Wednesday, May 27, 2015

David's Army BCT Graduation

*Warning, probably going to be a long post

I had written previously in this post that my brother-in-law David had joined the Army. Danny and I flew out to Oklahoma on Wednesday to make it on time to Family Day on Thursday. Being from California, the weather is pretty much warm and between 75-80 degrees all the time. 
Wednesday 5/20
So we flew from California to Dallas and then Dallas to Lawton. What a difference in weather. The shorter flight was at about 10pm and it was full of thunder, lightening and crazy turbulence. Luckily we made it and went straight to bed because we had an early day ahead of us.
Thursday 5/21
So we woke up early to get ready and ate breakfast downstairs at the hotel. Guys, seriously the Best Western has the best complimentary breakfast I've ever had at a hotel! We're talking eggs, biscuits, potatoes, bacon, grits, yogurt, fruit, waffles etc. So so good. Danny's parents and some of his siblings drove up to see the graduation also so we carpooled with them for the weekend. We arrived on base and there is a small ceremony and then we were able to finally spend time with David. We walked over to David's barrack to pick something up and left the base to explore the very small town of Lawton! We ate and shopped and walked around until it was time for us to take him back to base. It sounds short but we were able to spend about 10 hours with him. After we dropped him off, Danny's family dropped us off at our hotel and we order dinner and watched tv. Again we had an early morning so we went to sleep relatively early.
Friday 5/22
Again we woke up early, got ready and had breakfast at the hotel. Danny's parents picked us up and we went to another hotel where the graduation was being held. We waited outside in line, in the rain for a while until we were allowed in. Took our seats and it was graduation time! It's was a little weird seeing David on stage, he seemed so grown up. I've known David since he was 9 or 10 years old and sometimes I still see him as being that young. After graduation we picked David up at the base and were able to spend the rest of the day with him. We went to lunch at a Tex Mex place..what an experience. Very different from Mexican food. We walked around some more, bought cookies, then candy, went and saw Avengers: Age of Ultron, and took him back to his base. The soldiers lined up and were given orders for the following day and we said our goodbyes. We were dropped off at our hotel and Danny and I went to have dinner but the restaurant was closed. We had no car and there was no where in walking distance to eat so luckily Danny's parents came back and brought us food.
Saturday 5/23
So this is when things start getting interesting. As usual, we got dressed and had breakfast (the highlight of the day) We were scheduled to leave the airport about 6:30pm so we paid for a late checkout and arrived at the airport about 4:30pm. We waited and waited and finally about 6:00pm we went through security and then waiting some more for our flight. It was the last flight of the day and the weather was pretty bad in Dallas. About 10 minutes before we should have been boarding we were told it was going to be delayed. A little worrying because our second flight was pretty soon after we were going to land. About 5 minutes before we were suppose to board we were notified the flight was canceled. So we rush to the reception area to book a flight for the following morning. We were told that there wasn't a flight available until MONDAY MORNING! This was the first time I had ever been away from Judah and that was the worse thing I could have been told at the moment. So we called the Best Western back and luckily they had a room open. (Because it was weather related, the airlines did not compensate us for our 2 extra nights). Weather was pretty bad now in Lawton and on weekends the hotel doesn't serve dinner so we order a pizza, which took 1 1/2 hours. We also had thrown away a majority of our toiletries because we were suppose to head home. Danny's family was already in Arizona by this time and all taxis were not driving in the weather. So after we ate our pizza we went to bed.
Sunday 5/24
So we were running out of clean clothes and were going to do laundry. But can you guess what we did first? That's right, we had breakfast! In the middle of breakfast all the lights went out. We finished breakfast and went back to our room. We kind of just sat there because there was nothing else to do. About two hours later we get a knock saying we were evacuating because the power wouldn't be turned back on that day. We later found out someone hit the power poll and the transformer was 8 feet under water. If it wasn't for the power outing, we probably would have been evacuated anyway because the whole area around us was completely flooded, They even closed down the freeway next to us. And as Californians, this was like completely uncommon. So we waited a while and eventually took a shuttle to another hotel. The rest of the day was pretty boring, bought toiletries, food, ate, slept, did laundry and slept some more
Monday 5/25
Finally the day we were going home! Went to airport early, checked weather conditions religiously. Boarded flight, then second flight. Finally was greeted at baggage claim from my mom and Judah. HAD MY CAMERA AND MY MOMS PHONE PICKPOCKETED! Yeah, as if the trip wasn't crazy enough! I was so bummed, I had so many pictures and videos that I hadn't uploaded. The photos I'm posting below are from Danny's old iPhone and iPhone pictures that my mother-in-law sent me. Not so great quality but they will have to do because someone stole my camera :(
Waiting for flight
 Family Day
  Some of Danny's siblings and parents on Family Day
Waiting in the rain for graduation
 Graduation day
Grenade marksmanship award
Graduation Day

Danny's siblings saying bye

We are so proud of David and all that he has accomplished this far. We know he is going to do amazing things in the Army and we pray that God continues to keep him safe and leads the way in this journey.
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