I spoke to D for a few minutes this morning before he turned off his phone for a very very long time. It’s really weird that I won’t hear his voice again for at least another few weeks and even then he won’t sound the same (I’ll explain later). D was on the same flights with a few of his classmates and a group of them went out to dinner last night in Newport. I think it was helpful in calming his nerves enough to sleep last night. All we pretty much got to say to each other this morning was I love you, I’ll write, You’ll do great, I’m here safe, I’ll call you in a few weeks, and I love you again. D was given a “Survival Guide to OCS” by his recruiter before he left which actually gave us a lot of information about what life is like at Officer Candidate School. We’ve since discovered that not every recruiter was as forthcoming with their recruits as D’s – someone found out he was selected for OCS only 4 days before he had to leave!!! Thank goodness that wasn’t the case for us. Since I’m not sure when I’ll hear from D, I’m relying on this guide to tell me what his life is like.
The first week, D is considered an “Indoctrination Candidate.” The main focus of this week is militarization and rifle drill. It’s supposed to be the toughest week emotionally and physically. Today, D will first be checking in and filling out paperwork. They’ll go through his bag and put everything in storage except his clothes, toiletries, and scriptures. Then they’ll go to his hall where he’ll stay and be grilled by the “Candidate Officers” (students in their last few weeks of OCS). They help prepare the new classes (by screaming and yelling at them) and spend pretty much every moment with them keeping them on track. I’ve actually been emailing a Navy wife for the last few months whose husband is a Candidate Officer over D’s class, which is really cool – she said she’ll try get some insider information from her husband on how he’s doing! His drill instructor will be secretly watching them all day but won’t actually meet them for a few days. During OCS, D has to be “ballistic” – aka scream everything he says as loud as he possibly can. There are correct ways of responding to commands and asking questions and permission to speak that he has to get used to. There’s lots of sirs, ma’ams, eyeballs, ears, and referring yourself in the third person. The goal is to lose your voice, hence I may not be hearing normal D when he finally calls! D will spend the rest of today unpacking, getting issued clothes and toiletries (most of which he saves for his room and locker inspection in a few weeks), and getting his hair chopped off. (I’m not going to lie. Yes, I will miss his hair.) For D, today will be extremely loud and full of chaos, while I’m trying to get used to the very quiet silence in our house.
Here are a few pics from D’s last week as a civilian (so weird – for the last little while it’s been “oh, my husband is going into the Navy” and today it’s “my husband is in the Navy” – it sounds nuts coming out of my mouth). We had a surprise dinner for D at the Spaghetti Factory last weekend with family and friends, D’s parents were able to come up and visit from Utah and it was really nice to be able to have both our parents there to support us. D was super confused as to what was happening when we got to the restaurant and I think still slightly in shock when we went to bed that night! We were able to spend a lot of time together this last week as I only scheduled clients on a few days so we could get everything prepared and do some fun stuff. We spent a day at Cannon beach, shopped, got D a Royal Shave, went to the temple, and got a couples massage. Friday we drove up to Mt. Hood and hiked around a few of the lakes there. It was an absolutely gorgeous, slightly perfect day. I can’t even begin to tell you how sweet our last few days were together.
Missing this handsome man lots already.
PS I also updated D’s address on the last post – just added his middle initial and class letter.