Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Proud Moment: Air Force Basic Military Training Graduation

Our whole reason for traveling to San Antonio, Texas was to watch JC’s youngest brother graduate from Air Force Basic Military Training.  He had spent the past two months training to become an Airman, and we were all very excited to watch him take the next step in advancing his career in the Air Force.

Saturday morning, bright and early we all piled into a vehicle and headed to Lackland Air Force Base.  Once JC and I had our clearance to head into the base after having our ID’s checked, we joined the thousands of other families and friends gathered on the bleachers surrounding the parade grounds to wait for the ceremony to start. 
Bleachers and security around the parade grounds.
As the clock inched closer to 9 AM, we watched as hundreds of “trainees” walked onto the parade ground and stood in attention, waiting for the rest of the ceremony to begin.  I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for them.  I was very hot, but had the luxury of a seat and an awning blocking the sun.  The Airmen were standing in the blazing heat for a good amount of time even before the ceremony began.   We couldn’t see our Airman in the pack of trainees standing on the field, but found the flight he was in.
All of the "trainees."
Once the ceremony began there were songs, tributes and mentions of important people who were in attendance.  Then the flights began their march around the parade ground.  As they walked along the path, they were taking their first steps as Airmen. 

Luckily we were on the right side to see our Airman as he marched by with the rest of his flight.  The training and discipline the men and women had gained over the past two months was really astonishing.  The last part of the ceremony was to hear all of the trainees make their pledge as new Airmen.  Airman Fultz said reciting his oath was the best part of the day.
Airman Fultz

We all had to stand as the flag went by our bleachers as part of the ceremony.
The families were then told to get their loved one who was standing on the field.  We all made our way onto the parade grounds and found Airman Fultz.  The Airmen could not move from their stance until their loved one came to get them.  I’m sure waiting the few minutes for family to reach them was torture.

The new Airman.
After the ceremony we walked the miles (literally was at least a mile) to see his barracks.  The room was small, and cramped with no privacy, but very neat.  For someone who had an EXTREMELY messy room at one point, the cleanliness of our Airman’s area was incredible.

 We also were able to explore a little of Lackland Air Force Base.  It really is a small city in itself.  There are malls, bowling allies, grocery stores and much, much more.  For someone who has very little experience with how things work in the military, the visit to Lackland was a great experience. 

 Reflecting back on the day one word comes to mind: pride.  The new Airmen emitted so much pride as they took their walk and Air Force oath, finally reaping the benefits of all of their hard work.  The faces of family members and friends clearly displayed pride as they watched their loved one further their dedication to our country. 

 Congratulations Airman Fultz, we are PROUD of you!

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