Graduation actually took place on December 2nd 2011!
Graduation was awesome! I mentioned before that they had to do five jumps before they were allowed to graduate, and because of the icky weather, they had to do one more jump on the morning of graduation! They usually have graduation somewhere else on post, I think by the training towers, but since they had to do one more jump, they had the graduation out at the drop zone! (I'm not sure why they don't just do it this way, because I think it is way cooler!)
Our moms had arrived the night before and were staying together at a hotel off post, with my little furbaby Skeeter! We hadn't seen our Skeeter in almost THREE weeks (that's a long time for me!) and we hadn't seen our moms since our wedding in October!
I've mentioned this before, but we refer to our moms as "the giggle sisters". No joke, these two are always cracking up about something. It is hilarious.
Short story about their trip to graduation- they are on the road for no more than a couple hours, and as I am on the phone with my momma moo, she all of a sudden has to get off. This worried me a little bit, but I got off the phone. Five minutes later, I get a phone call back from her with no one there, so I listen, and hear all this racket! Both of them are going on about how they think the tire might be flat, my mom is having a freak out, his mom is all, it'll be ok, and I hear FLOP FLOP FLOP of the tire.
So, I wait a few minutes, call her back, and at this point they have made it to a gas station, and met LARRY who works at the truck stop, who is going to help them find someone with a tire. They are already a giggling mess at this point, and it's kind of hard for me to gather what exactly is happening.
Fast forward about an hour later, Snookums is fast asleep, and I'm sitting there on my computer (of course) and I get a phone call from his mom. I answer. All I hear is Skeeter barking and going crazy, and both of them just DYING over something. She goes on to tell me- "did you know that your dog farts when he gets upset?" Now I'm laughing. "No, I've never noticed." "Well he doesn't like CARLOS (the man who helped them with a tire), he keeps barking, and something awful keeps happening when he does!!" Then I hear my mom hee hawing in the background. They go on to tell me that "CARLOS" helped them get a tire, and his woman (I think he name was Rene'?) who had a mullet and was covered in grease helped them put it on. (they took pictures. I wish I had them!) She also went on to tell me that ol' LARRY who worked at the front desk of the truck stop, had an absurd amount of chest hair, and a HUGE nose that looked like a certain male body part. I'll let you guess.
Anyway, she said the whole time they were talking to him they were just a giggly mess, and that she kept trying not to say the word "NOSE" but it kept coming up in conversation.. she was like, "NO ONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO!!" And, at this point, they are both cackling telling me this, Skeeter is barking, and I am DYING laughing so hard that I wake up Snookums, who then tries to push me off the bed.
So, yeah. They are entertaining. I wish y'all could see the texts we just sent back and forth as I was checking my facts about Larry, and Carlos, and the he-woman that was Rene'. Hilarious.
Back to graduation.
The night before was crazy, obviously. Snookums had to leave super early to go get ready for his jump, and then the moms came on post and picked me up! We drove out to the drop zone, and got all set up on the bleachers and waited on the jumps to start!
|Skeeter was a cold little guy. He needed to be bundled up!|
|His little shirt cracks me UP!|
|He knows he is fabulous.|
It was so sweet to see everyones family out there at the drop zone and lined up to cheer everyone on that was running in!
|The giggle sisters. Snookum's mom on the left, Momma Moo on the right|
They clapped and cheered for EVERY SINGLE PERSON. It was awesome. There were a couple times where the guys would run straight to their families rather than into the holding area, and that was so sweet to see :) Then another guy, stopped and posed in the middle of the running trail and his mom was like "AHHHH THAT'S MY BOY!! I LOVE HIM!!". Cue tears.
It really was so awesome that the moms got to see him jump. It was nerve wracking at first, but once you've seen it happen in front of you it makes it easier to deal with somehow.
After each person landed their jump, and put their parachutes away, they got to come visit with their families. It was the first time both of our moms had seen Snookums since the wedding, as well as the first time in three weeks lil skeeter had seen him!
|Well, hello handsome.|
|Our weird little family!|
|Momma Moo and her favorite son in law! ;)|
|I love this shot. Everyone was just so happy!|
|Skeeter just didn't know what to think.|
|pretty momma moo.|
After they let us all visit for a few minutes, they marched them off around the tree line to prep for graduation!
Then, we waited FOREVER for graduation to start. We did a little shopping from the local FRG's booth that had all kinds of fun stuff. Snookum's mom bought us an Airborne Christmas Ornament :)
Finally, after about an hour and a half, graduation started! They started the whole thing with all the platoons marching out to an Airborne cadence, and then once they were all out in front of us, the guidon ran out with the company flag while everyone cheered! That part was pretty awesome!
The rest of the graduation was pretty much like the others I've been to. They talk about what they've accomplished, acknowledge the special graduates, and start and end with a prayer. The best parts were when they let any previous Airborne members come out and pin the wings on their family members who were graduating, and when we got to go pin the wings on our Snookums! (haha)
|Previous Airborne graduates pinning their sons/daughters/brothers/sisters/grandsons/grandaughters|
After they let the previous airborne members pin their family, they let all the rest of us come down to pin ours! His Mom had pinned him when he became a 2LT upon graduating Officer Candidate School, and I thought it would be best if she pinned his wings too. (I think I've got plenty of time to do some pinning myself! I think he has a pretty bright future :) ! )
I got some awesome pictures of her pinning him. And no, she didn't blood wings him. HAHA But we did see a couple guys have it done. I say do whatever you want. If it's tradition and that's how you want it done, go for it!
|All the girls love him.|
|Skeeter got kinda sleepy...|
It was super cool to see Snookums complete another school, and have something else added to his uniform :)
We were all very proud of our dear Snookums!
|WOO HOO! my man jumps from planes for a living y'all!|
|Skeety is super proud too :)|
|Maybe one of my favorite pics from the whole day. Our shadows! :)|