Monday, November 16, 2009


Ryan has four more weeks before graduation, but was allowed a weekend off the base at this, the ten-week mark. We had to be at Fort Benning for the family briefing at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Before entering the room for the briefing, we were able to peek into the mess hall. Not really sure why Tessa's reflection showed up in this photo, but I did think it was kind of neat looking. Ryan told us that they get five minutes to eat. His typical breakfast consists of scrambled eggs with biscuits and gravy on top, pancakes, breakfast bar, etc. He takes everything that is offered, and he somehow woofs it down. Interestingly enough, he has never eaten an egg before boot camp.
We met all of the drill sergeants during the briefing. We also got to see a video of everything our "soldier" accomplished or had been exposed to during the last nine weeks. Contrary to what Ryan has said, I did not see one thing that looked like fun. And the soldiers coming out of the gas chamber was absolutely disturbing. They could have skipped videoing that particular scene. I am very proud of Ryan's determination and his positive attitude about it all.
After the briefing, we went outside where the soldiers were lined up. It looked very official. Notice that even their hands are held a certain way.
This young man just couldn't stop smiling. I wasn't sure what the drill sergeant was going to do. I hoped that he would not start screaming in his face. As it turned out, this particular drill sergeant has a sense of humor.
He brought one guy out and started scanning the crowd for "Jenna Baby." It was hilarious. When Jenna did not come forward after much coaxing--who could blame her?--another fellow was chosen. This one had a mom in the crowd who was more than happy to wave and carry on. The drill sergeants played it up big. The whole scene was totally unexpected after the video, briefing, and seeing all the men in formation. It lightened the mood and just brought smiles to our faces.
Ryan told me that the young men not in dress uniform, like the one in the photo above, did not pass the physical training requirements. I felt so sorry for them. They had a family pass as well, but had to stay on the base. You may also notice the lovely glasses that all soldiers are required to wear during basic. I remember when Michael had to wear these out in public after his graduation from Air Force basic. It was quite embarrassing.

Not sure who designed the hat, but I'm not really digging it. I will admit that most soldiers looked better with it on than with it off though. Not everyone can pull off bald.
These brothers are very, very different. And that's all I'm going to say on that.
Even in the family photo shoot, Ryan's hands remain in *the position*! I had no idea I was that short. I don't know how tall I thought I looked, but this is not it.

We did enjoy Ryan's stories during lunch and dinner. One thing that he said that was interesting to me was that he was glad that he did not have any vices. He did not feel like he had to give up anything--especially cold turkey--like most. He doesn't even drink soda--which seems to be something that many have missed. He was pretty sure that most of his friends were going to return to the base feeling pretty sick after eating and drinking everything they missed.
Yep, like I said, maybe that hat is not such a bad thing.


Mimi said...

Hi Denise!!!
First off I want to say THANK YOU RYAN!!!! You are an inspiration to me and so many others!!!! I'm proud to know you Mom and for the great job of raising you that you would make the decision to serve your country!!! I think Ryan is very handsome hat on or off!!!!! All of those young men look so young and so strong and courageous!!! My hat is off to them!!!!!
Glad you got to visit, is that near you??? I did not think you lived in Georgia??? Isn't it in GA???? Or Texas????
have a blessed week
you are not short, they are all tall!!!!

The Peterson family said...

Wow!! Very brave soldiers and such heroes. We are proud of Ryan. He looks really good, Denise! I am glad you were able to see a small picture of "his life" right now. Such sacrifices these soldiers give for our country.

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

Oh how proud you must be! Congrats to him on making it this far and tell him THANK YOU for serving our country!

Justine said...

Wow Denise, you must be proud! Ryan looks fabulous! And yes, I know that hand position. Colt and Dane stand with that too!

Tell Ryan that we are impressed; the boys love the pictures. :o)


Jenny said...

I am so proud of Ryan and I don't even know him! Way to go!

You must be so proud of him too. Thank you Ryan for serving our wonderful country.