Amazing Week

brovol

Member
Add to that the fact that your child will become a part of the Long Gray Line, which is so impressive that no other institution could ever match up.
Well, that's subjective. I think that's a big downside to USMA. Our son affirmed Sunday night, and my heart is heavy at this point of no return (figuratively, of course). I still wish he were anywhere but where he is, but I love him, support him, and have kept my opinions from him since R-Day. Not everyone is impressed by the academies or the military. I still feel he had much better college options, and I have yet to hear or see anything to convince me otherwise. I post counterpoint here occasionally just to provide some balance. I'm sure not everyone who peeks into this forum is as "all-in" as most seem to be, and if you are a lurker who is among the less convinced, that's OK. It's probably time for me to move on as this definitely is not my herd, though I have great respect for many of the senior posters, their experience, and their generosity of time and wisdom. I peek in occasionally just to see what the chat is, but I find it mostly a monotone choir. Given the purpose of this forum, I understand that. I do not post to cause contention, but statements like the one quoted above make me shake my head and show me just how far from this herd I stand. If anyone else reading here is also outside the perimeter, take heart, you are not alone.

I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but that comment struck me. Carry on.
The suggestion that i am part of any herd gives me and would give those who know me a chuckle, but I'll own the fact that I am very proud, not that my son was admitted to USMA (and two other academies), but because he was drawn to them in the first place. And further, although both my wife and I had genuine concerns and reservations about our son going to West Point, and the obligations which follow, and I have had a few points of criticism over the past year and a half, West Point is beyond a tremendous institution, which truly seeks out and trains those who wish to become great leaders, and it has done a fine job at that for a couple centuries. With all due respect, there is strong distinction between believing that USMA is an outstanding school/institution, with a foundation built on historical accomplishment, and "drinking the koolaid", as you suggest Velveteen. To the extent that you don't believe in the mission of West Point or the other academies, or feel the desire to express your disappointment that your son chose WP over a "better college", I wont go further with this since I strongly suspect that my points will fall on deaf ears with you; and , respectfully, "you wouldn't understand". As for those who do, however, congratulations on the achievements and character of your sons and daughters. May the blessings and good fortune of God continue to remain with them!

GO ARMY!!
 
Last edited:

jebdad

5-Year Member
Velveteen - I feel you as I had a child right there with yours on Sunday.

Here is my take. As far as the total experience of only the 4 years at West Point, I, personally, can't imagine a better developmental experience anywhere. I cannot think of any institution that would develop the entirety of my child better than where they are now. In many ways, my child has experienced more in 2 years than I have in my entire life - jumping out of helicopters, meeting and listening to dignitaries, travelling the globe. and on and on........

But.... and this is the "but" that looms bigger and bigger as the 4 years of the WP experience fall through the hour glass and this is a "but" that doesn't exist at Stanford or Notre Dame or Harvard - my child could very likely be deployed. My child could die defending our country. My child has stated that they would die defending our country if they have to. That is chilling. That is scary. As a parent with zero military experience, I admit I struggle with that nearly every day.
 
I was able to attend R-Day, march back and A-Day. IMHO, they all had significant differences for me. R-Day was very long, emotional and tiring. March back was great to be able to see my DD; however, she and the rest of the cadets (parade went by very fast). A- Day was exciting, short and very rewarding because we were able to take our DD out of WP. For me, I wouldn't miss A-Day, would try very hard to get to R-Day and could miss march back if need be....but I'm very glad that I was able to do all 3!

Add to that the fact that your child will become a part of the Long Gray Line, which is so impressive that no other institution could ever match up.
Well, that's subjective. I think that's a big downside to USMA. Our son affirmed Sunday night, and my heart is heavy at this point of no return (figuratively, of course). I still wish he were anywhere but where he is, but I love him, support him, and have kept my opinions from him since R-Day. Not everyone is impressed by the academies or the military. I still feel he had much better college options, and I have yet to hear or see anything to convince me otherwise. I post counterpoint here occasionally just to provide some balance. I'm sure not everyone who peeks into this forum is as "all-in" as most seem to be, and if you are a lurker who is among the less convinced, that's OK. It's probably time for me to move on as this definitely is not my herd, though I have great respect for many of the senior posters, their experience, and their generosity of time and wisdom. I peek in occasionally just to see what the chat is, but I find it mostly a monotone choir. Given the purpose of this forum, I understand that. I do not post to cause contention, but statements like the one quoted above make me shake my head and show me just how far from this herd I stand. If anyone else reading here is also outside the perimeter, take heart, you are not alone.

