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Offline RRdvark

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Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« on: March 24, 2014, 03:44:17 PM »
So I normally would not look to the ne'er-do-wells of STO (formerly STN) for legitimate counsel, but desperate times, they say...

My youngest daughter left for US Marines boot camp this morning.  I have found many who have been through boot camp/basic training, etc. to relate their tales, advice, and condolences but have not found anybody within my circle of acquaintances that has sent a child away (especially a daughter, in this case).

So I throw myself at the mercy of STO for any/all that have experience in this area.  Personally I am having a hard time dealing with the thought of anybody screaming at my daughter whether they have a good reason to or not (especially the first week, so I have been told).

Thanks in advance

(side note: I am usually offline from 5:30p until morning, so I am not ignoring any replies)

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2014, 03:56:22 PM »
My son was active jarhead from '96-'99. He turned out okay. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH YELLING. And they do have a reason.
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Offline Downs

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2014, 04:11:43 PM »
I'm going on year 11 now and I turned out pretty good.   I do cuss way too much though haha. 

Boot Camp sucks while you are there but you will generally look back on it with fond memories, and laugh about the stuff that happened that most civilians won't understand.  To them some of the things are apalling haha. 

The part that sucked for me was not being able to drive or ride.  I wrote my mom and had her send me pictures of my Jeep and motorcycle so I could at least look at a vehicle.

Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2014, 06:04:41 PM »
Both of my sons went to boot camp (army-MP's) and one is a member here on STo. I didn't mind them going to boot camp as much as when they went to summer camp*. The yelling is a necessary part to get the message through. Important messages they might need later. Hell, I even yelled at them a time or two myself. My daughter OTOH, responded pretty well to a disapproving look.






*Summer camp is what we told my wife the boys were doing during deployments.
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2014, 06:22:19 PM »
I'm going on year 11 now and I turned out pretty good.   I do cuss way too much though haha. 

Boot Camp sucks while you are there but you will generally look back on it with fond memories, and laugh about the stuff that happened that most civilians won't understand.  To them some of the things are apalling haha. 

The part that sucked for me was not being able to drive or ride.  I wrote my mom and had her send me pictures of my Jeep and motorcycle so I could at least look at a vehicle.

Welcome Downs! Glad to see you here.  :bigok:

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Offline CLAY

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2014, 06:24:27 PM »
I've got nothing but thanks and well wishes for her!
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2014, 06:33:38 PM »
One of the most important things a woman has to learn in life is that her dad will not always be around. So she will have to get a little tougher and a little stronger. Better now than later, right?

What she will learn in the marines will last a lifetime and give her connections to help her in the world. Help her keep her grace. Help her to keep her poise.

*virtual hug* to you, father of a young woman....
The world is a mess. It has always been a mess. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.  Joseph Campbell

Offline Scratch

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2014, 07:02:15 PM »
They don't scream like they used to.

My niece (a mere slip of a girl) went through Army basic training last year, then straight on to Ft. Leonard Wood for MP school. 

She did just fine; and is much more self-assured now.

Offline Meemuh

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2014, 07:32:41 PM »
I can't console you - my kids are all 12 & under...but props to your daughter.  I'm sure she'll make you proud.

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2014, 07:40:52 PM »
She will make you grow too.
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Offline mastros2

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2014, 09:36:15 PM »
I never served but have a few coworkers that are Marines.  Tell her, "Thank you"!!!


Offline coucours grad

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2014, 09:59:19 PM »
The best part of parenting is about to smack you right upside your ugly OLD mugshot.



Seeing your little snot factories  grow up into adults that make you proud.


Enjoy it.
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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2014, 10:21:11 PM »
The best part of parenting is about to smack you right upside your ugly OLD mugshot.



Seeing your little snot factories  grow up into adults that make you proud.


Enjoy it.

This too.  :bigok:
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2014, 05:45:29 AM »
She'll be fine.  I sent my oldest thru in 2009 and he's grown up as a fine example.  Still serving for another couple years, if not more.  We went down for "graduation" and the change is very noticeable in most of them.
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Offline RRdvark

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2014, 07:34:30 AM »
Thanks for all the replies!  It's not so much the yelling - just that it's not me yelling, you know?  You never trust that anybody else has your kid's (especially daughter's) well-being in mind.  Then all the what-if situations that you make up in your head because you don't have anything else to think about.  Like what if she uses that uncontrollable sarcastic wit with the drill instructor....oh Lord.

