He’s in the Navy Now


I delivered Ross to the Navy recruitment office in Charleston yesterday at 1 pm. He had met with the recruiter again last week, so he knew what to do. He packed up his room, leaving everything, even his beloved cell phone. He went with nothing but the clothes on his back and his wallet. (He was told he was allowed to bring a wallet.) His clothes will be taken from him and either donated or sent home at his expense. He wore clothes he doesn’t care about and intends to tell them to donate them. He walked in the door of the building, made a sharp turn and saluted, and said, “First Recruit Ross McMinn, reporting for duty.” They sat him down and had him sign a bunch of papers. I cried and kissed him and told him I loved him and that I was proud of him.

And then I had to leave him there. I don’t even have an address yet where I can write to him. The recruiter said I could call in a few days and he would have it for me. (They used to have a basic address where you could write, but now they have it specified by division, so they don’t know the address until after they are there.)

They took him to the military entrance processing station in Beckley, West Virginia, and sometime early this morning they put him on a bus to Great Lakes, Illinois, to boot camp. He is in the Navy.

The above picture is what I see when I look at him……….

See Bloggin’ at the Bell today at Farm Bell Recipes.


  1. LeAnn says:

    Tugs at my “mommy heart strings”. I know that you are very proud of him. God Bless you both as he tests his wings.

  2. jean says:

    My heart breaks and yet bursts with pride for you and your son. It will be difficult for both of you. Just hang onto that image of him, maybe photoshop a sailor hat or something. Hugs and kisses to all of you.

  3. Nancy in Iowa says:

    We’re all proud of you for being such a great Mom! I know you’ve prepared him well for life in the big world, so don’t worry. Yeah, I know, that’s easier said than done. My daughter is now 40…..


  4. Michelle says:

    Sending tons of bear-hugs across the innernets….

  5. Grandmatotwochicks says:

    Dear Suzanne,

    Sending you lots of HUGS :hug: I have had two that flew the nest and it is hard to let go of them, I always tell my kid’s ( you will be my baby forever) even when your 40!! :duck:

  6. Sue Young says:

    Suzanne, you’ve done a great job with that young man and he’ll go far. It’s hard for him, but he has the excitement of it all to drive him forward. Harder for you, I think. God bless and keep you and your precious family. :hug:

  7. AsTheNight says:

    I’m volunteering to be part of the “mommando” (like mom commando) squad when you decide (probably in about 6 hours, 17 minutes) that you have to get him and make him come back home forever. Cuz he’s just a little boy and needs his mommy to take care of him.

    Oh. Wait. That’s my delusion about my son. So sorry. Carry on!

  8. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    (((((((GIANT HUGS TO YOU SUZANNE!!))))))
    Hugs Granny Trace

  9. CindyP says:

    :hug: You did a wonderful job with him Suzanne, he’s ready for the world! :hug: Everyone between WV and IL wave to him as he’s going through! :hug:

    My dad went to Great Lakes, too, for basic (about 53 years ago!).

  10. Jill says:

    you are making me cry!! I cannot imagine doing that!! but you raised him well and he will succeed, so you can be proud of that.
    I am almost glad my son doesnt want to go into the military….I dont think he would make it anyway.

    sending hugs and best wishes for Ross!!

    Jill from NY

  11. midimite says:

    I know how you feel. 19 years ago I sent my daughter off to the Army. She’s now a Lieutenant Colonel, Blackhawk pilot, and the first woman battalion commander of the 82nd Airborn division. She has done two tours of Afghanastan. It’s hard to let them go, but they have to make their own decisions even though it might not be the one you hope they would make. Good luck to your son and you.

  12. Kim says:

    Suznne, You have brought me to tears this morning. My daughter, Amanda, was processed with the Navy last week and given a ship date of Feb. 22. She was called yesterday and the date has been moved up until July. My heart goes out to you, because I too will have to leave my baby in a month. Thanks for sharing your moment.
    Kim in Virginia

  13. northcountrygirl says:

    I have tears streaming down my face. I can only imagine what you must have went through. You’ve done a good job raising him, Mom, and he has made a most honorable choice to serve his country. Take heart in knowing he’s doing what he wants to do. Suzanne: Thank you for raising such a fine young man and for a job well done.

  14. Lori Skoog says:

    This is a real tear jerker. I can’t imagine having to do that. It will be quite an experience for your entire family. All the best to you and your family….

  15. Snapper says:

    Oh my….. :hug:

  16. Sandy says:

    I hope his Drill Instructor doesn’t read your blog. He looks like a tough kid though, so I am sure he can take some ribbing.

