News From Basic Training

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Pony, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

    Messages:
    19,811
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    We just got a very quick phone call from DD. She's very upset. The flight (her basic training group) is not allowed to send or receive mail, and she doesn't know when or if she will be able to phone again, because many of the young women will not cooperate and work as a team. That means that all the letters of encouragement we've been writing have not even gotten to her. :flame:

    She has made a few good friends already, but she is homesick and frustrated. She asks that we pray that the 60 women in her flight start to work together. I ask those of you who pray to please join us in this prayer.

    On a positive note, she has started going to worship again. She said that she was going to go to the Christian Scientist service, but we explained to her that she might very well disagree with their stance on medicine (among other things). We encouraged her to go to the Lutheran services, as she knows the order of worship and theology, and it will provide the comfort and familiarity she needs right now.

    So, that's what's going on with my "little girl" in basic. I know the DIs' jobs are to make them work together, and that they are breaking them down to build them up -- but I did not think it would affect my tough nut as much as it is. She was actually crying on the phone (though she did her best to hide it). I did not let her know how much it hurt to hear her so sad.

    Thanks for the good thoughts and prayers. :)

    Pony!
     
  2. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

    Messages:
    9,936
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    Pony - I firmly believe that that which does not kill us makes us stronger. Your daughter is doing something admirable, and I have no doubt that, in the end, no matter what happens with her group, she will come out of it stronger.

    Hang in there, mum -- she's stretching those wings and discovering she can fly all on her own and higher than she ever thought possible -- that's going to make YOU stronger, assuming the stress doesn't kill you :)

    Hugs --

    Tracy
     

  3. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    Thats Basic,they like to play with your head.

    When you do get to talk to her,remind her its just a game and just go with the flow,time will pass quickly.

    BooBoo :gromit:
     
  4. lonelytree

    lonelytree Guest

    Tell her to shut up and color. All flights have growing pains and losing liberties is one fo the things that the TI's use to rehabilitate them. She will realize the benefits in 6 weeks. You need to remember that she is an adult in an adult atmosphere. Let her do what she needs to. Don't distract her with any bad news from home. Don't get mad. Don't even send cookies. Talk to her every Sunday on the phone. Tell her that is what to expect so that she is not worrying. She will be busy, leave her to her work.

    Tell her not to start smoking. Not to cheat on the rules when on liberty (especially when they get to go downtown). To save all the money that she can. MAKE SURE SHE GETS INTO THE GI BILL!!!!!

    3709BMTS - 1981
     
  5. DonnaKay

    DonnaKay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Pony,

    It's hard to hear a family member hurting when you can do anything about it....especially when that family member is your child and you are used to being able to fix things for her and comfort her...probably leaves you feeling helpless.

    Even though it seems so unfair to punish the group for the actions of one, it is extremely important that these "woman" learn that their actions affect others. Right now their inability to work as a team is keeping fellow team members from temporarily having contact with their families....in the field their inability to work as a team could get their team members killed.

    In her frustration and loneliness she needs someone to turn to....she can't turn to you...she can't turn to the DI...her friends are suffering the same thing...so who is she turning to?? Didn't you say she's going to worship service?? Nothing like adversity to bring you closer to the Creator.

    I remember when my husband was in Basic (we were just dating at the time.) His Mom and I waiting by the phone for two weeks (I was living with her) of course his call came in while we took a break to run to the grocery store!! Our hearts were broken when we listened to the answering machine message...he hardly got through the first sentence before he started crying...he just wanted to tell us that he loved us....we squalled like babies :Bawling: :Bawling: :Bawling: ...but he made it through and now it seems like a million years ago.

    Keep praying and trusting.....

    Donna
     
  6. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

    Messages:
    19,811
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    I'd never do that. All the letters I've sent have been chatty and newsy, not a "disparaging word" in the lot. And we already know not to send "care packages" as she warned us ahead of time that her DI would chew her (insert interesting anatomical part here) for chow.