I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but that comment struck me. Carry on.
I truly understand your comment and appreciate your point of view. Our DD had lots of options for other academies and civilian colleges but she decided on WP.

As we were driving to NYC after the oath ceremony on R-Day, my wife was second guessing her support of our DD's decision and wanted to turn around and "get her out of there". I asked her if she had those feelings when our DS chose his college. She said "no, not really." Our conversation that night concluded that my wife: did not (haven't asked since then if she's changed her mind) want our DD to attend WP; never told our DD of her own personal opinions; supported our DD's decision albeit different from hers; attends WPPC events in support of our DD; and still believes that there were/are better choices our DD could have made.

Long story short, our immediate family continues to have different feelings and beliefs about what was/is right our cadet; however, nobody discussed it with our her (except for a nosey/intrusive/opinionated grandparent) because it was not our decision to make![/QUOTE
Your daughter is so fortunate to have you. A few years ago, I had a cadet whose family disowned her for attending WP. It made her life living hell for quite sometime.
 

USMA 1994

Member
@VelveteenR It is great that you shared your feelings and I am sure there are many other parents with similar feelings. My better half has struggled with my daughter's decision for over two years now. The first year of applications was tough on everyone with DD being told she was a shoe-in to we don't have a spot for you, to we can still get you a spot to we hope you have a good Plan B. The wife was totally against reapplication and tried to get me to talk DD out of it. I had a different perspective and told my DD that she should always chase her dreams, there will be many times in life where you do not get the job, promotion, raise and that cannot stop you. It did take me some time to come to peace with the idea as I had only been back once in almost twenty years before DD's R-Day a few weeks ago. My wife has often reminded me of something I said that one weekend back, "This may be the first time I am driving into the gate without feeling sick." I am awed by my DD's decision to give up one of those "Great College" options and dedicate her life to serving our country. One of the most proudest days of my life was finishing the march back last week with her. One of my O-6 classmates asked her how the summer went and her response was "Sir, it sucked but it did not suck as bad as not being here."

My wife has often told people that West Point is not my dream for my daughter but it is HER dream and all I can is support it the best way possible. Seeing DD radiant in the pictures from the march back and A-Day reinforced that she made the best decision for herself.

To get the post back on track, @Brave is correct. All three events are amazing for different reasons. If I had to suggest to a parent next year it would be A-Day, R-Day, & March Back based on interaction with your cadets. R-Day is so much more about the parents and not the new cadet. If the family can handle the goodbye without creating stress for the new cadet, it is great that you are there to support. A-Day is really the day that you get to spend time with them and see how much they have changed. The march back was just as moving last week as it was 27 years ago. Seeing the entire community out supporting and welcoming the new cadets really emphasis that they are joining something that is bigger than the individual.
 
Ditto what @USMA 1994 said -
"If I had to suggest to a parent next year it would be A-Day, R-Day, & March Back based on interaction with your cadets. "

We live nearby so we were at all three and each one is distinctly different.

Whatever one(s) you attend, be sure to educate yourself about how the event will take place. When we were at RDay, we ended up chatting with the new cadet candidate inline next to us. His parents had dropped him off to get in line while they went to park their car. What they didn't know is that they'd never get back in time from parking to join their son in the son. So, we took a photo of him and texted it to the parents and I gave him a WP mom hug during the 60 second goodbye. I felt bad for them but they hadn't taken the time to learn about how RDay is set up and so missed out on the final goodbye.
 
