Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Visit to San Antonio - Part One

Last month, my son, Brandon, graduated from Air Force basic training in San Antonio, TX. I was fortunate enough to get to fly out for graduation weekend. I flew out on Wednesday and flew back home on Sunday. The graduation festivities began early Thursday morning with the mile and a half "Airman's Run". This is a run in which all the flight squadrons run in formation for a mile and a half. The families are invited to line the road side and cheer them on. A lot of us made signs to show our support for our Airmen. This picture is Brandon's flight, Flight 349. They were the "Bulldogs". Don't ask me which one he is. They ran by at a pretty good pace and I had no idea where he was in this picture. The only way I knew it was his flight is because each flight had a "bear", which is the person who carries a flag in front of the group. The flag has their flight number on it. The run was an awesome thing to watch. All the guys and girls running were singing "jodies" as they ran. A jodie is a chant or song. They did the run at 7 a.m. due to the hot temperatures in San Antonio. A bit later in the day, we attended the coin ceremony. This is where each Airman is presented with a symbolic coin, signifying their transition from a trainee to an Airman Basic. My son is the Airman in the center of this picture. After all the Airmen were presented with their coin, they were dismissed by their trainers to spend the rest of the day on the base with their families. But before they could be allowed to break formation, they had to be "tapped out" by a family member. This means that they had to be tapped on the shoulder by someone before they could break formation. Here's me tapping out Brandon. By far,the BEST moment of the entire weekend!!! There were lots of tears from me and from him since we hadn't seen each other in over two months. The rest of Thursday was spent on base doing fun things. We went bowling, caught a movie, shopped at the BMX and mini mall on base, and ate a LOT of junk food! This was the first junk food they had been allowed to have since they arrived for the beginning of basic training. I think Brandon ate just about everything you could imagine. It seemed like he never got full!! It was hard to leave him on base on Thursday evening. But I took solace in knowing that I would get to see him on Friday morning, all dressed up in his dress blues for the actual graduation ceremonies. Check back tomorrow for a post on that! I'll leave you with this picture of my Airman with his very proud Momma! Until next time. . .


  1. Beautiful pics Donna and SO happy you got to go and enjoy the graduation!!! I loved hearing the soldiers chant when we went to Ft. Benning, I think in the Army they are called Cadences, even to listen to them all recite something in perfect unity sent chills up my spine, but Proud chills:) You have a wonderful Airman and son, CONGRATS to him and to you for raising him!!!!

  2. Congrats to your son Donna! I know exactly how you were's a very proud moment and emotional all at the same time. When my son return from his deployment from Afghanistan, there was a ceremony and I was never so proud!! Beautiful picture of the two of you. He's a nice looking young man. Hope you have a wonderful day, Gail