To recap, Little Girl was graduating from basic training. We were to drive up to Fort Sill, Oklahoma on Wednesday, participate in Family Day on Thursday, watch her graduate on Friday, and today we are driving home.
The most efficient way to Fort Sill from where we live is straight up to Shreveport, across to Dallas, then up to Wichita Falls and on to Lawton/Fort Sill. It takes us through Dallas, though. Did i mention Sweetie about has panic attacks if we get stuck in big city traffic or if we get turned around in any way?
He drove for the first several hours, and then i took over, which was a good thing, because when we finally got to Dallas, between the construction, the traffic, the accidents, and the fact that the GPS directions were confusing and got us turned around twice, he was near a conniption or apoplexy or something.
It was a relief to finally pull up to the hotel, and we were so tired after about 14 hours on the road that we decided to eat right there. The hotel had fabulous vegetarian options and Sweetie enjoyed the best chicken fried steak and gravy he's ever had, and he's eaten the stuff all of his life.
This was a visit to a military base, so there are certain procedures, and those include getting permission to actually be on the base. To do that, you print out a request and fill it out and mail it in, if the website is working and you can get it to print. Since it didn't work, and i tried, that meant going to the visitor center and filling it out there and getting permission on site.
Because there will be a lot of people wanting to do that same thing, you want to get there early. They open at 5am, and we got there Thursday morning about five minutes before they opened, and we were not the first in line. It was a good thing they didn't take long, we got our permission forms and were able to go on base all we needed.
The Family Day program included demonstrations of uniforms and the things they've learned. They did a skit that looked like it could have come straight out of a Three Stooges short, showing what the recruits looked like on the day they got there. It had all of us laughing, and from what i understand, was totally accurate.
When they acknowledged the top graduates, i was surprised that the person who scored the highest on the physical training test was one of the females. She was very pretty, but i can guarantee you do not want to meet her in a dark alley.
One thing i did not expect was that there were over 20 recruits who were from other countries. In joining the US Military, they became eligible for expedited naturalization. They had not only done their military training, but had gone through what they needed to do to pass for citizenship, so there was a naturalization ceremony right there as part of the Family Day program. It had me in tears as these newly minted soldiers took the oath of citizenship.
Little Girl was one of the soldiers who received a promotion. That was another thing i didn't expect, they call the parents up to actually take the old insignia off of the soldier's uniform and put the new one on. Yes, i really got to do that, it was amazing.
Once the Family Day ceremony was over, we got to bring Little Girl with us to have lunch and then go back to the hotel. She took a nap while we were there, i'm sure she needed it. Then a dinner at the hotel and back to the base for Accountability Formation (in other words, roll call).
Friday morning was much more restful for us, if not for the graduates. They had to get up and do Physical Training and then practice. The ceremony was beautifully done and most important, the guest speaker was brief and what he said was actually excellent advice. Boiled down, he was saying to watch what you do, because if you don't want a future potential employer to find out, or your family, then you shouldn't do it.
We spoke to Little Girl for a while after the graduation ceremony, and then she went to go have a meal with her battle buddies who didn't have family that could come to the ceremony. We were so glad that they had each other.
That gave me and Sweetie a bit of the afternoon to ourselves, so we had a meal and i dropped him back at the hotel and i went to the used book store and met the lovely, somewhat elderly, owner and her dog. We talked, and i helped her water the garden boxes and haul the empty garbage can back up to the side of the building. Of course i bought books, too, and she and i have promised to pray for each other's children.
Today Little Girl ships out for the next phase of her training, and as we head home it is the big test of whether or not we are going to live through the drive. If i post tomorrow, you will know we survived.
