Sunday, February 22, 2009

A great day to be in the Army

When we were at North Georgia, the Commandant of Cadets always opened his speeches with that line, "It's a great day to be in the Army!" He would be in the drill field overlooking all of the cadets in formation. Then all the cadets would shout "Hooah" from the formation. It was a cool thing to be a part of. I am a sucker for all the pomp and circumstance. I LOVE stopping the car and getting out each day at 5:00 to stand with my hand over my heart when they bring down the flag. I love living on post so that I can hear all the traditional songs that are played each day. I even love being awakened at 6:30 each morning to hear "Revile" and the sound of thousands of soldiers voices echoing as they sing the "Dog Faced Soldier Song." So ANY time there is a ceremony involving someone I know (my favorite is David, of course), I always try to attend. Changes of Command, Promotions, Retirements, I love them all.

Friday was a great day to be in the army because Jessa, Spencer, and I were able to attend an award ceremony. David always tells me about these because he knows about how much I love them. It was at 4, so we headed over to Cottrell Field. I even made sure all three of us were wearing red shirts under our coats to look patriotic.
Two of David's biggest fans!
We could see the soldiers already standing in formation. I LOVE that sight! They are all so handsome (I know some are girls, but they can look handsome, too, right??) We found a spot and Jessa almost immediately spotted David. She can always seem to find him before me these days. He was waving at us by the time Spencer and I looked up! Spencer thinks that each and every person who is wearing the ACUs (new camouflage) is Daddy or "looks like Daddy." He cracked me up Friday because before they got started a shorter, female soldier was repositioning herself. Spencer said in a sweet little voice, "Oh, Mommy, look at that little soldier!"
What a fine looking group of soldiers!
There were more than 120 or so soldiers being honored with an award for their service in Iraq during the last deployment. David was in the first group being given a Bronze Star. I am always way more proud of him than he is of himself. He downplays it and says "everyone got one," but to me anytime you get a cool ribbon to add to your awards, it is an accomplishment.

David was about the twelfth person to have his award pinned on. We cheered quietly (since no one else was clapping, I think so it did not take all day) and Jessa squeezed "Lammie" the lamb toy that she brought. Lammie bleated her excitement on cue. So now, after about 15 people, the children have nothing else to listen for or keep them interested. We were outside, so if they acted ugly, it may not be as noticeable. I had brought ring pops, which they were already enjoying. And I had explained that everyone wanted to hear their Daddy's name like we did, so we needed to keep it down. Plus, each soldier deserved their moment, and I tried to make them understand this.
The formation at attention
Jessa's impression of Attention
Well, I needn't have worried. These 2 precious ones figured out a fun way to entertain themselves. It even involved listening intently, too! It started when someone named "SGT George something" was announced. They both grinned and whispered excitedly, "like Curious George!" And so it began, a new name game! "Alice" reminded them of "Alice in Wonderland." Several guys named "Peter" resulted in "Peter Pan!" When they could not find a name that reminded them of something, Jessa started the rhyming game. "Fleming" she told me rhymes with "swimming!" They both got upset when someone named "Boozer" was announced. They thought that the speaker had called someone a "Loser." This is one of the really bad words they are not allowed to call anyone, and they were very concerned. I quickly told them that the name was "Boozer." To which Jessa replied, "Oh, it just rhymes with Loser."

Towards the end, we just listened for where we were in the alphabet. I would say "Ortiz, what letter comes after 'O'?" And both of them would use a technique I taught them called "singing it out." They would both start whispering and singing, "A, B, C, D, EFG. . ." until they could tell me "P" came after "O." They make me laugh!

Jessa also spotted a female soldier who was pregnant. She was most concerned about her needing to "get to the hospital NOW." I told her that I did not think it was time for that yet. Jessa also noticed that Daddy's award looked different from some of the other ones. He was pretty funny trying to explain to her over supper why he got a star and others did not!

When the ceremony was over, they released the formation and Jessa and Spencer took off, full speed into the sea of people to find Daddy! They were so glad to see him and so proud!!
Our reward for being nice during the ceremony - Daddy hugs!
Heading to the group photo

GROUP PHOTO (David is sixth from the left on the front row)
It was a great day to be in the army! (only David could not leave with us, he had to go back to work until 7:30 on a Friday! What's up with that?!)
A last picture before our dedicated soldier returned to work. . .

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Congratulations David! What a beautiful post Dana, so sweet.