Daughter 19 Years Old in Air Force

Updated on February 26, 2007
L.M. asks from Casco, ME
12 answers

My 19 year old daughter just left for the air force 2 weeks ago. She is really struggling and wants to come home. I keep encouraging her and write to her often. She didn't have any of my letters since last friday. I hope she got them now. Are there any other parents out there with children in military and how did you cope? I am struggling too. I want her to succeed as I feel strongly about this for her too. This has been her life long dream and I keep reminding her of this. Please if you can help and lmk how your child coped?

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answers from Lewiston on

My step daughter just left for Germany yesterday to be with her husband. He's in the Army. She's never lived so far away from home before.

If it were me, I'd just try to remind her that it son't be forever.

I hope this helps. Good luck for both of you.


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answers from Boston on

I also have a 19 year old in the service. He is the joy of my life, but I wasn't always feeling this way. He also had a life long dream of becoming a navy seal. He signed up in Feb of 06, actually left then. Had issues with boot camp which made it impossible for him to follow his dreams. I had to keep reassuring him that NO ONE cand take this experience away from you. And also I reminded him that this is what HE wanted. He came home from school one day with a recruter and proceeded to infirm me of what he wanted in his life. As a single mom I have always tried to enforce what he wanted. Maybe I would not have chosen a military life for him, but it was not about me this time. It will make her or brake her....most of the time I feel it makes them. I also tell my son that "If God leads you to it, he will bring you through it!" I know that htis time of their lives are so crutial as we sometimes second guess how we have raised them. It seems that she is growing and that is always positive. Never underestimate the power of "mom's love". Always tell her how proud you are of her, and she will make it. Hope this helps.
L. B

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Hi L.

There has been someone in the military in every generation of my family since the WWII. My oldest is in the Navy. He went in at 19. He found it difficult to assimlate to the strict rules of training. It's not like he can come home on the weekends or spring break like college students. He said it like being owned by someone. You have to remember that the military is making a solider. They reshape the way think, live and breathe for the most part. It can be difficult for free spirited people to submit to the type of brainwashing that the military does. My sister was in the Air Force and had a really difficult time in training. She was depressed and extremely unhappy. It is the most difficult thing in the world watching someone you love suffer, even more difficult to keep up the upbeat attitude so they can't see you cry. I can say this to you. My sister does not regret her term in the USAF. She said it made her a strong person. It was tough but she would do it all over again. My son is in Madrid Spain at the moment. He just left the Iraq. He is doing well. We email each other often. He calls whenever he can. His tour is up next June. While he says that the Navy has given him character and a strenght that he didn't know he had before. He has seen some of the most beautiful countries and he has met some quality people, he will not rejoin.

You need to keep up the positive attitude. Keep writing. Try not to talk too much about the happenings of her friends. (It will only make her more homesick) Encourage her friends and family to write also. Ask her questions about her training, the people she is meeting and some of struggles and triumphs that they are going thru too. No matter how bad the situation, there is always a bright spot somewhere. You can help her find it. She needs to keep telling herself that she can do this. She can survive this. She has no choice, so the only direction she can travel is forward.

You can find support for yourself by calling the local recruiting office. Ask if there are any groups you can join. It can help to be around others who have loved ones serving in the military. Thank her for me. It is a brave thing she is doing. I am proud of her and I thank her with all of my heart. My grandfather, father, 2 brothers, 1 sister, 1 son, 2 nephews all serve in the military. Keep the Faith and God Bless You.




answers from Lewiston on

My friend Carol grand daughter that she raised is in the Air Force..She let in Jan. to go to the front lines because she is a medic..She had already done her time over their we alll thought that she woun't have to go back but this time they told her that she would be in the front line...Not a day goes by when we think of her and hope she is doing well...When they do not get letters sometimes that means they are in training for where they are needed as well.. We would write letters and get no respond back this was for a few weeks..Talk about scared..Then one day a letter came that said she was really busy would say why..She just wanted us to know that she was doing well and would try and write more offten..



answers from Boston on


While I'm not a millitary mother, my sister is int he Army. She too went in at 19, and the first month was the hardest.
She had plently of experience in NJROTC, but the cultral shock and complete change of life style can be over whelming. No free time, no loved ones, it can be really tough. It can also be very rewarding! The achevements she will make after this inital trainging will be wonderful! My sister just came home after spending her year in Iraq, and she's stronger, physically and mentally!

