Update on Ross


This photo of Ross’s boot camp division was taken a couple of weeks prior to graduation. They look like they’re having an awfully good time, don’t they? They must have been having more fun in boot camp than they let on. These relatively new Navy daily work uniforms are called digital blue camos. I think they’re cool.

Okay, here’s the serious shot in their formal uniforms, the dress whites.

A number of people have asked me how Ross is doing. (If you’re new here and don’t know what I’m talking about, see here.) Ross is now in Goose Creek, South Carolina (outside Charleston) where he will be spending two years in nuclear power school, training for service aboard a nuclear submarine. After boot camp, he spent a couple of weeks doing yard work (er, grounds maintenance) while waiting for his school to start. Once school started, he became a very busy boy. The other day, Ross told me, “You know that math in school you know you’ll never use? I’M USING IT.”

Here’s a sample of his life in Navy nuke school, in Ross’s own words: “Work work and more work. I took Friday afternoon off to go out to town with a couple guys. Thursday night we had so much homework, I spent 6 hours after class working on it, I worked on it till midnight (they force you to leave the building at midnight) and it still wasn’t finished so I slept for about 3 or 4 hours (the night before I didn’t get much sleep either because I had the midnight watch) and went back at 5 to try to finish but I still didn’t get it finished before class started. I went down to the instructor’s office and waited for him to get there and told him why I didn’t finish and how long I worked on it (I wasn’t the only one) and he said don’t worry about it. After he graded a few, he came into the class and said that the homework looked horrible and we were all going to redo it, mine wasn’t even graded, so I have to do that work again and he gave us 2 weekend review packs (weekend review packs are also really long) and I have a weekend review pack to do for math. I have a BE test Tuesday, PFA Wednesday, final math test Thursday, and inspection Friday. If I pass all of those I phase up Friday. On the plus side I have learned a lot.”

I like how he can still look at the plus side after all that work! He’s working really hard. Navy nuclear school is an intense challenge. I’m so proud of him.

(I’m not sure what BE is. PFA is physical fitness assessment. The military loves acronyms. Phasing up means he gets a new set of privileges. As he progresses forward from boot camp through school, he is allowed certain extra freedoms as he earns them from performing well. Freedoms such as wearing civilian clothes at specified times and extending his liberty radius and so on. His Friday afternoon out was his first time off the base since he’d arrived. He went to Charleston and found a restaurant where he could eat some seafood because I keep telling him they have the best seafood in the world there.)


  1. Nancy in Iowa says:

    I’m glad you drew the arrows – I was about to get out my magnifier because I knew if I could enlarge it I could pick out Ross’s handsome face, but you saved me the trouble. I know you are very, very proud of him!!!

  2. TX Aggiemom says:

    I’m so glad you posted about Ross. Being a Navy wife for so long, I just have a super soft spot in my heart for sailors and being a mom, I have a super soft spot in my heart for sons. He sounds great and he’s working hard, but he is growing into such a fine man. Nuke school is really tough. Only the really smart, hard workers get picked. I still pray for him and for his mama. Thank you to him for his service, I do understand what it means and thank you for raising such a good kid, also for writing my favorite blog and sharing your life so freely. :moo:

  3. Sandy says:

    I was about to squint at the pictures too, but then remembered a trick that I can share. Hold down the CTRL key and press the + to zoom in, the – to zoom out, and the 0 (zero) to go back to normal. Works on Windows don’t know about Mac, though I am sure there is a way to do it there too. Works great for finding Glory Bee in pictures too. 😆

  4. CATRAY44 says:

    He has great character and inner strength! You must be very proud!

  5. CindyP says:

    So very hardworking, that’s why he’s in Nuke School :yes:

    Hoping for his phase up!!!!!! Is that today?

  6. northcountrygirl says:

    I’m so glad Ross is doing well. My niece’s husband was in the Navy, stationed in Hawaii. He, too, trained and served on submarines. I can certainly imagine how much work and training he will go through. Best of luck, Ross!!! Thank you for serving your country! We are so proud of you!!!

  7. Amber Swafford says:

    @ Sandy, thanks for that tip on zooming in and out! I did not know that! Ross looks great!

  8. Crystal says:

    My dad was in the navy too. Studying nuclear power, on a nuclear sub! He got out of the navy, got a job at the power plant here and will be retiring soon from that same power plant. His time spent in the navy studying the same thing as your son got him an amazing career right out of the navy! Best Luck Ross!

  9. Kim Gibson says:

    It is a tough course, he sure won’t have it easy. I really don’t like the cammies, don’t want to look like the other services (we’re better) and after all, who are we hiding from? If someone falls overboard, we want them visible not camoflaged! Really though, as soon as they are out of port they put on the working uni anyway. I am just too old fashioned I guess. Give me the old jumpers, dungarees and khakis any day!

