Planning a Party Before Your Son or Daughter Leaves for Basic Training or Boot Camp.

I’ll admit it; I do like to gather friends and family together for any occasion…or for no occasion at all, other than to spent time together!

Before our son headed off to Basic Training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas, we gathered friends and family together for a party! My son wasn’t too excited about the idea initially (he didn’t want to be the center of attention), but during the party he told me how much he enjoyed it and thanked me for putting it all together.  I know the idea of having a celebration when you worried sick and sad about your ‘baby’ heading off to the military seems like the wrong thing to do, but a party or get-together can be a wonderful memory for all of you.  Focusing on the party plans can be a welcome diversion to all the worry and anxiety that you’ll have before they head off to boot camp or basic training.

The get-together can be as easy as a Saturday or Sunday open house with sodas, lemonade, ice tea (or hot coffee and tea) and cake and cookies or it can involve more substantial food offerings like a backyard BBQ, pasta and salad or cold cuts.

Here are some ideas for making this party or get together special.

Party Planning – The Details

1) Set the date and time. I would recommend 2 to 3 weeks before your loved one is scheduled to leave, in case the report date gets moved up.  3 hours is a good amount of time for an open house; 6-9 on weekdays and 1-4 on Saturday and Sundays.

2) Send out invitations or call family and friends with all the details (date, time and place).

3) Every family and area of the country has their own traditions and expectations of food and drink that will be offered at a party or gathering.  Time of day has a lot to do with the amount and type of food to serve. One idea is to have all of your son or daughter’s family favorite recipes. Another idea is to plan a “Souper” party with soup and chili along with assorted breads, crackers and chips.

Cake, pies and cookies are good sweets and the cake can serve as the table centerpiece until eaten.Most bakeries can reproduce the military insignia on the cake and add appropriate words such as “Basic Training (or Boot Camp) is a piece of cake” or simply “Best Wishes” or “Good Luck”, etc.

If people want to help out by bringing food and drinks, be ready with a suggestion for them.

Just make sure that you keep it simple and ask family and friends to help so that you can enjoy this time, too.

4) Decorations and balloons make any get-together more festive and this party is no exception!

Red, white and blue decorations lend that patriotic feel to the occasion and can be used for any branch of military service.  For Air Force, you might want to add silver to the mix. For the Army and Marines, you might select a camouflage theme. For Navy and Coast Guard, a nautical theme might be appropriate. You can find Service specific decorations, table and party ware in party stores or on-line at several different sites.

5) Take lots of photos of your son or daughter with  family and friends.  Remember to get  photos of you with the new recruit and other family members and of course, their friends. You can print out these photos and they can take them along to Basic Training or send them out in your letters after they arrive at boot camp or basic training. Photos of friends and family and don’t forget the family pets are always welcome in those letters!

6) Have a notebook handy for family and friends to write down notes of support and best wishes to your son or daughter. They will enjoy reading these on the plane to their training location or when they need some support during Basic Training or Boot Camp. Make sure that they put their mailing address in the book so your son or daughter has these addresses for filling out the security information for graduation day passes.  While your son or daughter will probably be too tired to send many letters to family and friends back home, but having the addresses will certainly help, if they do want to write.

7) Another idea is to have a stack of postcards available so guests write a short note. Once you receive your  mailing address at Basic Training, you can address the cards and send them out.

8) For making sure that your Recruit gets lots of notes from family and friends, you might want to look at a service such as Write2Them, which lets family and friends send email to a special email address and they make sure the emails are mailed out to your loved one. Be sure to get everyone’s email address at the party, so you can add them as Friends when you set up your Write2Them account. This way they can easily continue to send notes of support and photos to your loved one via email throughout basic training.

Remember, whether your gathering or party just has immediate family or includes friends, this is a very special time. Be sure to enjoy these days and the time you spend with your loved one before they head off to Basic Training or Boot Camp!

I’d love to hear about your party! Share your tips along with any photos here!