  17. Kathleen H in Indiana says:

    Suzanne I am sitting here with tears running down my cheeks, i know what you are going through. My son Ryan joined the Navy after high school. Broke my heart. When he graduated from Great Lakes Illinois we (my husband, daughter and grandparents) went to graduation. He then was sent to Panama City and finally based in San Diego. Ryan was Swim and Rescue with Navy Seals. He flew helicopters. Anyway he was there during 911 and off coast of Kuwait when the Iraq war started. Ryan was sent to Iraq twice and in the Navy 5 years. Did he grow up! After the Navy he graduated from San Diego State University in 3 years (Navy paid for all ). It was so hard on me but we both survived. (now he is living in Sydney with a great job he loves and I still miss him. Am saving for a trip to Australia and figure maybe in 2025 can make it (ho ho). Hang in there. i was able to visit San Diego 3 times and never would have otherwise. Be prepared to send lots of care packages. I was so thankful for the internet, he would email me when possible and ease my mind. Also wrote wonderful letters I have kept. They grow up too fast.

  18. Leah says:

    They will always be our babies no matter how old they get. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Helen says:

    I’m teary thinking about your having to leave Ross, and I’m teary just THINKING about doing that with our own son, who turns 24 next month. I cried when I had to register him in order to get student loans for college!

    Sending big thanks for his willingness to do this and hugs and and prayers that he will stay safe.


  20. Deb says:

    I have been following you site EVERDAY since last fall. I though I the post about your cooking for Ross was tear jerking!

    Add my family to the list of those thankful to Ross and all the rest for serving. After husbands 21 years in the Army you would think I would be use to this. Internet hugs to yo :heart:


  21. Nancy says:

    Be strong little one… YOU Mom, not Ross, he’ll be fine! Hugs and kisses from an ex Navy Mom in CT!

  22. MrsB says:

    I remember taking my son to the Army Recruiting Center in New Orleans, after 2 years at LSU, he said he needed a break….and I had to let him go – it was so painful – Desert Storm was a year away – they wanted to make him an ordinance person – and learn Arabic. I did not hear from him for 6 weeks of boot camp. Sent endless cards, cookies, snacks, music, ANYTHING he asked for. He came home 15 lbs lighter, with muscles and a renewed desire to get back to college and get a degree. It was nothing but good for him – but I worried every single day. I know how you feel. Start planning now on how you are going to get a Christmas tree and decorations in a box, with presents for his pals.

  23. Dawn says:

    The pain and the pride all will meld together for you now. At least it did for me. The pride that our kids care enough to serve our country, risk thier lives is as immense and the worry. God Bless and Protect all of our servicemen and women.

  24. Mary from Baton Rouge says:

    Hugs to you Suzanne!! I have never sent on of my sons into the military, but sending them away to college is tough enough. I can only imagine. Good luck and God Speed to Ross!

  25. Melinda says:

    I just don’t know what to say to you except…we are here for you. I know you are going to miss him so much. :hug:

  26. Carmen C. says:

    ((BIG HUGS)) to you mama, in less than 2 weeks I will walk that path and I know it won’t be easy, I’m already crying, LOL! I think as mother’s we always think of them as our babies, regardless of their age:)

  27. Kim Gibson says:

    I have been there Suzanne, he is fine, and you will be too! You will be proud and sad and scared and happy all at once. He is very tired right now, and wondering why in the world he did this, and he will wonder that until the end of bootcamp. But he will be proud and disciplined and so satisfied. IT WILL BE OKAY! Really. Thank you for going through this, you are a good mom, and a good American!

  28. Cheryl says:

    Hugs to you Suzanne! That post definately pulled on the ol’ heart strings!! Your baby is growing up and not only is he going to make you proud, but all of us as well. You have done a fine job of raisin’ that youngin’ ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck, Ross!

  29. anniebeez says:

    So hard to let them go….

  30. Natalie O. says:

    Hugs, mama. We love our babies, don’t we?!!?

  31. Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage says:

    This must be extra hard for you Suzanne as you’re the only one home right now. Thank heaven’s you’ve got your new camera to play with! Next month the other two will be home and life will nearly be back to normal. I’m sure Clover and the others will do their best to keep you busy and take your mind off things. Oh and there’s 52 to keep you company too! Good luck and (((BIG HUGS))). Chic :hug: :hungry2:

  32. Mary Ellen says:

    You and Ross are in my thoughts and prayers. You should be so proud of him. I am proud of both of you.