    The only thing I'm mad about is that her recruiter certainly painted a rosier picture for her to get into the linguist program if she trained with the G70. She told us that it is likely that she will not even get into the program now, and she is sorely disappointed. But, as she told us, there are no bad jobs in the Air Force. She's looking at the good side of that.

    Me, I'm still a bit disappointed in that recruiter... :flame:

    Smoking isn't allowed at all. She is VERY serious about basic, and she is very serious about following rules. (That's why we knew she'd like the military.) The money thing we have had some discussions about, but I think she's got the idea. Thanks for your input!!

    Oh, that's awful! We were just SO grateful that she called when she did -- we were almost on our way out the door, blissfully unaware that she had not gotten our letter telling her to call our cell phones! If it's enough to reduce a guy to tears when he got the answering machine, then I can understand why my daughter was choking tears back when we actually connected!
    Stress? LOL! Yeah, my mouth is sore this morning. I must have been grinding all night long, and my tongue even hurts! Now where did I put that mouth guard? :rolleyes:

    You're right, though. It's a growing time for all of us. One of the things that really touched my heart is that DH, who has a hard time being emotional with the kids (he's their stepdad), told her a few times in that short conversation how much he loves her and is proud of her.
    Ah, BooBoo :gromit:, you hit that old nail right on the head. If she does get another phone call, we'll remind her of that very thing.

    THANK YOU EVERYONE!! I'll be able to handle today a lot better for your responses!!

    Pony!
     
  7. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    574
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Saint Albans, Maine
    Air Force basic training is not much more difficult than a 6 week camp out. Now before you start screaming... I do speak from experience. I went into the AF in 1966 at 17 years of age. I was a Momma's boy ( kinda). I made it through with this simple philosophy. ... It only lasts 6 weeks. There are much worse things in life.

    Tell your daughter to keep quiet.. follow the rules and it will be over before she knows it... She will look back on it as one of the best experiences in her life. Probably the only thing more "maturing" is parenthood.

    Be there for her. Encourage her... a very shortly you'll be looking back on the experience.

    As someone said... "If it don't kill you... it will make you stronger"...
     
  8. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,801
    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    oklahoma
    it's all nothing but a game.

    don't be too upset with the recruiter. it is their job to recruit, after all. if it's in the contract your dd signed, she should get her school. if it's not, the AF will put her where they need her for now. that's the thing about the military. the army used to be the ONLY one you could choose your job-the rest put you where your test scores say you should be, regardless of your wants and likes/dislikes. if it's not in the contract, signed, they don't have to abide by a thing they tell you.

    she'll be fine. tell her to focus on "it's nothing but a game" and to just have fun with it-i loved basic and all the physical challenges and mental challenges that came with it. and i left a husband and 14 month old dd at home-leaving her was the worst part-i carried a pic of her in my breast pocket of my BDU's (i was army). remind her why she went in.
     
  9. Faustus

    Faustus Übernerd

    Messages:
    502
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    Maine by way of Yorkshire
    Best advice you can give her. I did ROTC, so didn't have the boot camp thing, but nine times out of ten, the smart thing to do in a "training environment" (i.e. lots of yelling and pushups) is to try and be one of the anonymous mass in the middle. Don't be slow, but don't show off, either- just do what you have to do and help your flightmates when they need it, because there will be some point where you'll be the one needing help. Cooperate and graduate, and all of that.

    The stuff I did in ROTC was some of the best preparation for work and further education that I ever had. I was encouraging all of my friends to try and give it a shot- I think for the right person, the military's a great place to find out about yourself and challenge your limits. And of the services, the AF is pretty cushy- I think your daughter will be glad she did it. Just remind her why she went, tell her how proud you are and how much you support her, and remind her that she's only got X weeks to go.