Canmore Folk Music Festival -- Canmore, AB, Canada (bringing beautiful folk music and more to the area; through Monday)
Dia del Amigo -- Paraguay
Father-in-Law Day -- unsponsored and unclaimed, but fathers-in-law deserve respect, too
Feast of the Throne -- Morocco; Western Sahara
Festival of Fortuna Huiusque Diei -- Ancient Roman Calendar ("Fortune of the Present Day")
Friendship Day/International Day of Friendship -- UN
Hanover Dutch Festival -- Hanover, PA, US (celebrating the area and it's heritage)
Herbal Ballooning -- Fairy Calendar
Independence Day -- Vanuatu(1980)
Kronia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (festival of Kronos as god of the harvest)
Martyr's Day -- South Sudan
National Cheesecake Day
National Dance Day -- US (begun by Nigel Lythgoe, now a congressionally recognized day to encourage dance education and physical fitness, so go out and bust a move on a Saturday night, but don't bust you, please)
National Support Public Education Day -- Change.org wants this to be an official day for support of US public education systems
"Paddle for Perthes" Disease Awareness Day -- to promote awareness of the children's condition called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
Paperback Day -- anniversary of the 1935 publication of Penguin #1, Arial, A Life of Shelley, by Andre Maurois in London, the first successful series of paperback books
Quilt Exhibition -- Billings Farm, Woodstock, VT, US (a juried show, demonstrations and other activities; through Sept. 18)
Sagbraw: Schramm's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Wisconsin -- Wisconsin's oldest cross-state bicycle tour; through Aug. 5
Sts. Abdon and Sennen's Day (Patrons of barrel makers and coopers; the ashes of ferns cut and burned on this day will keep away insects and unwanted guests)
Sumiyoshi Matsuri -- Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine, Osaka, Japan (Osaka's last major summer festival, through Aug. 1)
Sumidagawa River Fireworks Festival -- Tokyo, Japan (one of Japan's largest fireworks festivals, held every year since 1733, making it also one of the world's oldest continuously held fireworks displays)
Taylor Horsefest -- Taylor, ND, US (big enough to be fun, small enough to get you lots of time with the stars of the show, the horses! through tomorrow)
Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, marries Michael Tindall, 2011
Hope Solo, 1981
Jaime Pressly, 1977
Misty May-Treanor, 1977
Hilary Swank, 1974
Tom Green, 1971
Simon Baker, 1969
Vivica A. Fox, 1964
Lisa Kudrow, 1963
Alton Brown, 1962
Laurence Fishburne, 1961
Kate Bush, 1958
Delta Burke, 1956
Ken Olin, 1954
Jean Reno, 1948
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1947
William Atherton, 1947
David Sanborn, 1945
Paul Anka, 1941
Peter Bogdanovich, 1939
Buddy Guy, 1936
Allan Huber “Bud” Selig, 1934
Edd "Kookie" Byrnes, 1933
Thomas Sowell, 1930
Sid Krofft, 1929
Christine McGuire, 1926
Henry W. Bloch, 1922
Henry Spencer Moore, 1898
Casey Stengel, 1891
Henry Ford, 1863
Thorstein Bunde Veblen, 1857
Georg Wilhelm von Siemens, 1855
Emily Bronte, 1818
"Santa Barbara"(TV), 1984
"Death Valley Days"(Radio), 1930
Today in History
City of Baghdad is founded, 762
The First Defenestration of Prague, 1419
Christopher Columbus lands at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage, 1502
At Ticonderoga (now Crown Point, New York), Samuel de Champlain shoots and kills two Iroquois chiefs, which set the tone for French-Iroquois relations for the next one hundred years, 1608
In Jamestown, Virginia, the first European style representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time, 1619
An earthquake in Naples, Italy kills 10,000 people, 1629
Baltimore, Maryland is founded, 1729
Bartolomeo Rastrelli presents the newly-built Catherine Palace to Empress Elizabeth and her courtiers, 1756
First ascent of Grand Combin, one of the highest summits in the Alps,1859
Chief Pocatello of the Shoshone tribe signs the Treaty of Box Elder, agreeing to stop the harassment of emigrant trails in southern Idaho and northern Utah, 1863
In Montevideo, Uruguay wins the first Football World Cup, 1930
Premiere of Walt Disney's Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short, 1932
A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S. national motto, 1956
US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid, 1965
David Scott and James Irwin on Apollo Lunar Module module, Falcon, land with first Lunar Rover on the moon, 1971
Six Royal Canadian Army Cadets are killed and fifty-four injured in an accidental grenade blast at CFB Valcartier Cadet Camp, 1974
Jimmy Hoffa disappears, 1975
In Mexico, the last 'old style' Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line, 2003
Israel and Palestinian officials agree to resume negotiations for a peace agreement, 2013