76 thoughts on “Planning a Party Before Your Son or Daughter Leaves for Basic Training or Boot Camp.

  1. Very happy to see this tonight. We have a going away party the end of the month (30th) as our son, the youngest child (just turned 18) is military bound and leaves mid July. We are very proud of him, but I am already missing him. Empty nesters after 31 years – wow…..never thought we would ever make it to this point. Regardless, thanks for the tips – you have given us ideas that will sure to make it a fun day. All the best!

    1. Awesome…so glad you found the ideas helpful! Also I think we have a blog about coping strategies too!
      Let me know if you need any support or help.
      Thank you for raising a son who is willing to serve our country!!

  2. I’m having a party for one of my son’s friends. He leaves Sept 6th. His parents parents have money, but no heart. In my house we have lots of heart, and not a ton of money, but I still try to care of all the boys who really just need someone to care.

    Anyway, I was thinking about a “survival” kit. I’ve done them for new parents and a couple of other occasions. Any ideas what might work for going into the navy? (examples of what I’ve done: a marble- in case you feel like you’re losing yours, a piece of rope- for when you get to the end of yours, a small candle- in case you feel in the dark, etc.)

    1. Lynette,
      Those are really great ideas! I will have to think about it.
      Thanks for sharing.
      You have a kind heart and you are definitely making a difference in those young men’s lives.

    1. Most of the time the Recruits or Trainees know when they are leaving. It can be a good idea to have the party several weeks before that date in case it gets moved up.
      The party can also be tied to a high school or college graduation party as many complete those degrees before heading off to boot camp.

  3. Thank you for the party suggestions. My son leaves for Great Lakes Illinois on Jan.9th, I cant believe my 3rd child , and the middle of my 3 sons is going to be serving our country as a sailor in the U.S.Navy. My grandfather and great grandfather were both sailors in world war 2, I am so proud that he made this decision to enlist at the age of 22 to further his education. He tested high on the entrance exams and is ranked pretty High up , which gave him plenty of options and now he is considering making a career out of the Navy itself, I can;t tell you all the emotions I have gone through since he told me all of this in april of this year, From immediate non-encouragement and fear, on my behalf to a sense of pride I;ve never felt before, and now I am a total wreck of a roller coaster ride. I can;’t even talk about him leaving without balling like a baby. His dad and I are throwing a surprise “Bon voyage into the navy” party next month on the 10th, and most of his close friends and familu have rsvp;d saying yes they will come help send him off with their support and gratitude. So far at least 60 out of the 129 invited guests! I happily stumbled apon your party suggestions after I googled Navy party ideas. I will be using many of your suggestions…having traditional american type bbq, His Godfather who is a chef is baking him a themed cake and I am decorating patriotic and nautical themes. Funny thing the other day i picked up these post cards that are ameican flag shaped from a local thrift store so definitly using your idea there for words of encouragement from his guests and I bought a small black address book for the guests to leave their addresses.. as well as a photo booth type area with navy decorations in background .I have been planning this party over the past couple of months and yes it has helped me keep my mind occupied and not just sulking from the sadness that is inside my heart as the thought of him leaving on such a grand adventure so far away and for at least 4 years has me feeling numb to say the least. But then I keep telling myself this is his life decision to make, it’s what he has wanted to do since graduating high school 4 years ago and think of the bright future he is going to make for himself because of his very noble and courageous decision. that’s when my frown turns upside down and I know he has made the right choice for himself and for that a deep sense of pride only a mother or parent of a child who has enlisted in any type of military could ever know, I support him 100%! Thanks again for helping to make it a little easier for me as well.!

    1. Jackie,

      I am so thankful this Thanksgiving that we have young men and women like our sons, who are willing to serve and protect our great country!
      We do experience a rollercoaster of emotions from sadness to pride from the time they commit to entering the service throughout their time in service.
      I suggest that you contact your local Blue Star Mothers chapter ( and get involved with other families with children in the military. It will give you a chance to share your thoughts and feelings with others, who truly understand. Many chapters send care packages or are involved in other activities that support our troops.