    As far as the recruiter, it's their job to make the sale, so to speak. That's how their performance is measured and how they get promotions. They'll tell you anything they think you want to hear to get you to sign on the dotted line. I had plans to go to the Naval Academy in high school. My family isn't military, so they didn't know too much about it, and we went down to the local Navy recruiter to see what information he had. When he heard what my grades were like, he started trying to recruit me on the spot- never mind that I wasn't even old enough to enlist yet. My AFROTC detachment lost some ridiculous number of guys to the Marine recruiter next to campus- I think six guys wound up bailing to enlist in the Corps. Our CO was spitting chips. Heh.
     
  10. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    874
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Location:
    Indiana
    Our boy called home his first time from Basic in Tears, he choked out "have you even sent any letters?", which tore my heart. I told him Of course we had, they just weren't allowing them to have them yet! Also don't send any more than a tiny treat, like one swiss chocolate cake if you do because often they make Everyone do pushups while the receiver has to eat the entire sweet. A whole package of cookies and they are sick and the rest of the recruits are out for blood from all the sit ups!
     
  11. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    734
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    It's actually more than a game. One of the key lessons in basic training is learning to work as a unit, that each member's actions are predictable and known by each team member. Best thing she can do is become a leader, encouraging her flight/squadron to work together.

    And there are no bad jobs in the Air Force - we'll ditto that. As for linguistics training, keep asking, work hard and eventually she will receive. We're also firm believers in that principle.

    BW
    USAF family
     
  12. SweetSarah

    SweetSarah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    446
    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ditto!
     
  13. lonelytree

    lonelytree Guest

    I call BS.

    There are some REALLY bad jobs in the AF. Jobs where you work 12 hours + a day while others are working 8 and receiving the same pay. There are jobs that are not conductive to having a family or to finding work after seperating/retiring.

    My personal suggestions:

    NDI - Non-distructive Inspection. Worth big bucks on the outside.
    Base contracting - great for setting yourself up for a govt job.
    Medical - BEST CHOICE
    Information technology.

    WORST JOBS in the AF:

    Cook
    AMMO (weapons specialist) - worthless on the outside. Crappy job while in.
    ANYTHING FLIGHTLINE!!!
    Law enforcement/security.
    Mobility
     
  14. DonnaKay

    DonnaKay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006

    While I agree that every Air Force job is not golden, what makes a job a bad one depends on the person. In the eleven years my husband has been in his very favorite job was working on the flight line (and it does translate into usable outside skills.) He was sad to see that job end.

    Donna
     
  15. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

    Messages:
    19,811
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Well, my hope is that she gets a job that utilizes her abilities and recognizes her test scores.

    Those of you who have AF experience: Is this a reasonable hope?

    Pony!
     
  16. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

    Messages:
    1,588
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    I went to AF boot camp a few years back. I was one of the older ones, not 18yo wet-behind-the-ears. It gave me a much better perspective of what was going on.

    Most of it is mind games. The games are to teach you to pay attention, do EXACTLY what you're told and to work as a group. TIs are not allowed to touch recruits and are not supposed ;) to curse. They cannot deny a request to use the latrine, although they can make you regret being the one to stand up and ask. Like I said, it's all a game.

    The food was great. Do the dance just right and you get your food with no hassle. (Pivot here, look there, place hands here, etc.) Walk up/down/across each row in a certain order and you were allowed a second helping. Do it wrong and you got to play Red Light/Green Light. The thing is, you aren't told the right way to walk. You have to kind of watch and figure it out. It's a game.

    As for her contract: I scored a 98 on my ASVAB and was pretty much handed the book to pick what I wanted. I made three choices, they checked the dates and availability, then I signed a contract to be an aerospace physiological apprentice. Halfway through boot camp, they realized my *uncorrected* eyesight was less than the specified limit. (Although my sight was correctable to 20/15, I couldn't see past the end of my nose without glasses.)

    They couldn't present me with a suitable (suitable TO ME) replacement job within X number of weeks of finishing boot camp so I walked. Free and clear. I received an uncharacterized general discharge and I was free to re-join any time I wanted. There ARE crap jobs in the AF. The good jobs are taken ahead of time by those who score well on the placement test. Those that are mediocre go in as a herd and take whatever crap job is handed out to them.

