Yes, I am flooding you all with video today. Out of the many things I love about the Military, the many ceremonies have to be one of my favorites. Seriously, there is a reason I went to 12 Homecoming ceremonies before my own husband came home. There is a reason I attended numerous change of commands of people I didn't even know. I am a ceremony junkie, there I said it!
The traditions of the Military are awesome, it's one of the special things that make us unique. You can't go to a homecoming ceremony or a Basic Training graduation and not feel something tugging at your heart, you just can't.
I haven't been to a Basic Combat Training graduation since Kevin was a Drill Sergeant at Fort Knox, so that is now over 6 years ago. I'm not going to lie, I got a little choked up at times while watching today.
But my thought process has really changed since Kevin was on the trail. At the beginning of his time wearing the hat, we were a nation that was still relatively at peace. He was actually at Drill Sergeant school on 9-11 so we knew that changes were coming and they did during his time on the trail. I remember when the Op Tempo changed and we went from a "train as we would fight" mentality to a " train to fight" mentality. I remember the first time Kevin opened an Army Times and saw the name of one of the young men who had cycled through his platoon on the casualty list. It's heartbreaking.
As I sat and watched these new Soldiers, so full of pride, excitement and accomplishment, I wondered if they really knew what was about to come. For many, deployment is not too far off in the future. And their time in the Army is most likely not going to be like the videos that we watched at the beginning of the ceremony. My heart aches for many of the changes they will go through and the experiences some of them will endure.
Don't get me wrong, it's worth it, oh it's worth it, but it does leave an ache in my heart.
I wish these new Soldiers all the best in the world and hope they carry the pride they displayed today throughout their career in the Army and their life for they are embarking on an amazing journey. A journey that less than 1% of America is even willing to attempt.
God Bless Our Soldiers