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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Here he is!

Today was the long awaited Family Day! We got to the base about 8:30 and settled into the bleachers. The program started at 9:00 with a chaplain opening with prayer. They welcomed everyone and asked who had come the farthest. The person who came the furthest was from American Samoa. There were also people there from Germany, Hawaii and Alaska! They recognized veterans who were present and gave a short informational talk. They then did a demonstration on military maneuvers. Then they said it was time to do what we were there for and that was to see our soldiers. Smoke bombs went off in the distance, and the platoons marched out through the smoke. Here they all are marching out. We then had to go on the field and find our soldier, which didn't take as long as I thought it would.

This is Andy's barrack. In the foreground is a rubberized area that they did their workouts on. Andy's room was on the top floor.

This is Victory Tower. We saw a group working on it today. They were scaling the wall, doing ropes, rappelling...


Here is Andy! We were so happy to see him. He looks great. I noticed that his walk is even different - his posture is straight and he walks with confidence. We met several of his "battle buddies" and their families. We had the whole day and were actually kind of bored because there wasn't much to do, but it was so nice to spend time with him and hear more in depth what his time there has been like. We were able to observe something that we thought was really impressive. On an army base they are very respectful of the flag. At 4:50 we were sitting outside and a bugle sounded over the intercom. Within 5 minutes we saw several soldiers begin to stand, including Andy. At 5 pm they played the bugle retreat over the intercom, and all the soldiers saluted. This is the time they take down the flag and Andy says that all over the base anyone who is outside, stops what they are doing to salute. Even people driving, stop, get out, and salute. They do this in the morning when it is raised also.
Tomorrow morning we will have graduation at 9:00. He will be released to us after that and at some point we will begin the drive to Virginia. I'll try to post some graduation pictures tomorrow.

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17 comments:

Terri said...

How cool. He looks great! I think he looks older and thinner. I love the patriotism. You know, I've been waiting all night for these pictures. What were you doing? Sitting around watching The Office? It was great talking on the phone to him today. What a surprise! Took me a few seconds before I realized who it was. How long will it take to get to Virginia? Congratulations Andy. Way to go. We're so proud of you. Love to you all!!

Just Another Day In Paradise said...

I'm so excited to see the pictures. I have been checking all night too!!
He does look really good. I loved the phone call- I was so surprised to hear his voice!
Enjoy your time tomorrow- Andy- we are SO very proud of you!
Mark, Cheri, Nick, Arianna and Halle

Leigh Ann said...

That's so exciting. Hooray for Andy. Fort Jackson is a huge base. Did you get to do any exploring?

Mari said...

We did see a lot of the base - it is a city all on it's own. It even has it's own hospital.

Jennifer Hill said...

The first comment is too funny because that is exactly what I thought "he looks older and thinner". They must have been having intense workouts.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

I'm so glad you had a great day. Happy Graduation and safe travels to Virginia!

Diane said...

It sure was great to talk to Andy on the phone!! And the picture is fabulous! We're so proud of him and glad that all of you can have a couple days together. Have a wonderful time and safe travels. Look forward to more pictures and getting more details when you come home.
Love from Karla and Diane

Nancy said...

Such nice pictures, the whole staff here saw these pictures.

Dena said...

YEAH!! What you have been waiting for!!! He looks just precious! I wish I had gotten to meet him too -I LOVE that they all salute the flag - God Bless America!! PLEASE give Andy a big hug for me!!! And tell him THANK YOU!!! I can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip
and how crazy is the rubberized mat for exercise???

Melissa said...

wow! andy looks great, i agree older and thinner! i'm so glad that you guys get to spend some time with him! enjoy your time together!

Brenda Y said...

I love the pictures!! Andy looks great!!!

~Just A Thought Ginger said...

Mari, sorry I missed commenting on your last post. You look so wonderful! Thanks for the photo just for me *wink*. How great is this vacation? I keep telling my husband every detail of it!

I'm so excited that you are with your son. I know the pride and joy of a mother's heart. May God bless you and your son as you walk through this graduation time. We know He has a plan and a purpose for Andy. Congratulations!

Bonnie said...

What a great day ! Loved seeing the photos !

Saija said...

great pics! what a good looking young man, your Andy is!
and it looks like everyone enjoyed the family day!

blessings on ya!

Karen said...

I have tagged you for a Meme.

Deb said...

precious moments and precious memories from a mothers heart. God love ya Mari.

Laura said...

It wasgreat to see our little "nickname" again! And yes - he is definitley older and thinner. It seems like he's my older brother now instead of my younger brother. Very cool, but very weird too!