It is tought, for both of you, but continued encouragement from you and the rest of your family is what she needs right now. This is the first really big step "out of the nest" and it is hard, she's responsible for all of her actions now, and doesn't have you there every moment for advice. But it will be better for her in the end. The millitary is the best thing, as far as I am concerned, to help young adults transition from the teenage years to the all important desicion making years of a young adult's life.

Just my two cents... I wish you both the best of luck!



answers from Springfield on

Hello L.,
I am right there with you. My 18 year old daughter left on the 29th of January for the Marine Corp. Although she is not having problems, I do so know what you are going through. My daughter has always been tomboyish, ie played High School Varsity Football and was in the Navy ROTC in high school. It was a surprise that she decided to join the Marines, all she could say is that she wanted to do what was the most challenging.
I know that in the Marine Corp the 1st four weeks, they have a no questions asked policy and they can walk away. My daughter would never do anything like that, as she prides herself on not being a quitter. Where did your daughter go to boot camp? Do you know her recruiter?
Send me an email and let's chat, as we are going through the same thing.
Be Well



answers from Boston on

Hi L.~ I do not have a child in the military, but I was myself for 6 years. Really, the first time that I ever left home was to join the Navy, and I was 18. The initial training is just awful. You are so tired and everything is new. I remember only being able to call my parents on Sunday's and I was so upset I could hardly talk. Getting letters regularly from my mom and other various members of my family or friends helped alot. The good news is that as soon as training is completed, the military really isn't bad at all. I'm not sure how long training is for the air force, but we had 12 weeks of bootcamp and then I had 16 weeks of "a" school then reported to my duty station. Its just like a regular job most of the time. She will work a pretty regular schedule and have to stand duty or be on watch but that is usually on a rotating schedule.
She will make some wonderful friends too. Most of the kids she will meet are in the same boat...far from home and unsure. I met my husband at the Naval hospital that I worked at and now we have been married for 7 years with 2 great sons. We also have a group of 8 (well now, 12 with the few who've been married) that we all get together in the summer for a long weekend and catch up.
She should be proud of what she is doing. I promise it will turn out to be a really great experience for her.
I hope I helped you to feel a little better. Have a good day~ J. L



answers from Portland on

I can tell you from experience that what she needs now, more than ever, is your is your strength and support. Always let her know that you think she is strong and that she can and will do it, and that you love her. I was in the army for three years and those were the things I needed when I heard from home.



answers from Boston on

Hi L.!
First off, thank you to your daughter for being brave and patriotic and joining the US Military.
My brother is in the Army. He left a few days before his 18th birthday, he's now 25 and I am very proud of him. My mom coped by writing and sending packages to him quite frequently. He called and wrote as well and my mom was sure to share with everyone whenever he was able to make contact home. Although my brother was sad and missed us when he left, he knew it was the thing for him to do. Just keep encouraging your daughter. I know boot camp is hard and if I remember correctly, there is less outside contact.
I don't have much to offer as far as advice, but please pass on my gratitude to your daughter.




answers from Boston on

Dear L.,
I don't have children in the military but, I do feel for you. What was going through my head is that the most difficult times in my life ended up being the ones that I accomplished the most and cherish today. Maybe set up a local grade school class to write her letters? I have a 5, 4, and 16 mos. old and would love to "adopt" a military person to write to and thank. Please let me know if you think this would be encouraging to her.
Best wishes,
C. K.



answers from Boston on

L., I know this is a difficult time. My nephew, who is also my Godson just went into the air force last year and will be going to Iraq in June. He is currently in England. I'd like for you to go to the site Blue Star Moms. it's an organization that helps family members to friends to just about anyone. I usually dont give out my email adress but I'd like to give it to you and then I can possibly hook you up with my sista who has alot of information. She too is overwhelmed but once she had the chance to learn more and know there are other mums out there she can talk to she is coping better. my email adress is ____@____.com put in the subject line something so i know it's you because I usually don't open mail unless I know who it is from. I hope to hear from you soon. YOU ARE NOT ALONE....God Bless.



answers from Providence on


I too was in the military and it isn't easy. I'm assuming she is at Boot Camp right now and all you can do is encourage her and let her know that she will like it so much better once she has finished her training and has settled into her work. It is a totally different life after training. It was way different for me because I was national guard and so I got to come home after being away for 20 weeks, but tell her to have faith in her self training will get easier and she will enjoy it once she is past that.

Hope this helps,

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