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Phil in BG
01-28-2006, 11:57 AM
My son Kyle is now in his second week of basic training (almost third.) We've had a couple of phone calls and two letters. We knew it would be hard and he was prepared, but it is so tough. The first phone call was very difficult. He started to give me his address and all I could hear was yelling in the background. He had to get off before he couldn't complete it. He called back an hour later and I let his mom talk to him. She was able to get the complete address but was again cut short due to yelling. Let's just say his mental state was stressed. In his next phone call he sounded so much better, but still under tremendous pressure....so much more in control though. In his first letter he told us he felt like he couldn't make it after the first couple of terrible days. Later in the letter he told us he refocused his thinking and remembered why he was there.....he was ok. His second letter was so much more upbeat and basically told us his daily routine and how things are going....much better. There now is no doubt he'll make it.

We write letters about every other day and continuously encourage him. It's hard not being able to advise him as we want on a daily basis, but we all know what this is about. He joined the Air Guard to serve his country, continue his education and prepare himself for life. It doesn't make it any easier knowing he won't be home until almost September (after tech school in Texas.) As a parent you want to help your kids in the tough times, but hopefully we did our job in preparation.....I think we did.

westofyou
01-28-2006, 12:09 PM
I went to HS with this fellow, a real live good kid, sports star in Soccer and swimming , life long Boy Scout and even an Eagle Scout. he was one tough guy who was pretty well put together.

He went to the AF Acadamy and just couldn't deal with the aggressive yelling, really drove him to a place he's never been in. he eventually left, for his own mental health.

Some people are built for it others aren't... even the best kids.

creek14
01-28-2006, 12:17 PM
Phil, I work at WPAFB and in my office we just got four one-stripers (went through basic, went thought tech school, came to us). One is a know it all, one is a west coast flower child, one is a pudgy little guy who is allergic to work, and one is a good grounded hard working all American kid. They all made it through basic and I bet your son will too - with flying (no pun intended) colors.

You know they have to tear them down so they can build them back up. They have to take kids who come from all walks of life, from all sorts of lifestyles that might have included drugs, no curfews, no rules, and make them one cohesive unit. Men and women (no longer boys and girls) who can take an order and follow through with that order. Not the Borg, but someone who will be there when others need him.

Hang in there. I'm sure he'll be fine. He (and your family) have my respect and gratitude.

ghettochild
01-28-2006, 02:08 PM
You know they have to tear them down so they can build them back up. They have to take kids who come from all walks of life, from all sorts of lifestyles that might have included drugs, no curfews, no rules, and make them one cohesive unit. Men and women (no longer boys and girls) who can take an order and follow through with that order. Not the Borg, but someone who will be there when others need him.

Hang in there. I'm sure he'll be fine. He (and your family) have my respect and gratitude.

quoted for truth. as long as you go into basic with a good atitude then it'll pass by fast.

RBA
01-28-2006, 03:04 PM
Phil, if you don't mind, what career field has your son chosen or the Air Force has chosen for him?

If I can make it thru Basic anyone can. You have to take it serious, but not take it serious at the same time. I know that probably doesn't make sense, but that the way I handled it.

Phil in BG
01-28-2006, 03:07 PM
Thank you for the comments. I really appreciate them all.

RBA, for the record he's in operations. I will private message you.

David Cubbedge
01-28-2006, 06:43 PM
Hey Phil, I am not well known here as I have been merely a lurker for the time I have spent here. But I am serving active duty in the Air Force right now. I went through Basic Training in 1998. I know it is a little different now but I would suspect it to be very close to the same. One thing you could assure him of is that tech school will be a whole lot smoother than basic. Nowhere near the trouble. A lot more liberty and he will feel like he is actually human again. He is 3 weeks through so it is basically a confidence course and a week in the woods for a war game excersise (which is actually quite easy) followed by some more marching to prepare for graduation, then his final test and he is home free.

None of that stuff is really hard and it truly builds character through teamwork. The absolute best thing to do is remain low key and everything will run smoothly. He will soon see that the tough first few weeks is well behind him. It gets much easier in the last few weeks.

