Navy Dads

So I haven't been on here for a while, guess I was just avoiding things, time for that to change. I need that support I felt when our son first told us 6 months ago that he wanted to join the Navy. My wife suggested I join Navydads.com and I am so glad I did.

That 6 months went fast and he ships out next Tuesday.

I have no doubt he'll be a great sailor!  That he'll have a great adventure and become the man we know he can be.

And I feel confident that he is starting this new journey with the overwhelming support of his family and friends.  We could not be more proud of his decision and his drive!

But now my heart aches, for that little boy that followed his dad around the house, walking off with tools as I tried to get something done, then learning to use those tools to fix things himself. It aches for that little boy at his first baseball game, football game, wrestling match, track meet, soccer game and cross country event (he never stopped), and all the time we spent at those cheering him on for victory or comforting him in defeat, in rain snow or sunshine, teaching him that's all part of life.  It aches for the young man as he drove off in the car for the first time alone! With both his mom and I a nervous wreck!........I think we did ok.

Tuesday when we say goodbye for now will not be easy, but knowing we are now part of a new family, a family of proud Navy people, really helps!

My wife posted a couple things on Facebook today that have just added to my tears but say it so good:

Loving a sailor is not hard.

The distance is hard.

The worry is hard.

The sacrifices are hard.

But loving him is the easiest thing I have ever done!

and

A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.

 

Wherever that light takes you son you will always be our little boy!

God please protect my son and God Bless the USA!

Time to look forward to his PIR!

Go Tucker!!

Go Navy!

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Comment by AC DAD on June 20, 2017 at 11:59pm

Well said!!! Good Luck Tucker

Comment by Jeff on January 25, 2017 at 8:34am

Thanks for the encouraging words Jim.  We're at that time right now where our son has just gone and I can't get away from the constant wondering of what he's doing right now, with the occasional tears that just come.  But knowing PIR will be here before we know it brings some peace and getting back to work and the life distractions that happen bring some normalcy to the new normal of our lives.  Sure do miss him a lot already!

The dad in your post said it so good referring to the change from being with this person daily for 19 years, but like that dad, I know this is the best thing for my son.

So gotta go for now, need to start my first letter to him, I want it ready for when I get our form letter!

Comment by Navy Dads Co-Admin Tom on January 22, 2017 at 11:34am

....Brought a tear to me' eye.....;)

Comment by NavyDads CoAdmin Jim Gramza on January 20, 2017 at 7:09pm

Welcome back Jeff! So the time has come. I wanted to make sure you saw this. It was written by a dad some time ago who was going through the same emotions that we all felt one way or another. It's a good read.

Lest you think you are alone, this was posted by a dad to another member dealing with separation anxiety....

"I know you have seen some encouraging comments from other members, but I wanted to weigh in here too. On 28 January, a month after completing college, my son was sworn in to the Navy DEP.

It was a couple of days after that when it hit me....after 23 years of a daily relationship with him everything was about to change! I knew joining the Navy was going to be the absolute best thing for him. But in spite of that, I became very depressed. I had no idea what I was doing but Goggled Navy support groups. I found this site.

I remember posting my first comments.....reluctantly because I thought others would think of me as less of a man.....how depressed I was already at the thought of my son leaving and he was not leaving for boot until 1 May. Well the responses were surprising! All the admins and a number of other members put me at ease when they responded that every dad on this site, if they are honest with themselves, experienced the same thing. I also followed the great advice from the admins to read as much as possible on this site. All of this really helped! But then came the week before he left. I became very upset and just wasn't sure how I was going to cope. It really took some work to get it under control.

Then the day came to put him on that plane to Great Lakes. As the tears flowed, it was my son in a bit of a role reversal that said, "dad, it's going to be just fine." Well from that point everything happened just as it was described by the admins and other members on this site from receiving the "kid in a box" to the form letter to the first phone call. The best advice I received after his departure was to write often. I didn't really think my son would care that much because my son has always been very independent and not the "home sick" type. But I found out two things in writing the letters: he loved them and encouraged it and they were very therapeutic for me!

In the 7 weeks after I received his address I wrote 16 letters. All typed, no spacing, and not one under 4 pages long! I would never have imagined being able to come up with that much to write about....but you will be surprised. It truly helped the time move along as well. Then believe it or not, PIR was upon us. My son graduated on 28 June. The only thing I can say about PIR is that as it relates to my son, it was the second greatest day of my life......second ONLY to witnessing his birth! When you see your sailor march into that hall and you realize he/she is now a part of something greater than themselves, it is an indescribable feeling of pride. A feeling that washes away all the tears and angst of the previous 8 1/2 weeks of separation.

Now as I look back, I am amazed how time has passed so quickly! As of today my son has been out of boot camp almost as long as he was in it. He is in Pensacola attending IT A school. This is totally different from boot camp. It resembles being away to college as you can communicate freely (voice, text, e-mail) with the exception of when they are in class.

So to wrap this up, as others have said, hang in there! You too before you know it will be in the same shoes as many of us....looking back wondering where the time went and posting comments to help parents going through that which you have endured. I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful this site is to help you through it.....from really good information to Navy FAMILY who are there for moral support. God Bless you and your son for his service to our great country!"

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