Family Day und Graduation von der Militarybasis 

22März2015

Wednesday 

We got up quite early, sometime between 5:30 and 6 o' clock, went to the breakfast buffet (good omelettes, nice potato stuff but the rest was only eh) and got ready for the Family Day of William.

Driving in to the military basis required standing in line for half an hour, handing our IDs to a sergeant (my german nationality wasn't a problem though) and following the blue line on the street. Parking. 

The event started with us finding a place on the big bleachers, while patriotic country music about military pride was playing. Military in the USA is for volunteers, so they try to advertise it. First, the soldiers who weren't American citizens yet came in front, said the pledge of allegiance and were by a taped voice of Barak Obama accepted as US-Americans. (Note: to become an US citizen, you either marry one, join the military or go through the whole paperwork.) After that, a team of soldiers appeared out of the smoke made by smoke granates that were drown on the field shortly before. It was pretty impressive. They introduced the group of 7 people by their tasks and positions, talked about their equipment (the weapons and what they have in the bag backs). There was a prayer, singing the national anthem and then- the big moment everyon waited for- all the soldiers came out of newly made snow. Very impressive too. Every of the four groups had about 100 soldiers and they all marched im Gleichschritt and then- stood still. After a few announcements, the families were allowed to come down to them and that was quite interesting. At least two family members per person and all try to find their own son or daughter- and they look all pretty much the same. Same outfit (camouflage colors), trained, short hair, same kind of glasses if they wear glasses... We found William pretty fast in my opinion.

After some hugging, taking pictures, and looking for some of his soldier friends, we got the tray of cookies (like 80 pieces) out of the truck and gave them away to pthers because they weren't allowed to have treats in the past two or three months. William told us that he saw a protein bar so,d in their little "black market" for 20$. Everyone was really nice and we went to a little mall, were we got cinnabuns (cinnamon buns from a specific chain, that are gigantic and sure have a large amount of unnecessary calories) and went to other places.

We wanted to get tickets for the seafood buffet in the evening but they were already sold out. We took a nice walk around the lake, were we saw geese (which was exciting for Hannah, she loves them) and ate in a pub, where good musik was playing and the food had quite good quality.

Of course we had to leave at a certain time. At the hotel I went with Hannah to the pools and Kelley joined us later on. I like whirlpools.

Thursday

Because Al has a fancy membership for hotels due to his business traveling, we got 200 free things n the vending machine. Hannah and I got all the Oreos, trail mixes, a chez mi, m&ms, and a bunch of other stuff out of there before we left the hotel.

Graduation Day. Because of the bad weather conditions, they moved the whole event inside, which meant that the battalions couldn't all graduate together but had to be split up into groups of two. Because William was in Echo - the fifth, we were the lasts and had to show up at 11:30 instead of 8 in the morning. The graduation was pretty impressive, national anthem and a hundred young soldiers saying the soldiers creed in a pretty high volume and then the army song... (Yeah, you can look them upm, they are both normal things)

Then we took our way home (after getting the bags and giving away more cookies)... We didn't take the direct way to wilmington in hope to see oreo-cows (black with a white ring around the belly). There weren't any outside, so we basically took an extra hour for that. Didn't bother me too much, there's worse than car rides.

We stopped at a good Asian place, where I got a great bento box with sushi, beef, a spring roll and rice.