Veteran's Day used to simply be a day off of school for my kiddos. We would sometimes close the shop and go do something fun. Or we'd be lazy and sleep in, relaxing at home for the rest of the day. There were no veterans in my life or Ron's life. My in-laws immigrated to the US when they were adults. My dad never mentioned that he was a vet. Nope, no one to honor for this small family.
What was I thinking?!
My whole perspective on Veteran's Day changed in 2009 when Alex joined the Air Force. He signed up while in his last year of college. With his degree he would automatically begin his career as an officer.
|tears all around, kisses and hugs too|
So on a sad day in September 2009, we said our good byes. Alex drove himself to our shop before departing on his solo journey to Maxwell AFB in Alabama. He brought all he would need for the trek across country.
Now we were officially empty nesters... But that's a whole other story.
Alex graduated BOT (basic officer training) a few months later in December. Of course, we HAD to be there! Alex had a whole support group when he received his first stripes as a 2nd Lieutenant. His best friend, Brad, flew with us from California. Ron's folks flew in too. Jessica even flew in from Maryland to support him.
|L-R: Rene', Brad, Jessica, Guenther, Alex, Erika, Ron|
|saying his oath|
|Oma and Opa putting his stripes on his shirt|
Once Alex had completed his basic officer training it was on to his next assignment and more training. His job in the Air Force is Air Battle Manager. He needed additional training. This required another move. This time he was going to sunny Florida. His home base was now Tyndall AFB on the Florida pan handle. Poor guy had to work at a base located on the beach!
When he graduated ABM training it was once again in the middle of winter. Again, we flew to be there for this special occasion. This trip was not as uneventful as we had hoped. Our lay over was in Atlanta and they were experiencing a rare ice storm. Our luggage was misplaced. We missed the formal dinner. We were a day late but luckily made it to his graduation ceremony.
Alex has been on one deployment already. He had a very nice first assignment. He went to the island of Curacao to do surveillance missions.
He is currently serving his second deployment in the desert, far, far away. Hopefully he'll be home in time for Christmas this year.
My view on Veteran's Day certainly has changed since Alex decided to give his life to serve the country we call home. I will forever be in his debt. I'm one proud Mom!