life starting very soon, and the Fleet and Corps await, well, you see what can happen.

Of course, as always, Capt MJ NAILED it. Every single bit of this true. Including reverting to outdated HS parenting. Saw that happen and the result isn’t good.

You are their guest, to their commissioning. They will be busy with duties and obligations. And also wanting to be with their friends. That will soon be scattering across the globe. It’s really hitting home for them. So many unplanned moments.

Us parents and family did our own thing. Let our Mid know, and he generally showed up. Unless he didn’t, but we weren’t expecting him. So it was a bonus for us. We did all the things!! Had our own travel plans. Didn’t count on him to get us there (even though he said he would, not counting on him was huge).

Of course I’m not talking about the mando ‘must do’ things together: Supe party, etc. But the things that pop up, during the ‘down time’ are impossible to ‘plan’ for.

I saw one family that published an itinerary of every moment, of every day, for everyone. That, imo, is a recipe for stress.

Lowering expectations, of your vision for the week, is very freeing. Also make sure and allow for ‘down time’. Unscheduled, feet up nothingness. Take it all in as it comes. It’s an amazing week and I can’t wait to do it again in 12 months!!
 
Adding: hard to plan for the week-long hangovers, headaches, lack of sleep, etc. for Mids AND perhaps parents/family!! But especially Mids.

DH was 100pct on call, designated driver. At 2am? No problem. That is another thing to consider. And it’s affect on their waking hours 😂

Semper Gumby!!
 
Our family and friends are trickling in Wednesday and Thursday - work. We have planned dinners Thursday and Friday.

Other than that his friends want me to go drinking with them Thursday night - they want to see if my son is like me.

Everything else is unplanned. Stress free.
 
Our family and friends are trickling in Wednesday and Thursday - work. We have planned dinners Thursday and Friday.

Other than that his friends want me to go drinking with them Thursday night - they want to see if my son is like me.

Everything else is unplanned. Stress free.
They also want you to pick up the tab 😂
 
I thought the "warm up" was the rehearsal and said the show couldn't be any better. Then the actual rehearsal happened. Wow.

My ears are still hurting. One of the jets snuck in from behind at low altitude while we were focused on four others doing a climb. And I mean LOW altitude. Since it was going supersonic, we didn't even know if was coming until the sonic boom hit us. I nearly fell in the water! Absolutely awe-inspiring.
 
DS said it was incredible, his GF said, 'Don't you even think about flying those things', lol. As though the helos he hopes to fly are wrapped in bubble wrap. Glad they are all enjoying the week.

Glad you stayed dry @brewmeist , that's not the cleanest/not stinky water right there. :)
 
I thought the "warm up" was the rehearsal and said the show couldn't be any better. Then the actual rehearsal happened. Wow.
My ears are still hurting. One of the jets snuck in from behind at low altitude while we were focused on four others doing a climb. And I mean LOW altitude. Since it was going supersonic, we didn't even know if was coming until the sonic boom hit us. I nearly fell in the water! Absolutely awe-inspiring.
Exactly as it should be. We saw the low passes at speed screaming our way and cheerfully imagined the reactions of those in their wake.
🙉

If Supe was along, what a great retirement gift from the Navy, makes up for the crappy parts of the job.
 
...One of the jets snuck in from behind at low altitude while we were focused on four others doing a climb. And I mean LOW altitude. Since it was going supersonic, we didn't even know if was coming until the sonic boom hit us. I nearly fell in the water! Absolutely awe-inspiring.

That is what we call a "sneak pass". Not supersonic, but still getting it, at about 600 knots (700MPH). They call it a "mach knock".
From your position, it appears that they are making no sound as they come at you and when they go over, they often set off car alarms.
'merica!

The other side of that coin is when they do a tail stand and airspeed drops to 125MPH. That's pretty slow for a Super Hornet. ;)
 
My best friend from USNA was a Blue Angel pilot. I can still remember us as Plebes sitting on Hospital Point watching the Blues talking about our futures. So, it can and does happen! Not bad for a guy that did not have Navy Pilot as his #1 pick for service selection. I had tons of fun traveling to new cities to watch his shows. If his wife was there I would help with the wrangling of kiddos. We are still great friends to this day. I have seen probably 50-60 ish or so shows over the years. The practice days are always better than the show, at least in my opinion. Circle and arrival and then usually a practice. Especially for USNA the ‘box’ they work in is pretty tight and their mark is a barge in the river. Best show ever was a practice day… jets kept breaking and eventually they only had 4 left so the Diamond (1-4) get priority for practice. So he didn’t practice that day. So we got sit in empty stands and just catch up for 2 hours. Another show in the north east, it was practice day and fairly empty. All if buddies from USNA were there and some how the stands were only like 15-20 feet away from where they stand by their jets. The mockery was unbelievable. You put grads together it’s chaos of fun. We did everything we could to get him to laugh while doing all his dog and pony, it worked. They definitely work hard, are rarely home and the demand for perfection is incredible.
 
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Mrs. THParent and I have been going to PCola on vacation for decades. We always make sure we're there during the week when they are home. They practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Back in the 90's, we used to park our convertible in the same parking lot they used, next to the hanger and my wife would talk to them as they passed. She has no shame when it comes to good looking fit dudes. :p

We used to take lawn chairs and sit on the apron with our lunch. After 9/11 all that changed, of course. They make you go to the museum now and walk out by the static display aircraft. They have bleachers now.

It's still fun, though not quite the same. They ran out of rockets years ago for Fat Albert's RATO takeoffs. That was always my favorite. Lots of smoke and noise making a C130 go nearly straight up is truly something to see.
 
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