      If possible, be sure that you and his Dad go to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) to witness his taking the oath of service and to give him those last hugs and kisses before he heads out to boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Some children will tell their parents not to come or say ‘you don’t have to come’ but don’t listen to them. Follow your heart and tell him that you’ve been there for all of the biggest moments in his life and you are not stopping now! It is an exceptionally moving moment to see these young men and women make such a huge commitment filled with lots of tears and tremendous pride.

      It sounds like your ‘Send Off’ party will be wonderful!
      You can’t get more American than BBQ and how great to have a Chef in the family to take on the cake duties. Many times people will ask if they can bring something and this a perfect opportunity to ‘enlist’ their help.

      Enjoy your time together! Happy Thanksgiving!


    2. My son is going to Illinois sept 25th 2017
      Thank you for posting, I’m a big ball of tears and hope that I can hold it together. I too was not happy when he first told us. I am proud of him but wish I could be stronger.
      Thank you for the party ideas.

      1. Christine and Lynda,
        I love the opportunity for you to connect and share this new experience of being military moms.
        I want to suggest that you look on Facebook for the Navy for Moms page and get involved there.
        Also, please look for a local chapter of Blue Star Mothers at Here you will find moms in your area who truly know what you are experiencing and they can provide info and support throughout the journey. Moms from all military branches are members.
        It is a great way to get involved with supporting your local military community and know that you are not alone.

        Good luck to you both! I hope you find our blogs helpful and look at using our service.


  4. These are great ideas. My recruit leaves for AF BMT on Nov 21 & his high school is letting us use the cafeteria for his going away party. I think I’m going to keep it simple, the open house idea I love with drinks & sweets. I also love the post card idea!!

    1. My daughter leaves for Basic Training on the 21st also. I didn’t think to ask the school. We are having a bon fire with family and friends. I plan to do the post cards idea.

  5. I am so glad I stumbled across this blog while searching for party ideals. My daughter is leaving for Army boot camp in September to Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Thank you and I will definitely be using some of your suggestions. I am very proud of my daughter but sad at the same time as my eyes are tearing up now even as I type. I will miss her for the holidays as she will be gone for 6 weeks and five days. I too thought about a large card but your ideal about the post cards is great. I will make sure to have note cards handy for the guest to write a special note of support for her to read. Thanks so much for the great ideals!

    1. Hi Tina,
      My step daughter is leaving March 20 for Army boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. I would love to hear about your daughter’s experiences and find out how she is doing now.

      Kind regards,

  6. Love these ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m having a party for my son before he leaves for boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois on 7/27 and using a few of your ideas. Enjoying every moment with him before he leaves…going to miss him bunches! Thanks again!

    1. Gina,

      My sister had a Send off party for my nephew who joined the Navy and graduated boot camp at Great Lakes in January.
      In keeping with the Naval theme, she served subs as the sandwiches and a crock pot full of navy beans.
      For dessert, she decorated the cake with the various submarines, battleships and destroyers from Mattel’s Battleship game!

      Post a photo of from the send off party!

      Good luck to you and your son,


  7. Thank you for the ideas – love the one about having everyone write a postcard to be mailed when I get my son’s address. He is leaving for Ft Benning in 5 weeks. Do you have any ideas about party favors? I was thinking yellow weatherproof bows with a poem attached??

    1. My son leaves for Ft benning Aug 1st. Having his friends and family over next weekend. Think that day will and from then on i will have a lot of mixed emotions

      Love to keep in touch as our boys may be together

      Denise. Colbys Mom ;))

  8. Hi, I found this site while looking for decorations for my son’s going away party. He is leaving for boot camp on July 6th to San Antonio, Texas. He will be joining the Air Force, Thanks for the great ideas, My heart is breaking!!