  33. Kathy (from southwestern pa) says:

    I want to cry for you…but I’m sure you have a handle on that yourself. ๐Ÿ™ My heart is heavy for you….doing the most difficult job in the entire world…letting go of your child. We even know that it is a part of raising our children and that IT IS necessary. But knowing that just doesn’t help. Here’s to you for a job well done. (Saluting) ๐Ÿ™‚


  34. mary beth says:

    HUGS! I know it’s tough. He’s a remarkable young man.

  35. Angelia M says:

    Hugs to you. Brings tears to my eyes.

    My DH was in the Navy for 21-22 years. Congrats!

  36. ulli says:

    God bless him and keep him. Thank you, Ross, for your desire to serve and your future service. It’s the most honorable “job” a person can have. Hang in there, Suzanne. He’s still your baby.

  37. Valerie says:

    Awww, hugs to you! I was so sad when my baby brother joined the military. It was always my job to look after and protect him and I also still see him as a little boy. He’s serving in the middle east now and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him proudly and say a little prayer for him. A big thank you to Ross for his devotion to our country and to keeping us safe!

  38. Marianne says:

    What a sad day it must have been…I had tears just reading it. My niece and nephew both joined the military, one Coast Guard and one Navy. I went to both basic training graduations (one at Great Lake, amazing how well orchestrated it is, of course they do them all the time), and it’s amazing how much they grow up in just those first weeks of training.

    Thanks Ross for serving our great country! Thanks Suzanne for raising a fine, young man who wants to serve!

  39. Debbie Little says:

    Oh that just tears at my heart strings. Prayers from a loving mother will get him through and you too!

  40. shirley says:

    :hug: I watched me 18 year old son go into the Navy from Beckley too. He was sent to boot camp in Great Lakes, and then to San Diego.
    He’s a grandpa now, settled here in WV and the farthest hr goes from home is camping in Pocahontas County.He’s 43.

  41. jt says:

    When my daughter left for the Navy several years ago, it broke my heart seeing her leave. It’s tough but they survive just fine.
    I will say that when it’s time and if it’s possible, please try to attend the boot camp graduation, those sailors really need and appreciate their families support.

  42. Dianne says:

    Thank you for sharing your son with us and for teaching him life is about not just self but service for others. A mother has such a hard job in teaching responsibility to our children and then watching them actually become responsible and leave us! When I dropped my son off at college I was brave until I returned to the car. I cried and cried. Then six months later I was grocery shopping and realized I didn’t need a large jar of mayonaise any more and started to cry and cry until a store manager helped me to the back room. It is hard to explain all that goes along with no longer needing a large jar of mayonaise. I thought I was through with the crying at this point. A year after graduating from college we received a thank you letter from our son who stayed 700 miles away from us to live. The thank you was for nothing large but he mentioned thanks for all the small things he never noticed. I cried and cried. I knew I would not cry again. Then a phone call came to tell us he had a brain tumor. I cried and cried. It turned out surgery was not an option. There was a possibility that it would leave him paralyzed if radiation did not work. He is now training for his second marathon. ( Still not sure if the radiation is sucessful long term.) Today I cry for you knowing all the love you have for your children. Thanks for being a great mom. That is how this world will become whole again. Just to let you know, in between those crying spells I really am a very happy joyful person! I do not have my own farm but live 1/2 mile from one and enjoy their geese, cows, goats and sheep! Thanks again for the joy you give freely to others and I will pray that God keeps all of your children safe the same as he does mine.

  43. kay keen says:

    oh my heart hurts for you, but you will be so proud when you see him all dressed up in that picture from boot camp, God bless you and your son,keep smiling. kay

  44. Linda says:

    Good luck to your son! I hope he does well. It took a while for them to get my son’s address to me.
    I hope your son’s unit is better at mail, too.

    And when you can, thank him for his service to his country from me.

  45. Mary says:

    He’s got a great life in front of him. And please thank him for me for being loyal to this country and supporting everyone who enjoys freedom.

  46. The Retired One says:

    Oh, I just teared up when I read that. You are so brave, Mama…saying goodbye to your baby boy!!

  47. Carolyn says:

    Suzanne, go to:

    Then select “Groups”. Then select “BootCampMoms”.

    This is a place in cyberspace where you can learn many things about what Ross is going through and talk with other moms, just like you, who are living this at the same time you are. There are wonderful women onboard who have come out the other side and hang around to help the new moms on the site. The information there will give you a connection to what Ross is going through, plus tons of information about their graduation, what to do so they don’t get in trouble at amil time and what to plan for. He will not be able to contact you for while, and when he does, he may not have been told yet the kinds of things you would want to know.

