But I'm getting ahead of myself. First came a brief, but poignant ceremony, at Hilton Field. There was an invocation by the chaplain, the Star-Spangled Banner was played, and then . . .
The Army proceeded to demonstrate a tactical maneuver in which they kill some terrorists trying to set off a bomb and then secure the area. I don't have a single photo of this, since I was in a state of shock. I'm sure the Army meant to impress the parents and reassure us of the very thorough training that the soldiers were receiving, but all I kept thinking was how very real, and how very scary war is, and how my child could potentially end up in a similar situation.
Then they set off a series of colorful smoke bombs . . .
More and more smoke, louder and louder . . .
And then, the soldiers began emerging from the smoke!
It was quite a show, but I didn't take any of these pictures either. I was still in shock. I'm very happy that my husband grabbed my camera and started shooting - pictures that is . . . not bombs . . .
Here's our soldier . . .
And here was one more shock for mom: My son is happy! He likes what he's doing and has a sense of purpose I had never seen in him before. Now, if only the world would behave itself for the next four years . . .