    1. Vanessa,
      Hang in there! There are some great support groups on Facebook for Air Force Moms and Dads. Air Force Wingmoms and Air Force Parents are just two of the many great pages.
      Enjoy these very special weeks you have together!

    2. Vanessa, my firstborn son will be leaving July 18th going to San Antonio as well in the Air Force. So my feelings are right there with you as well!

      1. Vanessa,
        I hope you check out our blog on Survival Tips for Parents, too!
        Enjoy these last days at home with him.
        Those hugs at graduation will be the best ones ever!
        I hope you consider using Project Write2Them’s service to help you stay in touch while he’s at BMT.
        Best regards,

    3. Hi, Vanessa.
      My son leaves for Air Force basic training in just a couple of weeks, so I understand your “pain.” I am so incredibly proud of him, but I can’t stop crying. Some days I wish that I could turn back the clock to just hold him in my arms again like I did the day he was born, but I know that is incredibly selfish. He’s so excited, and I’m barely keeping it together. I’ve been looking at his beautiful face every day for 20 years, and my mommy nerves are completely shot at the thought of him being out in the world so far away. (…and the tears have started again)

      Sending hugs your way and wishing your son the best that life has to bring.

      1. A very good friend of mine brought her old phone answering machine tape and tape player to my house today and shared the recording of me telling her that my son arrived that morning and all the significant details.
        It was so moving to hear the excitement in my voice sharing that very special news. It’s hard to believe that my first baby is now a grown man serving in our AF.

  9. Thank you for the wonderful party ideas. My son leaves in 20 days and graduates high school in 4 days. I will be throwing a gathering for him. He has no idea since he doesn’t like to be the center of attention. 😥

    1. Janet,
      I am glad you found the ideas helpful! Good luck to you and your son.
      It will be a big transition for you both.
      Check out the various moms and parents support groups out on Facebook! They are wonderful resources based on the branch of service your son is entering.
      Best regards,

  10. Thank you for the wonderful blog post! My son leaves for army boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri on May 2…the day before his 21st birthday. While I know this is going to be good for him and he is ready, I’m a little sad. I love all of your suggestions! Thank you for the party ideas and for the suggestions on how to make the experience personal and helping others reach out for my son.

    1. Karlene,

      I am glad you enjoyed the helpful hints. Yes, it is hard to see them leave no matter how old.
      No one tells you when you bring that bundle of joy home from the hospital, just hard it will be to let them leave!

      Be sure that your son takes the addresses for family and friends back home so if he gets a few minutes he can write to them.

      Writing cuts into sleep time, my son fondly reminded me, so don’t expect long or many letters from him. You’ll treasure every one you get, for sure!

      Wishing you both good luck with this next adventure.


    2. My son is leaving for Fort Leonard Wood in about 3 weeks. How is your son doing? Have you been able to talk to him since he left?

    3. Karlene,

      How is your son making out? Our daughter leaves for Missouri also 9/6 and it’s getting harder to imagine. Her party is this Saturday! Have you found any things to help you cope? I was so excited to see another mom on here where their child is where mine is headed.


  11. Thank you for sharing great ideas.. My son is leaving to the ARMY boot camp on May 9th. I’m so sad but at the same time very proud of his decision.. Any suggestions how to get in contact with him or email.. All my Family speak Spanish any site or blog in Spanish. Thank you for the great support! #goarmymom

    1. Monica,

      I know how hard it is when they head off. No one tells you when you bring that sweet bundle of joy home from the hospital, just how quickly the years will pass and how difficult it will be when they leave the nest!

      We have many families who correspond to their loved one in Spanish using the Write2Them service, which lets family and friends send emails with attached photos and we process them into letters. Letters are processed and sent out every day, Monday – Saturday.
      During basic training and boot camp, the trainees can only receive letters delivered by the postal service; they do have access to technology.

      Best wishes to you and your son!


  12. I’m glad a site like this exists thanks a million Helene. Our son leaves on May 31st to the army for boot camp. A bitter sweet scared very very proud of course.We are supporting him 100%.I myself was looking for party get together ideas when I stumbled on this site.

