Sorry for the delay. I got sick Monday afternoon. Really sick. Am still in bed, hopefully I will be feeling better soon. I think I caught the travel bug. What a bug it is.
OK, we left last Wednesday morning and flew to Dallas. Before we landed in Dallas, the flight attendant was announcing connecting gates for people continuing on. She said we were going into terminal D, and our connecting gate was terminal C. A lady on the plane heard me saying to husband that I hoped I could get us there in time. This lady leaned over and told me not to worry, she would get us a driver for the handicapped who would take us to the next terminal.
This driver was hilarious. He would honk his horn and in a real southern drawl, yell out, "Comin' through, comin' through, move." Once we arrived at terminal C, I found out our plane was delayed by about 30 minutes. I had a reservation for this shuttle service to take us from the airport in San Antonio to our hotel, so, I tried calling him to let him know our plane would be delayed a little. No phone service.
Once we took off, 30 minutes late, I was worried, but, thought that if he came into the airport, he would see that our flight had been delayed.
The airline we flew on was American Airlines. They were wonderful. An attendant would wheel husband to the door of the plane, and husband would walk to his seat, with my assistance. Once we would land, that would be the first thing waiting for us at the door again.
So, this attendant in San Antonio was so neat. He was young, and wheeled us outside and stayed with us until our shuttle came.
Our shuttle driver was great, handling the wheelchair and all. He took us straight to our hotel. Our hotel was about 1/2 mile from the base. In fact, you could see the base from the hotel. I kept thinking, "Jack is right over there, somewhere."
I got us settled in our room and we had dinner delivered to us.
The next morning, we were up bright and early. Our shuttle guy arrived. There were a number of people waiting for the shuttle as well. Guess this was the hotel to stay at, with it being so close to the base. We rode the second trip in and arrived around 7 am.
Once I got familiar with the happenings, I took husband to the street where they were having the Airmen's Run. It's a traditional thing, going back many years. There were so many people lined up, but, because husband is in a wheelchair, we were able to sit up front.
Families had banners, congratulating their graduate, people wore T-shirts, with their Airmen's name on it. Of course, I didn't do any of that, I didn't even know to do that. Luckily, a lot of people around me didn't do that either.
The Airmen's Run started. They ran down this street, chanting, each squadron a different color, turned around, and ran back down. Once I figured out that the flag the head person was carrying was their actual squadron, I found Jack's, but, could not see him.
Next up was briefing. When that was over, we went out to some bleachers for the Coin Ceremony. That was really neat, as there were 3 young people who were becoming american citizens. And then, the graduates started marching in. I knew my son was somewhere, and as the announcer said each squadron, I knew which one Jack was in. Try finding your child in a sea of young men. They all looked alike to me.
I got tears in my eyes as the ceremony continued on. Then, after the handing out of the Coins and the announcer saying they were no longer Trainees, but Airmen, we were allowed to go out to find him. The Airmen had to stand at attention until a family member tapped him on the shoulder. I could not find Jack. I was getting frustrated, as they all looked so much alike. Finally, I saw two Airmen talking and asked them if they could help me locate Jack. I gave them his name, (they no longer go by their first names, I found out), and said, "Lucero? He's right over there, Ma'am."
I turned and saw my son. He was standing at attention, looking a little scared and sad. So many Airmen had been tapped, and there he was, looking so alone. I went up to him, tapped him, he turned around, his face, oh that face, just lit up. He said, voice breaking, "Mom!!"
He grabbed me and hugged me so hard, my rib cage hurt. He would not let go of me. I said, "Did you think I wasn't coming?" He said, "No, you said you were coming, but, yeah, I was getting worried waiting for you to tap me." I looked at this child of mine and saw he had tears in his eyes.
Part Two coming tomorrow. Sorry for the delay in pictures, I don't know how to get them on this blog. Am trying to figure it out.