    Look closely at her contract and see exactly what she signed up for. If they can't give her what they promised, she can leave. Just make sure her contract specifies that she is to be a Linguist. (There used to be some kind of signing bonus for that - like $5000 or something. If it's still in effect, she would have known right away.) More than likely, they said she could be a linguist if she demonstrates the aptitude for it later on. I hope this isn't a case of not reading the fine print.

    At any rate, she'll be just fine. The key to everything is DON'T STAND OUT. If everyone hangs a left when the TI says go right, she needs to go left and take her lumps with the rest of them.

    /VM
     
  17. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

    Messages:
    2,786
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Susquehanna, PA
    Pony~

    Breathe, darlin. Joey sent us a letter saying he hadnt received any from us yet and there were tear stains on the paper. I believe that withholding mail is one of the first things they use to teach them to work as a unit. A day or so later, he got 8 letters from us at once. Just keep writing them and sending them. She'll get them eventually. In her heart, she knows you are proud of her and support her. Her tears now are really from fear and frustration because her flightmates aren't pulling their weight. Group accountability is a wonderful tool. Eventually, those doing there jobs will gang up on those who are not and give them what for. This is part of the weeding out process as well. This period is where they separate the women from the children. When it's all said and done, fully half those women will have rung out or been recycled. Glad to see your girl is holding her own. She must get it from her mamma.
     
  18. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,801
    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    oklahoma
    she'll be placed in the assignment closest to her test scores that they need filled at that time.

    when i went thru army boot camp (oh, 14 years ago, almost-man i'm gettin old) i was the 3rd oldest there, had a 14mo dd, and was married. i was out of shape, hated running, but, i knew i had to do it so i did it. i chose the mos (job) i chose because i could go straight from basic to ait (advanced training) and get it all over with. we had to learn to get along and work together, and we did. only once did i have to chew on another platoon member, and chew on her i did-after she climed the ladder, she moved over to the top of the rope that i climbed up, then decided she was scared of heights-so i told her in no uncertain terms if she didn't move i'd kick her off the platform-then i yelled at her all the way across that 2x4 grid 30 ft or whatever off the ground-when it was all over, she thanked me-and she listened to me from that point on-the point is, we worked together and made it thru-when we did our last 12mi road march, after 3 days in the field, we were tired from no sleep, worn out from "manuvers" and not in good spirits-i passed a pic of my dd up and down the lines and not a one of my platoon quit-they figured if an old lady (23) like me could leave such a beautiful girl and make it thru w/out griping, they had no other choice either...

    she'll do fine. she just needs to realize it's not personal-the drill sergeants (or whatever the af calls them) are doing their job-not personally picking on her, or anyone else.
     
  19. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

    Messages:
    19,811
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003

    I don't know what her contract says. She's 20 years old, and I haven't seen any of her personal paperwork in a couple of years. I only WISH she'd let us look things over for her first... But not my "I'll do it myself" girl... :rolleyes:

    She scored 93 on the ASVAB; was one of only two who passed the linguist exam. There was a sign on bonus of $10K, but they said she would not get that until after basic.

    In my next letter to her, I'll ask her to check her contract.

    Thanks, VM.

    Pony!
     
  20. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

    Messages:
    820
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Location:
    SW Ark
    The linguist jobs have some perks (A/C in the field) but, they aren't all that they are hyped to be.

    Unless a person is in a "good" language or plans to work at embassies later there are not many civilian jobs availiable when a company can just use babelfish or some other translating program.

    Another thing about the linguist jobs are are that they can cause hearing loss from mild to severe depending on the person.

    There are other bad things about those jobs but, people have to find out the hard way, that is why they offer good bonuses and hype the job.

    I wish your daughter the best. I think that most people remember basic as being a trying time but, have good memories of it overall.

    (DLI grad)