the BIG day – Graduation from Basic!
Progress and Graduation:
And the countdown continues! You worry, and hope for that call (by the way, this is something you’ll be doing for a long time!) Progress is hard to judge, since you aren’t getting calls or letters. BUT – the military thought of this. There are sites for you to check on what the class is doing – see their schedule and wonder how they pack it all in. There are links to the sites listed below
SSM: Most units have a web page where you can at least access a syllabus of their training regimen week by week and track their progress towards “graduation”. And whatever you do — if you can make the graduation — DO IT! You’ll never regret it.
Lela: parents can get a lot of info on what mail to do (or not do) from the websites, as well as training schedules. The site really helped me deal with the “no news is good news” part of wondering why my son didn’t write. I looked at his schedule, saw how chock full it was, or that there was a test coming up, and it eased the worry.
Finally – it ends. They are graduating, and it’s impressive! Now – the graduation date can change.. a few times. Keep an eye on the website!
The DAY: First, you meet up at the barracks.. and it’s hard to recognize your recruit! There are rules that the recruit cannot leave post before graduation. In some cases, they need a “post pass” to be able to leave the company area – on Knox you can hit the museum, or the bowling alley (which was packed with parents, recruits, brothers and sisters, girlfriends, wives, kids… a very happy place) They have curfew, and cannot drink alcohol. Don’t let them get into trouble on the last night.. because they can and have been set back at the last minute.
They have made battle buddies that they may or may not see again, but for that time, that place, they were closer than anyone else can imagine. They grew up, lost weight, are suddenly amazingly polite and stand at parade rest when talking to you, they made a huge decision and are making more every day.
The ceremony is done as only the military can do it. Marching, music.. and then they put their hands up and take that oath. There were a lot of tears during that ceremony.. a lot of tears and memories. Remembering that little boy who learned to ride a bike, the little girl getting on the school bus for the first time by herself, the child who went away to Scout camp, all grown up now. It was a moment none of us will ever forget.
http://www.goarmy.com/life/basic/index.jsp The Army site
http://www.jackson.army.mil/ Ft. Jackson
http://www.wood.army.mil/HQ310/ Ft. Leonard Wood
https://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/ Ft. Benning
http://www1.netc.navy.mil/nstc/ Naval Service Command – Great Lakes
http://www.mcrdpi.usmc.mil/ Parris Island
http://www.mcrdsd.usmc.mil/ San Diego
http://www.lackland.af.mil/units/737trg.asp Air Force – Lackland
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/capemay/ Cape May – Coast Guard