Since we’ve been back from San Antonio, I’ve been experiencing somewhat of a post grad let down. After eight weeks of hyper focus on Jake’s progress through BMT and regular updates from my Facebook support groups those days are over. There isn’t a daily support group for Tech School like there is for BMT. Fortunately, there is a base group, which I found to be quite helpful. Tech school is a much different journey than BMT and is more individualized.
As for graduation weekend, it was the most incredible weekend of my life. The first day began super early with the Airmen’s run. I know I wrote it about it before, but it was just so cool that I had to mention it again. I loved seeing Jake running with his flight and singing the Jodies as he jogged. Being on base was just as cool. Lackland is ginourmous! (Is that even a word?). Afterwards, we watched him become an airman during the coin ceremony. Before the beginning, there were fight jets and cargo planes taking off and flying over the base, which was wicked cool.
On Friday, we watched the Airman’s Parade, which is when the training squadrons pass by command in formation to be reviewed. It was such a neat event. Unfortunately, it was super cold and windy, so we were a bit uncomfortable as the wind whipped against our backs. Fortunately, for Jake the wind was not as bad on the actual field. I absolutely loved the parade, in spite of the cold, and was so proud watching my new airman and his wingman on the parade field.
The whole weekend everyone was nice. Everywhere we went people were nice and happy. It’s crazy when you think about how much time you spend in line, traffic, how crowded the base was and the tight timelines you’re dealing with. Amazingly, the happiness and pride that comes with seeing your Airman again and watching them graduate BMT, seems to put everyone in a permanently positive mood. Even when my hubby purposely took up two parking spots in order to ensure my brother would get a spot, nobody batted an eye. The only comment was on how smart he was for parking that way. It is such a unique and uplifting experience!
The first time I saw my Airman’s graduation picture, I cried with pride and joy. He looks so grown up and confident. Seeing him in uniform all weekend was incredible. The transformation he underwent in the 8.5 weeks at Lackland was absolutely amazing. He left us nervous and anxious. When we got him back for the weekend, he was happy, confident, self assured, decisive and disciplined. Thankfully, he made a lot of friends on his BMT journey that will be his friends for life. I loved seeing him interact with his wingmen. Knowing and personally witnessing that he is where he belongs was beyond comforting to my hubby and I.
Of course the best part of the weekend was spending time with my Airman and our family. His girlfriend M travelled with us for the weekend. Can I tell you how much we enjoyed our time together? Can I tell you how much I loved seeing my son and his girlfriend together? Seeing their love and support for each other through the weekend was the stuff mother’s dream about. I love them together!
Our time off base was well spent hanging out with the grandparents, Uncle Jon and Aunt Brandi and of course J&M2 (my nickname for Jake and his girlfriend- they’re J&M2 because my bro and sister in law are the original J&M.). We played Phase10, Uno, took a trip to the Alamo. It is small, but the grounds are beautiful. Friday night we had a wonderful lunch/dinner on Riverwalk. Everyone was so nice! They treated Jake like a king! People were constantly thanking and recognizing Jake for his service and commitment to our country. Saturday’s food was the ultimate in “everything is bigger in Texas” maxim. We had a 3 pound cinnamon roll and an 37 inch diameter pizza. Both were as tasty as they were large. I’ll write more about that in a future post dedicated to why you should visit San Antonio. I loved San Antonio!
Nonetheless, grad week is over and the adrenaline is gone. I loved my weekend so much and the tap out of my airman was priceless. There is a lot of worry when your child is in BMT because there’s minimal contact. That first time you see and speak to them after BMT is magical. Now he’s in Tech School and there’s still a lot of worry, but also relief in being able to speak with him regularly. So well I may be suffering from the post grad let down, I am beyond proud of my son and happy that he has found his place in the greatest Air Force this world has ever known. We are so proud to be Air Force parents!
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