    1. Yolanda,
      Thank you for the kind words. I am glad you found us and the blog was helpful to you.
      It isn’t easy to let them go off to basic training or boot camp. My son just celebrated the start of his 7th year this month.
      Wishing you and your son the best!

  13. My son leaves in six days. .I so worried an scared. .but he want to do this.. so i am supporting him..I am so proud of him, that he is so brave to do this..I found this site looking for ideas how to have a nice family gathering for him.. reading some of the parents comments. Thanks for sharing. .

  14. This blog post is how I found your service. came up through a google search for decorating idea before my daughter left for basic training. Thank you

  15. Very nice to hear that I’m not the only one who is heartbroken and proud at the same time . My 19 year old son leaves in two weeks to Boot Camp , and like i said happy for him but so worried because will not see him for 13 weeks then he comes home for 10 days then again for 4 years , his the youngest of the boys .i am planning a get together with the family which the more i think about it my heart breaks in tears . very proud of him because this is what he wants to serve his country as a Marine . my blessing to all who serve our country….

    1. Rosa,

      As you know, it is hard to watch our children grow up and embark on their life’s journey. We just have to treasure those moments that we are able to be together.

      I would recommend that you sign up at, which specifically offers support groups for parents of loved ones entering the Marine Corps. It is a great group and they provide a lot of information for ‘Poolies’ parents. For those reading this who may not know much about the Marines, a ‘Poolie’ is a new recruit at Marine boot camp. Once the recruit completes boot camp, he or she is then considered a Marine.

      Good luck to your son…Thank him for serving our great country.

  16. My daughter was sworn in last week for air guards fighter wing. I cried a lot before this and I have sad moment s every night. Will miss her so much. I’m scarred and I am worried that she will come back some one very different. I want to be safe.

    1. Lavonne, I had the same concern when my son left for basic training, that he would come back a different person. But he didn’t, he’s the same funny, happy guy he ever was, just more responsible. Your daughter will be fine, it’s tough at BMT but they’re taken care of and safe. 🙂

  17. My grandson leaves for the Army January 2, 2015 and I have been very emotional, but when I read your suggestion on the many ways I could have a positive distractions it was very good and helpful for me. And now I began to be more focused on preparing for a happy send off party for him. Thank you so much for your suggestions and ideas it helped me very much.

    1. Shirley,
      I am glad that the suggestions were helpful. I know that you are very proud of your grandson’s decision to serve his country.
      Thank God we have young men and women who are willing to stand up and protect us.
      Stay strong,


  18. My son leaves for army basic training on February 3. “Heartbroken” and “proud” are the two emotions the moms and wives above have used over and over, and that sums it all up for me, as well. He is my one and only here on earth. It was his idea, and when I look back on it, he was always headed in this direction (He was talking about the Coast Guard when he was still 7 or 8). I couldn’t be prouder, and hoping to connect with other moms in the weeks and months to come. I live in a very “dove-ish” part of the country, and I feel very alone with both my bursting pride in my son’s decision to serve his country, and with my fears.

    1. I know exactly what you mean. My son showed an interest in serving his country at young age too. Sad to say but military recruiters are not and were not welcome at my son’s high school, so I understand your comment about living in a ‘dove-ish’ part of the country.
      Without young men and women like our children, we would not have the freedoms we have in this country.
      Good job raising a patriot, Mom! Be proud! Hang in there.
      Best regards,

    2. M daughter is currently in BCT. She is my pride and joy. Has always excelled in everything she put she mind to. Her Mom is going crazy thinking she will be deployed asap. How has it been for you now that it has been a while? Maybe your not even here anymore, but if you are and would like to converse, my email is mr.csmithster at yahoo dot com. Not sure they allow email sharing…

  19. My son is going to the Navy, he leaves on Feb.5, 2014, I am sooo sad and heartbroken, but I am happy for him, my baby. As I am looking for party supplies I am crying, I have to get it together. US NAVY MOM!!!

