Thursday, we had to be on the base at 7:00 am, to find a parking spot and a place along the Airman's Run route, for the first glimpse of the my son in 8.5 weeks. It was really cold that morning. They had people there on the streets giving us information on what we could do or could not do along the route. We choose a good spot toward the end where they turn around at. At 8:00 am, all the excitement was in full swing as the Airman’s run began. We watched for his flight and finally we spotted them towards the end. As they started to run past us, I spotted Colton, he was the closest person to me, we all were yelling. Then we went to the street next to us and watched them come back around and as he got close I yelled, his name out and I could see him smile. He then know we were there watching him. We quickly, went back to our original spot and watched him and yelled again, as the weather turned into sleet. I was very excited to see him. After that we went to the Reception center for a briefing on the next couple days and what activities we would be allowed to do with him. I was nice to warm up inside. Then we had to go back outside for the Coin Ceremony. This is the ceremony where they are given their Graduation Challenge Coin and are now called Airman instead of Trainee. We sat in the cold for over an hour with the wind chilling our bones. They finally march onto the retreat pad and my husband spots him as the guide on, the carrier of the flight flag. I sat there just watching him the whole time, he looked really, really good. I was a proud mom the whole way through and the cold weather no longer bothered me. Then, at the end they let us on the on to the retreat pad and the Airman couldn't move until a family member tapped them out. My husband who is retired Air Force was the one to person to tap him out. After that I gave him a big hug, it was nice to hold him in my arms again. Then we spent the next 5-6 hours on base due to he only had base liberty. It was hard to find places to sit and just talk with him, since there were around 750 graduates this week. We took him to Godfather's Pizza, his first taste of real food in weeks. What a great day!
Friday, it was raining and even colder! They were to have the graduation parade and dorm tours that day. Well the Graduation Parade was cancelled, so they did a slightly modified version in the dorm’s Cafeteria. They bused all the families to the dorms, then we were put in various classrooms filled with small chairs desks. That was very familiar for all of us that were in the service due to they looked like the same ones that were there over 20 years ago. After 30 minutes or so we were moved into the cafeteria where his flight was standing in formation waiting for us. I could see him really well. They did a short ceremony, and then the flights were moved back up stairs to put on their Dress Blue Uniforms, while we were moved back to classrooms for a little bit while they changed. Then were given the permission to go up to the dorms to get a tour and meet his wingman. Then he was ours for the rest of the day. He wanted Sonic for lunch since it was just off base. We took it back to our hotel room where he wanted just to relax for the day. That evening, he requested Steak or Prime Rib, so we got Reservation at the nearest Texas Roadhouse. He loved that!
Saturday, he had town pass also, so we took him for a nice breakfast at IHOP. Then went back to the hotel, where he got to talk to a great friend back home for over an hour. After that it was time to take the friends that had come with us, to the airport. We took him back to the hotel after leaving the airport and he took a nice long shower, then slept most of the afternoon away, before we had to take him back to base. Sunday, we went to church with him and took him to Godfather's Pizza again, at his request. That’s where we stayed until we had to leave to go the Airport to fly home.
Overall, it was a great week in San Antonio, Texas. My son is on to his next phase of his training. I am a very proud Air Force mom. I can’t wait until I see him next.
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