So, after my long car ride to MO, I ended up at my final destination a day early. They were able to accommodate me, and I got in my room around 1am CDT. All I needed was a quick shower and to get under the blankets and I was OUT! I woke up at 0800 the next morning when Charlie called me, and rather than go back to bed like I assumed I would I had all the energy in the world and decided to get coffee and explore a bit. It was a beautiful Tuesday (really, the weather was AMAZING the entire trip). I went to Einstein Bagels and got a latte of some sort.. not whatever I ordered.. and some cookies, hit the PX for the toiletries I forgot to pack and went back to get primped for the day and possible pass. We were told we MAY get to see the guys from around 1500 to 1700ish, time permitting, and I wasn’t holding my breath.
I will say there was a rumor at this point that Char might not have his orders in time to accompany me home. Trying to *hope for the best* and stay positive may have been more of a let down in the long run, but at least it helped keep the mood chipper the first few days. I toured the base (it’s tiny..) and drove all around all the barracks I could find, which mostly ended up being MP ones. I also drove through the Navy and Marine barracks too, and had pretty much given up on getting a picture of the company sign that would be in front of Chalire’s. He had given me a general idea of where they were earlier in the morning but my memory is foggy and I don’t retain audible information very well. I ended up getting a call from him around 1 or so and he more or less directed me in his direction.. how cool was it to see him wave out his window! Tears hit me instantly! Lol..
Being nosey I found the back of the barracks and drove up behind them and decided I would get my picture of A co 58th. I could see a few soldiers outside but didn’t really think Charlie would be one of them.
I guess they thought it was funny that a chick was taking a picture, and when Charlie looked to where they were pointing he realized it was me.. the guys couldn’t believe it! His SGT let him come visit with me for about 10 minutes while they were waiting to meet up with the rest of his unit!!
(A-Co Barracks from Nebraska)
(A-Co Barracks from the back entrance, where I parked)
When he had to form up, SGT yelled for me to meet at Abrams Theater at 1630. I can’t explain how excited I was 😀 Of course I was waaay early and didn’t know if I was allowed/supposed to go in. The doors were locked so I hung out in the car and tried to avoid strange looks from others passing by. Eventually I asked one of his command if it was in fact his truck in there (it was) just because I started thinking I might have gotten confused. When they finished rehearsal they were all released on pass, and since my hubs had ME there he didn’t have to walk all the way back to the barracks, get his phone, call, etc.. lots of envious looks :3
We got from about 17-20:00, so three hours with no distractions! Not that BCT grad wasn’t amazing, but with all his family and our kids there we didn’t get much alone time. It was nice to just talk and enjoy each others company.. and then some.
Sent him back and crashed for the night, my driving finally caught up with me. I did NOT want to get out of bed the next morning! But, he made it clear I needed to get there early so I could get a good seat and I complied. They actually didn’t open the inner doors till 0845, but they had a little gift shop set up and grabbed a tee shirt and coin for Char. Turns out the shirt was little kids sized (doh) and he had already gotten one hoping it would fit me, and he had gotten a coin already. Luckily we were able to take back one of the coins and exchange the shirt for a more appropriate size for Nora and grab one for Nate too.
Graduation was nice. They played a video, one of the Army ones about how you’re stronger now that always makes me all bleary eyed watching the guys in combat. Then one of the girls sang the National Anthem and the commanders were introduced. After the honor awardees were finished the rest of the guys walked and got their pins, sang the trans and Army songs, and were released for about 15 minutes with the families.
(58th Trans Flag)
(25 Truck Dragon Slayers!)
(This was done so fast.. but he announced his Rank, Name, and Hometown)
(25T signing the Army song and Trans Song)
(Duran, MacDonnell, Barella, B-?, Hill)
Afterwards, the guys going Government transport to their first duty stations were bused off the base and the rest were given paperwork and signed out. Of course.. Charlie’s orders (along with a few other guys) were not ready so a special pass form had to be written up for him allowing him to sign out with me and basically hang out on post as long as I was in town. I figured I’d stay Wed and Thurs night just in case his orders came through, and to spend a little one-on-one with him. I’m not going to lie- I was pretty annoyed. I guess that’s just the way things are though.. Wed we watched Ted, ate Pizza Hut and hit the PX. Thursday was really fun actually- I got him from 10am till 19:30 and we went putt-putt, go kart racing, bowling, and out to lunch. Can I just say.. I had the best.meatloaf.ever. No lie. Meat loaf isn’t a delicacy or something you would ever brag about.. but damn. It was some secret MO BBQ meatloaf recipe.. I need to figure out what was so wonderful bout it!
(Because you may need night-crawlers @ 3am..)
(Char was all about this Chicken suit man. Family guy reference. I stopped Mr. Chicken and asked for a photograph)
(iPad and iPod and iAccessory vending machine…)
(At the museum, 58th Trans History board)
(No filter. The weather was really that nice)
(I won 1/3 games. That is the highest I’ve bowled in YEARS.. and I got a turkey! Gobble Gobble!)