Saturday, May 31, 2014

New Beginnings

This past week was graduation week at the Air Force Academy.  Living in the area, we have the pleasure of witnessing the preparation for the big day, including the practice sessions by the Thunderbirds (back this year after budget cuts last year).  My father is a gifted photographer, and was able to capture some spectacular shots of their performance on graduation day.  These sights are a little reminder of one of the many reasons I'm proud to be an Airman.  


[Credit: J. Boone Pooler Photography]

[Credit: J. Boone Pooler Photography]

[Credit: J. Boone Pooler Photography]

On another personal note, three years ago today I left for BMT.  It does and doesn't seem like it's been all that long.  When I think about the changes that have occurred at BMT in these three years, it feels like it's been forever.  I've discussed with friends before that I know my blog has a finite nature due to the constantly evolving beast that is BMT, but my hope is that it continues to motivate and inspire, even in my absences.  I promise, I'm not holding out on you - just enjoying my summer days with my young family, soaking up all the time that I can!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Milspouse Appreciation Day!

Disclosure: I was gifted a flag by Gettysburg Flag Works, and made the personal decision to share my experience.  All opinions presented within this post are my own.

The Friday before Mother's Day is recognized as Military Spouse Appreciation Day.  I consider myself fortunate to have been a milspouse before I joined myself.  I went to BMT knowing the purpose and value behind my sacrifice, and with the experience of separation from my husband.  I cringe when I see fellow service members putting down military spouses, or even worse yet, military spouses picking on each other.  I believe in a shared sense of pride, in our country and in our duty, and I believe in the power of community.


Mike from Gettysburg Flag Works recently reached out to me and shared their dedication to military members and their families.  In honor of Memorial Day and a token of their gratitude, they offered me a flag from their extensive catalog.  A full-sized flag pole was a selling point of my home, and I was proud to be able to add a POW/MIA flag from Gettysburg Flag Works to it.  The flag is a bold, double sided all weather nylon.  Durability is essential out here, where our flags are flown around the clock (appropriately illuminated) and exposed to the gamut of weather conditions.  

With the Run For The Wall Central Route coming through our small town next weekend, it's a time for humble reflection on those who have sacrificed for our country.  I am thankful the small sacrifices my own family has made, and for the opportunity to honor those of others.

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day to my husband and my fellow milspouses!  To those families who have made the ultimate sacrifice, you have my utmost respect and deepest condolences.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

[Source]

Yeah, I'm going there.  The Dora/Finding Nemo approach to this whole situation, although that wasn't my first analogy.  I started thinking about sharks, and that thought that they can't stop swimming, or else they'll die.  Discovery, the lovely purveyors of "Shark Week," partially dispel that myth, but I digress.  Can you tell it's been an exhausting week turned drill weekend?

We know that the military is an endless waiting game, and patience is a virtue, but even the most patient can only hold out for so long.  Does that mean that I'm giving up on OTS?  Not at all, but it does mean that I'm starting to do more forward thinking, especially if this should fall through.  

The last two school dates for this fiscal year are 20 May and 1 July.  I've heard rumors that they are full through this fiscal year, and I've also seen stories from people who just found out on 30 April that they're in the 20 May school [yikes!].  We are also coming up on my eligibility to do Airman Leadership School (ALS), the Professional Military Education (PME) course that I need to complete in order to be promoted to SSgt.  As a Reservist, at 42 months Time in Service (TIS), I am eligible to do ALS, at least as someone with a six year enlistment.  You have two options for ALS - by correspondence (online) or in residence.  When I am eligible, my school year will have started, so while I could do it at my local base, I will most likely opt to do it online.  

Why go to this trouble?  Because if I'm going to be sitting around waiting for OTS, I may as well do it at a higher pay grade, or like I said before, if OTS doesn't pan out for whatever reason, at least I won't have wasted all of this time waiting.  Side note, there is a Time in Training requirement for my promotion as well, but there is a waiver process for it if desired/possible.  I am also promotable in my current position (up to TSgt).  If you are active duty, your process for promotion will be very different, but ALS is required for you as well.

So, that's where I'm at.  A hungry shark, who can't stop moving.  Dori, who is just going to keep swimming.  [Insert persistent sea creature here.]