Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Day He Leaves: Tip #2


When it comes to his Cell Phone, strategy is key. When he goes to the hotel the night before he gets shipped off to boot camp, he will take an overnight bag with him. He should take his cell phone and his charger with him in his bag.

The next morning, he will go to whatever government building is designated to sign them in, swear them in, and ship them off. His bag will be checked into a room while they are being processed. Tell him to leave his cell phone in his bag. After he is sworn in, he will be allowed time with his family & friends to say goodbye. This could last anywhere from 10 minutes to 6 hours. This is the time when most sailors will hand their phones over to their families for safe keeping. I suggest not doing this. Tell him to keep his cell phone.

Over the next few months, you'll get very little contact with him, so trust me, every phone call counts. If he keeps his phone, you may get a call when they get to the airport and are waiting for their flight, when he lands, when they're driving from Chicago O'Hare Airport to Great Lakes (where the Naval Basic Training Facility is located, about 2 hours outside of Chicago). Finally, right when he gets to boot camp, he might be able to sneak a very brief phone call to let you know he arrived before they take his phone. I'm talking 5-10 seconds. Make sure he doesn't get caught! They'll then get one phone call home to let their family know they're OK, but usually it will be a direct call to the parents, whether your sailor wants to call you or not. So, having that cell phone will be key.

Now, of course, the second they get there, all of their possessions, including their bag, wallet, phone, and even the clothes on their back will be shoved in a box, and mailed home. So, the fact that he brought his cell phone won't get him in trouble. He will have kept in contact with you, and then have it mailed home. No harm done, and you got to talk your sailor through his trip to basic training.

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