For those that have sent loved ones away - how many letters did you write?  What did you write about?  What did they like to hear about?  We got the general overview from the recruiter (be positive, don't give any bad news, etc.), but like Downs wanted to see his Jeep and bike, any other suggestions?  I don't want to send her pics of the dogs if it is going to make her homesick, right?  I am writing her letters each day so I will have some ready to send once we get the address next week - but those are mostly the encouraging/proud of you type.

I think I could handle everything no problem if I just got a text or phone call from her every couple of days.  The lack of communication will be the killer.

Thanks again to everybody that has chimed in

Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2014, 07:57:37 AM »
We wrote probably every 10 days or so, but we had some uncle/cousins write also, so there was always a trickle. We kept him abreast of what was going on so that they didn't feel like they were missing anything. We would sometimes give them a 'day in the life' style letter, and include pictures along with the text (done in a word doc, and printed out).

I'm not sure how boot camp is now, but deployments were the reason we got Facebook, as it is easy to leave messages, chat, send pics, video, etc...
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2014, 08:27:40 AM »
Find out the details first.  When I was in, my twisted and very large family found out that I had to pay for mail with push ups.  They got together and sent me several hundred "letters" each of which consisted of one word and a
corresponding number.  When put in order, it was a single letter.  My twisted sister worked for the Post Office at the time.  My anonymity was totally shot the day the drill sgt busted out the door and yelled my name.  Nobody knew
my name up to that point because I was joe average.  I ended up owing like 6000 pushups when it was all said and done.  It became a big joke and other members of my unit actually went to the DI office to pay off some of my debt. 
His question was, "Who in Annapolis MD wants to see you dead?"  I honestly didn't know. 

She'll be fine.  She is experiencing things that will be with her the rest of her life.  They will, in fact, build character and they will teach her things about her mind, body and soul that most people will NEVER know about themselves.

When I left for the Army, I felt bad leaving my mother in a not great position given my father's condition at the time.  Her words will echo with me forever.  It was something to the effect of me going away to be my own man in my own way
was validation to her that she'd done the right things in the right way to put my in this position.  Feel free to worry because you always will but I suspect that soon you will have less to worry about than ever when you meet the woman that
your daughter will evolve into because of this experience.  Don't get me wrong.  It will suck.  But she'll be way better off for having endured it. 

Oh, and pony up for her to buy all the crap she wants at the end.  Get the jacket and the video and the book etc.  When she can show her kids that she was a bad ass marine, her mom cred will go way up. 
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

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Offline Scratch

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2014, 08:31:53 AM »
Thanks for all the replies!  It's not so much the yelling - just that it's not me yelling, you know?  You never trust that anybody else has your kid's (especially daughter's) well-being in mind.  Then all the what-if situations that you make up in your head because you don't have anything else to think about.  Like what if she uses that uncontrollable sarcastic wit with the drill instructor....oh Lord.

For those that have sent loved ones away - how many letters did you write?  What did you write about?  What did they like to hear about?  We got the general overview from the recruiter (be positive, don't give any bad news, etc.), but like Downs wanted to see his Jeep and bike, any other suggestions?  I don't want to send her pics of the dogs if it is going to make her homesick, right?  I am writing her letters each day so I will have some ready to send once we get the address next week - but those are mostly the encouraging/proud of you type.

I think I could handle everything no problem if I just got a text or phone call from her every couple of days.  The lack of communication will be the killer.

Thanks again to everybody that has chimed in

Jeebus, man.  Sounds like you're taking it worse than she is.   ;)  Relax, roll with the punches for the few months she'll be there.  Bear in mind she's not alone - she's sharing her experience with lots of fellow recruits.

My boot experience is seriously dated ('75); a different branch so it's relevance is questionable.  I recall we had to write home once a week.  I don't recall any phone calls home.  I remember getting one package - a couple dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies - that won me friends; so if baked goods or something else she can share with her fellow recruits is permitted most definitely send it. 

I remember our DI was a bitter asshole lifer who drank and was going through a nasty divorce and couldn't make rank and that's how he wound up teaching boot in the first place and he pretty much took it out on us with no oversight.  I remember other, better-natured instructors there confidentially assured us that boot camp isn't the "real" Navy; the takeaway being we should all just relax and roll with the punches for the couple months we were going to be there and later we'd realize it wasn't really all that bad.

