Thank you, Noddy, c.i. and Boomer. It's good to know that others understand where I am coming from.
The mixed emotions are definitely there. The pride runs very deep considering the hard times my son went through in hitting the bottom before pulling himself out of the well. And even long before he finally decided to join the military ranks, Chris (my son) told me that if he did join, it would be career and not just a single enlistment. I truly believe him that it will be.
Yesterday, my former husband, myself and our daughter were at USMEPSCOM (United States Military Entrance Processing Command) Center in Oklahoma City to join Chris and witness his swearing in for active duty and watch him leave for the plane that took him to Fort Knox last night.
Chris never ceases to amaze me. When we arrived at 9am, he had already been there for several hours and was in one of the vocational counselors offices. They both came out several times and then went back in and finally Chris was off somewhere doing something else and the vocational counselor came up to us and said, "Man, he's really making me work this morning! He just added on Airborne." Wide eyed, I asked, "Instead of Cav Scout?" and he said, "No, in addition to Cav Scout." And then he went on to say that he has never had a new recruit come to him before and ask for more
before they've even started.
But....apparently he did. And it really should not have surprised me. Since he was very young, he has been one who, once a subject or idea or concept intrigues him, he embraces so fully that he will not stop learning about it until he knows all he can possibly know. When his dad asked him later why he wanted to go and jump out of perfectly good airplanes, his answer was a very simple, "because I can." with a huge smile on his face.
I have never seen him happier than he was yesterday. During one of the many hugs he gave me while we were there, he told me that besides finally getting started on his career, the thing that made him most happy was seeing his dad, myself and his sister altogether there with him, something that has not happened in 13 years. And it really did feel like the family that we once had, long, long ago.
Today Chris is in Fort Knox, in Reception I am sure. We were told that that process could take as few as 3 days to as long as 3 weeks. Ugh!
Silly as it sounds, I know he is just dying to exhaust his body and his mind. Once he does get started, he'll be in Fort Knox for 9 weeks of basic and then another 17 weeks of advanced training and then on to Fort Benning for 3 to 4 weeks of jump school.
I believe he has found his passion and as his mom, I could not be happier.
Thank you guys for being here.