A New Sailor
My daughter graduated from Navy Boot Camp on February 27th. For those occsional Readers who’ve been around for a while, you may know that this is a journey that started way back in the days post 9-11, when a 12 year old asked the question, “Dad, could I go to the Naval Academy?” The rest is history.
The Idaho Daughter didn’t make it into the Academy after two tries, so she decided to serve her country anyway. She signed up for the Delayed Entry program last fall and flew away to Great Lakes, Illinois on January 6th. She had her ups and down (it is Boot Camp, it’s supposed to be hard) but it was mostly a positive experience. Especially now that it’s done. And after she’s been in a while it could still be possible to switch to the officer track if she wants to put in the work.
As a father, I’ve always been proud of all my children, which include an older and younger brother and five exchange students who were on loan to us for a year. But I have to be honest and say seeing her march into the drill hall with 561 new Sailors was the thrill of a lifetime. I only knocked over three little old ladies and a Chief RDC trying to get to her for that first hug.
I’m sure, just like any job, I’ll hear complaints about the Navy from my daughter over the years ahead, but they sure can put on a ceremony. The honorary inspecting officer was a Rear Admiral (forget his name) who works in the Pentagon. He said a lot of good things about our Saiors and the Navy in general and then mentioned he had a special feeling for this class, since his kid was out there with them. I thought he was going to lose it for a minute, and I sure came close.
The girl called this morning from O’Hare and said she was on her way to Monterey. She’ll be there for about a year and a half, learning a foreign language. She’ll eventually head to the fleet as a Navy interpreter and I’m sure I’ll quit hearing what’s going on as things get sensitive.
Thanks to everyone who gave us so much encouragement and advice over the years.
One Happy and Proud Dad,