Offline doc4216

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2014, 08:36:43 AM »
I went to boot camp 13 years ago this July. When my parents dropped me off at Meps all I remember them saying was "do good kid". That's all they had to say, I'm the one that wanted to go.

They sent me letters every week or so, which was the best part of the 8 weeks. They told me different things and sometimes just completely silly things that just made me laugh. For instance, my mom told me a story of how my g'maw messed when my uncle who was stationed in Texas. Apparently she would talk to my future aunt with an Asian accent but neither of them said anything to my uncle. Then when he finally brought her home to pa, my aunt was shocked to find out that my g'maw wasn't Asian at all! So what did my mom do next time she wrote a letter? She wrote it in Chinese and then translated it for me! (My mom doesn't know a lick of any other language)

That's the kind of funny crap I remember from parents. Definitely made it to the graduation! She will look more forward to that then actually being done with BC. And don't worry about the yelling, she is just fine! They are going to give her tests that she will not being to complete just to see how she handles the stress, and then IT (intensive training) her for not meeting the unattainable goal.

Your daughter will be better for doing this. I don't know a thing about her but she chose to serve her country and that's all I need to know. Joining the coast guard was the best decision I have ever made and now I just found out last night that I am making Chief on Tuesday!
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2014, 08:49:57 AM »
I went to boot camp 13 years ago this July. When my parents dropped me off at Meps all I remember them saying was "do good kid". That's all they had to say, I'm the one that wanted to go.

They sent me letters every week or so, which was the best part of the 8 weeks. They told me different things and sometimes just completely silly things that just made me laugh. For instance, my mom told me a story of how my g'maw messed when my uncle who was stationed in Texas. Apparently she would talk to my future aunt with an Asian accent but neither of them said anything to my uncle. Then when he finally brought her home to pa, my aunt was shocked to find out that my g'maw wasn't Asian at all! So what did my mom do next time she wrote a letter? She wrote it in Chinese and then translated it for me! (My mom doesn't know a lick of any other language)

That's the kind of funny crap I remember from parents. Definitely made it to the graduation! She will look more forward to that then actually being done with BC. And don't worry about the yelling, she is just fine! They are going to give her tests that she will not being to complete just to see how she handles the stress, and then IT (intensive training) her for not meeting the unattainable goal.

Your daughter will be better for doing this. I don't know a thing about her but she chose to serve her country and that's all I need to know. Joining the coast guard was the best decision I have ever made and now I just found out last night that I am making Chief on Tuesday!

And solely for relevance to the OP, you are someone's daughter as well.
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

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Offline doc4216

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2014, 08:51:28 AM »
I went to boot camp 13 years ago this July. When my parents dropped me off at Meps all I remember them saying was "do good kid". That's all they had to say, I'm the one that wanted to go.

They sent me letters every week or so, which was the best part of the 8 weeks. They told me different things and sometimes just completely silly things that just made me laugh. For instance, my mom told me a story of how my g'maw messed when my uncle who was stationed in Texas. Apparently she would talk to my future aunt with an Asian accent but neither of them said anything to my uncle. Then when he finally brought her home to pa, my aunt was shocked to find out that my g'maw wasn't Asian at all! So what did my mom do next time she wrote a letter? She wrote it in Chinese and then translated it for me! (My mom doesn't know a lick of any other language)

That's the kind of funny crap I remember from parents. Definitely made it to the graduation! She will look more forward to that then actually being done with BC. And don't worry about the yelling, she is just fine! They are going to give her tests that she will not being to complete just to see how she handles the stress, and then IT (intensive training) her for not meeting the unattainable goal.

Your daughter will be better for doing this. I don't know a thing about her but she chose to serve her country and that's all I need to know. Joining the coast guard was the best decision I have ever made and now I just found out last night that I am making Chief on Tuesday!

And solely for relevance to the OP, you are someone's daughter as well.

good point! Sorry, I always forget that I should put that..lol
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2014, 09:00:04 AM »
I went to boot camp 13 years ago this July. When my parents dropped me off at Meps all I remember them saying was "do good kid". That's all they had to say, I'm the one that wanted to go.

