Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Military Moments: Basic Training Graduation

Today, I'm skipping the Blogtember Challenge. I'm very happy with how consistent I've been, and today there is a different link-up I want to participate in. It's called Military Moments, and today is the very first one! 

You can check out the schedule for the link-up in this post by All Things Life and Air Force Wife.

Today's Topic: Basic training graduation stories. 

Since Dan didn't have an actual graduation from basic training at the Air Force Academy, I am going to instead share all about his basic training itself at the Academy. It was his THIRD and FINAL basic training, THANK GOODNESS. 

See, he was enlisted in the Army before. He went to basic training at Ft. Benning, but that was before we met. Then, he switched over the the Air National Guard (no basic training then). And then he went to the USAFA Prep School (which has its own basic training). And finally he went to the Air Force Academy, which again has its own basic training. I added it up, and my poor husband has spent 18 weeks in basic training all together... over three separate occasions. 

• • • FYI: Yes, I was living in Colorado Springs while Dan was going through this basic training, and yes, he was only about 10 miles from me. That said, I couldn't talk to him. Yes, there are close-up pictures of him, but those are taken by a photographer who is allowed in to capture the process. He then posts the photos every night on his website, and I spent hours going through them looking for Dan. Yes, I was able to go watch the noon meal formation most days, but it was from afar, and no, I never got to talk to Dan. • • •

These are all of my letters from Dan, and the box next to it is a scrapbooking box that I bought at Hobby Lobby and decorated with little little jewels and a wooden koala bear (we call each other "koala"). I store all of Dan's letters to me in that box! 

As soon as Dan left for BCT, I decided I needed to make a sign to hold up for him. I knew I would be going to the Cadet Chapel wall to watch the noon lunch formation each day (to sneak small glimpses of my handsome Basic Cadet), and I wanted him to know I was there so he would feel the love and support. He definitely noticed me, and I tried to make the sign discreet so he wouldn't get in trouble. I wrote: "I love you, Lovemuffin" in code, and while it worked for a little while, his squadron was calling him Cadet Lovemuffin by the end of the year -- oops! 

It was a long six weeks, but it was also a nice time to learn how strong I am as a person. I was so happy for BCT to officially be over that year, but the experience was far better than his Prep School BMT (for me, anyway!), and it was a great learning experience. Although we had been together for a year and a half at the time, it was my first time experiencing it up close and personal. 

Thank you, WebGuy, for the following pictures:

WebGuy captured me standing at the Chapel Wall with my sign! :)

Cheering Dan on from afar!

While I am so glad that part of Dan's career is over with, it wasn't the end of the world. I'm not looking forward to Dan's future training away from home or his deployments, but at least I know I will be able to handle them. 

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