Our third son finished his Basic Combat Training this past week. We headed down to Kentucky, along with the Grandmas and Grandpa, plus an uncle. It was quite the adventure. I don't really think you want to hear about our hotel arrangements, but I'm gonna share anyway. Because one Grandma waited until the morning before to decide to come along, we were a hotel room short. Graduations being very popular, there were no more rooms to be had in our hotel, or in the town, for that matter. Another room was found about 10 miles away. Grandma uses a walker, so needed an elevator, or a room on the ground floor. Since Kentucky has apparently not heard of the ADA, and since both rooms that we did have were on the second floor, we ended up splitting up. Grandma, Mary and I ended up at the second hotel. I have never liked this chain; it's the one that keeps the light on for you, you know? Our experiences there have always been awful. This was no exception. The nicest part was the bugs crawling on me all night. Yep, you read that correctly. Thankfully, they were "only" ants, but, really. Bugs.
After sleeping in 15-30 minute stretches during 4 hours of the night, I was not functioning well when we all rejoined each other. Perhaps words were exchanged with my poor husband. It's hard to remember; I hadn't slept much, after all. But we were together, and off we went to the graduation.
For your watching pleasure, then, the platoons march in...
Awards were given, oaths were taken and reaffirmed. I think the Soldier's Creed, which has been repeated in unison at every graduation, will always move me. Afterward, we were given clear, concise instructions to "line up at the tables to sign out your soldier. Their names will be called. Don't crowd the main floor. Wait for the names." As the LT finished these instructions, parents began crowding the main floor. We stood toward the back, not wanting to be in the pushing and shoving part of the crowd. We could see Ethan through the sea of heads, just to the left of the DS (drill sergeant) hat.
As we stood there, waiting, we realized that, regardless of what the LT had said, we were NOT supposed to wait for names to be called but, rather, to push to the front of the crowd, find our soldier's name on the master list, sign him out, and THEN the DS would call out his name. Oh....Now we got it. And soon we had him.
Doncha love those glasses? Any wonder they're called BCG's? (Birth Control Glasses) He'll get his own pair back, well, by now.
We ate pizza for lunch,(check one thing off Ethan's list) went to the theater to see Star Trek,(check another thing off Ethan's list) stopped for ice cream, said goodbye to dad and grandparents, who were heading home, and had burgers and shakes for supper (next-to-last thing to check off Ethan's list.) We just needed a good steak to round out the day, but we'll have to save that for when we visit him in San Antonio! Yep, he's in Texas now, sitting in yet another Reception area. Soon, though, he'll join the ranks of those training to be combat medics. We'll head down to visit him, and then head down for another graduation in September.
Another Army career begins...