  10. Melinda says:

    I know you are so proud of him! Ross sounds like a very dedicated young man. He looks happy and healthy and that’s what every mom wants…..to have raised a good and noble son. You are blessed.

  11. Carol Langille says:

    Thank you for sharing about Ross again, Suzanne. And, again…I read about him and his group and I tear up. I know….goofy. But I am proud of him as I am of all our military. Reading about him and how it’s going for him is uplifting and my heart is proud.
    Tell him we’re proud.

  12. Kathi N. says:

    So proud of him! Thank you for your sacrifice, Ross; and for YOURS Ross’s mom! :>

  13. Denise says:

    Thank you for sharing about Ross. I too am very proud of all the men and women who serve our nation in the military! I was driving down the road the other day thinking wbout Ross and wondered how he was doing.

  14. ladybird_1959 says:

    Thank you so much for the update. I’m so glad to hear that he is doing well. I’m sure trying to learn as much as he has too and keep up is hard, but I’m also sure he’s a dedicated person and will do well. Keep us updated. I love reading about you and your family!

  15. Tobey says:

    Thank you for letting us know how Ross is doing. It must be very rewarding for you to see how hard he is working towards his chosen career. Is he still writing letters or just calling/emailing?

  16. JOJO says:

    What is it about a man in uniform??
    They always look so HANDSOME!!

  17. JOJO says:

    -seriously, I grew up in a military family, and lived in so many different places. It is difficult for many to relize the sacrifices these men , and women and also their families have to make, we here at home have no idea unless we have a family member in the military. I always feel a bit of a tug to my heart when I see them out and about in thier uniforms, and always go up to them when I can and say “thank you”–they understand.

  18. Susan M. says:

    I am so happy to hear that Ross is working hard and keeping busy!
    His mom taught him well and deserves a huge pat on the back for raising a great son ! And from what I’ve read,she is still raising great kids! Nothing can be better than seeing the fruits of your labor ! Great job Suzanne !

  19. Melanie says:

    I agree on the best seafood in Charleston. I had the best crab cake of my life there, at a place downtown called T Bonz. It was a cool little place by the city market. Glad Ross is doing well. Thanks for the udpate.

  20. Gen-IL Homesteader says:

    My son was in Nuke school, but unforunately didn’t pass that first 6 months of classes. Made it to the end, but didn’t have enough points. Boy, did he work his skinny butt off, though, just like you said! Study, study, study!! WHew!! Hoping your son does fabulous!!

  21. joycee says:

    Our son in law is a Navy veteran. He often says the Navy made him the man he is…and I can tell you that is a very responsible, hard working man! So proud of Ross for making this decision and the extremely long hours he will be devoting to a career to serve Americans. Thanks so much for the update, I think of him often and send up a little prayer!

  22. jean says:

    I love hearing about Ross. His work load is huge! Thanks for sharing his story with us.

  23. TONYA says:

    Glad to hear Ross is doing well! I was wondering how Navy life is treating him. GO ROSS!!

  24. Shar says:

    Good for Ross! Thank him for all his hard work to take care of all of us in the US! It’s greatly appreciated!

    My cousin’s hubby was pro Navy and retired at 40! His specialty was subs and he became an instructor. He spent 6 months w/schooling, 3 months on active duty in a sub and then 3 months R&R. A couple years before my cousin died, the whole family spent a year in Scotland and Ireland while he was on duty there. The kids had to go to boarding school in the UK but had a lot of time off to be with family. They all spoke highly of his service and he really enjoyed it.

    There are a lot of opportunities for our Navy personnel.

    Congrats, proud family of Ross. I’m sure he’ll do you proudly being he’s working so hard and being so responsible! Good for him!

  25. TeaCup says:

    You can tell Ross this. My dad taught at Caltech, part of the time he taught math and other stuff. For every hour of instruction they gave they figured at LEAST 3 hours of homework. Dad said it usually was 5-8.


  26. copgrrl says:

    Ahhhh, how I miss the military. Twenty one years for me and even after being retired since ’08, I miss it every day! I was in the Army and worked in the Medical Service Corps. Ross is part of a brotherhood, that no matter where he goes or how much time has passed, he will have a friend, regardless of which service the person was part of. I wish things had been different for me and I could still be there. I was hurt and could no longer perform my duties. That is the one inherent danger of the military–our bodies get beat up. We sacrifice more than we realize when we are young. I would not give up one moment of my time. For me there was no prouder moment that knowing I was serving and protecting my country. Thank you Ross and Suzanne for your sacrifice! Have fun, and travel as much as you can.

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