ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — There were hundreds of heartfelt reunions in Annapolis on Friday morning as the first year midshipmen completed their summer training.
For many families, it was their first time seeing their sons and daughters in uniform, but it won’t be the last.
As WJZ’s Devin Bartolotta reports, it was an emotional time for the class of 2020 and their families.
“It was very emotional to watch them come out,” one father told WJZ. “Not seeing them for six weeks, oh, it was great to watch them come out.”
The class is comprised of 851 men and 326 women from all 50 states and 17 countries.
Just six weeks ago, they had their hair cut, uniforms fitted and said their goodbyes to their loved ones — until Friday’s reunion.
“It’s a blast,” one midshipmen said. “There are hard moments, of course, but it was a great experience.”
For the past six weeks, the only contact parents have had with their children is a handful of letters here and there and three phone calls. Since then, a lot has changed.
“All the things you try to instill in your kids as they’re growing up, you see that come even more to fruition as they go through this training,” one father told WJZ.
Since June 30, the class has racked up 140 hours of physical training, mental and moral development. Plus they endured an early reveille.
“It was a big change from home, but after the first week, we all kind of started getting into a routine,” one midshipmen said. “That was a lot of help.”
And the training has brought classmates closer together. Many, including Maryland native Matt Falsone, prepared for four years of challenges.
“It’s nice because you make a lot of bonds with your classmates and, as it goes on, it really gets easier because of that,” said Falsone.
Plebes have the whole weekend to spend with their families. Parents can tour the dorm rooms, eat meals in the cafeteria and meet with faculty and staff.