Monday, July 31, 2017

Thunderstruck at Encampment

Last week was a very long week. The whole thing started several summers ago when the boy asked to go to an air show. Since we had asked for their input on our trips, we did some quick searching and found one in Rochester. I mean, the Blue Angels, how could you go wrong? Turns out that our local Civil Air Patrol kids were running around the event helping with safety, not that we met any of them at the time. There was of course a tent to get more information and we added our name and email address to the clipboard & went on our way, off to look at planes and drink lemon aid by the gallon since it was so hot on the tarmac.

Later when we got an actual email back and an invite to hang out at several meetings just down the road from us, we thought we'd give it a try. I wasn't sure the boy was all that military you know since it's an auxiliary of the US Air Force, but why not. His Grandpa Ham flew in WWII, but he was really little when he knew him. It's not like tales of glory were told around the table during Thanksgiving dinner. Besides, Grandpa Ham hardly talked at all about flying or the war at all in the manner typical of that generation.

Fast forward to now and Luke's a Tech Sargent. He signed up to go to Encampment this summer as it's one of the next steps to becoming an officer.  I'd be lying if I said this whole thing didn't scare the crap out of me. It was cool at first since they were posting updates and we spotted him several times in videos and in photos. Then, it was radio silence. We figure someone complained and they took all the videos down. The last part of the week dragged along.

I wasn't sure who we'd be picking up. A kid who was tired of getting up at 5 am, a two minute shower, and going everywhere with a battle buddy? Or one that was ready to rock and roll his way up in Civil Air Patrol and potentially head into the Air Force. Would he pass out in the car exhausted, not talk the whole way home, or regale us with tales Encampment?

The latter occurred.

He just wouldn't shut up and at one point was singing jodies. Since I had gotten up at 4:45, the whole thing quickly lost it's magic. Well, that and I was tired of the car. It was a three hour plus ride up and back. Looking back though, the whole ceremony very moving. At one point they had the cadets yelling THUNDER to AC DC's song Thunderstruck. Later they had World War II vets handing out awards and several vintage war planes flew by.

I was glad to have been there and even happy to come home and help wash a weeks worth of black t-shirts and socks. Where he goes now is up to him, but it's pretty clear to me that flying is in his blood. That and I need to invest in some blue paper....I have a ton of photos to get scrapped!

Happy Monday!


  1. So pleased to hear that he loved it (hard to be a mum though when social media stops updating!) I can imagine that much as you wanted to hear all about it, the early hours of the morning after a lot of driving is not the best time to keep your enthusiasm going!

  2. Oh wow... I do have some paper to send you... I'll start a collection... this is sooo awesome! Love seeing someone so young so inspired all on their own... awesome!


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