Eight hour pass – Ranger School, part one

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We are now home after a whirlwind, eight-hour visit with our Ranger candidate. We wouldn’t have traded it for anything but goodness, we are two tired parents!

photo copy 27This is the beginning of some posts about this interesting chapter as military parents.

1. On Thursday night we received a very brief phone call from a Ranger Instructor, informing us that our son had passed the Darby phase and that the guys would be ready at 9am. We got there a little early and the parking lot was filling up with excited family members and friends.

2. Soldiers walked by inside Camp Rogers and collectively, our eagerness was dashed until 10 am. A few moms/wives spoke to their Soldier through the fence and learned their guys were recycles. I felt so bad for them. A couple of guys trudged out, ragged and thin some informing us that they had been dropped. I spoke to a few of the women and learned I was not alone in trying to figure out if we had caught a glimpse of our Soldier.

3. Taxis were waiting and a couple of guys paid a driver an additional $20 to wait specifically for them no matter what. I helped facilitate the transaction by handing the $20 to the cabbie through the fence. When a couple other guys tried to take the taxi, there was a moment of tension but it all worked out.

4. A picture I snapped while waiting. We were not prepared for the pressure we would feel trying to get everything done. This was calm before the storm.photo copy 22

5. I didn’t bother with any makeup, the mission was clear. Take care of the kid and his buddies. No glitz or glamour. Not much of that kind of girl anyway but yeah, this is me. Understandably many of the girlfriends and wives looked pretty and dressed up. I’m just a mom, no need to bother. It’s all good.

6. The first time at Fort Benning several weeks ago, we learned our son was a recycle. Since this was our second time at Fort Benning, it was a blessing to learn he had passed. The Hubs paced that road waiting for his boy.

7. It took us longer to travel to him, then we had to spend time with him but we’re not complaining. The Hubs and I were honored to be able to serve our Solider and his buddies.

8. At 10 am, there was a blur of young men pouring out of the Camp Rogers.

9. People were happy. Very happy! People kissed and hugged, shook hands and cried. FREEDOM!

10. Time was of the essence as the guys just wanted to get out and enjoy the eight-hour pass.

photo copy 2811. As full as the parking lot had been, soon it was thinning out. An incredible amount of things to do in a very limited time.

12. My boy still looked like he had some meat on his bones and we took him and we whisked two other buddies the heck out of Fort Benning. Now the fun began! Rev your engines, here we go!

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