Anyhow, I wish only the best for your son and I have a few secrets for you if you want about choosing a base that will not deploy anyone if you want it. These are the things that ran through my mind as the weeks grew shorter and I knew my AF career was about to start.

Phil in BG
01-28-2006, 07:20 PM
redsrbetter, thank you. We talked to him on the phone today and things are going much better. He actually sounded normal. He is doing very good. He is still trying to stay under the radar and doing a pretty good job of it. He even thinks his TI likes him. He doesn't get yelled at for things a lot of others do. He's laundry chief so he has to answer for those with him, but he's doing good. Thanks for your response.....all of you.

RedsManRick
01-28-2006, 07:34 PM
Congrats to your son to making in to the academy Phil, and I wish him the best. I had two good friends who graduated in 2004. The first weeks were certainly the toughest for them, but they both come through it well and I have a ton of respect for the men they've become. My Best to your son and family.

GAC
01-29-2006, 06:45 AM
I was in the Navy. Every young man (new recruit) experiences emotions due to the fact they are radically altering their normal way of life, and basically having that "life line" severed from Mom and Dad (more Mom though) when they enter the military. They are finding out real fast that they are on their own, having to fend for themselves, and there is no turning back.

I still, 30+ years later, remember the day when I was bording that plane in Columbus, Ohio, and then later on to be shipped overseas - my Mom simply broke down, and that didn't help matters at all.

Boot camp can be a traumatic experience because it brings something into the life of most young men that they never knew - order, discipline, regimen, and instruction - that is designed to turn "Mommy's boy" into a soldier, and adapt them to the military way of life. Your parents are basically replaced with a drill Sgt. - and he won't tuck you in at night, show you much sympathy when you fail, or offer you "fatherly" advice. That is not his job.

I hated the military when I was in there. But now, many years later, I still, on occassion, pull out the photo albums, reminience, and look back fondly on those days, and at the people & places I knew. And also at the instruction and training I received. The military caused me to mature alot. And maybe at alot faster pace then I would have in civilian life. I think the overall experience helped me when I re-entered the civilian life.

And the stories I could tell (and probably RBA too), would make an interesting thread in and of itself. Some I couldn't print though. ;)

But your son will be OK Phil. It's just all a "shocker" to him right now. And you and your wife will see a huge difference in him (for the better) over the next couple of years.

gonelong
01-30-2006, 11:12 AM
Tell your son they aren't REALLY yelling at him perse, they are yelling at the uniform, and its their job to do so. Nothing will seem fair since they drop you for physical punishment (pushups, situps) for whatever infraction ... real, imagined, or simply made up ... because they are using that as an excuse to get you in shape. Its just the way it is, its much easier if you are mentally prepared for this situation, and you can see it unfolding as the days go by.

Tell him to do his best and enjoy the physique he is going to come home with. The gals seem to like the muscles. ;)

I am probably in the minority, but I thought Army basic training was a breeze ... however, I was well prepped by my 2 older brothers that had went though it.

1) Never let your DS learn your name. If he knows who you are, you have just made your life twice as tough during basic. If you get a nickname out of the deal ... woe is you. This means limit your interaction with the DS as much as possible. Conversely, don't "hide" either, you will be "found". If you are 5'2", 6'8", have an extremely large nose, or have an strong accent, woe is you.

2) Don't be a funny-man. Ever. See rule number 1.

3) If you screwed up ... or didn't screw up ... and have been called on the carpet for it. Your only response should be "I have no excuse DS." See rule #2 and rule #1.

4) Stay out of conversations with the DS if at all possible. If your getting reamed, take it all in and then see rule #3, #2, and finally, #1.

GL

Phil in BG
02-18-2006, 08:02 AM
We received the call last night. He's made it through. The call last night was the first time he actually said he was happy. He has really been sick with a sinus infection and had trouble breathing, so he had trouble running to qualify. He knew we had made plans to attend his graduation next week and he said that's what motivated him to run. He wanted to see us so bad and he sure didn't want to be recycled, so he just kept pouring it on. We're off to Texas on Wednesday.

RFS62
02-18-2006, 09:33 AM
Congratulations, Phil.

