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My 19 year old son just left to boot camp last week 08/20. I have no idea when his graduation will be, can anybody tell me how can I find out about he exact date? whic is the closest airport and a good hotel close to the camp? thank you, I'm so greatful I found this site.

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thank you so much for your info, he's my oldest of five kids, and it is indeed very hard to accept the reality that he's so far away from us but I'm glad this site exists, before my son got involved in the navy i never knew about it.
God bless you, take care
My son also left on 8/20 from Virginia and I am also anxious for a graduation date. I thought maybe Oct 16. He is our youngest so we are now empty nesters. This site has been great. Maybe we will all meet at graduation!
Quick question for anyone - should we stay in the Great Lakes area or stay in Chicago? We will be driving from VA and also want to spend a few days seeing Chicago.
Stay close to Great Lakes ---- I believe the town is Walkegan. Driving to Chicago is only about an hour, everyone goes down to the Navy Pier and walks downtown during the weekend. BUT the base is Walkegan so stay close to that (gives you more time with your sailor that way) Many Many motels just ask for BC Graduation prices.
My son left Aug 18th and our PIR should be the 16th.
He is Ship 3 Div 354 ---
OH and also some people fly into *Midway* Wisconson airport. Its about the same distance to Walkegan as Chicago is and a smaller airport. I fly into O'hare but Im coming from Oregon-no direct flights other then O'hare.
If your interested in the Midway airport let me know and I will get exact info for you. ( I think its called Midway ---or maybe that is the other Chicago named one)
Thanks for the info, particularly about BC graduation rates. We will plan to stay in the area and be closer to our son. Hopefully, we will know next week his graduation date and Ship. Sounds like you find out very soon after he arrived?
We are driving but if we do fly we fly Southwest in and out of Midway - great airport, just south of O'Hare.
When you get your first form letter there is hotel info included in the envelope from MWR. It lists the hotels and their distance from base. Some (if not all) of the hotels offer a meet and greet reception after graduation. We made our reservations at the Ramada Inn and are paying $83 for 2 queen beds. This is the graduation rate. Midway is the other Chicago airport.
thank yo so much for the info. God Bless you
My son's tenative graduation is 12/18/09 and I would like to fly into the nearest airport from the base since I will have to get a rental car. What airport would you recommend? I noticed there are two airports -ORD and Midway that Southwest flys into, but I'm not sure which one is closer and easier to drive from. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated....
the best is to flight to Ohare airport, we rented a car at enterprise and stayed at the residence inn in Waukegan, they have the most confortable beds, we were treated very good,and you get free breakfast , they also offer shuttle service to the base for PIR early in the morning, it starts at 6:30 am, 7am and 7:30am, all you pay them is $3.00 each way. I recommend you to take the earliest one so you can get a nice and front seat at the graduation ceremony. Even though the ceremony sarts at 9:00 am, alot of people had to seat on the sides and were not able to face the graduates. Be prepared with lots of batteries for your camera, when the ceremony starts its very touching and emotional, don't expect your son to turn and look at you; they walk what they have become, SOLDIERS. It is the most beautiful experience of your life, take some kleenex with you for there will be some tears. There is a Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Chillis, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dennys, Anastacias (great pancakes) about 3 blocks from the hotel. Also there is a nice, very nice mall at Gurnee, about 12 miles from the hotel, the front desk will give you all kinds of information about what you can do if you are planning on spending the weekend over there. My son's graduation was Oct 16. If you have any other questions please email me at galvanmartha@yahoo.com or feel free to call me at (936)499-0345 or text me, I'll be more than happy to share my experience with you. Say thanks to your son.
Purple Pig...Seriously? Soldier=
Definition: A brave warrior; a man of military experience and skill, or a man of distinguished valor.
"They walk what they have become, soldiers" I love that Martha, thank you. Mary
I was in the Navy, and you bet I was a SAILOR, not a soldier. You'll find we old salts are very, very particular about that!

Seriously.
my dear friend, I feel your frustration, my son called on the 14th, and I couldn't belive when I missed his call, i was charging my phone and ofcourse i was away from it; he left a very touching voice mail telling me how much he missed home but he's doing fine, he also writes me almost every other day, it is like christmas for me when I get his letters, he's very proud of himself, doing great on his exams, physicals and academics. I can understand the way you feel, everyday I come to his room to write letters to him and every time I'm here I cry like a baby; I just miss him so much, he's part of my life that I just can't let go. All I ask you is to be patient and pray for them. God is looking after your son same way he is looking after mine; be strong and have courage that soon you will have him in your arms and you'll have the oportunity to tell him how much you love him and miss him.
where are you going to stay for PIR? we'll be staying at the residence inn in waukegan, keep in touch, we might meet there hopefully, I'll more than happy.
be strong and have faith, he's doing just fine, turning into a man and a sailor of the world's greatest navy.
god bless you

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