Wednesday, May 25, 2011


It's summer and I cannot get over having graduated from the Academy.  I have the elated feeling of someone who has slipped, skidded, slid, and landed with a thud at the end of a long journey and poised to begin another one with a lot more drive, focus, vision, and purpose.  My last week at the point I ended up getting 20 hours of tours - which I served - and had one final regimental S-4 task that really snuck up and sucker punched the hell out of me.  But both experiences made me feel really alive afterwards.  In fact my last walking hour was right after the banquet on Thursday.  I put on my white over gray uniform one more time for punishment and under arms went to central area.  There were still classmates and parents and officers trailing out of the mess hall.  Michelle Obama had left already, but it was only ten after nine when I started.  So, with the breastplate glinting on my chest and my scabbard at my side and my saber on my shoulder I walked the best hour of my life.  I don't really know what it's like to lose endless weekends for that sort of thing, although it really threw a wrench in my graduation week plans, but I had the sense of paying my dues.  That night I got weird looks, raised eyebrows, shouts of encouragement, one raised fist alongside a "Keep fightin' the good fight" and the inevitable two questions, a knowing "How many more?" and a perplexed "Were you here the whole time?"

It's a week, it's a day, it's a moment I will not forget.  And graduation was a blur, it was the commissioning ceremony afterwards that I really appreciated.  The Law Department all being JAGs and mostly being officers arranged a small and intimate ceremony on the lawn of the one of the homes on "Colonel Row" that overlooks the Hudson River.  They are officers who really care and they had a profound impact on the way I see life.  I kept nearly all my law books, and will definitely stay in contact with those former professors.  Now that I have a moment to pause and reflect... I have the feeling I am sitting on a wide open plain and I can mold this landscape into something that reflects who I really am.

I haven't had any nightmares I'm back at West Point yet, but I've heard of recent graduates having them.  I am happy, but trying really hard not to be a nuisance to anyone.  I am somewhat homeless until July 6 when I have to be back at West Point to help with land navigation training through August 8.  While a lot of graduates go home, it's a long drive back to El Paso and I'd like to do some traveling.  I just want to make sure my car and belongings are looked after while I'm gone.  If I didn't belong to a greater organization I would be a little more carefree, but I have that commitment and responsibility so I cannot simply run amok.

Unlike my friends who are doing full blown Euro-trips, I am going to be stationed in Germany next year and so I am more interested in just going wherever the wind blows me this next month and a half.  I've been talking about the space-A military flights for a while, and I'd like to give that a shot soon.  As soon as I organize my personal stuff better in my car than it's been... I'll figure out when and where I can politely hand off my car and I'll be on my way for another adventure that is unique and rewarding.

No comments:

Post a Comment