Wow! I am exhausted both physically and emotionally. Today was INCREDIBLE!
Stensen and I attended my son Elias's Basic Training graduation ceremony at Ft. Wood, MO. At the same time, he was able to see his 2-week old baby girl, Elliana, for the first time and see his wife for the first time in 10 weeks. I can honestly say that I have never been more proud of my son than I am today.
Even if I just isolate that to his performance at Basic Training. He was promoted to E-3 while training, was selected a squad leader, score a perfect score on physical training, and he was selected to lead his entire platoon to the stage during the graduation ceremony. Then while we were hanging out, several of his fellow soldiers told us that he was an amazing leader. His commander even gave his family a special recognition for going through birth while at training.
So there is a lot to be proud of in the Army.
Then for the first time, I was able to observe my son as a FATHER. That is a very interesting experience for sure. It was so touching to see his wife embrace him when they were able to finally meet after the ceremony. Then is was simply tear-jerking to see her gingerly hand him his daughter for the first time. I am so glad the camera had auto focus because my eyes were OUT OF COMMISSION!
We had a terrific day on post just hanging out. Sara's dad Ike was with us. He is such a gentle father and grandfather. It was great to get to know him.
Tomorrow Elias gets to go off post and enjoy even more relaxation. We are going to swim, see a movie, and EAT! He has to be back by 1900 hours and then Stensen and I will hit the road back home for an all-nighter. Elias will then wake up and head to his next post for AIT in Virginia.
I took LOTS of pix and video today....of course. I few more samples are below.