I have been gone for the past week and just returned from San Antonio, TX, where my son John graduated from the US Air Force Basic Training. My husband, Mark, and I went along with our youngest daughter Callie, to see John’s USAF graduation ceremony I have never been around the military, my husband was in the Air Force for 4 years but that was before we met, I had never been on a base and really did not know what to expect.
It was amazing, wonderful and emotional, my only regret is that our three oldest children were not able to come with us, had we known how special this was, we would have tried to make the arrangements for them to be there also, but we took lots of pictures and brought the video camera too.
The above picture is the first time I was able to see John, all of the graduates did their 2 mile run for us, there were about 600 graduates, they were divided into their squadrons and we were told the order they were coming in so we could watch for John.
All of the squadrons were lined up behind the bleachers and I was able to spot John (third one from the flag) and snap a few pictures. They all marched in for the Airman’s Coin Ceremony. When the ceremony was over, they were able to meet with their families. We went down to the field and I was able to hug John and shed some more tears……..
Here is a picture of John with Callie!
Base liberty followed until 7:30 that evening. On Friday they would graduate and the ceremony was wonderful………to see all of these men and women standing up and dedicating the next 4 or more years to the service of their country, wow…..it was an honor to be there.
The entire weekend was filled with congratulations from everyone the graduates saw, whether they were Officers, Airmen, Sargents……
Friday after the graduation and all day Saturday was off base liberty for the graduates……after being in basic for 6 1/2 weeks, I was warned that John would want to eat everything in site and that was correct……wow…..I had forgotten how much he could eat, and being without any kind of junk food for that long, well, I think he made up for lost time……
I was doing good, we got lots of talking, laughing and hugs in, my emotions were in check………….then came Sunday, John had mentioned that the graduates were able to have their families come to church with them and he really enjoyed the church, so that was our plan………..we met John in the morning and went to the church, where there were lines and lines of new recruits waiting, but John said not to worry the graduates and their families always got to sit, there must have been about 1,000 people at the first service………….it was the one place where the recruits could go without their flight instructors, so that was kind of a freedom for them. The opening song was Letters from War I had never heard it before, but the tears started running quietly and I could not stop them, it must happen alot, because John handed me a box of kleenex that was under the pew. Then the second song was I Can Only Imagine a song I have heard but had never felt so deeply as I did that morning, they had a slide show of military pictures to go along with the song, again the tears were running……….the service was very good…..
We said goodbye to John Sunday afternoon, it was easier this time, knowing he is done with basic, how good he is doing, he is where he wants to be and that we can now have some contact with him. We were able to bring his cell phone and he would have use of it starting Monday evening. He is staying in San Antonio, TX for his Tech School, but will be home for 2 weeks at Christmas…..so life is good!