Graduation Gifts

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by army2021, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. army2021

    army2021 Member

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    Seen other threads before, but figured I'd get some fresh perspectives. What did you get your DS/DD for graduation? Anything besides the normal watch, multitool etc that they liked or is recommended? Either for fun or the Academy (USMA here)?
     
  2. spice3389

    spice3389 Member

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    We are planning on buying his ASU. They have to turn their ASU back in when they commission. Another idea would be new PT clothes or any other gear that they would have to turn back in.
     
  3. army2021

    army2021 Member

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    Sorry I meant high school graduation to the Academy. Great idea for later on though! Thanks
     
  4. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    They don't need much before R-Day. Just be careful with edged tools if you will be flying. There will be a $2000 dollar deposit need as part of the second step that is used to upfront costs and purchase a computer.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  5. BSCAR

    BSCAR Member

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    Wait, there a $2k deposit to go to USMA? Any other costs I should be aware of and save for?
     
  6. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Your cadet will likely need to purchase army boots. low quarters (dress black shoes) and sneakers. Each year, the exact kind may change so it's always best to wait until you hear from WP. Also you may want to get specific kinds of undergarments (socks, underwear, sports bras) and bathing suit (only for female cadets). Again, it's best to wait until you hear from WP on the specifics.

    My parents bought our cadet a watch for graduation which was a great idea since he needed it during beast. My 2 cents is to not get a very expensive one (under $50) as it will get very hard use. We didn't give our cadet a specific graduation gift since we knew that we'd be facing lots of expenses coming up ($2k deposit and other WP related expenses).
     
  7. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Another possibly overlooked expense is travel. Airfare/train/cab. Unless you live close to WP, travel expenses add up quickly.
     
  8. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    For families for whom the $2k deposit is a hardship, it can be deducted in monthly increments from cadet pay. Save travel receipts from the initial trip, and give to new cadet - they turn in their own travel costs for initial report during Beast. [We didn't know this, and lost out] - or at least for my 2014's year, you also had the option to use the Army's travel agency and have them book the new cadet's ticket. Your own travel expenses are not covered, nor are trips home for breaks.
    There will be a list of items to bring -- good running shoes, specific kinds of low quarters [black dress shoes] and boots. While it's highly recommended to have them and have your new cadet have them broken in, there are always a number of families that simply can't, and if that's the case,USMA will take a kid in his or underwear on R-Day and provide what's needed. Son had a homeless kid in his class, and a number of others with few to no resources. Glad the Academy provides the great American dream.
    As for gifts - the things mentioned; digital photo frame; noise-cancelling headphones if you're feeling extravagant, Casio watch if not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Do you want to give something practical, meaningful or useful? Seriously. Your DS/DD isn't going into a cave at a SA. So you CAN give gifts that might not immediately be useful but are still wonderful to give.

    Practical are some of the things mentioned here: stuff needed during the summer, etc.
    Meaningful: A nice watch (can wear it forever even if not during the summer), gold stud (or other) earrings for DD, a framed photo of family, school, home; a family heirloom (e.g., grandmother's brooch, grandfather's gold watch), etc. Something that holds special meaning and can be used for a long time but maybe not during plebe summer/year.
    Useful: Gift cards from Amazon or retailers/food establishments that are near (and dear) to the DD/DS's SA.
     
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  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    We got our sons "twin" 9-mm Berettas. They love their parents.

    (It's true, we really did! Wrapped up in Terrible Towels.)
     
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  11. Sandydesert

    Sandydesert Member

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    Before Christmas, there was a discussion on a parent social media page about giving "things needed in their first apartment on/near base" as graduation or Christmas gifts spread out over 4 years. Some of the items mentioned were a set of quality cookware, bakeware, small kitchen appliances such as toaster oven, blender, etc.; a set of cutlery, a set of lamps, a set of mixing bowls, a colorful large rug, measuring cups, and spoons, etc. Some parents loved the idea, as the cost of "apartment items" can add up very quickly for a new grad. Others were less than thrilled at the suggestions.
     
  12. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    An inexpensive but meaningful gift -- as soon as I knew son was accepting his appointment, I ordered a flag through our congressional representative. It was one that was flown over the US Capitol on his R-Day. I ordered it about a month ahead of R-Day for $22 or so. It came nicely boxed with a certificate of the date it had flown (after he had started) and I put it in a closet for four years and gave it to him for USMA graduation as a sign that "I knew he could do it!" . He used it for his commissioning ceremony, and has said he will use it for all promotions afterward.
     
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