:beerme:

Phil in BG
02-18-2006, 11:48 AM
Congratulations, Phil.

:beerme:

Thank you. It is such a relief. I know there are many parents who have much more to be concerned about if their sons or daughters are in Iraq, but it still pains you to have any of your kids go through these trials. I know he'll be a better man for making this kind of committment for his future.

Redsland
02-18-2006, 02:19 PM
:beerme: :beerme:

bucksfan
02-18-2006, 04:41 PM
Congrats Phil. I am sure you are right in that he'll be better in so many ways for going through this. You all should be quite proud about the accomplishment.

KronoRed
02-18-2006, 04:42 PM
Congratulations :)

SirFelixCat
02-19-2006, 06:46 AM
Congrats. :usa: You should be proud of him (as I'm sure you are). And good for him to make a choice to serve his country. I hope only the best for him.



As an aside (tongue-in-cheek), really, people, this is AIR FORCE basic training... ie. summer camp. They yelled at him?!? How dare they!

Try Parris Island/MCRD San Diego.:evil:


'93-'01 USMC


Again, congrats to your son..and just a lil' inter-service joshin' for ya.

Phil in BG
02-19-2006, 08:06 AM
Congrats. :usa: You should be proud of him (as I'm sure you are). And good for him to make a choice to serve his country. I hope only the best for him.



As an aside (tongue-in-cheek), really, people, this is AIR FORCE basic training... ie. summer camp. They yelled at him?!? How dare they!

Try Parris Island/MCRD San Diego.:evil:


'93-'01 USMC


Again, congrats to your son..and just a lil' inter-service joshin' for ya.

No kidding. I know how the Marines are. A guy I work with is a Marine through and through. I've heard the stories.... And yes, he's still a Marine even though he's been out for 12 years.

remdog
02-20-2006, 06:01 PM
Ahhhh....Parris Island in the summer. Brings back many memories----none of them pleasant. :laugh:

Hey Phil, your son just took on a challange and beat it. It was a great learning lesson for him I'm sure and he'll use that as a springboard to take on and defeat even bigger challenges as his life goes on.

A job well done! Congrats to your son.

Rem

westofyou
02-20-2006, 06:14 PM
Try Parris Island/MCRD San Diego.

My father did Paris Island and was stationed in San Diego in the 50's, the man has never once talked about it.

Red Leader
02-20-2006, 06:38 PM
My father did Paris Island and was stationed in San Diego in the 50's, the man has never once talked about it.

First, congrats to your son, Phil. That is quite a remarkable accomplishment.

My father in law was the same way. I didn't know this. Shortly after I got married him and I were drinking in his backyard and I asked him a bunch of questions about that, Vietnam, etc. My wife walked up about an hour into the conversation and her jaw dropped. She quickly pulled me away and told me that he has never talked about any of that stuff before. I said "well, he is now, and seems to be enjoying telling it, so I'm going to go back and talk to him. I'll be in when he's done." We ended up splitting about a case of beer and I came in the house at about 4:15am. Incredible. Crazy. Amazing. I never had any exposure to the military growing up. My Dad wasn't in the military. My grandpa's both were in WWII, but they never talked about it. I was amazed by the stories he told me.

pedro
02-20-2006, 06:51 PM
My father did Paris Island and was stationed in San Diego in the 50's, the man has never once talked about it.

He told me about it. I can sum up his feelings in two words. It sucked.

GAC
02-20-2006, 08:43 PM
If one can't get through Parris Island, which yes, is very tough and disciplined, then they shouldn't be Marines. That is the whole purpose of the training.

We "swabbies" use to laugh and make fun of the Marines on our ship. But hen truth of the matter is - that when it realy mattered, and the situation called for it, you thank God for the Marines. ;)

And congratulations Phil - your son is through the hard part of it.

remdog
02-20-2006, 11:01 PM
OK 'Swabbie'. And thank you for making sure those ships float. I can't tread water for all that long. ;)

Rem

RBA
02-20-2006, 11:07 PM
I work in a Joint enviroment and out of all the branches I can count on the Marines the most.