5 In A Family

Dropping off Our Navy Girl

Now that we’ve survived the last several days after dropping her off… even though there were a few times there when we thought we wouldn’t… I am ready to share everything about Ari’s drop off for boot camp.

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We are beyond proud of our oldest daughter, Ariana, and her choice to join the United States Navy. Though it is something we’ve been speaking to her about for several years, we had thought the possibility was no longer an option for her. Then one day back in December, we got the call. For her, the time was right. She no longer wanted to see herself stuck in a place where she was given very few options to better her future.

She wanted a better life and she took the first steps to doing so. All on her own. The decision was hers and she made it without any persuasion. Within the next week she was all signed up, tested in, and had made her choice of future profession as a future Air Crewman with the United States Navy. A very ambitious choice, but I know this girl, and she is capable of anything.

The last five months have flown by, and last Sunday the time finally came for us to hit the road, head to meet her recruiter, and drop her off at MEPS. Thats the Military Entrance Processing Station. Who knew there was such a place? Not me. We’re learning so much!

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After spending Monday saying her goodbyes and spending her last hours with family, Tuesday morning had finally arrived. Our last day (insert about to cry face here). We met Ariana at the MEPS office to watch her final swearing in. It was a bittersweet event. Very short and to the point. Seriously though… we couldn’t be any more proud!

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Later that morning, we met Ari at the airport. For our final goodbye.

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This has been really hard on our family. I never thought I would feel so… sad… I really miss her. It’s strange not having her around the house. The basement has been really quiet, Zoie asks for her all day long, and at least once an hour we ask each other, “What do you think Ari’s doing right now?”

Like right now… What do you think Ari’s doing right now? As you read this? Our usual guesses are sleeping, eating, or getting yelled at. lol

That drop off was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. Zach and I have been through a lot in the last thirteen years. We’ve certainly had our ups and downs as no ones life is perfect. But there is only one other time in all those years that I have seen my husband cry, and that was the day that his dad passed away. To see him cry after dropping off his baby girl at the airport was… unexplainable.

The love he has for his kids is an amazing thing, to let one of them fly from the nest, to let her go and do something so big and selfless was not something he could have prepared himself for.

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I think the hardest part of letting her go is the lack of communication. We’ve gone from seeing her every day and speaking to her all day long, to nothing. Just nothing. I am constantly wondering what she is doing. How she is doing. How she is feeling. I know she can do this. I know she is more than capable. She can do anything she sets her mind to. She is so strong! She is beyond brave! It’s the not knowing exactly where she is and what she is doing that is so hard. All day long I want to send her encouragement, but we can’t. So we send all of our positive vibes her way. I sure hope she can feel them.

Then we count down the days til graduation…

Do me a favor? Send some positive vibes and encouragement to her for me?

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    candy
    May 20, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Being married to a now retired air force man, watching a son leave for basic, plus a son-in-law move my daughter clear across the country I know what you went through. I am proud they all served and are serving their country. Proud American.!

    • Reply
      ChasingZ
      May 20, 2016 at 9:18 am

      So proud! Send them all and Thank You from me and my family! Thank you for reminding me that we are not alone in this 🙂

  • Reply
    Rae
    May 20, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Congratulations on your choice, Ari. I am sure you will enjoy much success in the Navy. Oh, and thank you for your service, too.

    My husband is an Army veteran who served in Iraq.

    • Reply
      ChasingZ
      May 20, 2016 at 10:36 am

      I will be sure to pass on your thanks to Ari as soon as we can. Thank you to your husband for his service!

  • Reply
    Cara Mills
    May 30, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Wow! This made me cry! I met Zach when Ari was just 2 (that was 21 years ago 😜) as I was her babysitter! She has grown up so much and I’m so proud of her and scared and excited all at the same time! Having family in the military has a LOT of challenges (my husband leaves next week but will be gone less than a month this time). I will definitely lift Ari up in prayer and you all as well! Poor Zoie! 😕 It’s so hard to understand at her age! Love you guys!

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