    Just as “Chickens In The Road” gives so much comfort and information to others, this group of moms does the same. You both are in my prayers. We’re a Navy family, understand what you’re going through.

  48. wildcat says:

    Please thank Ross for all of us, for serving his country! I think it’s safe to say that we are all very proud of him!

    Later when he has a real address, please consider posting a list of things that he and his friends want and need. I’m sure that between all of us, we could really hook Ross and his pals up with some awesome care packages! :shimmy:

  49. I Wanna Farm says:

    My heart goes out to you. I can’t imagine having to do that as a mother. My daughter is graduating High School today, and she’s not even going away to college, and I’ve been on the verge of tears all day, I can’t imagine having to send her away. You’re very brave!

  50. Ken and Mary Berry of FancyFibers Farm says:

    It will be alright and he’ll be back home on leave before you know it. Quite a bit changed, but parts will shine through that you recognize. I know something of what he’s experiencing, as a tender just-turned-17 year old in December 1974, in Dayton, Ohio, long before dawn, I boarded a bus for a journey that also ended at Great Lakes. I can honestly say that I owe all that I am to my 20 years in World’s Greatest Navy. He’ll be in good hands up there.

  51. robinswoods says:

    I remember those days so well. When my son left for Navy boot camp, I cried for three days straight. Then he surprised us when he got out and came home – I got off work and when I walked in the house, there he was in the living room, in his dress whites. Needless to say, lots more tears flowed that day!

  52. Tabitha2 says:

    Big hugs to you, Suzanne! I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been.

    My dad was stationed at Great Lakes for about 5 years when I was a child. I have fond memories of that time. And hey, I’m only about an hour away from there, so if you need someone to check on him (maybe take him some cookies or something?), I’m your gal!

  53. winifred says:

    Oh my, it’s so hard to let them go. Worse than their first day at school I bet.

    Take care and keep your chin up!

  54. Kieran says:

    Oh, Suzanne! yes, he’ll be fine and better than fine–he’ll be GREAT. But it doesn’t erase the fact that you had a defining Life Moment. Just thinking about that second or two when you looked into Ross’s eyes and told him you loved him before you two parted–well, that’s what life is about. Those moments are pure, raw love. Love hurts, but it’s also the only lasting thing. And mother love…what is stronger, more real, than that?

    Know that I’m thinking of you and hope over the coming days that you have a wonderful time watching the seeds you’ve sown in him flourish. A great garden will be produced through that boy! Just you wait!


  55. Estella says:

    He will be fine Suzanne.
    At least he has basic at Great Lakes in the summer.
    My youngest son had it in the winter and like to froze.

  56. Jo says:

    Gosh girl you made me cry. About this time last year I dropped my son off in Jacksonville, Fl to join the Air Force. I cried all the way home (which was 95 miles). Thank goodness my husband was driving. I’m not sure how the navy works but if they have a graduation like the AF had you must go! Your son will be fine! God bless all our troops!

  57. Gayle says:

    ::::sniff:::::: you are tugging at the heartstrings of a mother…….you are in my heart, Suzanne.

  58. lavenderblue says:

    Hugs and prayers for both you and Ross. Thank him for us. I just got done telling my son how I wouldn’t mind if he and his sister lived at home with me forever. Then they go do stuff like growing up.

  59. MissyinWV says:

    God Bless you both! I will keep you in my prayers. How tough this must be!!!!! I just can’t imagine.

  60. Judy says:

    To Ross, I have to say a Big welcome to Northern Illinois. I so remember bringing our two sons to the recruiters office on their way to boot camp. Good luck to him and I want to also say Thank You! As hard as it is to let go, you can’t help but be proud of them.
    My advice to you…write those letters ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. ScreamingSardine says:

    Aww, Suzanne. :hug: I can only imagine how that feels.

  62. DragonLady says:

    Thanks Suzanne for raising such outstanding children. Based on what I read, they are ALL wonderful human beings! I’m sure Ross will become one of the youngest Admiral’s in history.

  63. SuzieQ says:

    My newly graduated (from high school) son left NC headed to the San Diego Navy facility for his basic training just a month before his 18th birthday. I remember that feeling as his dad and I watched his plane take off. Since he was in the nuke program they let him choose where he wanted to go :heart: for basic. So, so far away for my youngest.. What a wonderful career for a young man. It was many, many years ago but you brought it all back to me.

  64. samantha says:

    My heart aches for you but i know yours is full of pride too. God bless you both.

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