The son of a good friend of mine just headed off to basic training with the National Guard.
It brought back so many memories of when my own son left, a few months after graduating high school.
He was only 18 and I just knew he was too young to be heading off to Missouri with a bunch of strangers.
I vividly remember taking him to the National Guard armory to board a bus that would take him to the airport and then to Fort Leonard wood, Missouri. He was going to be gone for 6 months.
I cried a lot.
It was so hard to see him go. He was so young and had never been away from home for any length of time before.
He left on August 17, 2009. This was the first picture that I got from him while away, it was taken November 29, 2009.
I went over 2 months without seeing him.
He already looked so much older.
I was telling my friend how hard it was. My son was gone for almost 6 months straight. He did get to come home for Christmas, but then had to go back for the last 2 weeks of training.
We drove out to Missouri for the family day and graduation.
It was an awesome experience.
I was telling my friend that she needs to make a point of going to the graduation. It's a once in a lifetime experience.
This is Trency with his drill sergeant. That guy doesn't look so scary!! I think he's even trying to smile.
If you've ever been to a military graduation, I think you'll agree it's something you will never forget.
If you have never been then you can get an idea of what I'm talking about from these 2 videos.
Warning: the volume is really loud, you may want to turn your computer volume down.
And here is the second one...