See that shiny silver thing on the top of all those colorful ones?
That means he is officially an EOD Tech. Before he joined the military I and no idea what any of them meant. I knew they were earned and something to be proud of, but that was about it. Once he joined the military, I started learning.
Our family pictures for the day were a little rough with the sun and an uninterested toddler, but oh well.
I knew there were infantryman, those crazy guys that ran to the sound of gunfire and shot back [his former job]. Then I knew there was a different breed of crazy in the guys who found excitement in dealing with bombs for a living [unbeknownst to me at the time, my husband’s future job].
This bomb job required a lengthy school in Florida, so we uprooted ourselves for the better part of this year. It was an adventure full of ups and downs a fair amount of stress but Steve worked so hard and graduated on schedule! Given the difficulty of the school and a pretty significant attrition rate, that’s an accomplishment in itself.
The school puts on a quick but ceremonious graduation at the EOD memorial for every graduating class. It’s a pretty sobering setting for the event, because the memorial has a nameplate for every EOD Technician that has been killed in the performance of their duties, from every branch of the military. But it is also a very proud location for the ceremony because the graduates are joining a small and elite community of the military. And since it’s such a small and specialized field, the students are from all branches of the military. There were Marines, sailors, soldiers, and airman in his school – a cool experience after living in the Marine Corps bubble the past several years.
Steve was particularly fond of his sailor friends 😀
And the two other fellow Marines. They all started and finished together!
We may have been in Florida wearing shorts the week before, but the day of the graduation ceremony, the forecast was barely in the 40’s. And the uniform of the day for Steve was short sleeves, poor guy. Luckily the sun was out and there was no wind so it didn’t feel nearly that cold. The ceremony itself was only about 20 minutes. He asked me to pin his badge. I didn’t poke him, got it straight, and right side up. Success.
Once the ceremony wrapped up, the guys wanted to get out of those uniforms ASAP but the families made them pose for the obligatory pictures. Steve’s parents came all the way to Florida for the event! And I know they were proud to see him complete his school.
Mitchell was pretty excited too. Looking all handsome and tearing at Mommy’s heartstrings in those grown up clothes.
Given that the graduation was such a momentous event, you’d think it took up the day’s focus. Nope. We had a million other things to do that day.
Wrapping up our PCS… Visiting new babies in the hospital… Making sure to hit all the local restaurants with his parents we wanted to eat at one last time, some last minute cleaning before we turned in the keys to our house, and saying goodbye to some good friends. We are sure going to miss our Navy friends, Marly and Myron.
Pretty sure I didn’t sit down all day. I’m a little late with this update since we are already out of Florida, home in North Carolina, and officially catching up on some rest and family time we have been looking forward to for weeks 🙂