Yep, I've returned from the land of Waffle Houses on every corner. I'm hoping that a collection of pictures from various sources will converge on my email soon. I managed to leave my camera at home - although I did remember to bring the spare battery and re-charger. So, I'm at the mercy of my husband, my daughter and Matt's dad to send me their photos. I did buy a disposable and will have it developed - I don't think it got really good pictures of the graduation ceremony, but we'll see.
In order to really understand what my son accomplished I took a look at the Infantry Training Brigade website, "a basic trainee's 'journal'," and calendar. Frankly, I'm amazed anyone gets through it - and before me were over a hundred young (and some not so young) men who had - including my son. He's definitely acquired a new maturity and strength. Not to say he lost his sense of humor - he managed to have some fun, too. Oh, so I don't forget, my son's group was E Company, 3rd platoon, 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry.
The weather in Georgia was tolerable - not too hot, definitely muggy. Thursday morning we gathered at Ft. Benning to witness the ceremony called "Turning Blue" where my son was presented with his blue infantry cord. As part of the ceremony I got to attach it to his uniform - there will be some pictures taken at the ceremony, eventually - but here's his formal photo in his dress uniform.
Friday morning we watched the graduation ceremony complete with a demonstration of soldiers in a squad with weapons all camouflaged up in "ghillie" suits culminating in them all diving into the back of two armored personnel vehicles (not tanks - as I was reminded a couple times) and roaring off to the side of the field before the rest of the company marched forward to hear the speech from the commander, say the Soldier's creed, sing the Infantry and Army songs and march around the field.
Needless to say, I am proud of his accomplishments so far - he's got a few more training challenges ahead, with Airborne training over the next few weeks, then he gets to come home for some leave time before he goes to his official posting.
Meanwhile, one more day to recuperate then it's back to work.