@VelveteenR - it's nice to read other perspectives. Helps me to think through some of my ideas and beliefs. Like you, I am supporting my son at WP because he is following the path that he has been dreaming about for some time now - years actually. So, I am happy for him while inside, I am not happy for me. He plans to branch infantry and really, what mother would be thrilled to hear her son say these words? But this I keep to myself.

@AirsoftRanger - the language classes at WP are college level and as such, they are very difficult - especially so because they are often difficult languages to learn (in contrast to say, Spanish which is comparatively easy to learn). He will struggle like the rest of his classmates and will likely join a study group. How nice for him that Calc is easy so far. The pace will pick up and it may or not remain easy as the semester progresses. And if it remains easy for him, that will give him more time to spend preparing for his language class and that will be a good thing.
DS completed 2 years of German in 10 months thru okla state univ online program. i thot his program was too easy and that he shold retake German. since he passed out of the first year, wp would not allow him to retake. he now tells me his 2nd year german class is easy. so i would like to recommend the OSU online German program excellent asxan elent choice for WP candidates.
 
Add to that the fact that your child will become a part of the Long Gray Line, which is so impressive that no other institution could ever match up.


I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but that comment struck me. Carry on.
Visited WP this weekend for the first time. It's a hundred times bigger than I imagined, and highly impersonal. Now i understand - USMA thinks they are a university! I thought they were a military academy. All those white hats, i thought i was back in NROTC. I tried to help DS this week with classes, and last night DS confirmed that the language class that he tested into seems way too hard and the calculus class is way too easy, just like I thought. I am very skeptical of the "they've slotted tens of thousands into the right classes what makes you think they are wrong" attitude is off base. I thought my kid was tough, but I thought USMA would toughen him way up. Nope. "you were WRONG, Dad, NOBODY hangs up their clothes".. He laughed about the knowledge book. All he can say is how easy everything was and how much time is wasted standing around. he can come back home anytime.
Give me a ten second head start before you start shooting....
Well, I'm sure your son has a "full" perspective of West Point after two days of class, but he may find that there is more than what initially meets the eye. As for maintaining a sloppy room, he will have the opportunity to show attention to cleanliness and detail in a few weeks when SAMI happens.

Waiting around is one of the lousy realities of WP, and everyone shares the same sentiment. But WP does not think of itself as a university. It has changed over the years though, and certainly appears to be less strict traditional military school, and more "mainstream ", for lack of a better word. Some might argue it the "liberal" element, and many would argue it was better many years ago, but it is what it is. Still though, it is far from a typical university.
Add to that the fact that your child will become a part of the Long Gray Line, which is so impressive that no other institution could ever match up.
I misunderstood DS. He was trying to tell me that cadets only receive 2 hangars, so all other clothes are hung hung on hangars but are folded in drawrs.



I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but that comment struck me. Carry on.
Visited WP this weekend for the first time. It's a hundred times bigger than I imagined, and highly impersonal. Now i understand - USMA thinks they are a university! I thought they were a military academy. All those white hats, i thought i was back in NROTC. I tried to help DS this week with classes, and last night DS confirmed that the language class that he tested into seems way too hard and the calculus class is way too easy, just like I thought. I am very skeptical of the "they've slotted tens of thousands into the right classes what makes you think they are wrong" attitude is off base. I thought my kid was tough, but I thought USMA would toughen him way up. Nope. "you were WRONG, Dad, NOBODY hangs up their clothes".. He laughed about the knowledge book. All he can say is how easy everything was and how much time is wasted standing around. he can come back home anytime.
Give me a ten second head start before you start shooting....
Well, I'm sure your son has a "full" perspective of West Point after two days of class, but he may find that there is more than what initially meets the eye. As for maintaining a sloppy room, he will have the opportunity to show attention to cleanliness and detail in a few weeks when SAMI happens.

Waiting around is one of the lousy realities of WP, and everyone shares the same sentiment. But WP does not think of itself as a university. It has changed over the years though, and certainly appears to be less strict traditional military school, and more "mainstream ", for lack of a better word. Some might argue it the "liberal" element, and many would argue it was better many years ago, but it is what it is. Still though, it is far from a typical university.
 
Top