  20. Our son leaves December 9 2014 Iam always in tears he is my first and he was my miracle baby because I was told I would not be able to have children It is hard to let go but with the strength of God I will pull through. It was his sole decision to join the air force the ideas are awesome I hope to implement them for a send off and then stay calm for his greatest future.

  21. Our son leaves August 26, 2014 for Army National Guard basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Thanks for the NAMMAS and Write2Them info. Excited to tears about his and our new journey!

  22. I made a “return from boot camp time capsule”. I had the box out at his high school graduation party and when friends came by I offered a pen and index card to leave a message. Since his friends will be at college I thought it would be something to look forward to when he returns😊 also anyone who gave me their cell # will get the group text with his address to send letters.

  23. My daughter leaves for Army basics on Monday, I’m heartbroken but also proud! Your ideas are very helpful. Thanks!

    1. Tina,
      Hang in there! It is so hard to let our children leave the nest and fly! Check out NAMMAS (National Association of Military Moms and Spouses); they are a wonderful group where you can get some support from moms who have been there too!
      You did a great job, Mom —raising a wonderful young woman who is willing to serve her country! Definitely be proud!!!
      Once you get her address be sure to write to her!


  24. I love your ideas, my son leaves on my birthday(June 24), to go to National Guard in GA it’s gonna be difficult for me, but I am so excited for him. Tina

    1. Hi Tina,
      I am glad you found the party ideas helpful! I am sure that you will have a special send off for him, but I know it will be difficult for you when he heads off for training. The “See ya laters” do get a bit easier, but it is never easy. No one can tell you how quickly those ‘growing up’ years go and no one can prepare you for them leaving the nest!
      I can’t imagine boot camp in GA during the summer months, but I know that the DI’s (Drill Instructors) will keep a close eye on them.
      Check out the NAMMAS (National Association of Military Moms and Spouses) for some great support.
      Also, check out Project Write2Them for making it easier to stay in touch while he’s off at boot camp.

  25. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas! This summer we will have a triple celebration as my son graduates high school at the end of May, 18th Birthday at the end of July and the 1st week of August will leave for USMC boot camp! I am definitely using your postcard idea, as well as the notebook!

    1. Wow! You will have a very busy spring and summer! Enjoy each moment of these celebrations!
      Will your son go to Parris Island or to San Diego for training? Both locations will be blazing hot in August, but he will probably be training for heading off to boot camp and will be ready for the heat.
      You might want to sign up for website and specifically go to the Recruits parents section. They have wonderful information for Poolie parents…Recruits have to earned the title U.S. Marine and until graduation from boot camp are called Poolies.
      Thanks for sharing!

      1. Wow I just stumbled across this and love seeing that I’m not alone..we just got a the date today for my 1st born son leaving to air force BMT on September 22nd so bitter sweet…I’m planning his send off gathering and will be using your ideas thank you so much…prayers to all of you and our baby’s 🙂

      2. Wonderful site and love the ideas thank you for putting it all together.

        My son will be leaving for boot in about a month and has been a poolee in the DEP for about 6 months. Yes its true they have to earn the title Unites States Marine but they are first called
        Poolees before boot
        then while in boot they are called Recruits
        then after successfully completing the Crucible they are called Unites States Marines.

        Keep up the great work helping others with their childs transformation into the Military lifestyle.

        Proud “Poolee” Mom

    2. Hi Dawn! Congratulations! I too share the same triple celebrations…my daughter leaves Monday, June 1 for USMC boot camp in Parris Island, SC…she turned 18 May 18, graduated high school Tuesday, May 27 and will leave Monday, June 1 for boot camp!.

  26. This was a lot of help! My husband is leaving in a few weeks for bmt, and I really want him to know that he’s loved even when he’s away.

