Tuesday, February 19, 2008

V's First Call

To say it was traumatic is an understatement.

Right off the bat she was in tears. "Mom, I have the meanest TI..." and it went downhill from there. It was all I could do to keep a stiff upper lip and be the encouraging mom I needed to be for her. I succeeded and got her to calm down enough to give me her address clearly. She came through, clear as a bell - even with the TI's in the background yelling "45 seconds!" and later "20 seconds!"

In the end - after a whole 2 minutes - she was a little calmer. I told her that I loved her as many times as I could squeeze it in and we said goodbye.

Family members, please know that it is perfectly normal for 1st phone calls from BMT to be exactly as bad as V's was. I knew from talking to many other AF parents it wouldn't be all "sweetness and cheer" but I am convinced that nothing can prepare a mom to hear this call and not utterly flip out (afterwards).

Did I? Oh yeah. But I have the benefit of a great support system of people who understand. I immediately talked to Bre in Colorado and Deb in Ohio and many other AF personnel, parents and spouses who have had this experience and more and live to tell the tales. Thanks guys, you helped see me through this one with flying colors.

I have been advised, since this is a public blog and anyone can come across it, not to post V's addy on the page. It's sad that people would send a recruit anti-war hate mail, but evidently it happens. For her protection, if you'd like to send a letter ~ and she can use the encouragement! ~ I am asking you to e-mail me with your name and I will respond to you with the address.

Now... about the second phone call...


Deb Estep said...

The way your call with V went is quite the norm for the first address call. Tears, shaky voices, get me out of here are all things that I have heard about.

My then 18 year old son Vince called in Oct of 2002.
At the time, I was not on the Air Force Parents support site. I had NO CLUE the first call was going to be like that. It lasted MAYBE 2 minutes. He even BARKED and spelled out his last name to me...
I AM HIS MOTHER and here he was spelling his last name. MAN... I know right then and there he was ALL SHOOK UP.

My hubby Michael left for his Air Force Basic training on Jan 30, 1977. We were talking about it over the weekend. I did not know him then. He said that he got off the bus and within just a few minutes he said to himself..

He spoke of hearing guys crying in their beds at night. He said he did not cry, but my son Vince did admit to crying.
Vince told me that it was not because he had made a wrong choice, but because it was all so VERY overwhelming.

THEE most difficult part for a MILITARY parent is not hearing from them, and not knowing exactly how things are going. I recall my mind running rampant with wonder and great concern. I did not cry very much at all, some tears at night.

I have my then 20 year old daughter to thank for SNAPPING me back to reality one of the early days that Vince was at BMT.
She said to me...


WOW... POP POP went the light bulbs... HOW many kids would love to be at AF basic training, but for whatever reason they will never get the chance. Be it medical reasons, a slight past criminal history, or maybe they just did not pass the testing going in. But there was my son, down there LIVING HIS DREAM.

That one line really kept me in order the rest of his time there.

Your attitude is GREAT LEA.


xo xo
Deb in OHIO ;)

Di said...

Wow, I can't imagine. I think I would panic if my child called from SUMMER CAMP and sounded shaken up and overwhelmed! But this is such an amazing thing she's doing, and you are an amazing mom.

Anonymous said...

The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

Something to ponder, does a parent use the middle name when trying to get a hysterical child's attention? Or is the above comment true?