The day of our son graduated from Army Bootcamp was a very emotional one for me. I was so happy and proud of all that he had accomplished, relieved he was finished with phase 1, excited about his future and teary eyed knowing in another day I would have to be saying good-bye to him again. I was a wreak, an emotional basket case on the inside but I kept a stiff upper lip and smile on the outside.
The families all shuffled into the bleachers overlooking the giant field at Ft. Jackson that morning. It was rather chilly and windy outside but I was dressed in a winter sweater so I was warm. I just couldn’t stop shaking! Nerves? Emotions? Excitement? I’m not sure but that is my excuse for why my photos are such a blur. Really folks between my shaking hands and the tears in my eyes I think out of the hundred or more pictures I took only a few are usable. So, that’s my story, I’m sticking with it!! Just bear with me on this one.
The marching band entertained us all before the soldiers took the field. I’ve always loved the sound of a marching band so I really enjoyed watching them and it gave me time to play with my camera, making sure my zoom lens was working and in focus. Ha!
Off in the distance our soldiers took the field. They were dressed in their Blues and looked amazing. They marched up to the front of where we were sitting and I searched through my camera lens to find our son. Luckily the ceremony was brief and before long everyone was once again untied with their loved ones.
Now this is where
I the camera starts to get a little teary eyed fuzzy.
Our son is the last row on the right, 7th from the front. (I think) Got that?
Beginning the march where they pass by the bleachers and the Generals
I could not wait to get my arms around him!
Here they come….Get ready
And there they go! There he is! Last one, far back.
See! I don’t think my camera was working at this point. See how fuzzy the picture is? I have to tell you, I was looking through my zoom lens with tears running down my face at this point. There were so many kids and 3/4 of them had glasses so I was just standing there snapping pictures of anyone that wore glasses. I couldn’t see anything and it was all happening so fast! I also may have forgotten to change the zoom lens distance…It was still set for far, far away and here he was right in front of me, somewhere! Oopsy!
After all was said and done, I did manage to get this picture with my trusty IPhone!!
After Graduation we headed right over to his barracks, grabbed his belongings and high tailed it outta there!
One last look and we were gone…like the wind. Good-Bye Ft. Jackson, it was nice knowing you!
From there we headed to Virginia where our son will now be attending his AIT (advance individual training). He is stationed at Ft. Eustis VA and will be going to school for Black Hawk Mechanic, Crew Chief. What that means is he will be the one with the gun and his feet hanging out of the helicopter when they swoop down into battle to rescue a wounded solider. From what he tells me I don’t need to panic (I’m panicked!) because the Black Hawks never travel alone. They always have several aircraft that surround them so they can get in there and rescue people. He says “Ma, Don’t worry!! There is a good chance I won’t get shot down, one of the other aircrafts will instead”. So as a mother I must find comfort in his words. (!!!!!!!!)
I won’t see our son again until Christmas. Thanksgiving this year will be hard. I worry about him being away from family and all alone. My husband is looking to fly to VA so he can at least have dinner with our son and I will stay here with the rest of our family. On Thanksgiving our family always makes our gingerbread houses for the season, it’s our official kick-off to Christmas. Kris has always been a huge part of this tradition so this year we will wait until he comes home before we decorate our tree and our gingerbread house (even if it is 4 days before Christmas). I will miss him immensely. Being the youngest he is the one that still likes to help me decorate. He picks out the perfect tree, makes sure I hang the stockings and make the peanut butter balls. He takes it upon himself to make several kinds of Christmas cookies..the peanut butter ones with the hershey kiss? Oh, his are the best!! And he is still the one who gets up way to early on Christmas morning and wakes everyone up to see what Santa brought. He can’t come home soon enough..Our son Kristopher.