They sent me letters every week or so, which was the best part of the 8 weeks. They told me different things and sometimes just completely silly things that just made me laugh. For instance, my mom told me a story of how my g'maw messed when my uncle who was stationed in Texas. Apparently she would talk to my future aunt with an Asian accent but neither of them said anything to my uncle. Then when he finally brought her home to pa, my aunt was shocked to find out that my g'maw wasn't Asian at all! So what did my mom do next time she wrote a letter? She wrote it in Chinese and then translated it for me! (My mom doesn't know a lick of any other language)

That's the kind of funny crap I remember from parents. Definitely made it to the graduation! She will look more forward to that then actually being done with BC. And don't worry about the yelling, she is just fine! They are going to give her tests that she will not being to complete just to see how she handles the stress, and then IT (intensive training) her for not meeting the unattainable goal.

Your daughter will be better for doing this. I don't know a thing about her but she chose to serve her country and that's all I need to know. Joining the coast guard was the best decision I have ever made and now I just found out last night that I am making Chief on Tuesday!

And solely for relevance to the OP, you are someone's daughter as well.

good point! Sorry, I always forget that I should put that..lol

Actually, you shouldn't have to put that.  I only bring it up because I'm sure it helps him to hear a woman's perspective since he asked about his daughter.  Buncha swingin john's opinions are only 1/2 relevant.  :)
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2014, 09:03:12 AM »
My boot camp was Air Force, in '76.
Tell her that they're ONLY yelling.  She can't ignore it (it'd make them really mad) but she can choose not to be intimidated.  The human voice can't actually hurt her.
Tell her that they are playing their game.  Graduation is her 'winning' the game.  My vietnam era army uncle told me that - and it helped alot.
I was also told not to volunteer for anything.  That turned out to bite me once...
Send her things that are easy to share - many small cookies vs a few normal ones.  Pack em in popcorn; she can share that.
I bet http://www.recruitparents.com/bootcamp/rb.asp  has all the current info and suggestions,
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Offline I'm NOT Carl

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2014, 09:17:12 AM »
Marines in '75. Hollywood Marine at that :D  It was tough but you could make it fun. We had to yell out "By Your Leave, Sir" before we could pass the DI's so when we ran our 3 miles (out past the Navy pukes :p ), we'd yell out "By Your Leave, Sir" before running past them :D

We had three problem cases in our platoon.

1. 'Stinky' - Wouldn't take a regular shower. After a few days of smelling up the place, we dragged him into the shower and used the 'ki-yi' brushes on him.

2. The Thief - Someone spotted him filching stuff from someone else so he got a nice blanket party.

3. The Homosexual - Nothing like having some guy with a hard on when everyone's standing around in their skivvies waiting for the doc. He had an embarrassed laugh about it and we all chuckled but no one did anything about it.

We knew we were in trouble when the senior DI came in and started us on punishment calisthenics. He'd sit down at the desk and take his Smokey Bear hat off and put it on the desk in front of him. We knew we were in for a long one.

The funny part was when I switched services to join the Army. I attended Military Police school in Ft. McClellan Alabama (first time I experienced warm rain). The guys were bitching about Boot Camp. "We didn't get post privileges until 2 weeks into Boot Camp" from The Army guys and "We didn't get privileges until 4 weeks in" from the Air Force guys. Me I'm like, "Post privileges? I got post privileges when I graduated" :D

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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2014, 09:40:20 AM »

I was also told not to volunteer for anything.  That turned out to bite me once...


I always taught my kids to "choose their destiny". Who wants to do 50 push-ups? Okay then, the rest of you get 100. Who wants to sweep the bay? Okay then, the rest of you get to scrub toilets.....
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Offline RRdvark

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2014, 10:52:18 AM »
Thanks STO'rs for all your comments - especially from doc and viffergyrl.  Vulcanbill is right, male opinions are helpful, but not like yours are.  The fond memories all you guys share are helpful as well, because it helps me realize she is now making those memories for herself.  I can think about her smiling and laughing about it in 3 months instead of her suppressing rage & tears while dealing with it now.  Although the reality that she is nearly grown up creates a whole new set of anxieties (she is the youngest of 3, with an older brother and sister).  Thanks HipGnosis for the link as well.  I would still rather hear advice and stories from here, though, since we are all twisted in at least one similar way.

Keep the comments coming - there are weeks to go before I might see a letter from her.

BTW - her mom did get the call this morning from here that she arrived and is safe, blah, blah so at least I know she is there.

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2014, 11:05:57 AM »
Write letters as often as you want.  Send pictures.  Keep in mind EVERYTHING you send is subject to search by the Drill Instructors.  Things that the DIs deem as junk will sometimes get you punished.  We had a kid get a big bag of Tootsie Rolls.  They made him eat the entire bag.  I think he puked 3 times trying to get them all down. 

