USAF Graduation Getaway:

12:27 PM

My little brother Zachary graduated from Air Force basic training last weekend! I’m so thankful to my hubby for watching Gideon and Ashelyn for 5 days so that I could go! (And I’m REALLY thankful to his sister Sarah for letting him invade her house with my sick kiddos…. I’m sooo sorry!) I had such a great time in San Antonio. It’s a pretty cool little city and the weather was so much better than what was going on back home!
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Mom and Me (and little teeny Ezra) waiting to spot Zach during the Airman’s Run (Thursday Feb 24).
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All of us at the run. Zach’s girlfriend Jenni wasn’t able to make it until Saturday, so we brought the “Jenni on a Stick” from her Senior night basketball game. It did the trick, Zach totally spotted us! Not that the banner hurt in that department, ha. Zach said all the guys in his flight were giving him a hard time, “I saw your girlfriend Richardson… she was on a stick.” Good times! Also, Mom and I designed the sweet shirts we’re wearing and my sweet, wonderful, hubby printed them for us at the last minute! (P.S. Mom was about to wet her pants…BAHAHAHA!!! There wasn’t a bathroom close by.)
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There’s a reason they call those things BCG’s! (Birth Control Goggles) I think that’s the last time he had to wear those ugly things! He says he’s mounting them into his BMX helmet so he doesn’t break anymore of his good pairs. We lucked out and were on the right side of the road so we got to see him. I wish I could explain how cool it sounds when there are 750 of them all running perfectly in step and singing (er… whatever it is) together. It’s awesome.

185944_198245663537950_100000575523219_708301_2652212_nUp next was the Coin Ceremony.(Enter crappy cell phone pic) This is me and Ezra waiting for that to start. I discovered that the military does A LOT of hurry up and wait. Hurry up and get your seat at 8 am to wait  for the ceremony that starts at 10:30. Luckily little man is quite the trooper. Anyways, the Coin Ceremony is where all the trainees receive their Air Force Coin from their instructors and is when they officially go from trainee to airman. After the ceremony is over they all stand totally still at parade rest until the families are released and then you rush down and “tap” your airman. After that they are released to you for the rest of the day. Zach had two guys in his flight whose families weren’t able to be there until the next day, so we actually tapped them out as well and they spent the day with us. The amount of pizza consumed by these three was UNBELIEVABLE! No… really.
122Airmen Smith, Lamosa, and Richardson…  (Parade rest)

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And at ease :)
The next morning (Friday) was actually Graduation. It was definitely moving and honestly I found the order and discipline of the whole thing to be quite beautiful. They told a story of George Washington (I think) asking a Prussian general to come to America to teach his men to march and how the men immediately became more unified. Marching has been an integral part of every serviceman’s basic training from that time forward. Pretty awesome stuff. Gotta love that patriotic spirit!
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My Grandpa bawled like a baby through the entire thing. I managed to keep my tears in check as long as I didn’t look at Grandpa! Grandpa’s aren’t supposed to cry you know.
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Afterwards he got a town pass so we went and ate at the Riverwalk, went to the Alamo and to Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
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Saturday was another town pass day so we all went to Sea World. That was really cool, but let’s just say I’m glad Dad was  able to get us free tickets! So expensive! I got this awesome picture of this giant walrus and a picture of me and Ezra with flamingos. I rock!186190Sunday we spent some more time on the base until I had to head to the airport. I had such a great time and I’m so glad I was able to be there for my brother. Now Zach’s off at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS (right on the ocean… so jealous!) to finish tech school until October.

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