    1. Hi Aisha,
      I am glad you found the blog helpful. Always be positive in your letters to him while he is away. It is very important to keep them focused on learning and doing well in training. They are under a lot of stress and don’t need to be worried about you. Even though it will be hard for you both, if you’re both focused on the great future ahead, it really helps.
      Check out the Facebook page for Air Force Moms are Angels; they have support group for each training squadron. Also, the National Association of Military Moms and Spouses is a great support group.
      Wishing you both the best,

  27. Thank you for the great ideas. My son leaves on Jan 21st for Lackland Air Force base. My heart is full and breaking at the same time. God Bless our troops!

    1. Heidi,
      I know exactly how you feel…so much pride in your son’s decision, but concerned and worried at the same.
      I am glad you found the ideas helpful. Be sure to check out the Air Force Moms are Angels Facebook page. They are a great source of information and support for AF Moms. They also have private chat rooms for each TRS (Training Squadrons) while your son is at BMT.
      Are you going to be able to go the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) to see your son take the oath of service?
      Thanks for your support and for raising such a great son that he wants to our country.
      Enjoy these special days before your son heads off to Lackland.

  28. Thank you for your article – my son leaves January 14, 2014 and considering Christmas celebrations we decided a date in January for his party, which is closer to his departure. We have shared great times through the Thanksgiving holidays also. I am very proud of my son’s decision to serve in our armed forces and support that decision entirely, but I am still “Mom.” This will help me through this time of transition. Again, thank you for sharing your ideas and for being a MOM WITH A MISSION. God Bless!

    1. HI Pansy,
      I know that you are enjoying this very special time with your son before he heads off to Basic Training! It takes a special family to raise a child who is willing to serve in our military and protect our great country.
      Congratulations on a job well done!
      You might want to join the NAMMAS – National Association of Military Moms and Spouses organization; Lori Bell has organized some great communities for moms and spouses to connect on line. Great information in the Newbies group and she hosts monthly Chick Chats.
      Thank you for your positive support. God Bless you and your son in the days ahead.

  29. Awesome!! My son leaves to the U.S. Air Force October 29, 2013 two days before his birthday, so it will be a double celebtation. thank you for all your awesome ideas.

    1. Sandra,
      I am glad that you found the ideas helpful. I am sure that your party will be a wonderful time for your family and friends.
      After the party be sure to post some photos. Also, you should check out the Air Force Wing moms website at and their Facebook page Air Force Moms are Angels and the Air Force Parents Facebook page. They have lots of information and are great support system for you.
      Good job for raising such a special person who is willing to serve in our country’s military! Please tell him that we appreciate his service!
      Best wishes to you both,

  30. Wow! I love your ideas…my son is leaving Oct. 21st & I’m giving him an Army themed (camouflage) going away fish fry & will also have an airplane cake to surprise him since he’ll be an aircraft mechanic. I was going to have a large card for everyone to sign but I definitely love your ideas of the post cards, book signing & the Write2Them account as well.. I am so excited about his decision but my family will truly miss our soldier! Gods Blessing to you & your family & I certainly pray all is well with your son.

  31. I love your post. We have a lot of the same ideas. My son is leaving in June and i needed something to occupy my mind. I am really worried about him but so proud of him at the same time. Unlike your son, my son enlisted with the Marines. Lackland is only a few miles away from my home as I am in San Antonio. Anyway, thanks for the ideas they are great and best of luck to your son.

    1. I am glad that some of the ideas were helpful to you! The party was a great diversion with all the planning and preparation, but the ‘see ya later’ day did arrive and somehow I made it through, letting the tears flow only after that last hug and he had rounded the corner to get on the bus to the airport. Thank you for your good wishes for my son.

      I know that you’re worried about him, but he’s obviously a very strong, determined and motivated young man and I am sure he’ll do well.
      Yes, you should be very proud ….not only of his decision to serve our country as a Marine, but that you raised such a responsible young man, who is willing to step up to the challenge and serve his country!

      You did a great job, Mom! Hang in there!

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