Now there are many stories to be shared this week, but I had to post this now since Amber posted hers and it is killing me to read hers! Ha ha.
Waking up this morning was pretty neat, I knew that it would be an experience that I would never forget. I even took the advice of the Navy moms and went against wearing my new purple high heeled shoes. I opted to go with my more comfortable heels with my new outfit! I was pretty excited about getting all dressed up, down to the old pants girdle that I was wearing to help protect me from the cold.
Of course we are running behind schedule and stressing out about missing the shuttle bus to the Naval Station. We were in the lobby in time! It seemed like forever to get there. Once we were dropped off at the gate we were informed of no picture taking till inside and that we needed to get our ID's ready. Each group was processed and then told it was about a New York block to where we would be going, basically just follow the crowd. So we walked, and walked - how far is a New York block? I thought Amber and Crickette were going to take down an elderly lady, had to reassure them we would make it in time! We got to see the new recruits marching along the way. It was a neat walk. I really wanted to stop and take pictures, but was reminded by the kids - no cameras! You will leak Navy secrets, possibly. Then we arrived.
It was so neat going inside and finding our Division number to take a seat. What do you know - a whole row just for us. I was the first one in, then Jordan, Crickette, Ethan, Amber and Chris. I felt a little strange about not being beside my husband, but then realized he and Amber had Ethan, so my feelings went away. I got to sit behind the jolly "blue" giant. I was very worried about how I was going to tape around his rather large head. We sat here for an hour, just watching people. Of course with an hour to kill we decided it was now time to go to the bathroom. After going downstairs, I realize that the girdle that I have on to keep me warm is causing static like crazy. My pants legs are clinging to me and I have all kinds of lint and hair attached to the bottoms of my pants. If I had my purse with me I know I would have taken them off, despite how cold it was outside! After getting back to our seats I knew that this time would come... the entertainer in the family. Why is it that a six year old thinks everybody needs to know the family secrets? Ethan has the crowd laughing! I get to be entertained by the fifteen month old directly behind me. I promised the mom I would not blog about it, but that was at the beginning. I of course am busy taking pictures of everything and sending them to facebook to keep the friends and family updated, the next best thing to being with us!
As the time draws near they show us a video of what our sailors went through. It was an interesting video. Then what we had all been waiting for. The doors opened up and there were our sailors! The crowd goes crazy! Our guys come marching in, and yes, they all looked alike. It was hard to find anybody, you just looked for the guys in glasses and hoped it was your son. They marched passed us and down in front of the whole crowd and back to where we were. It was neat to hear them take orders and remove their outer coats and watch as Sailors quickly moved back and forth to get it all removed and put away. I enjoyed seeing how one reached over to straighten up his buddies flap. I am so glad that I had the video camera, I found Paxston. His lips were what gave him away. It was very emotional and some of the best moments were when the sailors repeated the Sailors Creed and when they sang "Anchors Away", and I didn't catch either on the video.
The best moment of the day was when they started talking about Hall of Fame and how this is the highest honor that a division can get and they only get it about every 6-8 weeks. They were proud to announce that one division took these honors and it was Division 067! We were screaming like crazy! That's my sailor and all the sailor's families around me! Talk about a proud moment! Wow, not only does my son graduate from boot camp, but he graduates Hall of Fame!
As the ceremony is concluding I am gathering up all my belonging so I can get to my sailor when I realize that my purse it gone, yes gone! I have my video camera and cell phone in hand but no purse. I look and look and as all the parents and family are reunited with their sailor, I am still looking frantically for my purse. Well I spot it, down below the bleachers, remember that fifteen month old, I am sure that she knocked it off! I am thinking about it still being here, so I take off to find my family. Then all of a sudden everybody looks alike, I literally had tears in my eyes thinking that I was missing hugs from my sailor! I finally see Amber (several women had the same hounds-tooth jacket like her) and got to see my Sailor! Got my picture made so I could send to Facebook and then it was off to rescue my purse.
I find the most important looking person in uniform and of course the wife just lets me know that they are only visiting. I am sure she read the look on my face, I told her I was sorry, but her husband just looked like he might be able to help. I see my family and tell them that we can probably send Ethan under and get it. Off again I go to the center of the arena where I see a young man in camos and RECRUIT on his hat. I figured this would do. He had the look on his face the whole time like "Please don't come here, oh no, she is coming over here..." then I ask him how we could get to my purse. After leaving his post, he came back so that we could go to the far end of the bleachers where my purse was. By this time I see that my family is there and they have shot Ethan under the bleachers to rescue my purse. Earlier Ethan had dropped his gloves also and this recruit climbed under to get the gloves out for us! At this time they started turning off the lights and ushering the families outside!
It was a great time. We went next to the Navy store to get us new shirts, Navy Mom, Navy Dad, Navy sister, Navy girlfriend...it was a madhouse! After finding the perfect shirts and stickers for the windows, we go the cafeteria and visit with our sailor. He lets us know that he will have to check in and get released, so we could just hang out a while and then meet up at the visitors center.
The next story for that will have to come tomorrow~it will be a good one!