Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paul's OCS Graduation


My trip started off without any troubles as I made it to the airport around six in the morning. My lovely Mom dropped me off at the airport as I began the long journey to Virginia. After an hour flight I landed in Salt Lake City. I know many of you are wondering why SLC when I live an hour away from it by car...lets just say that airlines are retarded and it was the cheapest way.
I then had a 4 1/2 hour flight to Baltimore, MA where to greet me was Paul's parents and Aunt Lori (gotta love her). We made it out of baggage claim a little around fivish and braved our way through the crazy drivers and traffic of the east coast (the parking lot).
We were very sneaking and found out that Paul, who had family day until 8pm that evening) was at the coffee house on base. We told him that traffic was bad and made it sound like we were so excited to see him at graduation the next day. To his surprise we made it to the coffee house around 7:15. It went down like this...He was at the computer facing the opposite way of the door. I entered, put my hands on his eyes (from behind), and he just had this questionable expression. I put my head down in front of his and I will never forget his face!! He was so surprised!!

After Paul's liberty was secured and goodbyes were said, we headed to "The House" where Summer, Aaron, Jubalee, Uncle Hart, Seth, Jack, and Rachel were waiting for us. I was beat from traveling all day - another weird phenonmenon as you aren't actually doing anything buy you end up tired. In the morning we would have to get up early to make it to the base in time to get a good seat for graduation, however everyone wanted to stay up just chatting away so it was late before I finally got to bed that night.

After six weeks of seperation

Paul and his friend Julian Muhller

After a rushed morning, half of us (the early crew) made our was to Quantico in the van to save seats for the others. Today was Paul's graduation from Echo Company 4th Platoon of the Officer Candidate School that he had been at for six weeks this summer. As we made our way to the stands, there were so many people already present to witness their loved ones graduate. You could feel the excitement in the air as you saw the candidates lining up behind a building on the far side and loved ones eagerly awaiting to see their men again.

As the ceremony started, the Marine Corps band came out and serenaded us with their music and marching skills. There were men who talked and inspired the spectators in the stand as well as the distinguished guests that were present. Not to be rude, but the ceremonies before the actual graduation seemed to drag on because I was so excited to have my husband back!! :) they recognized all the staff and then all the high individuals of the platoons and companies. They did a canon salute (which was really neat) that even set off many car alarms.

After the ceremony was finished, we waited for about an hour for Paul to turn his weapon back in before we could actually congratulate and finally talk to him. Everyone was so excited to see Paul and it was so fun just watching everyone share in this special occasion. When that was over we had a picnic on the grounds and talked to Paul's good friend Julian. Julian is a Christian that Paul met while at OCS and lives in Arizona. He got commissioned three weeks ago and is waiting to go to The Basic School in October. Congrats 2nd Lt. Julian Mueller!!

After leaving Quantico, we headed to "The House" for a celebration dinner! Aunt Lori and Paul's Mom prepared a wonderful meal for us!! It was so delicious and very much appreciated...down to the last bite of mile high mud pie! :) The evening was finished off with talking and just plain ol' catching up. Paul's Dad was very gracious and put us up in a hotel room so we headed off into the sunset...

1st Increment of OCS July 2008 Graduation

Fox, Echo, and India Companies

Can you spot him in there? :)

Paul's Instructors

Marine Corps Band

Cannons being blasted

He is the second one ot the left.

After graduation with the family

Paul with his parents !!

Once again, thanks to everyone that came and shared in Paul's special day. Many could not make it out but we appreciate all the thoughts and prayers. :)