Friday, November 18, 2005

Finally have some time..

First off, thanks to everyone who donated money to Valour-IT. The Team Air Force might not have done as well as we hoped, but every dollar donated is a dollar that will help wounded soldiers communicate with their families.

That said, tonight I'm going to do something rarely done on this blog: delve into my personal life. As I mentioned earlier, I've been involved in the Candidate Training Program for Arnold Air Society (AAS). Well, this week was "Tiger Week," which would be the equivalent of "pledge week" for a fraternity. During this week, we wear our uniform every day, we conduct reville/retreat ceremonies, and we are generally put under quite a bit of stress from all of the Active Members, especially at reville/retreat. On an aside, yours truly was Flight Commander for the reville ceremony this morning...I did an alright job, excepting the time I decided to "take the long way around," giving a column left instead of a column right; let's just say I got grogged good for that one. Moving on, tonight was "Tiger Night," which is the culmination of the training program and of Tiger Week. Unfortunately, I had to miss the opening part of Tiger Night because I was involved with singing the National Anthem at an Air Force Association meeting at the ANG base in Des Moines...more on that later. But I got there soon enough to take part in most of the "fun" activities of the night, which is all I should say about that. But the point of this post is not what went on, its how all of us newly initiated actives feel, which is quite accomplished. It's going to sound a bit stupid to most of my loyal readers, especially knowing my usually pragmatic outlook on life, but to try and explain things better, this is the first time in my young Air Force career that I've really felt a sense of accomplishment over something, and it feels damn good.

It feels good to be able to pin on the AAS rank badge, and it feels really damn good to be able to look at my service coat and see the AAS blue and gold fourragere. It probably sounds rather dumb, but the sense of accomplishment, and more so, the fact that I really accomplished with a team, rather than just myself, is something else. I've been smiling most of the night, and I can't really explain why other than that I'm done with Tiger Training, and that WE did it...not just "I."

If anyone is interested, here's a picture of the newly initiated Actives (formerly Tiger Flight) and our two CTOs; the CTOs are at the left and right of the front row. I'm standing, on the far left. (The picture is actually from one of my CTO's blog.)

Moving on from that, I also sang at the AFA meeting at the ANG base in Des Moines. It went fine, we kicked butt as usual, but the reason I bring is up is that I got to see 6 damn good reasons why I'm going to join the finest Air Force on the planet. Those 6 reasons were 6 Vipers taking off in full burner. At night. Picture an extremely loud, sky-splitting roar, and then a sudden appearance of a huge plume of flame screaming across the sky.
Damn awesome; we even got the Army and Navy members of our military quartet to be impressed.

Not much cooler than that. Unless its an F-22, of course...