Most of you know that Andy has been interested in planes and the Army from the time he was very young. From about the age of 2, if he could hear a plane he always wanted to go and look at it. He learned the names of the different planes and helicopters when he was quite young. Here is a picture of him when he was about 4 and we had taken him to an air show. He was so excited to see the different planes, and actually go on some of them. The day got better when we went to a tent where they were selling things and he got an old army cap. He used to wear that cap a lot. We didn't realize at the time what a foreshadowing of future events this picture would be.
Here he is now - about 14 years later, learning more about helicopters and wearing army uniforms all the time. He is still excited about it. When he called a few days ago, he was listing off planes that he sees on a regular basis, like the Chinook, Raptor, F15 and 16 and the Black Hawk. I can't picture them all, but he knows them well. Until this week, he had been a "Nighthawk". This means his classes went from 4pm to 1am. This was a privilege because this group slept until 8am and the drill sergeants are a little easier on them. He was really disappointed this week, when he learned he would go back to being a "Dayhawk" for at least the next 3 weeks, because of a class he is in now. He finally was able to go off base for the first time last weekend. He went out with some friends, had breakfast at a Cracker Barrel and did some miniature golfing and shopped for new jeans. This was his first time in civilian clothes since July. He has gone down a few sizes, (is now wearing a 32 waist) so he needed a new pair!
For those of you who are sending letters, he thanks you. They really appreciate mail, but he did ask that no one sends any food. Someone from church sent him a box of cookies. A few other guys in his platoon also got a delivery and I guess they aren't supposed to get anything yet. They were all sent to the formation field and told that they had to eat everything that was sent in 10 minutes or they would have to do extra exercises. He said they managed to wolf it all down, but they don't want to do it again, especially since the whole group is punished for 1 person getting something. So - he said thanks, but don't send anymore! I guess that's the extent of this update. Thanks for your prayers - he is doing well and we are too!