Hotel Flight = Honor Flight

That’s right, although we were all very nervous (except for Turner) Hotel Flight was top flight and the Guardians (my squadron) were top squadron.  Then we did our cheer again and strangely enough, no boos.  Weird…

But let me start from the beginning of the graduation events.  On Thursday night we had what was called a dining out.  There was only room enough for me to bring two guests so my dad and Tom came while Elizabeth and my mom hung out with Henri.  I was really bummed about that because the dining out was really a different experience.  Maybe Tom can find some time to give his impressions in his own blog entry (once he gets done playing CatchPhrase with my dad) but I think it was probably a relatively interesting experience for both Tom and my dad.  First of all, this is one of the few times we wear our mess dress which is our super fancy uniform.  The men look a little like waiters and the women look more than a little old fashioned but here are some pictures anyway…

DadandIDiningOut

TomandIDiningOut

The Dining Out is also cool because there are a lot of traditions and rules that good along with it.  And if you break a rule, know that they’re not above making you drink out of a toilet.  I was also part of a skit that poked fun at pretty much everything we could think of that had happened over the last few weeks.  People told me it was funny but my most distinct memory is that I was really really sweaty for the remainder of the meal.  I guess keeping the temperature at approximately 90 degrees is part of the fun.

After only some minor drama in the dorms Thursday night, Friday morning we managed to graduate.  First we had our last meal in the DFac (Dining Facility).  That was followed by an awards ceremony where Hotel Flight received all its awards.  I also was shocked to find out that I was a Distinguished Graduate (DG – top 10% of my class).  I really didn’t think I had a shot so when my name was called I found myself to be rather unprepared.  I just kept praying I had my fly up as I shook the OTS Commander’s hand, saluted her, and then stood in front of my 130 classmates and their friends and family.

distinguishedgrad

salute

Two other members of my flight graduated with DG status as well, Lt Hett and Capt Taylor.

flightawards

After the awards ceremony, Hotel Flight, laden with all their awards, headed out to the parade field with the rest of the class.  The parade is mostly just ceremonial but a really great way for family and friends to see all the marching we’ve been working on over our 5 weeks at COT.  Also, it’s a good way for families (such as mine) that have little to no exposure to the military to see a formal military ceremony.  Many Hotel Flight members had prominent roles in our parade but I was part of the masses which really was for the best.  When it comes to marching, I don’t need to be anywhere near the center of attention.  Again, Tom could weigh in here but I think it was a pretty cool ceremony…

dsc_01251

squadron

It was really great to have my parents, Elizabeth, and Tom finally see what I had been telling about for so many weeks.  I can’t even say how grateful I feel that I have people willing to come all the way to Alabama to see me march around in a uniform.  And now they can help describe things to all my friends in Chicago who couldn’t come.

elizabeth

Tom

momanddad

So since my graduation, we’ve been on a whirlwind tour of Montgomery.  We’ve seen several Walmarts, the state capital building, Chris’s Hot Dogs, and we made an attempt to see a covered bridge but that was too far away.  I’ve introduced my family to the BX (Base Exchange) and they are all now well equipped with various Air Force t-shirts, sweatshirts, suspenders, you name it.  Today we have to take Elizabeth to the airport (tear) and then tomorrow everyone else leaves me alone in Alabama again.  But I’ll be starting the next phase in my Air Force learning and I’ll be lucky to have a lot of people I know from my COT class in my JASOC class.  The next two months will be a lot less stressful than the previous month was and soon I’ll be heading up to ND making sure to stop in Chicago on my way.  And in the mean time, if anyone’s coming thru Alabama…

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6 Responses to Hotel Flight = Honor Flight

  1. T. McGuire says:

    Congrats Anna!!! I’m proud to know you! What an experience!!

  2. Amanda B. says:

    Anna – Just wanted to let you know that one of your old friends from MN has been following your military blog (laughing and also cringing at times). You totally ROCK! Congrats and keep smiling!

  3. Matt Rosine says:

    Well done, Anna. Big congrats.

  4. James B. says:

    Way to go, Anna! You are an inspiration. Your experiences sound amazing. Congrats on your status as DG! I would expect nothing less…

  5. Shane McDonough says:

    Anna,
    Wow..I had no clue that you went into the air force…I had a good time reading your blogs as I just found it through facebook…Your accomplishments are a huge reflection of your own hard work and your strong upbringing. You and your parents have a lot to be proud about. Congrats on the engagement also.

    Thank you for serving our country..
    V/R Shane McDonough (army civ)

  6. Lincoln says:

    Writing articles is tedious.I know how you can get unlimited articles for your site, type in google:

    Anightund’s rewriter

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