Air Force Dads

My son, Rob, is more than halfway through boot camp now, past the hardest first three weeks of adjustment, learning and getting used to the T.I. yelling all the time. Now, he's into "the fun stuff" like the gas chamber, shooting, the obstacle course, etc.

It's been an adjustment for him because he was named "Dorm Chief" and must lead his 48 fellow trainees. Their mistakes are his mistakes and responsibilities, so he has an added burden. While others are writing letters at night, Rob is doing his own inspections and helping others in their tasks. "I wanted to fly under the radar, but that didn't work," he said.

He has written two wonderful letters and phoned us 3 times (4 if you count the camp's mandatory 25-second phone call they make within 72 hours to let you know they arrived safely). I missed the first two phone calls!! I had my cell phone by my side constantly ~ except for 10 minutes when I dashed into a friend's house, and that's when he called that weekend!!! Finally, after he was gone for a month, I got his phone call a week ago and heard his voice!!

It has been four weeks of waiting for the phone to ring and stalking the mail man! But I've gotten used to the routine in a way. I know he doesn't have much time to write, so I'm easing off the mail man. And he's called on weekends, so I don't expect anything until the weekends. And I know he will call if he can. And I've googled and googled on the internet and read all I can about boot camp. That helps to sort of visualize what he may be doing.

And now we are looking forward to his graduation on Sept. 25, his 22nd birthday. He said they are already doing some prep work for graduation (I assume he means marching practice, etc.), and that is a big psychological boost for him ~ and for us!

~ christi

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I'm a proud mom of a son in the Air Force and another son in the Navy. I'm so glad to hear how your son, Rob, is doing. Being dorm chief, although an added burden now, will certainly prepare him for what's next. It won't be long now. Rob is going to be standing literally taller and so proud of his accomplishment. The Air Force does such a terrific job putting together their graduation ceremonies. I hope you can attend it all. We stayed at the La Quinta which was just off base and made it so easy to come and go. I am praying for you both and for Rob. These are stressful days but very exciting too!
Thank you, Jane! We appreciate your thoughts and support! .... Three weeks to go now. He has been calling once every weekend but hasn't written a letter in two weeks. Being dorm chief takes a lot of time and seems to leave his voice very hoarse!! :) He said his flight has been chosen to carry flags during the grad ceremony, and he seems very proud of that. .... We chose to stay in a hotel close to the River Walk. I know that means a bit more hassle going back and forth, but we are guessing he will like "escaping" to a place that feels very different from the base, when that town liberty day finally comes.

Jane said:
I'm a proud mom of a son in the Air Force and another son in the Navy. I'm so glad to hear how your son, Rob, is doing. Being dorm chief, although an added burden now, will certainly prepare him for what's next. It won't be long now. Rob is going to be standing literally taller and so proud of his accomplishment. The Air Force does such a terrific job putting together their graduation ceremonies. I hope you can attend it all. We stayed at the La Quinta which was just off base and made it so easy to come and go. I am praying for you both and for Rob. These are stressful days but very exciting too!
I'm glad you have plane reservations and a great place to stay. It is truly going to be a wonderful experience. The Air Force does it right. Lots of pomp and circumstance, tradition and honor. I've never felt more proud of my son and my country as I did at this event. Very inspiring! One thing I wasn't prepared for was how very tired our son was. We weren't even off base before he started nodding off. We went to River Walk and saw the sights but cut it short and headed to our hotel room. We watched our son sleep for the next four hours. How awesome it is for your son to graduate on his 22nd birthday! What an honor for his unit to carry the flags! Your son will get a chance to order a video, a memory book and pictures. Well worth whatever the price.
=) The good old days of listening to Dorm Chief yell at the rest of the females. But, I loved our dorm Chief. Great position. :) Plus once he gets into the operational side it looks excellant to Military leaders

Graduation was fun. It was hard to leave my family for the second time at the end of our awesome weekend together. But once you do it enough it doesn't get easier.. It just gets more bearable because you know that just like last time they'll be there supporting you the whole way. You may be physically alone in the big world but in your heart you'r enever alone when you've got a proud family standing around supporting your every move and guiding you from bad decisions.

We cldn't write much either. we were quite busy with details and sleeping if we weren't doing something rediculous for the TI. But, I learned to love Sgt Flores. He never strayed away from the AF core values and taught us how to be strong independant military women. I thank him for everything. It's just unfortunate there's really no way to repay him other then execute everything he's trained me to do.

:) The river walk was a ton of fun! and a hotel near it! Gosh1 My parents stayed in a little yellow hotel right outside the gates. yeah it was nice and close but it was a terible hotel! they totally ripped mama off.

I Love reading about a moms perspective when her child is in basic because i can almost gaurentee my mother was the same way.

I remember when i got to the phone booths to make a call i had forgotten EVERYONES number.. i felt soooo helpless lol i just started to cry. But.. I managed to play around with Dads digits and finally get ahold of him.. I was crying because I missed him so much and then he said to me " Steph, I can't understand you when you're crying! What's there to cry about?! You're doing something Great! " And I like snapped out of it O.o

haha

after that i cldn't wait to call the next time to let Dad know what all the cool stuff i was getting into. the 4th week is when the TI usually begins to enjoy the flight because they've matured in training by now. they'll do BS situations and get you in trouble just to keep you on your toes.. but generally the 4th week and up was really fun.

I'm Proud of Rob. :)

If you message me his address I'll give him a shout out! haha. :) Any sorts of mail is good mail! :)

Stay Safe :)

<3,
A1C Plumlee
Hi Steph! I love reading your perspective on basic, the AF training and everything! Makes me feel closer in a way to my son because I can imagine he is feeling the same as you.

He is in BEAST week now where they get away from the dorms, camp out and have war games stuff, I guess. I'm pretty sure they aren't singing songs by the campfire at night though!! :) I'm guessing this is an intense, very demanding week. After this, it is less than 2 weeks to graduation! Then, I'm guessing he'll be concentrating on the marching and drills in prep. for that ceremony.

When does he (or family members) get to order or purchase graduation videos, memory books and photographs? Is that something we take care of during the graduation weekend?

Also, Steph ~ I'm a newbie to the military. You sign your comments with A1C as a title. Is that for "Airman First Class"? Rob will also have that rank right out of boot because of the number of college units he already has. Is that also how you qualified? ..... There is no much to learn!

~ christi (Oh, I don't see how to send personal messages on this site! What am I missing here? I'll send you his address, as soon as I figure this out.)
Finally graduation week is here!!

Marty and I will fly to San Antonio Wednesday morning!! We're taking the bag Rob packed for himself before he left, and already he knows he will need to pull out some stuff to send back with us. So we will need to remember to take another bag we can use for his stuff on our return flight.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom or tips for us as we head out for the graduation??

Does anyone know when, where and how we order any videos of the ceremony or the official portraits taken of each airman?? Guessing that the Reception Center will answer these questions, too, but I'd like to feel more informed going in.

Thanks for all the support!!

~ christi

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