My family only worte letters and sent pictures.  The DIs wouldn't let us keep pictures, We could look at them while we stood there with them after opening the mail and then they would take them and store them in the duty hut.

I only got to make 3 total phone calls the time I was there.  The first was right after you get there and there's a pre-written letter you have to read when you get there.  When I called I got the answering machine and left a message that simply said "I made it."  Then I got a phone call after our platoon took 1st place in drill competition which lasted about 5 minutes.  Then I got one more phone call towards the end another 5 or 10 minutes to let my family know when to be there and where to be. 

There is no internet access.  If there is an emergency the only way to contact your recruit is though the Red Cross. 

Offline I'm NOT Carl

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2014, 11:18:47 AM »
Heh yea. One guy stashed some food from the mess hall. The DI had us all bring back a packet of crackers. He was made to eat some 35 or so packets of crackers with warm water. It was funny of course but man did he not enjoy that evening.

Carl
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2014, 11:23:21 AM »
We had a kid get a big bag of Tootsie Rolls.  They made him eat the entire bag.  I think he puked 3 times trying to get them all down. 
 

Rookie.   :lol:


What flavor?

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2014, 11:40:46 AM »
Umm, they don't have cell phones or any personal effects for a while.  Phone calls are on weekends and evenings at the pleasure of the DI.  You're not going to hear much for 15-30 days unless she writes.
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2014, 11:59:36 AM »
Bringing back memories. 

We had a couple rounds unaccounted for after a range day.  That was interesting.  Our cycle was experimental (for 1987) in that they grouped us by MOS.  So I was in w/ all intel guys getting processed for uber clearance etc.  Upstairs in 4th platoon were all the drivers and spoons.
When our head DI came in and explained the seriousness of the situation, he asked us if anyone had anything to disclose.  We all said no.  He then went upstairs where there came such a clatter...  They tore those guys apart.
Wall locker contents, drawers dumped, beds tossed...the whole 9.  They eventually found who had the rounds and he was washed on a psych.  I was almost proud and honored that he took us at our word based on the job paths we were all on.
Granted, that doesn't always ring true but it was several weeks in so he judged us on what he saw.  Our whole platoon, with very few exceptions, would complete whatever task was at hand and everyone would pass first time and just wait. 
The other platoons were often finishing up HOURS later after retraining and retesting.  We were bored alot. 

The things she will likely remember forever are the weapons training, especially the big boy stuff, the cattle cars, the gas chamber and the forced marches.  Good times. 
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2014, 12:32:40 PM »
Umm, they don't have cell phones or any personal effects for a while.  Phone calls are on weekends and evenings at the pleasure of the DI.  You're not going to hear much for 15-30 days unless she writes.

Like I said I got three.  The initial check in phone call, a regular phone call sometime on the second month and then a call to hammer out pickup and graduation details towards the end of the third month.

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2014, 12:53:21 PM »
One of my few regrets in life is that I never experienced Boot camp.

I'd like to have said "I did that".

I hope one of my sons get the chance.
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2014, 01:08:18 PM »
One of my few regrets in life is that I never experienced Boot camp.


I'll be glad to come yell and run your ass ragged for a couple weeks.  Group showers are out though.

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2014, 01:34:20 PM »
One of my few regrets in life is that I never experienced Boot camp.

that explains a lot about your hair

 ;D
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2014, 08:05:21 PM »
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2014, 09:38:44 PM »
Let Me Hear Your War Cry

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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2014, 11:21:03 PM »
Can my daughter go? Even just for a week?

She's 16 going on 26, and knows everything.

Teenage brain. Grrrreaaaaat.
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Re: Daughter just left for Boot Camp
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2014, 03:50:48 AM »

Like I said I got three.  The initial check in phone call, a regular phone call sometime on the second month and then a call to hammer out pickup and graduation details towards the end of the third month.


Yeah, I saw that after I posted.  I went thru AF Basic Training in March of 1977 (San Antonio, TX) and we got three opportunities to call home too.  48 hours after arrival (post head shaving and uniform issue), mid-training and a week before graduation to pass on who was coming down or not for the ceremony.  My parents couldn't afford to come and I flew direct to my tech school (Wichita Falls, TX) that day via military shuttle.  Very unusual, 99.9% of the trips were via mil-bus, a school bus painted blue.  I did not complain.   :lol:
--Tom